Photo: Lisa Reznik
A big Happy New Year to you! I have been under a rock since New Year’s Eve – sick with bronchitis – and I have missed you! But I am lifting myself out of the dumps and finding my groove again, just in time for the New Year. Making resolutions at the beginning of a year can create major stress, especially when they become impossible goals that only set you up for failure. It’s the same with your approach to fashion – it can seem too overwhelming: be careful of clothing ruts … be more adventurous … stay away from wearing too much black … change your handbag more often … update your wardrobe … get rid of old clothes … dress your age … don’t dress your age … what does that even mean? I think it’s helpful to remember just a few things, going forward. Perhaps sharing my fashion resolutions will inspire you:
Wear what feels right – When you feel good, you look good. That’s the most important thing to remember; if I am uncomfortable in a certain blouse or a pair of shoes, I will know it and others will too. It doesn’t matter that it’s the style-of-the-moment or a popular designer. If it doesn’t feel right to you then it isn’t. Protect your inner confidence with the right clothing and the rest will take care of itself.
Find clothes that fit – Make sure everything you put on fits you. And if it doesn’t and you love it, then have a tailor fix it. Truly, your tailor can be your new best friend. Let the clothing bring out the best in you with a true-match fit.
Start from the inside – A good fit starts with the right bra. Take care to update your bras every 6 months, Everything will look better and you will be inspired to watch your posture, too. In fact, check all of your undergarments to make sure they are worthy of you!
Watch for fashion waste – Don’t buy what you absolutely don’t love or don’t need. Wear only what you love. Let go of the rest and share it with someone else.
Try lipstick – I can’t have a happy day without my lipstick. It is the best picker-upper I know.
My Diesel leather bomber jacket: Photo, Alexandra
A few years ago, I had my eye on this Diesel black leather bomber jacket. I had wanted to own a leather jacket for a while because of its versatility and modernity, but I hadn’t found the right one (I wanted it short but not cropped and fitted but not too tight). This jacket was perfect for my needs and I knew I would wear it often (dressed up or down) and at least three out of four seasons. It cost $350 and although the price was steep I figured out that it made sense to buy it – with what I call fashion math – the cost-per-wear theory.
Math is not really my thing. I wish I didn’t buy into the theory as a younger girl/woman that I “just couldn’t get math,” but the truth is that somewhere I did buy into it – and it stuck. Except when it comes to shopping and the cost-per-wear theory: before you invest in something, think about the cost and how often you will wear it. The formula is this: Cost-Per-Wear (CPW) = Total cost of the item / Number of days you’ll wear it. This formula isn’t a hard and fast thing but it does get you to start thinking about your clothes as investment pieces to your wardrobe and what really matters to you.
In a way, cost-per-wear isn’t so much a formula as it is a philosophy: buy fewer things but try to buy only the things you love and will wear. They say that we only wear 20% of what’s in our closets but if we practice mindful purchasing, perhaps we can increase that to 50%. The more expensive items may actually be saving you money – if you are indeed wearing them. Those $200 shoes you have already worn 20 times may cost you less than the expendable tee you purchased for $20 and wore once. Taking a closet inventory of what you are actually wearing and thinking about what you want to buy is a good place to start. My leather jacket has been a workhorse in my wardrobe and has already earned its keep, providing me a great return on my investment. Maybe math is my thing after all!
Is it okay to wear white after Labor Day? Absolutely! With the end of August fast approaching, I say it’s actually a good time to pull out your white; there is never a wrong time. In fact, adding a pop of white is a happy alternative to black. As the weather cools, you just have to watch the fabrics and textures of your whites: lightweight cotton, linen, and seersucker are meant for summer and should be avoided after Labor Day but if you choose heavier textured fabrics like wool, twill, and cashmere you will look seasonally appropriate. Don’t be afraid to try, to experiment (think accessorizing and layering) and find the right shade of white for you and your skin tone.
One of the ways I like to wear white is to combine a white jean with a darker, contrasting color like navy, black, and gray. Of these, my new favorite paring is white and gray. I think it is super-chic, simple and subtle. It’s the perfect combination.
