How to Find Your Personal Style

  I'm not going to lie...SOMETIMES style can be a tricky thing. Let's be honest here, we spend our lives going back and forth between runway shows, fashion magazine, and fashion blogs, all to be left wondering: what about my personal style? How do I remain true to myself, while still being considered to be fashionable by today's standards? So, let's look at two scenarios - Scenario 1: Walking into a room with all eyes on you hearing a constant buzz of "Wow! You look great!" and "Where have you been shopping lately? I need to take you along with me as my personal stylist." vs.  Scenario #2: Walking into a room and noticing that people are whispering about you. We all know we want to fall into Scenario 1, but it can be hard, since we have so many opposing fashion rules being thrown at us at all times. Plus, we dress differently for a variety of situations and events. For example, you dress much differently for the office or business meeting than you would to a charity event, or even yoga for that matter. So, lets take it step by step and figure out what works best for us. How to Find Your Personal Style Step #1: Body Shape First, you must learn your body shape and what type of clothing works well on your body shape. There are pros and cons of every body shape in existence, and knowing what works for you is key to knowing and expressing your personal style. (Refer to "Being Fashion Conscious: Dressing For Your Body Type" for more details on this … [Read more...]

Copyright Laws Vs. The Fashion Industry

  After an overly productive day off from work, when I went running around the city doing all sorts of errands with my boys, I found myself in a very unique situation. It was 8pm and Branden had asked to go to bed earlyand my hubby was finishing up some school work, giving me some dah dah dah...FREE TIME! Gleefully, I grabbed my computer and decided to do some online shopping for spring dresses, since spring/summer in the city is awfully sticky and I want to be wearing the least amount of clothing that I can get away with in public! I started by doing a general search and quickly received a plethora of results, so I started skimming for something that would flatter my figure while remaining within my price range. I stumbled upon a cute Marc Jacobs option that looked quite familiar. Sure enough, as I ran to my closet, I could see that I had a dress that looked identical hanging next to my Banana Republic trench coat. I grabbed the tag thinking "I don't remember spending that much money on this dress" and saw that the tag read H&M. This really upset me because I personally refuse to buy pieces that I consciously know are knock offs, so I am careful about what I select in stores like H&M or Forever 21. But this surprise knock off really got me to thinking...what role do copyright laws play on the fashion industry? It is obviously a HUGE fashion NO NO to go to Canal Street and buy knock off handbags, sunglasses, wallets, etc...but that's a WHOLE different … [Read more...]

Alterations and Fit 101

  While shopping online recently for a dress to wear to an upcoming event, I came across the perfect BCBG dress. It looked like it would fit my body type to perfection, and I instantly knew that I simply NEEDED to have it. But, since I was running on typical Mama time (late!), I only had enough time to run to one location while praying to the "fashion gods" that this dress would be in stock. When I arrived, I saw that my coveted dress was part of their window display. "Oh no!" I thought. "It's probably really popular since its in the window! I really hope they have my size left!" Being that I am a fairly average-sized female, they didn't have any middle sizes, only XS and XL, of course!!! "Crap!" So I tried on the XL to get an overall idea of how the dress flowed, made the purchase, and headed straight to my trusty tailor. (See post "Size Matters?" to help yourself get over buying a size that is larger than what you typically wear.) It is IMPERATIVE that every fashionista befriend an amazing tailor.  (Seamstress is a suitable word too, but for the purpose of this article, I am using the word "tailor" interchangably with seamstress to describe a man or a woman who can sew and alter clothing with great skill.) So, yes, we need a tailor who really knows what he or she is doing and who will make your clothing fit your frame perfectly and therefore look fabulous! But I've met so many people who struggle to find a tailor, while not even being certain of the proper way … [Read more...]

The Clothing Speaks Volumes

Moving back to New York City has enabled me to fully delve back into one of my favorite hobbies--People Watching! There is seriously no better place to people watch than in NYC, where people feel free to express themselves and are not afraid of being who they really are. (This is one of the main reasons I think that this is the greatest city in the world!) Whether you are looking at what people are wearing for fashion inspiration or for admiration or simply watching the way that people interact with one another, you can pretty much pick any street corner and your people-watching cravings will be fulfilled in no time! One of my favorite places to people watch "the show" is from the Union Square Playground. This is a great spot because people are coming and going all day long, as they visit the Union Square Market, the stores, the restaurants, or even the hospital in the area. I also can let my little man play happily, while I sit back and enjoy the sights, um, I mean, people. Of course I get a front row view of what all the Union Square parents are wearing to play with their kiddos, but I always try to look beyond those gates to explore life outside the playground. (Even if I don't always get to live it at this stage in my life, I get to observe it!) While visiting this spot last week, I decided to observe from a fashion perspective (of course!), but instead of silently critiquing everyone's outfits, I decided to explore each person's fashion sense from a different … [Read more...]

