Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Closet Cleaning

Technically Spring has arrived- March 20th,
and while Northerners may have a few more chilly
days ahead, Southerners are fast approaching
Summer! It's time to take a look in your closet and 
take a hard look a Winter before moving in Spring
Lets start with lingerie. Check out your panties. Are some pairs stretched out,
uncomfortable, discolored or from another decade? Toss 'em and treat yourself to
 some new ones. It's not a huge investment and cute and/or sexy panties will make
you feel good. Same theory for bras- itchy, uncomfortable, stretched out, no longer
lifting like it used to? Go get fit for something new that will lift, separate, eliminate
the side boob and make your clothes fit and look better. I recommend the lingerie
dept at Nordstrom where the ladies are trained to fit you properly. Another little bit
of advice- don't buy more than 2 new bras at once - even if you love the new style.
 Best to test drive them a bit before you go bananas and fill your drawer. While we
 are on bras, I'd like to suggest everyone have a couple good everyday T-shirt bras,
 a pretty, flirty, sexy bra, a supportive strapless, a halter and/or T-back style, and
several athletic bras in their wardrobe.
Natori, Cosabella and Perele all at Neiman Marcus

Alterations required
If you didn't wear something all last season because it needed tailoring -too long, didn't
 fit right,etc ask yourself if you love it enough to take it to your tailor before putting it
 away for next year. If it doesn't "bring you joy" maybe you should let it go instead of
putting it away until next year and get something new . Same holds true for your Spring
clothes. As you bring back your Spring clothes to your closet, ask yourself if it still fits,
is it classic or still on trend vs dated and not flattering?
Make a pile to take to the tailor to alter or update and another to donate or consign.

Check for Stains
We've all had favorite things we loved and held onto even though they had a little stain
 ( or maybe even a tear- see above- alter), but the time has come to let go because you
are really not going to wear it out with the evidence of old make-up, a dribble of wine or
red sauce. Look at as an opportunity to get some great new things  :)

Cold Weather Clothing
It was a warmer than usual winter everywhere this year making it harder to judge what
to keep and what to purge based on what you really wore this past season. As you
 move these clothes to make room for Spring, take a hard look at what you didn't reach
 for once this winter- a sweater, pair of pants,etc. Was it the unseasonably warm weather
 or do some things just not work anymore? I find after each winter, I eliminate a few more
sweaters from my closet that are wool that I never seem to go to anymore or even cottons
that have lost their shape. Southern gals- weed out those wool pants- bet you're not wear-
ing them and they're just taking upvaluable real estate in your closet.

We all love shoes. If you're having a bad day, feeling a little bloated but wanting to
 shop, you can always find a great new pair of shoes. Shoes are the perfect accessory
to update your wardrobe every season. Yet, we all have shoes that hurt our feet every
time we wear them.While we may have sacrificed comfort for fashion when we were
younger, the blisters aren't worth it when you're more mature. If you are lucky enough
to have space to store the shoes you love but rarely wear, put them up on the
shelf and mark the box so you know where to find them. Athletic shoes need to be
replaced regularly ( even though they still may look good- donate them). Classic pumps
may be worth resoling and polishing by your neighborhood shoemaker. Favorites that
are scuffed beyond repair have got to be retired. Trendy styles you bought on a whim
and never wore need to be donated or consigned. Be honest with yourself. There's
probably a limited number of pairs you wear most the time, more that you wear only
occasionally and even a greater number that you hardly wear at all. Purging gives you
more room for those cute new espadrilles or mules that are back in style. 
Hangers and Hanging

You won't believe the difference the right hanger makes, both in taking proper care of
your clothes and giving you more closet space. When I do someone's closet, I bring
and recommend the velvet hangers. Costco is the best place to get them, but Home
Goods, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond have them, too. I even did my granddaughters'
closets with them. They have them for both infants and children.  
    Ultra Thin No Slip Velvet Suit Hangers (Pack of 25)           Real Simple® Slimline 50-Count Flocked Suit Hangers in Black
Knits should be folded not hung if you have the space. That includes sweaters, knit
dresses, skirts and pants. If you have more hanging than shelf or drawer space, fold
them over the hanger instead of hanging from the shoulder or waistband. St John
wearers- this means you! Knits will "grow" on you if you don't take care of them.

Don't keep your leathers and suedes in cleaning bags. They need to breathe. In fact,
most clothes shouldn't be kept in cleaning bags. Certain fabrics absorb the chemicals
in the plastic.

Invest in boot shapers or boot trees when you move them to the back of the closet
until next year. It will keep them from creasing and bagging. A variety of selections
are available at The Container Store, Amazon, Zappos and Walmart.
Simplify Velvet Boot Shapers, 2-PackQuilted Boot Shapers
Don't want to run out and shop for boot shapers?  Roll up old magazines and stuff
them in your boots.

Hope these tips get you started in turning over your closet and caring for your
clothes. Purging and organizing are good things, both for practical reasons  and
for your sense of well-being. And there are so many cute new things for Spring
 and Summer to make room for!

