Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Manly Mission: Tee Up for Fall

  Forget about pulling on a hooded sweatshirt as the summer winds down, the "cooler" thing to do, slip on a baseball tee. Now the girlfriend cannot gripe about a dressed down style, simply because of the tee's versatility. Found at basically any store in malls or, if you prefer, online shopping, these baseball tees are a perfect piece to add to a man's wardrobe. A tee can be worn to a sporting event, such as a football game, with a pair of denim, or for an Autumn BBQ, pair it with khaki pants which provide for a more put-together ensemble.
  Simple as that, baseball tees are the new black.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

True "Fashion" American: A Player's Adornment

    A night of True American playing is not to be taken lightly. The game is relentless and can turn into a danger zone in a hurry. Take into consideration, the game can go on for hours. It is that fun. You will sweat, you will fall, and you will drink yourself into a silly mess.
   My advice is that you prepare yourself for the inevitable. A True American would most likely sport a cape. Think about it, you are preparing to leap from cushion to chair to table to pillow, a little bit of Superman style makes more sense than anything else. Plus, have you ever been drunk and put on a cape? It is fun in itself. Enough said.

  Under the cape, it is most wise to keep it simple and light. Extra weight is unnecessary...I mean you want to win, do you not? If you are planning to wear a bulky hooded sweatshirt with "I finally fit into these skinny" jeans, you are planning to lose! I know, I know, you are probably sacrificing a night of dancing and overpriced lemon drops enjoyment at a bar crawling with drunken idiots, but save that over-starched button-down or squint-worthy sequin skirt for next Saturday.  Tonight, you are playing True American. As for me, I would wear some comfortable jeggings or "f*** me pants" aka yogas with a tee shirt, and     guys it is an easy task for you to slip on some loose jeans and a tee.

   Footwear in this game may be the most important. Remember when you were eight years old, you opened your stocking and found those goofy, fuzzy slipper socks; The ones that had a giant Ninja Turtle head on the toes that made absolutely no sense because they were socks. You could not wear them with shoes and you would not wear them as slippers because the heel never lasted over a week without turning into a giant hole. Thanks mom (complete with sarcasm). Well, those socks, those are now useful. On the way to the playing field (aka the apartment of whoever has the most room for drunkards to be bouncing around on pillows, one that can get trashed) stop at Meijer and get those fuzzy socks with the rubber polka dot bottoms. Again, you may ask, why? This is not need grippers for leaping from space to space! Or, if you insist, spend the cash on legitimate rubber bottomed house shoes. Do not be a tough guy and not wear socks, you will burn the skin off the bottoms of your feet...if you play anyway as I do. It is a competition.
   Other than this clothing and accessory advice, I will tell you nothing more but to have your facts straight, maybe even watch Jeopardy for a couple of weeks before game play. This game is not for the faint of heart. Get into it, get drunk and get your friends involved. True American game night is going to be the night of your life!

Good Luck! Now go read the rules!!  True American Game Rules

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Warm, Wearable Wonderland

Summer fashion is always inspired by energized colors, simplistic combinations, and embellished details.  This summer expect nothing less, in fact, anticipate much more.  Taking a stroll across the world wide web,  many upcoming styles resemble collections introduced by Matthew Williamson.  Now, not to give a history lesson in a fashion-focused blog, but if anyone has not heard of Matthew Williamson or seen any of his collections, consider this information long overdue.  Becoming familiar with his inspirations and designs will help the understanding of how radiant the Summer 2011 collection will be, no matter where shopping is done.

