domingo, 22 de dezembro de 2013

How to wear a patterned shirt year-round



Running low on ideas on how to wear your patterned shirt? Fera not! While I've already covered a few looks here, I came up with new looks and ideas you can try! Keep in mind you can always change the "pieces" to better match your personal style. Here we go:

For winter


Let's try some original looks for winter! After you've tried the classic "layering under a sweater and pairing with jeans" outfit, try these:
  • Contrasting vest
  • Leather jacket
  • Dress

For spring

A full-sleeved shirt may be too warm for summer but it makes a great transition piece! A known way that this will work for everyone is to take a t-shirt and jeans and just wear the patterned short over it, like a little cardigan. When you've worn up all of those, see the outfits below:



Pair the shirt with all sorts of pants and shoes to get every single look from your closet. Then, weed out the not-so-great ones. This will make sure you'll at least look at every possible combination and open new doors for you!



segunda-feira, 4 de novembro de 2013

What to wear there: Playing in a concert

As a freelance violist, I am required to wear head-to-toe black (3/4 sleeve to long sleeved top, and pants or an ankle length skirt).  I'd love some ideas on how to update my look!  I need to have a wide range of motion for my upper body, and some sort of layering ideas might be nice as well, because I never know what the job conditions will be!  I also tend to stick to super comfortable shoes, as I never know how long the walk will be from my car to the venue.
Can't wait to hear your suggestions! :-)
Jennifer
With such restrictions it can be hard to dress yourself and even harder to express your personal style! But of course you can do something about it. Just keep in mind it will likely be more troublesome than regular clothes shopping!

Basics

You probably already own these but begginers should really get going and buy these staples:

  • black pants (in something other than denim), 
  • a black maxi skirt if it fits your style (look for one with a lot of fabric like maxi circle skirts)
  • comfortable plain black tops in all sleeve lengths and necklines that look good on you
  • a black cardigan
After these you should be ready to make a good bunch of different outfits to get you started. And the toughest part about this will be the shoes. Try them on, seach online reviews and whatnot. 

I'm partial to 
  • comfy plain black flats (or with a little embellishment, depending on rules), 
  • a low heeled pump (search for "commuting shoes" in corporate oriented websites like corporette.com for classic and polished ideas) 
  • and even sandals or booties if you'd like.
Keep in mind the rules and your feet first and you should be good. Try to find a subtle way to display your style with shape or leather finishes.


Accessorizing

This can be a tough one. Is it even allowed? If it is, try to play your instrument at home to make sure it doesn't make any noise or come in your way. Good ideas could be stud earrings, rings or necklaces.

You already know accessories are a big oportunity to display your style and it's unlikely you'll need to go out and buy more. Just use your own! Keep in mind that at a concert the moment is most likely not about you so don't make a show of yourself! Keep jewelry classic and understated if you are ever in doubt!

Detailing

If you are going to play in these concerts for a long time it only makes sense to invest in pieces that are a little special to you. Express your style with creative neckline decor, cuts, shapes and subtle patterns and texture like brocade pants or a wrap top. Just try it on at home while playing to make sure your clothes never hinder your performance. And with this you get to create something that's a little more special according to the rules! Let's improve the outfit above with detailing.


This is just to illustrate the idea, choose pieces that fit you and your personal style :)

You

Last but not least comes you. Explore the mood of your looks with different manis and makeup looks. You may have some restrictions on it so ask first. Still, the first outfit would give two very different vibes in nude vs. red nail polish, don't you think? And there is usually no limit to what you can do with your hair so experiment with updos, straightening, soft waves, until you have a "back-up" of looks you fell, look and play amazingly in!

Was this helpful? Do you have more questions or tips?

domingo, 27 de outubro de 2013

So many ways to wear red jeans

One of my most popular posts and requested questions is how to wear red jeans so I figured a full guide was in order! Let's check out all the ways you can wear your red jeans!

This is gonna take a while...


  • With tees: try all outfits you can come up with based on red jeans and a white tee (remix almost all your accessories here alone!), then expand to coordinating graphic tees, for a punch of quirky cool!
  • With blouses: see which patterned tops/ blouses/ shirts go well with red, you likely have lots of those!
  • With shirts: a plain white shirt is just as versatile as a tee, except with the "fancy power" of collars. Give them a shot for more polished outfits
  • With cardigans: either solid or in a coordinating pattern (namely any animal print) most cardigans take red jeans well

  • With blazers: Solid black or coordinating patterns, all work well in giving the red jean a prim and propper feel. Accessorize with feminine dainty pieces or ones with a menswear feel like watches and oxford shoes
  • With sweaters: while stripes are amazing with red any sweater can look good with red jeans, just as with blue ones. Try all of yours to weed out the odd color pairings
  • With denim: the logical pairing for any trend not envolving denim is to add some. Either with a shirt or jacket, you can't go wrong with these basics
  • With fur: pair this glam color with a glam texture and a neutral layer under the fur to ground the look. My favorites are the button down (see above) and solid long sleeve tees/sweaters in black, white or beige
Remember these are merely basis for outfits so you can build up form these looks adding various accessories/shoes/etc. The combos are endless!

Do you think I got them all this time? Which of these combos do you already wear? Is there a new one you'll try? I want to hear from you in the comments below!




sábado, 19 de outubro de 2013

Fashion challange: Dog walking

Hi!
I came across your blog while looking for a place similar to Polyvore's old ask section. So, here's my fashion dilemma: I am a professional dog walker. I walk long distances every day so I need to wear sturdy walking shoes and my clothes get a little beat up, but I still want to look cute. Any suggestions?
Thanks!!
Karen
 From what I'm reading it seems that your problem is expressing your personal style when you have requirements and your clothes get beat up. So I'm gonna show you a sample outfit you could wear and break it down in steps.

