Be like . . .

You know that meme that's running wild on Facebook encouraging you to "Be like ......."?  Well, mine would be......

This is Charissa.

Charissa was looking for a wardrobe update.

Charissa found Lindsay and began dressing to flatter her figure.

Charissa looks like a million bucks.

Be like Charissa.

In what I HOPE will be the first of a series, I did before and after shots of Charissa.  Before she looked like an average young woman, unconcerned or not sure of how to dress her body to maximize her assets.  BUT THEN.  I put her in a close fitting black cotton shirt which emphasized her waist, a pair of heels which elongated her legs and some accessories which flattered her and finished the look.  The ensemble is classic, easy to wear and can be dressed up or down by the accessories, as you can see.  

The earrings are by Dannijo, the bag is a Stella McCartney and the chain is from JewelMint.  

Charissa is smart and called Lindsay.

Be like Charissa.

When To Save and When To Splurge

There you are, in a store in Fashion Show Mall, confronting every woman's dilemma........"Is this worth it?"

jimmy-choo-classic-pumps

Believe it or not, there are easy tests to determine the answer to this.  The first is cost per wearing.  What that basically boils down to is how often ARE you going to wear it?  The black pumps that are classic enough for the office but sexy enough to go on a date are going to get worn, let's say, 3 days per week.  That's 156 times a year, so if you spend $450 on them, that's less than $3 per wearing.  If, instead, you buy the less expensive version at $159, chances are good that they'll A) hurt your feet, B) have to be repaired/replaced two or three times.  When they hurt you won't reach for them and they'll spend a lot of down time at Green Valley Shoe Repair.  (Truth and product placement in one sentence-yea, Me!) So-you wear them less with higher maintenance and replacement costs and the cost per wearing is actually higher than the more expensive version! 

kate-spade-classic-bag

The other test is more subjective.  It's called......"How much do you love me?".  That Kate Spade bag that you adore is going to give you a lot more pleasure than the Le Sportsac your mom is pushing you towards.  The Kate Spade is classy, the color is perfect for a large majority of your wardrobe and you just plain love it.  How does that stack up against a bag you're almost embarrassed to carry?  

The last test is "Which looks expensive and classic versus which looks cheap and plastic?"  Bags and shoes can make any outfit look elegant.  Putting those $450 pumps with either jeans or black slacks makes them look classy, whereas pairing those pants with a cheap bag and shoes brings the whole outfit down.  So do yourself a favor.  Do the math.  Take the tests.  But when all is said and done, remember the immortal words of Coco Chanel........"Trend is today, style is forever"!

Showering Anytime Soon?

I just threw a bridal shower at my house, along with my co-hosts, Lue and Karen.  We had such a blast and the bride was so pleased that I thought I would tell you about it-just IN CASE you were planning on throwing one or attending one!

bridal-shower-flowers

We stuck to the bride's color scheme of red, black and white with red roses and candles, white baby's breath and candles and black ribbon, napkins and candles.  (Anybody getting the idea that I love candles?)  Sticking with the bride's wedding colors takes a huge burden off of how to decorate and allows you to get a little funky, like adding sprigs of rosemary to be the greenery in the flower arrangements ( wow, did that smell good!) and twining red, white and black ribbons around the candles, along with pearls and more rosemary.  We even dressed in red and black!  (And, ladies, if you're going to or giving a shower, DON'T wear your gorgeous two hour heels without having a stand-by pair to slide into when you hurt!)  

bridal-shower-beverage-bar

We spent a lot of time discussing the wedding ( duh! ) and particularly what the mothers would wear.  I reminded them to bring pashminas or boleros in case of over-air conditioning and to have spare shoes along for dancing.  We also put together a kit of essentials for the big day-pads to remove deodorant stains, dental floss and mouthwash, hairpins and needle and thread, touch up makeup and, most importantly, WATERPROOF MASCARA!!!!!   

serving-tables-bridal-shower.jpg

By the time our guests left, I had given some advice on what guests should wear, like doing their own riff on the bride's colors by wearing pink to complement the red or grey or silver to sparkle against the black.  

Personally, I'm wearing a light grey dress and a headpiece from TS Tiaras because, as Coco Chanel would have said, "in order to stand out in a crowd, one must always be different"!

Lip Service

Hands up if your lips get chapped in the winter dryness!  (I don't believe you if you say they don't).  And put up the other hand if you lick them constantly!  We know these are bad habits but it's hard to stop, so I thought I'd give you a couple of things to try and hope they help.