Sweater; The Kooples; white jean; Citizens of Humanity; sandals; Zara
Meet Angela: “Hairspray and Highheels”
Southern New Jersey is the birthplace of Hairspray and Highheels, a beauty and lifestyle blog with a mission to bring the latest beauty and fashion ideas to the everyday woman. Creator Angela describes herself as “just a girl, passionate about fashion and beauty, pushing the trends and challenging the norm.” Who also just happens to hoard nail polish! Although Angela grew up in Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey has been her home for the last seven years and she can tell you for sure about being a true Jersey Girl …
MKG: How did you fall in love with fashion and beauty products?
ANGELA: For as long as I can remember I have been playing in makeup. I remember wearing my mom’s Maybelline Great Lash as a five year-old (smeared all over my face!) and thinking that it was just the greatest.
MKG: What inspired you to start Hairspray and Highheels?
ANGELA: I was spending hours and hours hanging out on makeup forums just to feed my addiction of talking about makeup. Most of my very close friends are male and they could care less about the hottest new trend in nail polish or how to contour so I’m sure they and a few girlfriends were tired of hearing me. Hairspray and Highheels began as a place to just let it all out. Continue reading
New Year, Young You: The New Year is a good time to take stock and look closely at how you dress. Because you could be aging yourself without knowing it and that will in turn affect your self image. And the simplest of changes can make a huge difference. Style guru and fashion consultant Tim Gunn offers helpful tips for staying wardrobe fresh and youthful in the More Magazine feature: ‘How Not to Dress Old.’ Here are a few of my favorite pointers from Tim:
– “With slacks, find the right cut for your shape, then make it just right with a little tailoring.”
– “Classics are classic – but that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to the wear and tear of time. Make sure your basics look fresh and modern, replacing when necessary.”
– “If you’ve had the same sweater hanging on the back of your desk chair for years, replace it! There’s a variety of cardigan options …”
– “The quickest way to age yourself? Slipping on out-of-fashion denim.”
– “Casual weekends need not be schlumpy. Incorporate cashmere for seriously luxurious time off.”
– “Break out of a purse-coma with a fresh shape (clutch) and shade that’ll shock you back to the style present.”
~ Tim Gunn
New Year, Young You. You deserve to dress well and age well, too.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon with Marci Kessler, CEO, DoubleTake Consignment Boutique
Kelly brought her new book and candles, “Baiser Rose,” for purchase
Celebrity stylist, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, came to DoubleTake Consignment Boutique in Short Hills, NJ, last night, to style fall fashions and share tips with customers. It was an evening of smiles, fashion fun, flare, and information. I, of course, remember Kelly from earlier seasons of The Real Housewives of New York, but meeting her in person at DoubleTake Consignment Boutique, a favorite fashion spot of mine, was a treasure treat and a match made in heaven. Ms. Bensimon stunned in a floral outfit and high heels (something she says she is never without!), but what became clear from the start was her warmth and her sincere interest in styling. As a stylist, she was confident and fearless, telling me it’s important to “have fun with fashion” and that “life is too short” to make fashion more than it is. Kelly gave me more fall fashion insights:
On fashion trends for fall, Kelly says: “florals, winter white, argyle, and A-line skirts are big. I like layering because it makes wearing clothes more fun. Henley’s are cool for kids, worn with chunky sweaters, plaid shirts, jeans and boots.” Continue reading
Via Stylecaster: “Buying something expensive like a Chanel bag, then buying several cheaper bags soon after, is a bad shopping habit.” (Photo: Jenny Norris)
With a fresh new fall season upon you, it’s tempting to fill your wardrobe with inspired new clothes. And it is difficult to figure out, in that fleeting moment of shopping frenzy, what you really need versus what you may want. Sure, you think you have the discipline to enter a store and hold back on non-essential purchases. But buyer beware: there are shopping habits that can be dangerous, and leave you feeling emotionally and physically spent. Here, Stylecaster lays out 12 shopping habits that we need to break, right now. I find number 5 to be the worst of the bad shopping habits: You don’t play the wait-a-day game. If you find something you love but may not need, put it down for 24 hours. If it stays with you, consider getting it. You’re meant to be together. On the other hand, If you forget about it after a day, then forget-about-it! It’s not meant for you. I’m buying it … or not …