My personal style is classic/girly and it shows here so feel free to change this up to express yourself better

Shoes
You probably already own appropriate shoes. Discreet almost shoe-like sneakers are a cute and sturdy option, as well as oxfords if you're looking for cute new footwear. Look for medium quality if they get beat up a lot and a non-conspicuous color like dark gray or black.

Pants
Either wear very inexpensive pants or jeans. I recommend you get a cheap pair of thick jeans you can "destroy" and that fit you well. They are comfy, go with everything, and you won't be sad when they can't take it anymore.
Keep these separate from your "real" jeans to avoid ruining the good pair(s)

Jacket
Get a jacket in a resistant (denim-like?) fabric in a color that won't show dirt like dark brown or again, gray. Either invest in one made for the outdoors you couldn't ruin if you tried or get an inexpensive one you won't mind wrecking

Tops
Get cheap cute tees that reflect your style. About 5 should be "work tees: cheaper and ruin-able. there isn't much more to it really. If it  gets really cold look into getting a sweatshirt or hoodie at the thriftstore

Looking cute
I like scarves but I guess they would be very good around big dogs. Try different looks with makeup and small-ish statement earrings that stay close to the ear. You can also play with your hair in all sorts of braids and buns

So, was this helpful? What could improve this look?

sábado, 28 de setembro de 2013

Looking good while sick

Lately I've taken inspiration from my personal life to write my articles and this will be no exception. I've come down with a stomach flu (all better now) and had a dinner to attend to. Here's the scoop!

Health
First and foremost, focus on your health. Do anything you can to improve whatever condition you are in.

Follow your doctor's advice always. This guide has worked for me and my illness but some steps can be bad for your particular situation. Use your best judgement and call a doctor when in doubt.

Even if it's not glamorous or pretty, you'll feel and look much better if you are not as sick.
This can mean taking meds, eating or avoiding certains foods and resting plenty. Remember to drink lots of water, in small sips at a time to stay hydrated.

Hygiene
Although sickness is often gross, you can do something about that. Take a relaxing bath or tepid shower and take your time washing yourself, you hair and doing any pampering you've been meaning too, like an extra facial mask sample you had lying around for an occasion or a special conditioner.

Hydrate yourself plenty before you get dressed. You can't drink a lot of water at a time and being sick depletes you of it so don't let it go through your skin! Rub lotion everywhere!

This is also a good time to wash your face, brush your teeth and care for your nails, even without a full mani

Beauty
Select a clean outfit that makes you feel good without being uncomfortable. When selecting clothes remember sickness can often bloat you.

Do any beauty treatments you can think of. These relax you and your body and make you feel better about your looks. Try an ice facial or putting something cold over your eyes for a couple of minutes.

In most cases it would be beneficial to go without makeup but depending on how sick you are/look, decide for yourself whether you want to wear any. An intermediate look with mascara and gloss only would be nice.
Your skin may look blotchy but this is no time for foundation, powder or shadow. Try a tinted moisturizer at most and only if you'll remove it shortly after.


sábado, 21 de setembro de 2013

Looking good with no makeup

It may seem odd but some people sport the no-makeup look at work. Out of need. People like nurses and lab techs an be required to do so. Some, like myself, have this rule as part of a uniform and have no way around it.

There is no reason to look dishiveled just because make-up isn't an option. I'm talking about sporting events, beach outings or even on a retreat where makeup should be the least of your concerns.

I'm not making a makeup tutorial to look as natural as possible, the internet is already full of those. Today I'll do the oposite and teach you to look like you're wearing a little bit of makeup to fake the natural look, while waring no makeup at all!

You'll need:

  • petroleum jelly
  • toothbrush/paste, and other dental equipment
  • moisturizer
  • sunscreen
  • face cleanser/toner
  • chapstick (optional)
  • perfume
Here we go!
  • Start by brushing your teeth, flossing, and all you do in your regular oral hygiene. It doesn't really matter how little ago you did this already because with few mechanisms to improve your look you want to start with the best foundation as possible. I personally feel more confident and fresher if I brush my teeth again to leave the house with fresh breath when I'm not wearing makeup
  • Clean your face with whatever your prefered method is. Apply all steps until you are squeaky clean
  • Apply a generous layer of lotion. This will make you skin shiny and nourished. Also, this is a good time to get a move on other things like eatig breakfast while your face dries for a bit
  • Top off your already sticky face with some sunscreen. It'll blend better and it's not an optional step. Let dry a bit more.
  • When your face is no longer sticky to the touch, you can whip out the jelly to highlight your best features and this is where we'll really play! Put a tiny blob on your finger and dab these spots below!


If you need help remembering the spots there are three around the eye (inner corner, top of cheekbone, below brow) and one right on your cupid's bow. Just remember it's a little touch, not a glob!

  • Rub what's left of your jelly on your lashes, using your finger as a mascara wand and/or use it to tame your brows. Just remember a little goes a long way
  • If you have chapstick, use it. You can also replace it with more jelly (it's amazing like that)
  • A spritz of perfume will finish your look perfectly and give an extra boost of confidence. I often forget perfume but it reallt helps elevate your mood


This article is too long!
For the lazy, hurried or to use as a future reference guide, here is a handy sum-up! If you find articles too long, unhelpful or with too few pictures, don't hesitate to speak out in the comments!



domingo, 15 de setembro de 2013

Fashion Challange: Look good in sporting equipment

Playing sports can be a fun way to work out but it can also be a real bummer fashion-wise. Unless you're in a gym-sport (like yoga or kickboxing) it's unlikely that you'll find cute equipment, or even matching sets for that matter!