1.  ALWAYS keep your lips covered in lip balm, lip gloss or emollient lipstick.  That helps seal in moisture and protect against tissue drying.

2.  NEVER LICK YOUR LIPS.  This eats off the protectant you were so good about applying.

3.  NEVER go to bed without a thick covering of lip balm.  Nighttime is when skin regenerates without the stress of the day.  Rosebud salve is good but the best I've ever found is handmade by Maria Monteiro at Pure Liquid Skin Studio on Horizon Ridge.  Hers is all natural and safe enough for a baby but it WORKS!

4.  If you don't have lip balm, use eye cream.  Eye tissue is the same skin as lip and eye cream works marvelously!

And last but not least, keep a lip balm with you at all times.  After you eat, apply a thin coat, wait a few minutes and rub it off with a Kleenex. This will remove any dead skin and leftover lipstick and make reapplying much smoother!!!

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, chapped lips are a turn off!   Keep them moist and kissable with tried and true methods, because trend is today, but style is forever!

Sweater Dresses - Genius!

Is anybody else getting holiday-ed out from seeing belly-waving Santas in October?  By the time I get to December, I'm thinking longingly of leggings and sweaters and flat boots just when it's time to pull out the party dresses.  So THIS year, I came up with a plan.  ( you can steal this idea-I won't tell).  
The answer is sweater dresses in unusual colors.  I found an all-white snowflake pattern one (which, since I'm a redhead, blends perfectly with my skin!) and paired it with silver sandals ( what can I say, I live in Vegas, baby!).  I found another in a luscious shade of emerald green with gold pailletes that goes amazingly well with gold pumps.  A pair of tights ( I don't want my white legs scaring small children) in silver or gold?  Why not?  The result is a holiday look that is fun, funky and festive and doesn't fit skintight or measure the size of a placemat!  Try it-you'll like it-because after all, "trend" is today but "style" is forever!

 Sweater dress from loft.com

Sweater dress from loft.com

A Shoe Tip!

Have you ever seen a person wearing a nice outfit, only to have it ruined by shoes?  I'm not talking the WRONG shoes.......I'm talking the ones that are so scuffed and worn down at the heel that they look like they're from the Salvation Army!  They may have been good shoes once-upon-a-time but now they're candidates for trash item of the century!

Other than a good tailor, the shoe pro can be your best friend.  They don't just put on new heels and soles anymore.  The best shoe guys can dye, restain, patch and even rework a pattern to create a whole new look - all to keep those shoes you love from ruining your next outfit.  I once cut a pair of pale pink Jimmy Choos on the sidewalk and my shoe man took pieces of black patent leather and created an entirely new back - and they're once again one of my favorite pairs.

Why am I telling you this?  To encourage you to spend $50 instead of $500 on preserving your shoes instead of just replacing them.  At Green Valley Shoe Repair on Wigwam and Pecos, the shoe man is an artist and he's saved many a shoe for me.  So-you have options!  All is not lost !  And he performs similar miracles on handbags...........

The Blog, the Blog, the Blog is Back!

So I said to myself, "Self, why haven't you been blogging on all things STYLE in so long?"  And I realized, it's because I've been waiting for people ( that would be YOU ) to respond and write in and ask questions and participate in what I ( that would be ME ) thought was an audience participation thing.  Then I realized it's not-that this is actually my forum to comment on all things style and stylish.  So I'm returning to blogging, dear readers, and will be faithfully blogging every week on vital information ( like how to spot a fake Chanel bag ) and fun tidbits ( like how to spot a fake Birkin bag ).  So watch out, Style Savvy readers............I'm baaaaaaccccckkkk!!!!!!

Closet Clean Out!

Recently I did a closet makeover for a lovely lady named Beth.  We got along very well over the phone, so I was looking forward to working with her.  My eagerness was stoked further when we met and she correctly named the designer of my jeans.  Walking into her room-sized closet and seeing a huge jumble of name-brand clothes, accessories and shoes didn't even curb my enthusiasm; I just knew that we'd have fun and get a big job done which, unless I'm  mistaken, is the primary function of Style Savvy.

At this point in a closet makeover, I usually sit down with the client and discuss her life; does she have children, work outside the home, have a husband with mob ties......you know, the usual background info. I need to know if I'm dressing a woman who needs 20 business suits or someone who spends the majority of her life in designer jeans.  You can imagine my shock, then,     When Beth told me that she didn't work, spends most of her time gardening and has no children.  Her husband is a laid back sort of dude and their social life together consists of staying home with friends or going out casually.  There was a definite disconnect between Beth's designer-filled closet and her relaxed, chill lifestyle!!.

