Fashion History 101: Ralph Rucci

As summer is coming to an end, and the season is changing into fall (Yay, my favorite fashion season!), I'd like to pay homage to a designer who helped spark the fashion gene inside of me and nurtured it grow into something much bigger. You see, whenever I first started studying fashion in NYC, the first designer collection that I ever witnessed at the world renowned Metropolitan Museum was Ralph Rucci. His collections are filed under the name Chado Ralph Rucci, but he wasn't a designer that I knew the way I did Coco Chanel and Michael Kors. Through Fashion History Classes, I learned that he is recognized as one of (possibly the only) American couturier by the CFDA. (Council of Fashion Designers of America) This is a HUGE accomplishment and something that many American designers strive for and never reach. If you are curious about the true definition of a couturier, it  literally comes from a french word mean "to sew." For something to be considered to be couture, the clothing must meet the following stipulations: it must be produced in small quantities it must only utilize hand-sewing techniques (no sewing machines allowed here) it must be sized specifically to fit a specific individual's body (1) Yes, I pulled out one of my old fashion textbooks so that I got these worded  just right! With labels such as Juicy Couture and Romeo and Juliet Couture on the market, I know this can be a little bit confusing, but this is how true couture is determined and … [Read more...]

Behind the Scenes

Last fall, my parents came to visit and treated us all to a night out to a Broadway show. My mom chose Priscilla Queen of the Desert after reading a positive review online. She came to the conclusion that it was about four friends who take a fun trip through the desert. Much to my father's surprise, it was about four drag queen friends taking a trip through the desert. I thought that it was fabulous, but I sensed that my dad was a little unprepared!  Broadway can indeed take you by surprise! Anyways, throughout the whole show, I couldn't help but think about all the work that it took "behind the scenes" to get these amazing performers into these larger than life costumes and onto the magnificently decorated stage. Then, I looked at myself and could see some similarities. As women, fashion lovers, and busy Mamas, it takes some preparation behind the scenes to pull ourselves together and make a grand entrance on our "stage" (a.k.a. our jobs, our roles as mother, and our daily routines). Lets face it, some of the outfits that we pull together take a little extra effort in order to wear tem properly. Whether you are breaking in a new pair of heels, suffering from a clingy skirt, or need to be sucked in an extra half inch in order to fit into your high waisted trousers, there are times we could all use a little help behind the scenes. Here are some great products that I make sure I keep handy just in case I encounter a wardrobe malfunction! Shapewear- This is a closet … [Read more...]

Online Shopping 101

Dear Diary, As busy Mamas, sometimes (just sometimes) it is easier to simply login to the internet and do our shopping there. Since I usually turn to "out and about" shopping as one of my cardio calorie burning workouts, I do need to make sure that I balance the online shopping with the actual brick and mortar store shopping. Since I shared the shopping techniques that I use whenever I am physically shopping in my post Project Motherhood Shopping Techniques, I thought that it was only appropriate to let you all in on my online shopping secrets!  Even if they don't burn calories, they certainly can produce the goods! Online Shopping 101 You first obviously want to make sure that the website(s) you plan on shopping on are safe and secure. They must be somewhere that you feel comfortable giving your credit card information to. Do your research, read reviews, and if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Use their emailing list. Most e-commerce websites have an emailing list that sends out weekly, bi-weekly, or daily emails to you abut upcoming sales, coupons, and discounts that they are offering. Use this to your advantage, especially if you are contemplating purchasing a higher ticketed priced item. It may let you know about an upcoming sale! In a lot of cases, e-commerce websites have big partner websites that you can be introduced to as well. In addition, a lot of retailers will now announce secret sales to customers on their emailing … [Read more...]