But that doesn't mean you need to look bad while engaging in your favorite activities. Let's see what we're dealing with beforehand

The equipment itself
Depending on your prefered sport, you'll have standart gear. This means stuff like helmets, safety vests or club uniforms if participating in a competitive modality. Eliminate problems right of the bat by choosing the best fitting option possible, a neutral color if available and something you'd deem cute.

For example, I like to go sailing on weekends. There isn't much I can do about the standart equipment in the winter: I wear a full body suit (including feet) in red and gray designed to keep me warm and dry even if I go overboard. 
It doesn't match my vest but it's the least of my concerns in the cold.

However, in the summer I can wear pretty flip-flops or go barefoot and trade my full suit for a smaller neoprene model. I chose one in black, gray and blue to match my vest. If it's very hot out, I can even go in a swimsuit and vest only, and that's when I go wild with patterns!

Your extras
It isn't my case (mostly) but sometimes you need to wear your own stuff when equipment doesn't cover certain parts of you. This is your oportunity to shine!
Keep in mind safety first, especially with dangerous sports so make sure you're covered wherever you need to be and minimize hazards by forgoing embellishments like zippers or beads that can hurt you.

In my example, I bring a small backpack with me at all times and it's a mix of red, gray and dark blue to help tie my color schemes together. I might not be fashion-week worthy but at least I don't look like I got dressed in the dark!
Sometimes, depending on the weather, I may need a warm beanie or waterproof gloves. I bought these in black because I reckon they'll outlast all other pieces of equipment. In cold but not windy days, I can replace the top portion of my equipment with a polar fleece. I have a few in bright shades of red and blue.

Yourself
Last but most definitely not least is you! Keep yourself groomed and pretty but without much fuss. A clean face is most likely required but you can still make an effort to be pretty without makeup (next week).
If you have the freedom to do so, change up your hairstyle! Braids and ponytails are a perfect mix of practical and pretty and won't look odd if dischiveled after practice

Your route
It can happen that you need a mix of equipment and street-ready clothes to go to and from practice. If possible, layer a simple outfit over your equipment like baggy jeans and a hoodie. Even if you have somewhere to change, keep it simple so you'll be dressed and ready faster.

And what about you? Got any advice for any fellow sporty fashionistas? Or trouble looking good during a particular sport? Comment below or send questions to theasksection@hotmail.com

sábado, 7 de setembro de 2013

Don't settle for less

The end of summer, the sales and the back to school spirit, along with new collections and Fashion Week, inspire many to go shopping. You take stock at home of what you might need for the cold season: perhaps a new coat or purse.

You may already have a faint idea of what you want and why. You want a long coat in a fun pattern or a simple black blazer or flat riding boots. I'm not here to tell you what to shop for. I'm here to tell you not to settle unless you really have to.

Don't settle for ill-fitting pants, coats that won't button, shoes that cram you toes. You came shopping looking for something and if you haven't found it, don't give up and settle. Keep looking! Take enough pride in yourself not to go home with something you love less than you expected. It'll be that much more magical when you finally find what you were truly looking for, and you'll be without an excuse not to take it home with you.

Isn't it disheartening when you see the perfect bag on a store but then think to yourself: "I can't buy it, I needed a purse and bought one last week". Now you'll regret having purchased something you didn't love and the bag you left at the store will haunt your thoughts whenever you pick up the other one.

Be assertive. Choose exactly what you want and go get it! You may have to compromise a little or you'll be looking forever but have limits. If you don't love it, it stays.

I've been looking for the perfect pair of ankle boots for about three years. As long as I don't find a pair just so, I'll live without them. The other footwear I already own and love will do until then.
My mom wanted me to buy a piece of jewelry as a graduation gift. I chose the thing I liked most in the store, even though I didn't love it. Haven't worn it once and I regret the purchase ever since. It makes me feel guilty everytime I open my jewelry box.
What about you? Are you on the hunt for something? Regreted an impulse buy you didn't love?

sábado, 10 de agosto de 2013

Vacation

I'm taking extended vacation time until September. But mail your questions and requests to theasksection@hotmail.com and I will get to them as soon as I come back.
Have a nice summer, everyone!

sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013

Fashion Challenge: Multi-activity day

Summer releases our most spontaneous selves, and that goes for everyone. However, some of those spur-of-the-moment ideas can leave you stumped, style-wise. I mean, what do you wear for a day-long hike/picnic or for touring a city close to yours?

If you need tips with a particular style dilemma, write me to theasksection@hotmail.com

Add to the fun
First and foremost, be polite. If you're being invited, bring something to help to the party. Potluck? Bring a dish or drink. Road-trip? Bring a camera and snacks. Or depending on who else is going, you can even bring small gifts for everyone else involved! I do this when a friend of mine invites me and a group if friends to stay at her place.

Essentials
Think thoroughly about what kind of gear is essential to make sure you have fun. Heels or even wedges can cramp your fun on a hike, so you'll need sneakers. A big bag will make your life difficult on a tour where you'll carry it around. Going to the beach and forgetting a towel can be a real bummer.

So list whatever you will need for sure, to have a better picture of what you're working with. The size of whatever you need to carry will determine your bag choices and the items you must wear have to dictate the rest of your outfit.

Add glamour
According to your personal style, add your favorite aesthetic elements to your outfit. You can even replace essentials with versions that speak more to your personal style like a printed water bottle or shiny sunglasses.
For this example, I made an outfit for a day-long hike that will involve picnics and swimming in a nearby river. I need sneakers, a bikini (worn under the clothes) and a light jacket.

