Rachel Rides the Fashion Wave!

Rachel Simone Schneider Homeyee's stretch tunic dress - against her own 'green screen!'

Rachel S. Schneider’s Homeyee’s stretch tunic dress – against her own ‘green screen!’

Who knew that it was possible to be a part of a trending phenomenon while purchasing a dress for just $23?? Rachel S. Schneider! A month ago, trending news highlighted a snapchat between meteorologists that went viral when dozens of them purchased a flattering dress on Amazon and featured themselves in front of a green screen. The dress, Homeyee’s stretch tunic, is form-flattering with a hint of spandex and comes in bold colors. For meteorologists who have strict dress code standards this single dress met their needs. But could the dress translate to the average woman? Rachel gave me the scoop on the dress that she made her own:

“I always struggle to find dress clothes that flatter my curvy build and hips. And because I have sensory issues, finding comfortable clothes is tricky for me. When I noticed this story and first saw the dress I was caught by the flattering pencil-skirt bottom. And the black and white houndstooth print with black, form-fitting skirt seemed to have promise. I love houndstooth and always have. It seemed to fit perfectly for the newswomen but I wondered how it would translate to a curvy, real-woman’s figure like mine. The deciding factor was the price – $23 for the dress – when my husband and I have to watch our money was too good to pass up. Because of its popularity there was a delayed delivery date and I had to wait with anticipation. When the dress finally arrived I was excited and hopeful. I tried it on and immediately knew it was special. I felt good when I looked in the mirror. It fit perfectly and hugged my hips in a most flattering way, and it felt comfortable against my skin. What a great find – for the meteorologists and for me!!”Optimized-RachelDress2

 

 

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Fashion Rule #1: It’s the fit, the fit, the fit!

IMGP9724I found these pants at Gambita, the company exclusive to the petite woman (5’4″ and under) created by Caroline Misan Alvo. I am a bit over 5’4″ but the pants were perfect and my eyes flew open when I tried them on and I was reminded of the most important rule of fashion: it’s the fit, the fit, the fit! There was something wildly different about the way these pants fit me; everything hit where it was supposed to – the inseam, the knees, the length – the proportion was flawless. Why is that so important? Because I think many of us are walking around wearing the wrong sizes and in turn, feeling bad about ourselves. Wearing the wrong size can make us feel larger than we actually are. Continue reading

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Maestra Sarta (Master Seamstress)

The maestra sarta

Josephine’s mother, maestra sarta

Josephine’s mother was a maestra sarta, a master seamstress, which was and still is a highly respected and honorable profession in Italy, where she was born. This is the story of Josephine’s mother and the gift she gave two generations of women …

My mom was born in a small town in Italy in 1931. She loved school and hoped to continue her education, but when she finished the 8th grade her family needed her at home to help out. It was the early 1940s, the country was at war, supplies were scarce, and my mother was the oldest of five children. Her mom was not well. She was needed: she sewed shirts, using parts of older shirts to fix newer ones, washed clothes by hand, and ironed for hours so that her younger siblings and extended family had the proper clothing to continue attending school or work. Her family was refined and tried to maintain a normal life despite food shortages and the other casualties of war. My mom remembers that her uncle, a shoemaker, made her high-heeled shoes out of a leather bag and wood. Growing up, I was often told about those shoes; my mom received many compliments when she wore the shoes with a dress she had made.

As the war ended and her younger siblings continued their schooling, my mom had to figure out what to do. She felt that she was too old to start high school and she was still helping out at home. Her dad offered to pay for her to apprentice with a master tailor. She would learn how to design clothing and cut a pattern and sew. This was a very respected profession in those days since many people had their clothes made for them. There weren’t any malls in Italy where people could shop for mass-produced clothing. Since most women of her generation lived with their parents or their husbands and never worked, my grandfather was rather progressive. My mom continued her training in fits and starts, as she also helped at home. She made clothing for her extended family and friends but never worked for a company or opened her own business. In spite of the hardships she faced she remained faithful to her passion: she loved the latest fashions, followed fashion in magazines and imitated the styles of the time, adapting to her conservative culture when needed. Continue reading

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Denim: Day Four

Day four, wearing my Hudson jeans, Diesel leather jacket and Vince t-shirt

Day four, wearing my Hudson jeans, Diesel leather jacket and Vince t-shirt

Who says jeans can’t be a little dramatic? Simply by adding a black leather jacket to my white tee and jeans, I go back in time to tell this story; a little tough, a little moody. Think Marlon Brando circa 1953 in the movie, “The Wild One.” This is the perfect time of year to pull out your leather jacket and this fall fitted, sleek leather jackets are very much en vogue. These medium-wash Hudson Jeans are ideal for the transition to cooler temperatures. But not too cool: before the temperature dives and I need warmer tights and leg coverings, these classic boot-cut jeans are just the right weight. Here I am wearing them with a black kitten heel but I often opt for black flats for those days on-the-go. It’s okay to make a statement. Let the Marlon Brando mood carry you …

All five days of denim photos by Alexandra

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Denim: Day Three

Day Three, dressing up with my Citizens of Humanity dark-washed jeans

Day Three, dressing up with my Citizens of Humanity dark-wash jeans – top styled by Kim Naci

Dark-wash jeans are a perfect staple for your wardrobe; they are dressy without trying too hard. These Citizens of Humanity jeans are favorites not only because they are dressy but the wide-leg style elongates my leg, making me feel taller than I actually am. The key is wearing them with a slight heel. They, too, have a little lycra giving them just the right stretch.

