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My name is Melissa Kaplan Guarino. Welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! I believe there is a connection between fashion and self-esteem and I am interested in understanding that relationship. Tell me … What is your story?

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Can You Pull off Shorts At Work?

Optimized-P1060030Optimized-P1060025Optimized-P1060026You bet! There is a way to wear shorts to a work day – it may not be the obvious choice but it is a summer option, as long as you differentiate the look from your casual go-to weekend shorts. Instead, pair them with sturdy, solid pieces, so that the look is polished and professional.

I gave these Alice & Olivia shorts new life when I styled them for the office. I stepped out of my comfort zone with this look but isn’t that what fashion is about?

Shorts, Alice & Olivia; top, Talbots; shoes, vintage Ferragamo; blazer, Banana Republic

Photos by Abrina Hyatt

 

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The One That Got Away …

 

(Annabelle New York black faux fur jacket) Similar to ... The One That Got Away!

(Annabelle New York black faux fur jacket) Similar to … The One That Got Away!

I have a philosophy about shopping for clothes: if something stays on your mind for a day and you haven’t bought it – go back and get it. If it leaves your thinking, let it go and move on. Because it’s better not to buy anything you don’t absolutely love, but it’s worse to let something go that you really like, and could love for a lifetime.

I have passed on many things and that is fine. I don’t remember them. But I do remember the ones that got away. And that hurts.

Last winter, when I was working at Talbots, there was a black faux-fur jacket that was perfect in every way – the right length, the right touch, the right feel – and the right price, especially since I had the employee discount. But for some unknown reason I didn’t get it. I am not sure why. I liked it – it stayed with me – and against my better judgment I passed. By the time I tried to buy it, it was already sold out. You may wonder why, in the middle of a summer day, I am thinking about a black faux fur jacket, and I have a hard time explaining it myself, but that’s what I mean. The one that gets away stays with you!

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“The Best Fashion Show is Definitely On the Street …”

Photo: Steven Lane, New York Times reader

Photo: Steven Lane, New York Times reader

always has been and always will be.” ~ Bill Cunningham

News of the passing of New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham, hit me hard. He was the friend I never met. His on-the-street fashion musings have long inspired me (you may remember that I referenced him often on TFIO, most recently with his capture of the latest summer trend, off-the-shoulder dressing), and his photos and voice soothed me. If Bill Cunningham followed the style on the street, it was a style worth following.

He died on Saturday at the age of 87. He had worked for the New York Times for nearly 40 years. A humble man himself, it was someone’s personal style that mattered most to him. He was not interested in capturing celebrities or red carpet looks; most people he captured were unknown. He became a part of New York City and the City embraced him.

Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, said: “He was a hugely ethical journalist. And he was incredibly open-minded about fashion. To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York. Young people. Brown people. People who spent fortunes on fashion and people who just had a strut and knew how to put an outfit together out of what they had and what they found.”

 

 

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Tennis Whites!

Optimized-P1060008Optimized-P1060003I am a jeans girl. My favorite way to dress is jeans and a t-shirt. But when the weather gets warmer, jeans are the last thing on my mind – with one exception – white jeans. These slim-ankle AG jeans have just enough stretch for fit and comfort and give me my jeans fix for the summer. My favorite combination is white paired with grey – subtle and chic.

Jeans, AG by Adriano Goldschmied; sweater Club Monaco

Photo by Abrina Hyatt

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A Conservator’s Code: “First, Do No Harm”

Sarah Scaturro in her lab at the Met: Courtsey The Met

Sarah Scaturro in her lab at the Met: Courtesy The Met

At work at the Conservation Lab

At work at the Conservation Lab

The Lab at the Conservation Institute

The Lab at the Conservation Institute

Conservation relies on this mix of science, ethics, history, craftsmanship, artistic talent, and taste … We don’t want to act like we’re the designer.” ~ Sarah Scaturro, Head Conservator of the Costume Institute of the Met

Racked’s feature on Sarah Scaturro, Head Conservator of the Costume Institute of the Met, opened my eyes to the important job of fashion conservation and preservation. Because the Costume Institute organizes only one or more exhibitions annually – due to the sensitive nature of textiles – Scaturro and her team’s job begins at the exhibit’s planning process. As they prepare for an exhibition, the head curator, Andrew Bolton, first suggests a piece from the Met’s Collection; the costume is then pulled from storage and the team performs a condition assessment to gauge whether it’s strong enough for exhibition (can it withstand being on a mannequin?) and beyond that, what additional treatment it might require. Sometimes the garment isn’t strong enough, especially when it is decades old.

Simply put, conservators aim to preserve the life of a garment and the integrity of that garment. In fact, The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, one of the country’s major conservation organizations, lays out a number of rules in its code of ethics. Scaturro believes in this code and moves to minimize any damaging effects to a costume; by remembering to first, do no harm.