While remaining true to my style, I tried to go the simple route and packing in a small tote things which could make my trip miserable if I lack them, namely a cover up lighter than my clothes and a change of underwear, including fresh socks. I went "glam" with a printed purse, fancy looking sunglasses and earrings.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed trying to find an outfit for a complicated day? Leave yout toughts on the comments!

sábado, 27 de julho de 2013

How to wash delicates by hand

Do you have a delicate piece you wish you could wear more often but can't? Is it because it's hand-wash only? Fear not! Turns out washing clothes by hand is not that hard and it keeps clothes better for longer. So grab your delicates and let's go! You can wash all of them in one sitting!




Use your best judgement when it comes to rolling your clothes in a towel. 
Delicate lace tops may do fine but underwired bras aren't as much of a good idea. And don't forget to keep sweaters in their original position as they dry because they stretch very easily.

Last but not least, wash the light colored items first, as not to tint the detergent water with fabric dyes. 
While washing by hand preserves the color of your delicate garments, they'll bleed in the wash for longer. Take it from me, washing a nude bra right after a hunter green top isn't a good idea!

sábado, 20 de julho de 2013

Packing light: Beach weekend

Do you see yourself going on a spur of the moment glamorous roadtrip with nothing more than a big purse as your luggage? Well, at the least the packing light part you can make come true! No matter your plans, you can make sure you carry your own bag with no problems!


The diagram above makes weekend packing pretty clear: take a big purse and a smaller clutch/wallet with your essentials in it. Make sure you wear the bulkier shoes on the trip, as well as other stuff that won't pack well, like a hat. 

On the bag, put a bikini (or two) and a couple of clothing pieces you can mix and match.
For a weekend, two tops and one bottom should suffice. If you need a different outfit for fancy dinners pack another dress but only one (it makes two with the one worn on the trip). Change up your look with statement jewelry or scarves.

Make sure you pack often forgot items like a pajama, extra underwear and gadjet chargers.

Last but not least, pack a Ladies' Dopp Kit (below) and you're ready for the road!


What about you? How do you pack fast and effectively for a trip?

sábado, 6 de julho de 2013

Fashion Challange: Dress well in the heat

Now that it's hot we can't easily rely on layering and warm accessories to improve a simple outfit. But there's no need for hot weather outfits to be plain and boring. Even shorts and a t-shirt can look great with a couple of fashionable details!

Next time you're wearing a less than stellar outfit, implement a couple of these tips to make it less simple and more sizzling!


Make sure to limit yourself to one or two, though. This list has potential to turn you into a walking Christmas tree if you wear too many things at once! Except for the scarf and outerwear (reserve them for chilly nights), everything else can be worn in scorching heat so there is no excuse to look bland all summer thinking there is such a thing as being "too hot to be well dressed".

What about you? Do you have any tricks to stay fashionable when the mercury rises?

sábado, 29 de junho de 2013

How do you determine if something is you?

How often do you find things you like and find cute but just aren't "you"?
You may buy these items, only to have them end up forgotten in the back of the closet or making you feel guilty about your bad purchase. But how do you separate what you like and find pretty from what you'll actually wear?

Determine what you like
You can make moodboards, use a Pinterest account to make one online or just take a sketchbook and draw, draw, draw! Try to figure out what appeals to you, overall speaking. Try to see what you find good-looking and tasteful in fashion, make-up, home decor, food, etc.
Don't spare anything that calls out to you, we'll weed out the true winners later!

Weed out the maybes
Now you need to tend to your personal style and taste and refine it. But how? Look at your bad purchases, either clothes, food or decor you don't quite like. What do they have in common?
Do you buy running gear despite being more of a slow moving kind of girl? Do you buy clothes with ruffles and find yourself struggling with them when you wear them? Do you buy knick-knacks and then get annoyed at having to move them to get stuff from the shelves?
It's alright. You can tweak these things after you find out what you don't like.

Turn the bad into good
First gather your winners and think about what they have in common. Then try to tweak you rejects based on that. If you are a homebody who keeps buying sporting gear, why not try yoga?
Try to think about what do you like about the rejects and then think about how to get it another way. Like the feminine flutter of ruffles but hate fidgeting with them? Try soft pink simple clothing or a tiny bow somewhere and see if it feels right! 
If you need a hand with that, ask a friend! If they know you well, they're likely to be able to have a fresh view on things. If you could use another hand with examples, be sure to leave a comment below!

sábado, 22 de junho de 2013

On modeling and perfection

To all of you out there seeking to look "perfect", just like the models you see on magazines and billboards, hear me out. To all of you who are dieting to "look prettier" and not for health, hear me out.

 We are not perfect. And no matter how hard you try, you'll never be. Not only the whole concept of being perfect is flawed, it's like a puppy chasing his own tail, you sort of feel like you're getting closer but you're not going to get it.

To those of you who idolise images, hopefully you already know that those can be manipulated on computers to look thinner, smoother, etc. But what some seem to forget is that these people are publicity instruments, art installments and, as far as the pictures go, not meant to be a goal. For anyone!

Consider this: a designer or photographer is working on taking beautiful pictures of this girl wearing a fancy dress. If you were them, what's your ultimate goal? To make it look good so people will buy it. The dress, not the girl. She, pretty as may be, the more forgetable she is, the better. A good way to do it is with girl who are thin and straight-shaped, to keep the focus on the clothes and not on themselves. Try to see those pictures as art (the combining of sets, expressions and stuff) rather than something you ought to be like

We forget that when we buy a dress, we mean for ourselves to look good. We are not walking bilboards. We are not working to make the dress or the designer to look good. Our goal is to make ourselves look good!

