Stars and Stripes Brings New Life to My Wardrobe

This holiday I wear my stars and stripes scarf tie styled with my Banana Republic white blazer. The best part about adding this patriotic pop of color that is both stylish and meaningful, is that it has given new life to my long-time white blazer (at least 15 years old!).  Happy Fourth of July to you! With love, Melissa

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Pantsuit Power!

2016-10-19-04-01-50-12016-10-19-04-03-49The stars aligned for me as Indian Summer returned on this fall day – just in time for me to choose an outfit for my meeting. I was pleased to have the chance to wear my white suit. And yes, I did say white! It is always okay to wear white – no matter the time of year.

Today I led a business meeting. I was prepared, but I was also nervous, for sure. This was the moment to peruse my closet for an outfit that was strong and solid and could give me the boost I needed. I found it in my tried-and-true white pantsuit. Every time I wear it I feel good. There is nothing like a pantsuit to work its wonders. Continue reading

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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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Slip-On and Carry-On into Autumn

Steve Madden Slip-Ons:

Steve Madden Slip-Ons: Ecentric

P1050120P1050113What happens when you can’t wear sandals any more, but you’re not ready for cold-weather shoes and boots? The answer is: go mid-way and find a transition shoe. I discovered the ever-popular slip-on. No fuss, no strings, just slip it on and go. It’s like wearing a closed-toe sandal.

Steve Madden makes a comfortable, stylish and well-priced slip-on shoe in a full range of colors and styles. For me, there was no question: I had to have the leopard-print!

As we enter the period of transition from warm to cooler temps, the slip-on is a perfect solution for your wardrobe. Because really, we aren’t ready to say good bye to the ease of summer, are we??!

My outfit: shoes, Steve Madden; jeans, Paige Boyfriend Skinny; tee, Michael Stars; blazer Banana Republic

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You’ve just graduated from college – time to get serious with your wardrobe

Lauren

Lauren

Lauren searching ...

Lauren searching …

Lauren finding ... ($40 black A-line skirt)

Lauren finding … ($40 black A-line skirt from Banana Republic)

Just ask 22 year-old Lauren. Having graduated from Fordham University in The Bronx, NY, Lauren is about to start her first professional job at Ernst & Young (EY). Today, Lauren and I spoke about what it means to transition from a relaxed college wardrobe to more sophisticated attire. It’s a new mindset and Lauren, like others in her position, is adjusting to it. We started in Lauren’s closet where we did a quick review (a must, to shop your closet first!), and then did a little shopping to see what we could add to the staples already in Lauren’s wardrobe.

With basics like a black blazer, several black slacks and white blouses, and a tweed sleeveless dress from Theory, Lauren owns some conservative starter-pieces. I suggested that she introduce color to her wardrobe. I would love to see Lauren find another dress in blue, for instance. Even though Lauren is conservative in her style, she can wear classics that reflect her youth and vitality, with color, style, and attitude. I also think it will be important for Lauren to find pieces to mix and match with her staples, since budget is an issue. I told Lauren my mantra: ‘buy only what you absolutely love!’ Continue reading

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Alicia Jay on shopping tall

Alicia Jay

Alicia Jay  – Photo credit: Hkophoto

Alicia Jay

Alicia Jay – Photo credit: YBowyer Photography

At 6’6″ Alicia Jay knows how and wear to shop for flattering clothing. Because she loves fashion and wants to help others to be their best selves, she wants girls and women to feel empowered when they dress. I asked her where are the go-to places for tall women and what should tall women be looking for when they are shopping. Here are Alicia Jay’s recommendations:

My top 5 tall retailers:

1. HEIGHT GODDESS. Every single piece of clothing is made specifically for a tall woman. They don’t just add inches to garments, they cut them for tall frames. The options are hot, the fit is great and Lameka Weeks (the designer) is a tall woman herself who knows exactly what we go through and designs accordingly. Continue reading

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Cally: Fine and Dandy

cally

Cally is a fashion designer with purpose and a point of view. We met because she happens to have graduated from my Alma Mater, though I am older, but that doesn’t matter, right?! What strikes me most about Cally is not just her warmth and spirit, but also her commitment to her designs and the message she wishes to convey: That women can be every bit as pulled together as a man, and that we can make choices in our wardrobe that empower us and help us stand strong. Cally calls upon the image of a classic male dandy (definition: man devoted to style and fashion) to inspire her collection. In fact, every season she has a dandy inspiration to keep her designs focused. This year’s dandy impetus is the main female character in the classic movie, In the Mood for Love. I sat down with Cally to hear more about her extraordinary story …

Mel:   When did you launch your company?

Cally: I launched Kal Rieman in 2009. My first delivery was Fall 2010.

Mel:   Did you always know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?

Cally: No. I was going in to the business study program and became an East Asian Studies major. I wasn’t raised in the arts. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was one of five kids. We were into sports and my fashion look growing up was preppy American – Ralph Lauren sportswear. Before J. Crew and Banana Republic modernized their lines, the big store for me was The Limited. It was a cool place to shop! Continue reading

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