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Watch Anna and Amy Switch Jobs …

amy-schumer-anna-wintour-640x400amy-schumer-anna-wintourWant to liven your Monday morning? Watching Anna Wintour and Amy Schumer switch jobs in this Vogue Original Short is great for a giggle. Part Devil Wears Prada, part Lucy and Ethel (remember the Job Switching episode?), this is a full-on treat!

Photos courtesy of Vogue

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My Off-The-Shoulder Blouse is Made Well!

Optimized-P1050926Optimized-P1050931Optimized-P1050935After a long search, I finally found an off-the-shoulder blouse that feels right. It took a lot of sorting and examining, and simply – trying on. Here is what I discovered about wearing this hot summer trend:

– off-the-shoulder blouses and dresses absolutely require that you stand straight and use your best posture

– I prefer this style blouse with a cover flap at the top. I found that the style without the flap was less flattering and simply hung on the body, without much shape

– although I had my mind set on a dress, off-the-shoulder blouses are just as versatile, and perhaps even more so, in that you can wear them with several options

I chose this white eyelet blouse by Madewell for its simplicity and style. I feel good about my choice. You?

Blouse, Madewell; sandals, Tory Burch; denim shorts, Kohl’s – Photo by Abrina Hyatt

 

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Kim Naci Explains the Sunglass Mystique

Kim Naci gets framed!

Kim Naci gets framed!

IMG_8073On a recent Thursday night, my friend, stylist Kim Naci, and the editors of Marie Claire Magazine, hosted a sunglass shopping party at Solstice Sunglasses, as they unveiled their latest collection. Favorites like Marc Jacobs, Boss, Fendi, and Kate Spade, were the stars. Yet Kim believes that sunglasses are much more than a fashionable and stylish accessory; they are essential if we wish to reveal the person on the inside. Says Kim: “It’s the accessory that protects and provokes all at once! Sunglasses allow us to play a character while observing the world behind the safety of a dark lens. Feeling glamorous or just concealing a set of peepers that had too many martinis last night? Go bold with a pair of Dior Envol. Feeling frisky? Slip on a pair of Givenchy Cat Eyes. Reveal nothing yet speak volumes.

 

 

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Celebrating British Vogue at 100!

Bo Gilbert, 100 year-old model, Photo by Phil Poynter

Bo Gilbert, 100 year-old model, Photo by Phil Poynter

I always liked keeping myself looking quite decent, even if I wasn’t going out. I try to keep the standards up. I dress to suit myself – I certainly don’t dress up for boys.” ~ Bo Gilbert, 100 year model

Harvey Nichols, the London department store, debuted a very special campaign to celebrate British Vogue’s 100-year anniversary in May – starring Bo Gilbert, the first 100 year-old model to be featured in the magazine. “We devised a campaign that reflected the playful attitude Harvey Nichols is famous for, celebrating both the 100th Anniversary of British Vogue and also style in its entirety,” commented Shadi Halliwell, creative and marketing director at Harvey Nichols. Photographed by renowned fashion photographer, Phil Poynter,  the campaign was featured exclusively in its centenary issue.

Bo Gilbert was the perfect choice to celebrate what it means to be a timeless fashionista; someone who loves fashion and dresses for herself. In the accompanying documentary film, which shows the journey of Gilbert’s Vogue fashion shoot, Gilbert shares how she loved wearing hats (and misses that women don’t wear them now), the styles of the 1950s and the first time she saw a lady in a trouser suit, and her deep fondness for Audrey Hepburn. Says Gilbert, “I love wearing nice things – it’s always appealed to me, and it still does,”

Celebrating beauty at every age. I’m buying it! Happy Birthday Vogue … and Bo Gilbert!

 

 

 

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A Personal Wedding Dress Story!

Whitney Houston's Marc Bouwer Wedding Dress

Whitney Houston’s one-of-a-kind Marc Bouwer Wedding Dress

Another dress. Another auction. She was not a princess. She was a mega singer – and one of the best in the world. She married at a time when her voice was everywhere on the radio. But this singer and this wedding will always be much more personal to me. Because the singer was Whitney Houston – and she was my next door neighbor. While the world was listening to her on the radio, I was listening to her from my backyard, recording music from her own studio. No one could ever know what hearing that stunning voice meant to me. When my parents were invited to her wedding, my heart started singing. I will always remember my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, unapologetically situating ourselves at the entrance to her house, watching the cars enter and waving and talking to the guests – until the sun went down.

Yes, the story of this wedding dress is very personal.Whitney-Houston-Marc-Bouwer-Wedding-Gown-up-auction-1

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