And that can never be reached comparing ourselves to others, whoever they are. Be the best you you can be. And if you want to lose a couple of pounds, make sure it's for you. To feel better and more energized and to be healthier! Not to parade yourself on the streets in the latest designer creation like a walking clothes hanger!
People are a different kind of art as you have plenty more going on for yourself than just looks. Work on your personality, your hobbies, refine your personal taste and explore the many other sides of you to remember you are much much more that what you look like

Find what looks good on you and makes you look good. Find what makes you feel good! Treat yourself the best you possibly can, to look your very best: eat good things, tasty things, wear nice creams, sleep well, be happy. It shows on you and make you more beautiful than any weightloss pill or designer dud could. Be your own kind of beautiful and own it!

sábado, 15 de junho de 2013

How to search for unique items

Do you ever think your clothes look too much like the ones on the woman next to you? It may be hard to stand out or be unique when we all buy our clothes at the same places. Granted, we have personal style to set us apart from each other so we're wearing slightly diferent things in slightly different ways.

But do you wish for even more uniqueness? It seems that whenever we see a great outfit/look, at least one of the pieces (usually the statement one) isn't easily shopable and we can't just go out an buy it. Why? What do those people have that you don't? They know where to shop for their unique items and only buy their basics at the mall!

But if you have no idea where else to buy things, how can you even get started?

Hand-me-downs

Tell your friends and family you're open to any hand-me-downs. Soon you'll be flooded with clothes and accessories that no longer fit or are in style.
Those you think are beyond saving can be donated to your local charity but with some "training" you'll start to see potential in things and even score some perfect finds with no need to alterations!
Other than that, you can improve worthy pieces with a trip to the tailor or to a craft store!


DIY

The bigger and better source for unique items will require some training before you start crafting good items. Start easy with accessories or by googling "easy diys". After that, you can advance to more difficult and hence even more unique projects!
This is a great source of things completely true to your personal style as you can tailor absolutely every aspect of it to your tastes. I'm particularly fond of a pair of chandelier earrings I made. They are quite dressy, look quite professional and I keep getting compliments on them. It takes some crummy DIYs to get to the good stuff but it's worth it when someone asks where you bought it and hears back "I made it"


Alter what you have

After a big closet purge, you're left with a pile of "losers". Think about whether you can bring them back from the "fashion dead" with some clever altering, as you did with hand-me-downs. Or just donate them and think about perking up tour existing closet. Some beads along the neckline or a crop in tired old pants can make a world of difference!


Shop

If you actually want to shop for your unique aditions to your wardrobe, you may have to step out of your confort zone. The obvious tip here is not to shop at the usual stores and try a different strategy

Odd stores
Don't dismiss any store because it's not "you", you'll often find the best things in those. I have a favorite teal tunic I bought at a shop aimed at old ladies, a some cute tees I bought at a "goth" shop and a great pair of wedges I got at the supermarket. Search children's departments, men's stores, sporting goods sellers and other stores you wouldn't go in at first sight. At best, you'll find hidden gems or great DIY ideas. At worst you get a better picture of what you don't like

Thrift stores
This wouldn't be a post about unique clothes without thrift shops. Search your area for second hand stores, flea markets and charity shops. Just remember that if you find something wrong with whatever you'd like to buy (like a stain or pulled thread), it's not going to come off, so you'd best leave it behind. Other than that, this is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be polished. The right pairing of first and secondhand pieces can make a whole outfit look super expensive and designer

Tourist areas
The best unique gems are bought while travelling but you don't need to travel to a far off place to find these! Try your town (or the next town over)'s tourist-y area and check out the shops there. They'll likely be very different from the mall and you'll often find handmade and made-for-you accessories. Of course, if you travel further, check out the local shops (not the chains) for some truly offbeat things


Do you have any more ideas on where to find statement pieces? Where do your wardrobe gems come from? Share your moves in the comments below!

sábado, 8 de junho de 2013

How to dress for mourning

It's not a pleasant subject for anyone but one that needs discussion. Whether you're family, friend or casual aquaintance, the last thing you want is to fret about what to wear or worrying if you'll hurt anyone's feelings with your outfit.


The serious don'ts are obvious. Unless there was a specific request from the deceased or the family, refrain from
  • too casual wear like blue jeans, sneakers or graphic tees
  • Bright cheery colors or prints
  • Trendy outfits
  • Short hemlines. Keep things modest, this is in no way about you, dress as such!
Just remember the ceremony is not only about celebrating the deceased's life but also to bring confort to the family. Try to keep your outfit tame, modest and your attitude to match. You should be discreet and conforting to the family/friends. 

Sometimes people try to sound conforting and end up saying the wrong thing. Phrases like "he's in a better place now" can often hurt more than confort. One way to never go wrong is to express how sorry you feel for the loss and offer to do anything you can. Most people won't take you up on it, but it's just the right thing to do: hug, express sorrow, offer help.

Somtimes people will feel unconfortable thinking they need to wera head to toe black but you don't. If you want to, go ahead but if you don't just make sure to keep it somber and simple. If there is a certain level of formality, try to heed it and not be the person who showed up in jeans when everyone else is in dresses.

I've got a couple suggestions for different degrees of formality. For the top formal, try the somberest simplest dress you own, likely a solid black one. Unless it's too short, you can make it more modest with a cardigan and plain dark shoes.
If it is too short do yourself a favor and wear pants. Dark pants, shoes and a simple top (blouses are a good choice) and if modesty requires, a cardigan, are ideal. This fits all kinds of formality, unless you've been told about a very specific dress code. If you have, heed it, out of respect.