Then, Beth came clean.  She was a designer junkie.  Every season she promised herself that this was it; no more spending every cent on a new Chanel jacket, no further binges at Armani.  No need for the au courant Louboutins or another jar of Natura Bisse moisturizer at $450 each.  She would buy for the lifestyle she had, not the one she desperately wanted.  And she would learn how to use EBay!!!

I told Beth that it's not enough to say the words, you have to mean them.  She would have to realize, in her own brain, that she could be just as stylish, just as fashionable without spending designer dollars.  MORE stylish, even, because she'd have to rely on her own viewpoint and not what she was told by a handful of high priced stylists (those stylists! LOL)!  And so we began. We successfully purged Beth's closet of everything that was no longer fabulous, (dragging that too-young-for-her Oscar de la Renta out of her hands was difficult, but worth it!). We altered or dry-cleaned anything that could be altered or dry-cleaned and we filled in gaps with lifestyle-appropriate choices ( don't I sound like a snoot!).  The result?  Happy client with a great wardrobe and happy stylist who had once again proven the "trend" is today, but "style" is forever!!!

SJP at Nordstrom

I need to vent!  I received a TREMENDOUS disappointment when Sarah Jessica Parker's shoe line came out at Nordstrom.  I am a shoe addict and could barely contain myself until the line came out.  It was advertised as being in a moderate price range, so I was awaiting them eagerly, with baited breath even.  (what on earth IS baited breath, anyway??). I was treated to an early showing and that's when I felt an overwhelming lack of joy, a complete sadness, a distress.  The line,was NORMAL.  I didn't see any styles or colors that struck me as original and fresh.  All the hoopla (and what is hoopla, for that matter?) and NOTHING.

Sarah Jessica Parker Collection at Nordstrom
Sarah Jessica Parker Collection at Nordstrom

From Nordstrom.com.  Feel free to see for yourself!

Some designer collections have opened at low price point stores, like

Peter Pilotto for Target

and

Catherine Malandrino for Kohl's

, and provided new, exciting fashion at reasonable prices.  I am a great believer in fun, low cost clothes and I was delighted to buy pieces like a motorcycle jacket for $89 and a pleated, flared skirt for $29.  

Jennifer Lopez' collection for Kohl's

is different and modern.  These three celebs are obviously working with great investors to make their low cost lines as much like their upper end counterparts as possible.  Brilliant!  Genius!  Gwen Stefani launched a kids' collection for

Target

and an inexpensive shoe set for

Shoedazzle

that are awesome!  What a great way to enhance your personal style at rock bottom prices!!!

So I was stunned to see SJP'S shoes.  Boring!  Exactly what you'd wear to a garden party at your third favorite aunt's home in Alabama.  The colors are copies of colors seen everywhere and the shapes are most common to the sales rack at Macy's.  THIS for $350????  They're not classic and timeless; they are the worst of the moment.  My innocence has been shattered.  I will never look forward to a celebrity launch in the same way again.  I have seen yet another proof that "trend" is today, "style" is forever.

Can There be Cruising AND Style?

Sorry I'm late with this blog, folks; my husband spirited me away on a short cruise ( a "booze cruise").  We left Long Beach, CA and docked in Catalina and Ensenada.  Short little vacay but I just wanted some down time, you know?  Unfortunately, I found that a cruise is NOT the place to go for a stylist to turn off her mind.  I am flabbergasted at the clothes I've seen and couldn't wait to tell you about them!

When you go on a trip, don't you, a normal person, pull pieces out of your closet with an eye towards making outfits out of them?  Do you at least TRY to match colors, styles, SEASONS???  Well, here on a cruise ship for four days I have seen no evidence that these people are normal!!

First, I've seen ladies in their forties, fifties, SIXTIES! wearing clothes, AND BIKINIS, that they shouldn't be caught outside the bedroom in, unless they're making a horror movie.  Ladies, I believe you need to accept and love the body you've been given, but that doesn't mean that 230 pounds of saggy, pasty flesh should be shoved into a size 10 bikini and paraded as a badge of honor....."Look, Patty, it fits!". 