   Williamson drew much of his inspiration from his travels to India, Guatemala, and Mexico.  Right away it is evident the reason Summer fashion initiates thoughts of his past collections.  The bright color combinations alone create enough energy to develop a "simple silhouette into a wearable wonderland" (Rizzoli, 2010).  This, beyond creative, designer creates a mirage of dramatic colors from hummingbirds and rich sunsets.  Deep ocean blue, radiant ruby red, sun soaked orange, and loud lemon drop yellow are simply introductions to the vivacious colors that drench Williamson's fabric choices.  There is a tropical "flower child" vibe encompassed by his collections as a whole.  He uses "fantastical motifs, rich embellishments and a crazy riot of colors" (Rizzoli, 2010) to bring such an enormous amount of energy to an outfit.  Incorporating his ideal of fashion and color into this summer's wardrobe stirs an entirely different outlook on the clothes chosen for even a typical day.  A woman becomes fun, sexy and confident.  Finally, dressing in the morning is an event which is both playful and purposeful; It's fun!

   Perhaps, all the colors are mixing in your head and you are thinking, I'm going to look like a rainbow gone berserk!  Williamson frequently incorporates a neutral piece into garments splashed with several bright colors.  This technique is genius.  A perfect neutral option is nudel beige.  Whether the piece is a skirt, a vest, or a pair of strappy wedges, anything to break up the bold color scheme will work perfectly.  However, it is critical that the piece is one neutral color and very simple.

   There is a certain mystical ambience surrounding the pieces created by Matthew Williamson.  His inclusion of tassels, beads, and sequins brings a glamourous touch to the seams of several of his garments.  This charismatic look may cost a few extra dollars, but is not hard to find in summer collections coming to retailers.  Even the use of several different colors of threading on necklines (American Eagle Outfitters) create an energy around a simple piece, and bring in the bright colors of summer.  The overall look is bohemian, tropical, and vintage all at once.

   Draw inspiration from an amazing designer this summer while shopping.  Even though it may not be in the budget to spend over two thousand dollars on a sequin skirt and bright colored top, it is possible to get the same kind of style from less expensive retailers.  Summer is about being free and fun.  Take advice from Matthew Williamson and "marry femininity and modernity" (Rizzoli, 2010), and most important bring together bright organized chaos by incorporating energized colors into the wardrobe.  Be   free, be feminine, be embellished!
(For additional outfits see my article on

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shoes and Swatches

   Deciding on an outfit is a big enough challenge, but even more difficult is deciding what will go on your feet.  An outfit could be shattered to the winds if the shoe choice is poorly made.  This fall there are some truly amazing new trends that have versatility to your entire wardrobe.  So, starting at the top and working our way down, let's review your options! 

  The high rise option, an over-the-knee boot, may be the priciest of all.  However, after saving for a couple of pay periods, you won't even be phased by spending a hundred or two on a pair of hooker heels.  Wander onto Piperlime, and if you have the loot splurge on a pair of L.A.M.B.  Otherwise Chinese Laundry makes really cute over-the-knee boots that are sure to look sexy and edgy with a sweater dress!  Dress down the high risers with leggings and a cardigan.
   Moving below the knee, I'd like to introduce you to the riding boot.  This equestrian look is chic, rather than hick!  One issue with obtaining a pair is it may cost you, only because actual leather isn't cheap and it'll take some cash to avoid looking cheap.  I'm not recommending purchasing a pair of Frye's, though this is the brand I'm dying to get get into.  Instead of Frye, try the other guys!  Madden by Steve Madden and Wanted are both brands that look pricier than they actually are.  Both of which are available at Endless Shoes.  Riding boots are adorable with floral dresses or over a pair of skinny's with a over-sized chunky sweater.  Perfect for picking out that pumpkin come late Autumn.     
   Taking it down a notch and we are down to boots that come mid-calf.  Imagine a combat boot, usually lace-up, and possibly the least favorite of all boots.  Many celebrities are wearing rugged styles that fold down and slip over skinny jeans.  I have seen them worn with dresses, which is a big no-no.  It's better to keep them casual and avoid putting too much thought into the outfit worn with these.  Consider boyfriend or cropped cardigans.  If the rugged look appeals to you, remember you want to look put together and not sloppy.  Mary-Kate Olson may be able to wear combat boots with knee-length extra-large sweaters and baggy jeans, just do not make the same mistakes she does.  If you are looking for a deal on these boots, Madden by Steve Madden makes a pair that are $99, even cheaper at American Eagle there is a pair for $69.  Both of which are near indecipherable. 
  As we scoot down the leg and approach the ankle, the styles begin to steer away from a boot.  Ankle-high styles are varied and vast.  There are booties, shorties, heeled "dress-me-up" styles, and flat cowboy looks.  Personally I prefer the dressier booties with not such a rounded toe.  If you decide on a pair with a kitten heel and a longer sharper toe your foot will not look stumpy.  Also, styles such as these can be worn with jeans or skirts.  These are not a shoe that you wear every day of the week, or even one day every week, so you may even decide this is not a style for you this Fall.  However, if you have the spare change, invest in a pair!  Explore your options at Aldo.