Otherwise if it's a more casual thing you're looking for like for mourning outside of ceremonies, you can even go with dark jeans, as long as everything else is "right", you'll be fine. Dark patterned blouses, solid tops in navy, chocolate or dark gray can all be worn without reserve. 
If you have any aversion to black, try another somber neutral like the ones specified before. In a pinch or during a particularly hot summer, even light gray can work. I've even seen light blue and white work! 

The main rules are the plainest accessories possible (or consider not wearing any), keep shoulders and knees covered and everything else about you extra discreet. This includes shoes, hair and makeup. And don't forget your nails! This kind of thing usually catches you off guard but you don't want to show up anywhere with neon nails!
Black is not mandatory, respectful is.

What about you? Do you have any advice for other people in the same situation?

sábado, 1 de junho de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 5

With the temperatures rising, we tend to default to a personal uniform that is both cool and confortable. Unfortunately, that can leave us lacking in the style department if we're not careful! Today's post will help you tweak your daily outfit so it'll be the coolest both in temperature and fashion-wise!


Again, please please please stop defaulting to acid wash mom jeans and flipflops. Not even for the weekend, not even for loungewear. Pants will make your legs hot and the rubber in the flipflops will have your feet swimming in their own sweat in a short time. Sorry for being so gross but maybe that'll discourage you from wearing them!

sábado, 25 de maio de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 4

Today we'll talk about the uniform of students everywhere trying to look more polished than the tee-and-jeans wearing crowd (among others). Many people think they are upgrading their personal uniform by changung their tees to polos and while they are (a little bit) there is a lot more you can do for your image with just as little effort.


domingo, 19 de maio de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 3

Today we'll talk about how to get dress for occasions with no effort or planning needed.
What do you do when a dressier occasion comes by unnanounced? You likely have a dressy fall-back outfit so you can just get dressed and walk out the door. But wouldn't it be great if, after doing just that, you arrived and were the best dressed at the scene?
You'd be wrong to think that can't happen with a personal uniform, you just need some teaks in yous!
Most dressy fall-backs include dressy pants and a flowy top. However, this is seldom the best look you can manage. And no matter how much of a hurry you are in, there is no way you'll be best dressed in flipflops, no matter how shiny.
I'll help you create the perfect personal uniform for any special occasion!

sábado, 11 de maio de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 2

Do you work or study in a business casual setting? Do you feel your personal uniform sometimes doesn't rise to the occasion? Then today's segment is for you! 
We're going to learn how to make a casual work uniform that's polished and poised so you'll look like you're in full control, even if it just took you five minutes getting dressed!

Take the personal uniform on the left. Would you hire this person? Send them to meet an important client? Just because it's a casual setting, doesn't mean you should look like a slob. This also applies to people working at home, students, interns or volunteers. There is no downside in making yourself look good!
  • We've talked about top shapes before. Step away from boxy shirts, droopy patterns and colors that aren't the best for your skin.
  • You probably think you look more professional in khakis than jeans. And you're right, as long at they fit! Tailored clothing looks more expensive and makes you look better. Baggy pants and ratty colors just make you look lazy and clueless
  • If you're trying to look anything a step up from ultra ultra casual, ditch the flip flops. Also, there is no such thing as "fancy" flip flops. No wedges, glitter, leather, etc.


Now, after we got that out of the way, let's rebuild an uniform that you'll be excited to wear in the morning!

sábado, 4 de maio de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 1

Even if you don't realize it, you have a personal uniform. A sort of fall-back combination for when you can't be bothered to come up with a "real" outfit. This month we will identify some personal uniforms that lack style and turn them upside their heads, creating flattering outfit formulas that are just as easy to wear!

Today we'll approach a common personal uniform for people working in casual offices or studying: jeans, a "fancy" shirt and flats. These people (and I include myself there too) think a shirt is a big improvement from a tee, so we're in the clear, fashionably speaking. Not really, though. Has it ever happened that you came across a mirror in your "uniform" and didn't think it was quite right? Or, in going about your day, wish you had better fall-back outifts?

Here is the answer to your prayers! Every element of your formula can be improved and the final outfit will remain just as easy to throw on and go about in, except you'll look so much better! Take a look below

segunda-feira, 29 de abril de 2013

Coral or olive?

We have another question!
I was wondering if you could help me style these jackets and could help me decide which to keep.I am in high school and live in California so its pretty hot right now. My typical outfit would be a jean shorts and a light sweater with sandals. I am around 5'6 with black wavy hair a little past shoulder length.
I have medium to dark olive skin and dark brown eyes. I have an oddly proportioned body- long legs and a short torso and I guess I'm pretty skinny
Thanks
Lavanya


Color
I'm assuming both jackets have a good fit on you, so I'll help you decide based solely on the color.
  • When do you intend to wear this jacket? You live in a pretty hot place but is this a spring or fall coat for you? It seems that you'd get more mileage out of the coral coat in spring and of the olive one come fall
  • It sounds like both of them look good against your skin. If you can, hold each coat up to your face (or a similar colored piece) against a mirror. If one of the colors just makes you glow, you don't have to wonder anymore!
  • Do you already have a thin coat? If you already have a lightweight neutral coat, go with the coral, if not, your best bet is to secure neutrals that go with everything and then branch to color

Outfits and styling
I don't know much about your personal style but I'll keep things simple so you can customize it and replicate the outfits on your own closet.

