Personal Style Reality Check

What does that bag hold?  Carolina Herrera

What does that bag hold?
Carolina Herrera

Just a few days ago I was shopping at Las Vegas’ Premium Outlet Mall and I stopped to look at a display of mini bags, the new “it” bags for the supermodel/Hollywood crowd. They looked adorable! Then I tried to fit ANYTHING into one. I took cash and credit cards and driver license out of my wallet, added my car key and some tissues and I was out of room. No cell phone, no pen, no makeup (even a lipstick!) and no business cards. So much for that idea. This reminded me (as if I needed reminding) that slavishly following a trend is a BAD idea. And yet, people do it all the time. At Style Savvy, I try to teach clients to celebrate THEMSELVES; the authentic, unique individuals that we all are. Thinking outside the box is great but blind devotion to a trend doesn’t allow you to express yourself. Know what I mean?

YOU KNOW I READ IT IN A MAGAZINE*

We’ve all dreamed over the pages of a magazine in which the bodies are perfect, the clothes perfectly styled and the shoes .....well, let’s just say the shoes are drool-worthy. For a minute, fantasies dance in our heads. Buying that sweater will make me look like Kendall Jenner. Those jeans will turn me into Jennifer Lopez. And my personal favorite- those shoes will make me look the same as ......(insert name of your favorite actress). Let’s look at the facts, though, and why buying today’s trend won’t make you happy.

I am not 5’11”. I weigh significantly more than a supermodel. And I don’t remember the last year I made 50 million dollars, largely because it’s never happened. Yes, many of you can afford to buy the jeans ( if you wanted to ) but should you?

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Do Kendall and Jennifer dress like this all the time?

TO TREND OR NOT TO TREND? THAT IS THE QUESTION

There are MANY trends out there that flatter NOBODY but the 5’11” 115 pound model who’s wearing them. Sure, anybody can buy the hot mini-bag, but do you have a personal assistant to carry the tote that contains the stuff you REALLY need? I can put on the jeans that Taylor Swift is wearing but until I grow 5 inches and lose 30 pounds, they’re not going to compliment my body. Isn’t fashion meant to make each individual look and feel their best? So what do I do if I can’t wear the latest trend?

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Ms. Aniston in real life. Those shoes look pretty flat!

Jennifer Aniston at work. Would that we all had that many helpers!

STYLE EQUALS BEAUTY ENHANCED

Fashion exists only to express your personal style. If it doesn’t, adapt it to you! For instance, I can’t wear dresses with spaghetti straps that don’t let me wear a bra. Solution? Buy a strapless bra and enjoy the dress! Many women don’t look good in skinny jeans, especially if they’re curvier than the jean allows for. NOBODY looks good if their muffin top is on display-or if their butt is too flat to fill out the back. We are all beautiful and should be proud of that, but your style choices should enhance your beauty, not lessen it. I tried the skinny jeans on and they made me look like I was smuggling packs of hot dogs on my thighs and hips. Solution? I buy either straight or boot cut jeans that are more forgiving and if I really want skinnies, I have my tailor taper them in. That way they suit ME, rather than my suiting them. Or embrace the boyfriend denim look and wear a pair that’s relaxed and cool looking

Inspired Legging Style

Inspired Legging Style

Shauna Chic Over 50

Shauna Chic Over 50

Boyfriend Jeans from H&M

Boyfriend Jeans from H&M

I see this mindless devotion to trends so often-and I’ve actually had clients who will say “please make me look like so-and-so.” I explain ( very politely ) that Jennifer Aniston doesn’t wear those gorgeous heels to walk the dog and trip over cobblestones in the Forum Shoppes. Try the chunky heels that are so popular, or embrace the adorable flats available now-you’ll feel better and look, and be, more comfortable . Of course, every once in a while the heels come out and look AWESOME but the everyday shoes are not as limiting. If your bust is larger than a swimsuit model’s, look at tankinis or one pieces; maybe not as trendy as maillots but you won’t get the weird tan lines-or feel self conscious-so you look, and are, more comfortable. Wear jewelry with your suit, add a dynamite cover up and you can look just as chic as your fave celebrity.