I'm seeing women of all ages wearing outfits ( and I use the term loosely ) that must have come out of two different closets.  A blue and white gingham top paired with brown corduroys?  Schizophrenic!  Denim shorts worn with an orange sweater that had more pills than my medicine cabinet?  Scary!  Two women wearing matching metallic tops to dinner?  Horrifying!  And then my pet peeve, which is evident EVERYWHERE......women in capris, oversized Ts and clunky tennis shoes....nauseating!  Yes, there are some ladies in weather appropriate, age appropriate, thoughtfully put together ensembles, but they're a serious minority.  Do people just dump the contents of different drawers Into their suitcases and wear whatever comes to hand?  They sure seem to!

And men, you're not exempt from this rant.  Those of you in your fifties and sixties wearing Speedos......STOP IT!  And if your wife or girlfriend can't match her own clothes, don't trust her to do yours!!!  You end up with a Tommy Bahama floral shirt and black dress pants, looking like an aging wise guy.  And, gentlemen, knee-high black socks with sandals?  Please don't.  Please.

I couldn't bear to add any other pictures.

Well, I'm going back to relaxing.  I'm going to turn off my mind and pay no attention to the couple next to us wearing matching HUGE T shirts and plaid shorts, white socks and sandals.  I will not let them into my head.  I won't.  But I just HAVE TO lean over to her and say......."Hi, my name's Lindsay and I'm a personal stylist and I'd like to help you go from "drab" to "fab"!!  Because EVERYONE should know that "trend" is today, but "style" is forever!

Spring 2014 for Real Women

Ok, I'll admit it.....I'm tired of Fashion Week.  Last week we learned some (arguably) fascinating lessons about style and trend but now, after watching "Gisele walks for Balenciaga" and "Victoria's Secret Angels sit front row at Chanel", I am willing to kill the next columnist who describes a collection as "an urban metaphor".  So I'm back to clothes with a bit more "fun" than "fantasy".....clothes that real women want to talk about.  

Ralph Lauren Peplum Top

Ralph Lauren Tuxedo Jeans

In most of the country it's never looked LESS like spring, but here in Vegas we are lucky enough to already see daffodils.  This means that, horror of horrors, my favorite winter pieces will have to be pulled out of rotation soon.  Do you have an item or two in your closet that you will be sorry to see go?  Mine are, without a doubt, my over-the-knee boots and my denim moto jacket.  But spring (not a real season here; more like a two week warm up to "damn hot") has it's own fun ideas and these are a couple of them that you shouldn't miss.

Pedro Garcia "Sofia" - Nordstrom

White.  And not just white....ALL white.  A white top with white pants, white booties and a white jacket thrown over the top.  What makes this new are the textures the whites come in.  Eyelet lace mixed with satin paired with suede.  It all works together to shout "Spring 2014" or separately to go with other pieces in your wardrobe.  For example, black and white.  Geometric slashes of it.  I have a pair of diamond-patterned heels I can't WAIT to wear.  They blend seamlessly with my polka dot peplum top, white tuxedo jeans with the black stripe and a black and white cabbage rose-printed cardigan I got at a yard sale for $3.  You get the idea.  Or, if you're not ready for all black and white, use your new black and white shoe as a fun way to perk up jeans and a black T......maybe with black and white sunnies???

Vince Picot at Nordstrom

Haute Hippie at Nordstrom

To make a right, 90 degree turn off black and white, start collecting your pastels now!  Never has spring brought so many different shades of watermelon, cotton candy and grass.  They look like a Monet painting when they're worn together.  They look as if you were going to a New Orleans wedding when they're paired with your whites and like "punk-with-an-edge" when worn with black.

How style savvy is THAT!!!!!  And I didn't use the term "urban metaphor" once.  Doesn't that prove that "trend" is today, but "style" is forever???

Fashion Week Update

Last week I promised that I would focus on Fashion Week.....or should I say, Weeks!  We've had New York, London and Milan all showing us what next fall and winter are going to look like.  But!  Here at Style Savvy, we don't focus on runway and we sure don't focus on 7 months from now!  What I want to take from the fall/winter collections is how style will be affected by trends in color, fabric and shape.

The big trend in coats was the robe - shaped coat that tied around the waist.  It was shown in heavily embroidered, brightly colored fabrics.  This trend brought to mind the "princess" style of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Sure, the fabric was new and the shape was more exaggerated but it was the "it" coat of the1960s; the style hasn't changed.

Another resurrected style was the cropped top. Shown in quilted cotton or angora wool, it was the same cropped top that was in style in the 1950s and 1960s. Ditto with the season's A-line skirts, cropped trousers and men's look.

(all images from 

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website

)

As you can see, the style is the same; it's the trend in fabric or color or embellishment that changes.  It is as Mlle. Chanel said ...."Trend is today, style is forever!"