Heels Built For Summer

Summer is filled with lots of fun footwear that free our toes and allow our beautiful pedicures to show! Flip flops are great for running errands and lounging beach or poolside, but there is just something about brightly colored summer heels or sleek high heeled sandals that can create a show stopping look. So whether you have a diaper bag on one shoulder and a baby on the other, or you are sternly trying to coax your teenager off their phone, these heels will help complete your summer look in style! The Denise by Rachel Zoe is a great shoe for a night out on the town. It will look great paired with a colorful dress or a sexy bandaged pencil skirt. This shoe will surely let your inner diva shine through. Plus, the 5 3/4 inch heel will give the illusion that you just magically lost 10 ponds! These sky high wedges from Seychelles will be turning heads in your direction this summer. The bright yellow will certainly give you a glamorous pop of color without going over the top, while the neutral colored wedge will allow you to pair these with many different looks. Now all you need to think about is what color pedicure you want to wear to really make it pop! If you are attending any summer weddings or formal events, the Celeste from Kate Spade is a really great option. These have a very summery feel to it with the bright hue, while the satin material brings it to a whole new level of classy. I really love Kate Spade's twist on a classic shoe silhouette by … [Read more...]

Red, White, and Blue in Style

Picnics, parades, and parties...oh my! And don't forget the fireworks! The 4th of July is filled with so many celebrations! While we are out celebrating with neighbors, friends, and family, let's pause to remember what we are actually celebrating...the wonderful independence and free spirit that we have living in this amazing country! If you are anything like me, you like to make sure that you and your family are celebrating in style. I love to use the style of my clothing to express myself and sometimes send a message as well. And holidays seem to bring out my playful side. Since "red, white, and blue" is the message I want to send on Independence day, I decided to pick out some fun pieces for my lovely mamas that will guarantee that you and your family are the hit of the picnic without turning tacky! I also like to keep in mind whenever I am shopping for a holiday wardrobe that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money. I like to keep my fashion budget in perspective by reminding myself (constantly) that I won't necessarily be wearing these pieces year round, so it's alright to be picky (and cheap!) First, we must make sure that our family members are covered. Whether you have boys, girls, toddlers, or infants, I always feel like Old Navy is a great place to start for 4th of July shopping. Not only do they have their infamous $5 Flag tees, but a very large selection of clothing for all family members. There is no need to stock up on Ralph Lauren Polos for this one … [Read more...]

HOUSE OF FRASER Coast Collection

Lately, the shopping gene that lurks within me seems to have become even more dominant in my daily life. My need to shop has intensified to an extreme level! But, who am I to fight my natural urges? So when I came across the HOUSE OF FRASER online, I was instantly hooked and wanted to immediately share this amazing online store with my lovely readers. The store operates primarily online, but does have 61 brick and mortar stores throughout the UK and Ireland (Hint: they offer fabulous international shipping options for my domestic divas!). You can shop for absolutely everything! Children, men, kitchen, you name it, they've got it! (Which translates into my hubby having to pull me away from the computer at a very late hour on the night that I stumbled upon this treasure.) But of course, the fashion is what sucked me in and inspired me to integrate some new knock out pieces into my wardrobe. The collection that particularly stood out to me is their renowned Coast Collection. The philosophy behind this beautiful collection has remained true since it first launched in 1996 - to bring great clothing to women that is beautiful, well thought out, and perfect for the most memorable times in your life. The collection revolves around separates, occasionwear, accessories, party dresses, and is the epitome of elegance in every case. I simply MUST share with all of you the 6 pieces I came across as I perused through this glamorous collection, pieces that will instantly … [Read more...]

Make a Splash!

I'm not going to lie, I still hate bathing suit shopping! This is just one of those things that doesn't get better with age, as far as I am concerned. In fact, I think that there is even MORE that I worry about now! Ya know?... things in addition to all the usual bathing suit/body insecurities. Now that I'm a Mama, I have added things to look for in a bathing suit.  So, as a Fashionista AND a Mama who needs a bathing suit boost, here's my wish list for summer fun: A bathing suit that keeps me from accidentally exposing parts of my body to the public that I'd rather keep hidden, while I am chasing after Branden or reaching over to grab him or being slammed by a wave! A bathing suit that hides my love handles. (Feel free to substitute your own pet peeve of a body issue!) And, of course, a bathing suit that makes my chest to appear higher than it actually is. Yeah, a visual breast lift would be nice! Again, you know what you need in this department, whether it is minimizing, maximizing, or simply flattering what you know looks good! So, I thought that I would put together some bathing suit options that are Mama-proof! (Translation: Bathing suits that will help you feel wonderful, even while you chase your wild thing down the beach!) When you are ready to go shopping, keep in mind your own body shape and what compliments that shape best. Try brushing up on my post Being Fashion Conscious: Dressing For Your Body Shape before you hit the mall. And, you want this to be a … [Read more...]