Making Necessary Edits

  As I was going through my closet this past weekend and making some necessary edits (so that I can add new magical pieces, of course), I realized that its important to edit our lives the way that we edit our closets. As we grow up and our lives evolve, it is important (and sometimes imperative) to make necessary edits to the way we are living, to the people we surround ourselves with, and to the daily choices that we are making in order to live a more fulfilled life. Therefore, I decided to break this process down into the phases that I go through whenever I am about to make changes to my existing wardrobe and allow it to be a metaphor for my life. Phase #1: The Evaluation During this phase, I examine my wardrobe and make a list of things that I know I want to get rid of. In our lives, this phase would be an evaluation period where you really look at your life, both the things that you love and the things that you want to change. Take some time to really think about what you want out of your life (after all, we are responsible for our own happiness) and what you want to achieve in the future. This could take some time to put things into perspective, so don't rush it. Some questions to consider: What can I purge from my life to make it better? Who/what is bringing me down in my life? What needs to be added to my life to make me feel more fulfilled? Phase #2: The Plan During this phase, I sit down and come up with a course of action in order … [Read more...]

How To Stay On a Budget and Avoid Over-Shopping

  Shopping is a big part of my life. I think about it, dream about it, and live for it. Shopping for me is a past-time, a hobby, a special treat, and on some days - my cardio. Whether I am shopping for the newest season's accessory, tampons, or groceries, I do NOT (and, I REPEAT, DO NOT) ever start shopping without a very clear shopping plan mapped out. I always, always have a budget and a plan mapped out. So if you find yourself wondering how to stay on a budget, I'm sharing my shopping strategy with you. You may think that I am crazy, or you may think that I am a genius--either way, it's just not safe for me to walk into a mall, a grocery store, or a SOHO boutique without my head screwed on straight. How to Stay on a Budget 1. Do Your Research Before I go shopping, no matter what kind of shopping, I do my research ahead of time. I find out exactly what the hottest new items are, what's on sale, and overall what I am looking for and wanting to purchase. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is to do, so that you do not end up spending unnecessary money and buying things on impulse that you do not need. After I have done my research, I come up with a very detailed list of exactly what I am looking for during this shopping trip. Check out my post Wardrobe Staples for Every Woman to use as a great reference tool! My list typically includes the item, the store I can find it in, and the price that I either found online for the item or how much I am … [Read more...]

How to Look Good on a Budget of $100-a-Month

As of lately, my fashion obsession has been taking a toll on my bank account.  When the newest designer lookbook arrives in my mailbox every month, it is difficult to not run out to the mall and charge EVERYTHING to my credit card.  The reality is, it’s hard on my bank account, shopping budget, and lifestyle when I am spending above my limit on designer duds. Should I be buying designer clothing season after season and be completely broke? Or can I look amazing on a budget and only spend $100 a month? Have you been wondering how to look good on a budget, too? After testing the method recently, I have found the answer to be YES! YES! YES! –I can look good on a budget! How to Look Good on a Budget Follow these tips and you too will notice a true difference in your closet - and your bank account! Shopping Budget Tip #1: Sample Sale It! If you haven’t yet discovered the magical land of sample sales, this MUST be your first stop. For those of you who are out of the loop, a sample sale is a designer sale that is done before these garments are put in designer stores or high end department stores, to test the products.  Even better - these items are ALL 30—80% off! You can easily stay within your monthly shopping budget and purchase an entire outfit. Not only are you getting a fabulous price when you purchase these items, you are ahead of the curve!  And thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to be living in LA or NYC in order to stumble upon one of these treasures. … [Read more...]

Fashion History 101: History of Little Black Dress

  The only letters that I need to mention are “L.B.D.” and almost every woman knows exactly what I am talking about. For those of you feeling out of the loop, L.B.D. is fashion lingo for “Little Black Dress.” This wardrobe essential is such a classic piece that most women have multiples hanging in their closet. Every designer has their own version of it, updated for each season. This single piece of fashion has revolutionized the fashion industry by evolving from a simple idea to something truly magnificent, so the history of little black dress is important for fashion lovers everywhere. For many of us, our L.B.D is our “go-to” piece for many different occasions and reflects our signature style. In order to really embrace this wonderful creation, we need to understand where it came from, how it has evolved, and the impact it has had on the fashion industry as a whole. History of Little Black Dress We owe the introduction of this masterpiece to none other than the infamous Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. She was a woman ahead of her time and literally wrote the history of little black dress.  Even though fashion during WWI was going in a somewhat different direction, with skirts paired with button-down blouses ruling the day, along with military and oriental influences, Coco knew what women really wanted, and she made it work! The year was 1926, and women were in need of a simple, elegant, unfussy garment in their life that was devoid of prints, embroideries, and bright … [Read more...]