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All five days of denim photos by Alexandra – Day Three shot on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit New Jersey

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Denim: Day Two

Five days of denim: Day two, wearing my slim-fit Vince jeans

Five days of denim: Day two, wearing my slim-fit Vince jeans

Five days of denim: Day two. I give full credit to my friend, stylist Kim Naci, for creating this look for me. These are my slim-leg jeans from Vince, and I was unsure how to wear them until Kim showed me how to give them new life. Rolled up and paired with a structured blazer (which dresses it up a bit) mimics the cropped-style pant and shows off a bit of ankle, not to mention a great shoe. Continue reading

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Five days of denim: Day One

Day One - wearing my Mavi jeans

Day One – wearing my Mavi jeans

I love denim. It is by far my favorite way to dress – a pair of jeans with a tee or a blazer or  sweater feels most like me. Considering how much joy I experience when I try on a cowboy hat or cowboy boots I would have to say that in my heart I am a cowboy. I own five pairs of jeans. Crazy? Well, yes. But I rationalize it by telling myself that I wear different styles for my lifestyle and wardrobe needs. One pair for every day of the week, in fact. So I decided it was time for me to do an experiment: five days of denim. Over the next five days I will wear a different pair of my jeans – and if you pick up a styling tip or two during the week my efforts will have been worth it.

Day One: My favorite jeans are my Mavi distressed boot-leg jean for their ease, comfort and fit. I think boot-leg are the most flattering. Continue reading

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What Lies Beneath

Shimera nude seamless boyshorts

Shimera nude seamless boyshorts

No, I am not referring to the 2000 horror film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, although that was a scary-as-hell movie worth seeing. I am referring to undergarments because what lies beneath your clothes is as important as anything else but too often overlooked. The proper-fitting bras and panties bring out the best in you and literally lift your spirits. It was about a year ago that I met Eddy, a smart and savvy salesperson from The Town Shop in NYC who reminded me how important it is to wear the right fitting bra. Today my friend Kim is saving the day with more undergarment advice; this time, it’s panties.

I recently purchased Rachel Zoe’s Jett Wide-Leg Tuxedo Pant white, with a full black stripe on the sides – on sale! I loved its ease and elegance. Sadly though, I was ready to return it because my son told me he could see my underwear from the back. Not good, especially when wearing white. But I wasn’t ready to let go. In a last-ditch effort I called Kim for her expert styling opinion. She was emphatic: keep the pants but find proper panties. She sent me on a mission to find nude, seamless boyshorts (a nude thong would also have worked, depending on your personal preference). My search ended at Nordstrom, when I tried them with the pants and found success!

How sad I would have been if I had given up and simply returned the pants. Reminders to us all that a good foundation is key. What lies beneath matters. You matter. Take care of yourself – under to cover.

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Ashley at Anna Sui

 

Ashley

Ashley

Ashley kept her promise: to meet me and share her experience as a summer intern in the pattern-making department for designer Anna Sui. She works Tuesdays through Fridays now through mid-August. It’s hard work but she is learning a lot and having a great time. She says that her job as an intern is to organize and prepare ‘the fit’ for Anna Sui every Thursday. A typical week looks like this: Tuesday – find the patterns; Wednesday – measure the garments (usually 20-35 minutes per garment), pin the sheets to each garment and add the garments to the rack; Thursday is fitting day, including the morning preparation and organization and an afternoon fitting with the model and all of the players from production, the showroom, Anna Sui’s assistant designer and Anna Sui herself. Friday winds down the process until the next week. It sounds like a well-orchestrated symphony of activity. Continue reading

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Karie

Lisa Curran Bond One-Piece with cutouts Sexy!

Karie, with Lisa Curran Bond One-Piece with cutouts. Sexy!

Lisa Curran Swim - Classic Tank - Voted #1 fitting one-piece three years in a row by The New York Times. Women love this swimsuit because it is clean and simple and a great fit.

Karie with Lisa Curran Swim Classic Tank – Voted #1 fitting one-piece three years in a row by The New York Times. Women of every age love this swimsuit because of the colors and because it is clean and simple and a great fit.

Karie is an Account Manager and Sales Assistant with Lisa Curran Swim and the hero who helped me when I shopped online for a swimsuit. We had a chance to meet during a Lisa Curran Swim trunk show and I asked her why it’s so hard for women (oh, I mean me!) to find their way past the panic of buying a swimsuit (again, I mean me!). The good news? If you push a little out of your comfort zone there is a swimsuit with your name on it! Here is a part of our discussion:

MKG: How can women feel less panicked when they start the process of buying a swimsuit?

Karie: “It’s a mindset. You can’t have a negative mindset. It’s better to keep an open mind and remember that there is something for every body type. I suggest working with someone who will first answer questions and make recommendations, and then bring the swimsuit(s) home to try on in the comfort of your own environment. Continue reading

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