In the spring, wear it with your usual shorts and sandals. Keep in mind that if the sandals have a "busy"/embellished look to them, you should keep the top simple. If you are self consious about your long legs you may feel better in knee length shorts. These are usually hard to come by but have been seen on the runways this year and look more put together than tiny cut-offs

For fall, I'd pair either coat with a solid neutral sweater in a noticeable texture (open weave might be a good choice for your climate, but remember to wear a tank underneath!) and a longer length along with a pendant necklace to showcase your personality and elongate your torso. Just finish off with your regular jeans and ankle boots


To keep things stylish, add your own accessories. A long necklace or big earrings would be best to draw the eye to your face. Also keep in mind that when working with simpler pieces/outfits, you need small details to "keep interest" so a littlt ruffle or beading (or studs) will go a long way. You can also tie a belt over your top but not at the natural waist. Sling it lower for a trendy drop-waist effect that lets you elongate your torso as much or as little as you like.

Did this help? I sure hope so! Which coat do you think she should keep?
Leave your opinion and tips in the comments!

sábado, 27 de abril de 2013

Thrifting tips

I started buying in flea markets after stumbling across one during a summer afternoon stroll. Later I found online where and when these small markets happens. People set up shop selling their castoffs for amazingly low prices, some of them just for fun! After a couple of successful purchases I was hoooked!
Thrifting helped me define my personal style much better, especially because I personally struggle with the regular shopping experience. It's also a big money saver!

If you are going to a second-hand store or flea market, it can be easy to get lost in so many bargains and vintage finds, especially after the "buying used" recent surge in popularity. Being dellusional about your ability to fix or alter things can make for bad purchases. Paying a bargain for stuff you won't wear is a waste of money and of a clothing item someone else could make better use of. Especially if you are just starting out, keep in mind these tips:

Be prepared

  • If you have the time, purge your closet beforehand to better identify what's lacking
  • It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of merchandise. Have a clear idea of what you want before stepping in.
  • Make a list of the things you want/need in your closet but without being very specific. You never know what you'll find and "solid dress" is much easier to find than "purple dress". Still, stay true to what you want, just know that the more specific it is, the harder it will be to find
  • Wear comfy shoes (flats or sneakers) and try to come up with an outfit that allows you to try things on over your clothes. Snug fitting tees and pants are best
  • Don't forget to bring cash in small bills and water (maybe a snack) and make sure your purse has room for a couple of purchases, as sometimes bags are not available.
  • Set priorities and standarts beforehand. What can/can't you fix? What are your dealbreakers? To me it's materials, if something isn't 95% or more cotton or wool or other natural fibers it stays behind.
While browsing
  • Touch the racks and only take out pieces that feel good to the touch, no matter how cute they are. If the fabric is low quality and has a "bad feel" you don't want it.
  • Try on everything. If the fit is off, put it back unless you love it so much you're willing to get it altered. Even so, caution. Things cannot be made bigger and some alterations aren't worth the hassle and are best left for more experienced shoppers.
  • Only after finding a great fitting piece can you decide wether you want it. Does it fit your personal style? If not, it will just sit in your closet, no matter how cute it is.
  • Will it "play well" with your existing wardrobe? Do you have anywhere to go in it? Do you already have a similar item? Refer to your list and keep your priorities straight. Try to come up with a minimum of two/three outfits for it at the top of your head. If you have absolutely no shoes to go with it, it's not a good purchase
  • Check the tag. Where was it first purchased? What is it made of? Is it dry-clean only? If it is, think about the extra cost and hassle associated before making a decision
  • Last but very important: inspect the piece. Look out for stains, ripped seams, tiny holes or flaws with the piece. Leave it behind if doesn't meet your standarts and be realistic about what you can fix. A missing button or falling hem sure, but stains and holes are most often than not unfixable
Purchasing
  • Keep a watchful eye on prices and consider looking up haggling techniques if you're just starting. More often than not, you can haggle for a lower price, especially if you are taking more than one item
  • Do not haggle at charity shops. If the proceeds are going to the less fortunate and you think the piece is worth the price just buy it
At home
  • Immediately throw in the wash anything with tags saying it's okay and make plans to dry clean the rest
  • Decide where these things will go in your closet. If you purged well, you should have plenty of space
  • Spend a little while coming up with outfits for your new pieces. A good number to start is between three and five. Make a consious effort to wear the new piece in your new outfits. After a little while, it will become second nature
  • Make sure to make plans to care well for your new purchases and stick to them. Thrifted items sometimes require some TLC to return to their former glory. Take shoes to a cobbler for new soles or buy leather paste to care for a new purse.
What about you? Do you buy second-hand? Why/Why not?
Share your thifting tips in the comments! And remember, if you have any questions (about thrifting or otherwise), I'm here for you!

sábado, 20 de abril de 2013

How to wear a collared shirt for spring

While some people may have an aversion to button-downs (or button ups) the truth is that they are incredibly versatile for a multitude of personal styles and can be worn a million different ways.

Plain white shirt

Casual
Although any of these ideas would work with any solid colored shirt, I'll use a white one as an example.
In a casual setting, your options are almost endless. Most people choose pants as bottoms for their shirt but there are so many ways to style it!

The obvious choice is jeans. This makes a great plain canvas for other statement pieces like bright shoes or a big necklace or you can leave it as is for a great minimalist outfit, maybe with loafers for the weekend. Feel free to adapt this to your personal style, as it's a classic that goes with everything.