I am showing the Spring and Summer Etcetera collection for the last time
the first week in April. It's an amazing group - with something for everyone!                     call or email :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

After Party Looks

When the cameras stop rolling, the stars let their hair
down and get more daring at the after parties.
Fun, funky  and sexy describes the looks that we don't
get to see on TV

LOVE These-

    Mindy Kaling - much more flattering than the dress she wore on the red carpet

Jesssica Alba is sexy and sophisticated in Roberto Cavalli
Chrissy Teigen is pregnant and beautiful

Kate Bosworth is elegant in Ralph & Russo
Taylor Swift sexy and chic in Alexandre Vauthier couture.
Miranda Kerr is a wow in Kaufmanfranco
Georgina Chapman in Marchesa, of course ( she's the designer), is lovely
Gabrielle Union in Georgine is funky


Everything looks sexy on Sophia Vergara 
Not sure about the yellow ribbon, but prefer this Versace on Kerry Washington
to her red carpet one
Rachel McAdams in Naeem Khan
I like this Versace so much better on Hedi Klum than her red carpet Marchesa

Not so crazy about these-

Brie Larson in Monse at the 'Vanity Fair' Oscar party. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Bree Larson's dress looks like a toga. Her gold Golden Globes dress was so spot on,
not sure what happened with these Oscar choices.
Jennifer Lawrence's custom Alexander Wang doesn't really do much for her, though
the crop top and thigh high slit are certainly in style. It just goes to show you can be right 
on trend but not always look your best.
Gwen Stefani looks like she's dressed as a fairy in a play. She does show off her 
great figure, though. More on the "naked" dresses later.
Thandie Newton is dresses in the slip dress trend and that's what it looks like-
she's wearing a slip.
Elizabeth Banks looks elegant but a little too bridey or like she's going to a ball not
an after party.
Amy Adams' dress has too much going on in too many directions to be flattering.
She looks like she's dressed as Rita Hayworth not herself.

On trend in formal wear is the nearly nude dress.
It takes a fabulous body and a lot of confidence to pull it off.
Here Chanel Iman and Dine Kruger do it well
This is how super models rock the nearly nude look at the Vanity Fair after party

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Best Part

is what they wore.
Even if you love the movies and try to see every
nominated film, you have to admit the Academy Awards 
tends to drag on and on. Once I've seen what everyone's 
wearing, and it gets to be almost midnight, I could almost
call it a night. I do stick around to see the final winners, but
it's anticlimactic for me.

Here are my picks for the hits and misses Sunday night.

Daisy Ridley 's Chanel Couture dress is both sexy and elegant.

Alicia Vikander was beautiful in this Louis Vuitton. The color was perfect for her.

Christian Dior creates old school Hollywood glam for Charlize Theron in a ravishing
bodycon gown and sexy yet elegant for Jennifer Lawrence in a nude lace, layered look.

Olivia Munn looks lovely in an orangey-red, clean, simple,almost architectural gown
by Stella McCartney. Jennifer Garner is sleek and sophisticated and glamorous in one
of the few black gowns ( unlike my real life black tie experiences where most everyone
wears black) of the evening by Rene Caovilla

Priyanka Chopra rocks the "nude" dress trend in this stunning Zuhair Murad.
Saoirise Ronan's  custom Calvin Klein is simple in silhouette yet glammed up
with emerald sequins for a stunning look.

I personally also liked Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore and Sophia 's choices.
And while not for everyone, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett wore gowns that
were  perfect for them

Cate in Armani Privee and Rooney in Valentino Couture

They could have done better-

Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet usually both look beautiful, but I
think their hair isn't red carpet ready and neither gown is very flattering.
I'd opt for a sweetheart neckline in a strapless dress every time instead
of the "crumb-catcher" or straight across.

Both Olivia Wilde and Heidi Klum are known for taking chances on the red
carpet, but I'm not a fan here. Neither gown shows off their amazing figures.
Looks like Olivia went for the shock factor and an investment in fashion tape.
Heidi looks like a cotton candy confection or a big purple cloud. Pretty color
but if Heidi looks too frou-frou, imagine how you or I would look in this?
Olivia in Valentino Couture and Heidi in Marchesa
Jennifer Jason Leigh is washed out in the pale pink Marchesa. The embel-
lishment is too much- the bust and hip designs are competing with each other.
Amy Poehler showed off her hard work getting in shape at the earlier awards shows.
Can't imagine what she was thinking here? Way too much dress.This Andrew Gn
looks like something Melissa McCartney might wear.

I am on the fence on these 2 gowns. They are statements, for sure. Oh to be young
and beautiful and body confident like Rachel McAdams! I give them a 10 for red
carpet worthy but can't say I'd recommend them for your next formal event. And I
 am not a fan of the "side boob". Let's leave something to the imagination. Her August
 Getty dress already has a deep plunge in front and is backless. I usually love Kerry
Washington and she's beautiful in most anything but this Versace is a little too
Donatella-ish, though it surely flatters her. I've loved everything Bree Larson has worn
this awards season, but this is a little "prom-ish" for me. It is a great color and is Gucci.

Here's a couple of thoughts on the Oscars this year-
There may have been a lot of talk about the lack of color in the nominations, but there
 was no lack of color in the gowns. Interestingly, not much black and not a dominant
color like years past. Shades of blue appeared more than usual in tuxedos and there
were more dinner jackets on the men. Also, thought there were a lot of TV stars for a
movie event, even as presenters.

Lets finish with some of the best dressed couples

Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy and Sunrise Coigney and Mark Ruffalo

next up -what they wore to the after parties