5 Chic Over-Sized Bags For Women While Carting Kids Around

  Okay, I think we can all agree on one thing: our bag is pretty much an extension of ourselves. The bag we carry goes wherever we go and is filled to the brim with everything important in our lives. I separate bags for women into a few different categories which apply to different situations or events in my life. First, of course, is the diaper bag, the necessary accessory for anyone with a baby from infancy up to about a year and half. (Yes, there are a few out there that could be considered as "fashionable".) Second, there are day to day bags, which are medium-sized, pretty on the eyes, and able to hold all of the items that I need whenever I am at work or out and about without my family. Third, there are the nighttime bags, which are sexy little bags that are purchased to match a specific outfit for a night on the town. Then, there are the Mama Bags - the most important bags for women of them all.  By terminology a la Allison Cooper, we can define Mama Bag as follows: Mama Bag- (noun) 1. An over-sized bag that is used as a combination diaper bag and day to day bag. It it highly fashionable, versatile, and practical. It is most likely adorned with many pockets to hold items such as: wallet, diapers, wipes, cosmetics, cell phone,  shopping lists, and diaries. It does not scream "Diaper Bag!" 2. Plural usage Mama Bags: meaning that a Mama can have more than one, even an entire closet full. Now, Mama Bags aren't necessarily built specifically for Mamas, … [Read more...]

The Attention Grabber!

It's no secret that women tend to be afraid of color, especially since we've been wearing 50 shades of grey and black for years now. Whenever we go shopping, 3/4 of the time we are left asking the sales associate, "Does this come in black?" Then, after you have a baby, you turn to black to help cover those oh so lovely areas that have been altered due to the pregnancy. Well ladies, I am here to rescue you from a drab life without color! I have comprised a list of the greatest, most affordable accessories for summer that can be worn with the colors that you feel the most comfortable in. (After all, comfort =confidence=sexy!) The Statement Necklace Every mamanista needs a great statement necklace that is bright, colorful, and attention grabbing, especially during the summer months. These types of pieces allow you to dress in basic colors and let the necklace give your ensemble all the pop of color that you need to be chic from head to toe. H&M never fails to create fashion forward accessories that don't break the bank, and this vibrant option will clearly stop everyone in their track! "LNB" Neon bags are so "in" this season. But not all are the best choice for a busy Mama, since they tend to be teeny tiny (ya diaper pockets!). So I have found the perfect Little Neon Bag aka the "LNB" from none other than the great and wonderful Bloomingdale's. This option will give your outfit some "pop", has many colors to choose from, and is roomy enough that you … [Read more...]

Oooo La La!

  After you become a Mama, you realize just how important your lingerie drawer is, for so many reasons. The top 2 being: To keep things sexy in the bedroom! (You won't believe the wonderful effect a little bit of lace peeking out of your shirt whenever you bend forward to change a diaper can have, until you have experienced it...) To make sure that you are wearing the most becoming foundations underneath every outfit! Therefore, as I have transitioned into Mommyhood, my lingerie drawer has changed a bit. Things that seemed as if they were priorities before have kinda been shoved to the side (literally!), while my go-to lingerie staples have become pretty darn apparent, to me at least. Here are the items that have made my top list! The Top 10 Hot Mama Lingerie Essentials       1. No Show Thongs No matter which type of thongs you prefer (and I know everyone has a different preference), it's important to make sure that you have at least 5 pairs of thongs that are invisible whenever worn underneath clothing. My personal favorites are Hanky Panky...soo comfortable! And it's hard not to feel sexy when wearing thongs!       2. Cheekies! Cheekies are underwear that allow you to show off your ass-ets. They are a simply sexy piece to add your your lingerie drawer that are great to have handy when you feel like showing off a bit!       3.The Perfect Strapless Bra Every Mama needs to have a perfect strapless bra that allows them to wear skinny … [Read more...]