Often people forget that due to it's plain-ness, the solid shirt is a perfect pair for trendy pants, both the solid statement ones or the print jeans. Just remember to keep color pairings in check (use the color wheel for help if you have doubts). A white shirt with colored jeans just begs for a patterned piece like a cardigan or shoes but printed pants are already a big attention-grabber so keep all else simple. If you could use a hand in adapting these to your personal style or incorporate then into your personal uniform, leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

 Dress up

You can also take your new casual staple to a more formal setting with a few teaks. It wouldn't seem so at first sight but these shirts go very well tucked into formal skirts. Add some heels and fancy accessories and you're ready to party in style. For a more laid-back yet still formal look, try plain flats and let your hair down.


Try shirts tucked into long-ish shorts (no denim or hot-pants for this!) for a relaxed look. This would go well with a shiny long necklace. For a more cocktail-like approach, skirts are in order. A plain shirt goes well with either patterned or solid skirts but keep in mind the same advice as for pants: if you choose the patterned one, keep the rest simple, if you go with the solid, add some spice.

You can do this with any solid shirt, but it's trickier. Start with white or other soft colors (nude, baby pink) before trying to make formal outifts with a cobalt blouse.


Patterned shirt

Most people have a patterned shirt that speaks to their style. Wether it's flannel plaid, zebra stripes or soft florals, you can wear it in many outfits. Add more variety by layering a coordinatig solid top underneath and leaving a couple of buttons (or all of them!) undone.


The obvious pairing of choice for any patterned top is jeans. But don't limit yourself to blue! Try other colors that go well with your print and black or white, which are safe in most cases. If you have casual skirts, this is a great way to wear them on the weekend, with flats and a denim jacket if it's your thing.

Do you have more ideas on how to wear shirts? Share them in the comments!

sábado, 13 de abril de 2013

Pamper yourself

You may not realize this right away but grooming is a cornerstone of your style and personal image. It signals others about how well you treat yourself and, consequently (whether you want it or not) how others should treat you.

I'm not talking about the various messages one sends with makeup or nail polish choice. Even more basic is our personal grooming: how often we shower, our choice of bath products, etc.

This week try treating your skin like the most exquisite silk ever made. Moisturize liberally after bathing and pat dry skin instead of rubbing it. Use your beuaty products like they are the best ever made and like you spared no expense. Apply according to directions, yet gently.

Treat yourself to a manicure (your hands often speak volumes, even if there's no polish color) to keep cuticles groomed and nail length even. Moisturize hands before sleep. Do a facial at home.

Do you know all those things you're supposed to do to "stay beautiful" but never get around to doing. list them and do them! Get a blowout every now and then, try a new mask every couple of months and have a good relaxing soak in the tub.

You should treat others the way you want to be treated. But try treating yourself the way you'd like others to treat you and you'll see what I'm talking about! Sometimes all it takes is a fancy looking outfit and a good home-spa day to make you feel like you can take on the world!

domingo, 7 de abril de 2013

Tear off your labels!

Disclaimer: The brands mentioned are only examples

How much do you care about which label is stitched on your clothing?
Would you be willing to pay more for the exact same item with a fancier label?
Does the brand you're wearing affect your mood?
Do you own any items with the brand sprawled across it? This is most frequent in hoodies or purses.

Although some people are imune to labels/brands, most are not. And it doesn't apply only to clothes. Beauty products, cars, even school supplies see this fenomenon too. Of course you feel better when owning/wearing quality items but did you ever stop to think how much does the brand influence your percieved quality of the product?

Invisible logos (on the inside)

I too am a "victim" of this, and it isn't always a bad thing. It's a bad thing when it's what matters most to you about the product. I was gifted a Chanel perfume last Christmas and it smells amazing. But the thruth is I feel an extra boost of amazingness and fanciness by knowing that I'm wearing Chanel.

The other side to this: a couple years ago, I started buying second hand items in markets held in my town. I often found items with no label whatsoever, that I liked and bought. Or labels I had never seen before. What I think of that item is 100% mine and not influenced by the image the brand tries to project.
Other times I found pretty unique items from previous collections of not so unique brands like Mango or Zara. I no longer remember why it came to me to snip away some labels but it might me one of my best ideas yet: keep only the labels that boost your mood!


Do you have an investment piece or splurge from a brand fancier than you usually wear and that you feel great everytime you wear it? Keep the label. Is it only a so-so thing? Cut it off! It is no longer an H&M sweater, it's YOUR sweater!
This can also be a freeing experience if you're concerned about size. Last year alone, I've bought things that are every size between 32 and 40, XXS and all the way up to M. Sizes in stores mean nothing nowadays and your self-esteem is likely better off without a size label.


On the outside

But now let's talk about labels on the outside of clothes. Do you have a hoodie with a really big store logo in front of it? What about a purse covered in it's brand logo?
How do those items make you feel when you wear them? Do you think you magically become the embodiement of the image the brand project? Spoiler alert: you don't.

Is this what you want to look like?
Having a Coach purse on your arm does not change who you are one bit. You don't suddenly become just like the lady in the advert/catalog. You're still you, with a purse. So think very well before paying to advertise for a brand. That's right: you're paying to become a walking billboard!
There are only a couple of reasons why someone would cover themselves in logos on purpose: to show off wealth and to "hide" who you really are, projecting a brand's identity instead. You may as well be wearing a sign saying: "I do whatever advertisements tell me to"

Seriously consider showing off good taste instead of money (that's right, they don't always go hand in hand) and creating your own personal style to project your personality, instead of hiding it behind branded polos, pants and the like.
A good place to start is to understand the message your clothes are telling others, and comparing it with the image you want to send. Are they the same? Get second opinions if you must, and try the exercises suggested here.

This weekend, cut off any inside labels that don't boost your mood and give away the stuff with big and loud logos to charity and tell me how it went.
How do you feel about labels? Do you see yourself in any of the cases mentioned? Tell me all about it in the comments!