Designer Handbags - Worth it or not? This week Lindsay delves into the options for owning fashion's luxury calling card.Read More
OK, I admit it. I have a girl crush. On Amal Clooney. In my next life I want to live in her closet. The woman has the perfect body for clothes, perfect taste (she NEVER looks over or under dressed) and her own style which helps her carry off a variety of looks from Giambattista Valli to Chanel without looking like she’s copying anybody. Her choices are classic but on trend and her accessories are perfect complements. Who wouldn’t have a style crush?
Of course it never hurts to have the money to buy designer originals. (That’s something else I’m counting on in my next life.) But her STYLE is what attracts people. She keeps her hair and makeup simple but polished and never uses accessories to overwhelm an outfit. In fact, if you look closely, there’s only ever ONE focal point of her look - either the outfit or the shoes or the bag provide a pop of color and trend but she NEVER goes head-to-toe trendy and she never uses color to detract from her outfit - only add to it.
Although this is hard to imagine doing on a limited budget, take a page from Amal’s (see, we’re on a first name basis already) playbook and choose an outfit that fits perfectly (that’s what tailors are for!!!) and flatters your best features. Next, make sure the color is flattering to your face. Then choose accessories that accent the look without calling attention away from it, such as a neutral bag and shoes or one which picks up the colors in the outfit. Then choose jewelry the same way - colorful if your outfit is neutral, neutral and understated if your outfit is full of detail. You’ll find that it’s easier than you think - and more fun. Take my advice. Channel your inner Amal.
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.
There you are, in a store in Fashion Show Mall, confronting every woman's dilemma........"Is this worth it?"
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!
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"!
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...........