   This just in, oxfords are irresistible.  Just the other day I saw a woman in American Eagle wearing a pair with cuffed jeans and a blazer.  It was the most admirable combination, that was not only classy but comfortable.  She purchased hers from Payless but my favorite pair is designed by Jessica Simpson.  They are sparkly and gray, they succeed in taking me back to elementary school when I wore the classic black and white style with a dress on the first day of school.  Sam Edelman also makes several designs that are splurge-worthy.  When trying the oxford be sure that the toe is not too long.  There are some styles that make the foot look like a size 13, which is not okay!  Also take the time to look at the designer Nicole at Endless Shoes.
   Last of all the clog has been seen smeared across every fashion magazine this season.  At first I was hesitant about this fad, but it has really grown on me.  Though I'm not a fan of heeled shoes, I love the clog with a little height.  Yes, clogs seem a little over priced, I mean, it's a shoe missing a heel backing!  Before you knock it, browse the parade of clogs designed by Vince Camuto, fall in love with a pair and spend the $110.  There are a couple other brands that are equally trendy, yet lower in price.  Rocketdog and Lucky have extremely cute clogs available at DSW and Endless Shoes.  Just remember, none of the knit styles and especially not Birkenstock types.  Take a chance with the heel!  I promise you'll love the convenience of slipping on a pair while running out the door.  Becoming a fashionista has never been easier! 
  After all that shoe talk, it may be helpful to get an idea for this Fall's color palette while shopping for pieces to pair with the fits on your feet.  When in doubt look up, unless you decide to shop later in the season, look down at the ground.  I have been drawing inspiration from the leaves.  My favorite color choices include camel (especially paired with deep gray), tree trunk brown (even furry pieces), dusty lavender (search for velvet in this color and let me know what you find, I'm obsessed), crimson red, burnt orange, and the carry-over from the summer-military olive hues!  My advice, color coordinate the closet, see which hue is missing and head out to the outdoor mall if possible.  It will be easier to draw inspiration from the outdoors in between stores.  Jump into Fall, get shopping!    



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Class Time

   Basically, Autumn fashion revolves around the blazer.  It's an easy and classy addition to any outfit!  The real chore is finding a personal all my searching I discovered a few versatile pieces that are high quality.  Of course I'm partial to, and the boyfriend blazer they have in stores currently is's actually the one I chose to purchase for this season's wardrobe.  It's a longer fit and has preppy detailed cuffs in a satin material.

   The blazer is big this season because it is effortless!  Blazers dress up jeans and look edgy with a pair of knee-high boots.  An under layer can include a lacy blouse such as the one I found on (a site in which I am newly obsessed) or a plain blouse (or tee) paired with jewelry.  Any look will look classy and put together as long as you decide on a main accessory and a pair of look-at-me boots!

   Accessory options are endless!  However, a few cute ideas I saw while flipping through the September issues include, but are not limited to: feathered 40's style caps, long multi-chained necklaces, thin patent-leather belts (cinching high-waist skinny's and a tucked-in tee), collar-bone grazing necklaces with an abundant amount of pearls and beads, bulky gold menswear watches and eye-catching patterned scarves. Just a reminder to keep it simple and a representation of self! 