INSPIRATION - NOT OBLIGATION

Again, let me stress that fashion only exists to be adapted to you. The runway shows, magazine layouts and TV programs are inspiration, not obligation. By all means wear a cute logo T shirt but buy it in your size, not the XS the model is wearing, and realize that your top half will look different-but can be equally attractive. Also, spandex is a privilege, not a right, and should be evaluated in terms of what flatters you. By all means wear leggings but buy them in YOUR size and consider whether that cropped top works on you or if you’re just following the leader. There’s a world of choices out there-choose to be YOU! And remember, “trend” is today but “style” is forever!

*Credit to Sir Elton John for all the inspiring lyrics!

Cashmere - An Addiction You Need

The most cozy, comfortable feeling I can imagine is to be swathed in head-to-toe cashmere.  Heaven!!!  Thankfully, cashmere is now available at all price points and in most stores, so I can feed my addiction without robbing a bank.  If you share my fetish, read on and I'll tell you how to wrap yourself in this most luxurious, cuddly comfort for less than you'd imagine.

Cashmere is more expensive than wool because it is made from the underbelly hair of goats that live at high altitude.  (And no, they don't have to harm the cute little goats-they're shaved and turned loose to regrow their miraculously soft, sinfully delicate hair). 

Quinn - A Cashmere Goat - Living the Dream!

Quinn - A Cashmere Goat - Living the Dream!

Cashmere is softer, silkier and more cloudlike than any wool could ever be.  When I said that I wanted to be wrapped in it like a blanket, I meant completely surrounded, in a tracksuit, socks, gloves, beanie, shawl, coat and scarf, all of which are, thank God, available at less than Kardashian prices.  Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft sell lovely sweaters in clear, melting colors.  Topshop offers hats and gloves in prices that only have two digits on the tag!  Macy's and Bloomingdale's have always sold sweaters in multiple styles and diverse colors in the $100-200 range.  J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie and Nordstrom all sell beautiful cashmere pieces at affordable prices.  So now you can surround yourself with this most luxe of all wools without surrounding yourself in high credit card bills!  What a happy coincidence in the dog days after the holidays!!  And what a wonderful way to celebrate the fact that "trend" is today, but "style" is forever!!!

Nordstrom - Cashmere Boatneck Sweater

Nordstrom - Cashmere Boatneck Sweater

Anthropologie - Cashmere Top and Shorts

Anthropologie - Cashmere Top and Shorts

Macy's - Turtleneck 

Macy's - Turtleneck 

Topshop - Cashmere Scarf

Topshop - Cashmere Scarf

Leggings - They Never Went Away - Yay!

Well, favorite readers, Thanksgiving is over and even my leftovers are finished!  Hope yours are too, because Christmas cookies are about to make an appearance and the fudge, prime rib, goose and cakes are right behind!  So how do we get through the Christmas party season stylishly but with some degree of comfort?  The answer is one hyper-trendy but totally stylish word-LEGGINGS!

Free People Chenille Leggings

Free People Chenille Leggings

Yes, I know.  You thought leggings were gone, never to return.  But I gotta tell ya, leggings are very much "in" now and they are everywhere!  The difference between then and now?  The old style had you wearing black leggings with a patterned sweater.  On trend now?  Patterned leggings with a solid sweater or tunic.  And these patterns are IDEAL for holiday parties, because they are being shown in metallics, animal prints and bold color combos sure to make you feel, and look, festive!  

Free People Byzantine Sweater Leggings

Free People Byzantine Sweater Leggings

Leggings go perfectly with today's ankle boots but for fun, try them with your over-the-knee boots!  Keep the sweater simple and go for the gusto of big hoops or statement earrings.  Looking fab AND wearing an elasticized waist?  It doesn't get any more comfortable or fun!  So wow your party pals with your great outfit, all the while knowing that you have "room" to indulge!  And remember......"trend is today, but style is forever"!!!!

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings at Nordstrom

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings at Nordstrom

Metallic Print Leggings

Metallic Print Leggings

Chictopia Suede Leggings

Chictopia Suede Leggings

Zara Metallic Leggings

Zara Metallic Leggings

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.

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!

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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!)  

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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!!!!!   

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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"!