   After you've decided on the ankles and up action, choose your shoes wisely!  There are so many new options for this Fall.  Even if they are an in-and-out trend, get a pair of shooties.  No need to wonder what shooties are any longer.  If you've ever been to a civil war reenactment you have an inkling.  Basically, SHOES+BOOTIES=SHOOTIES!  They are casual, cute and classy, oh and best of all, comfy!  They are the four C's that you cannot pass up!  Paired with cuffed jeans or jeggings, they are the hottest things sweeping across from the east coast this season!  Or, if you are too antsy to wear your boots now that the cold air is coming through, they will suffice!  Actually, shooties or boots are perfect with blazers.  You'll look classic and chic!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tone It Down

   When did it become acceptable to splash any and every bright colored piece of clothing across a body?  It seems that once summer hits, retail stores become a bucket for rainbows to splat into.  The first step in not looking like Blossom from the 80's is to avoid the urge to purchase all the bubblegum pink, screaming green, or Ferrari yellow adornments!  Begin with deeper hues, such as, rusted oranges, mustard yellows, delicious plums and chocolate browns.  Now, stop getting all bent out of shape, I know these may seem like the colors of the distant Autumn.  However, these colors will bring out your best complexion and you may be surprised to see how they pop when paired with the whites you picked up this spring.  If you've had enough white, wrestle those khaki linens out of the closet!  Nude shades paired with dark colors look very natural and are easy to accessorize.
   There are three main looks of the summer season that I have put together.  Each one makes for an easy transformation from a day at the mall to a night out on the town.  Firstly, if you splurged on a militia jacket over the past few months, one outfit will be simple to create.  Start with a white mini-dress or a white top and bottom, add the military blazer with white or metallic sandals (heels for night) and pop on some deep blue sea shades. 
Deep blue stone jewelry that is translucent couples nicely with faded army green and is very noticeable against bright whites.  A touch of hemp in bracelets (no anklets) will also make the look appear more natural and casual.
   For the diva in every girl I have developed a look that speaks to the rock and glam in all of us.  One detail that is everywhere is STUDS!  There is studded denim crawling out from every designer and it's great because it is very easy to work with when creating an outfit.  Take a pair of studded shorts (even the boy fit styles are edgy), top with a white tee (tees with gold sequined sleeves glam it up a notch), add a denim vest or strings of wooden jewelry and a straw fedora, and DONE!  Keep away from belting studded denim.  Not only does it take the attention from the studs but it makes jewelry appear as over accessorizing.  Take a look at Beyonce's Dereon add in Glamour's May issue for an example of this look.
   My favorite look of the three brings dark warm hues into the sunlight.  White shorts coupled with burnt orange (or mustard yellow) tanks and tees are very fitting.  You could even try lightweight cardigans with an in-elaborate camisole.  It is a simple look that can easily be dressed up with mahogany accessories.  A brown belt with large brown floral focal points are perfect with a fedora.  Look for thick silky ribbons and strappy leather shoes to tone down rusty or mustard tints.  Straw textures also are a natural addition to this look.
   Accessories this season should be designed around textures.  Wooden beads, cloth strands, and hemp braids are all amazing in dark or bright colors.  Do not be afraid to mix several shades of one color into one outfit.  If you decide to wear white shorts with a plum top add a few wooden necklaces that present several shades of purple and other warm colors.  Mahogany jewelry can tone down an array of colors in any one look.  Also, that shag shoulder bag you've been dying to switch to is beyond acceptable.
   The key to fashion success this summer is to tone down bright hues.  You are free to dazzle the public with cape cod blues as long as they are broken up by a brown leather belt and metallic gladiators.  Faded denim vests are perfect with ocean blues and chocolate browns.  Also, colors on the darker end of the spectrum make faded denim look classy yet effortless. 
   Lastly, and most importantly, DO NOT, under any circumstances, purchase anything tie-dyed.  This trend will come and go quicker than harem pants.  Tie-dyed pieces were good in the 60's and are a fun project for fourth graders, but not for present fashion; It is simply unacceptable.  Now, go on and see what natural looks you can cultivate!

Saturday, March 27, 2010