Archive | January, 2012

17 Vintage Dresses, $2-6 Each? Yep!

30 Jan

I hate to say I told you so but……..if you’re a regular follower, you’ll recall reading my Someone else’s “trash” post where I pleaded with you pull your car over and shop affordable and oh so fabulous yard sales. Well, today, I hit the Grand Poobah of yard sales!

I was at home quietly completing my domestic diva duties when I was alerted of the sale.  At first, I disregaurded it. Soon after, the nagging yard sale queen inside me was too much to take so I threw on some workout pants, a tank, shades and head out. The yard sale was actually an estate sale. A whole house full of goodies. Yippee for me! I entered, scooped up a couple of cute milk glass dishes, pondered the purchase of some vintage fabric, eyed a classic white handbag and then fell upon vintage clothing heaven. A tiny room and two long racks full of brightly colored  1970’s handmade dresses. Directly over my clothes, I tried on one, then two, three, four, then five, six and seven. Two hours later, I walked out with 17 dresses. Yep, 17 dresses! And as if that’s not fab enough, here’s the best part………….. $122.50.  The cost of all of those vintage, handmade, one of a kind dresses. On it’s 3rd sale day, everything was 50% off! So, I told you so.

Style Tip::  Vintage or newly made, dresses are easy throw on and go pieces. The popular A-line silhouette, with it’s fitted bodice, cinched waist and flowing skirt is an instant hip minimizer. It also adds shape to a thin rectangular frame.

Vintage A-line dress paired with classic accessories.

A colorful modern twist.

Welcome to the Kaftan Jungle

26 Jan

We don’t get a lot of rain in California but when we do it makes me want to stay in my jammies. But as an associate executive director, arriving to work in my polka dot cotton bottoms and cheetah print flannel robe would be way wrong. Okay, I know what you’re thinking…….polka dots and cheetah print? Hey, even a fashionista needs a break. Besides, you CAN mix prints and I’ll show you how in a future post. Today, I’m comfy and cozy in an easy jungle print kaftan.

Kaftans are fabulous! The are the perfect silhouette to wear when you’re feeling a bit “fluffy”. They easily throw on in a hurry and they are super comfy. This kaftans V-neck elongates the neck and draws attention to it and the chest. The 3/4 sleeves hide the upper arm. The fabric and placement of the structural drawstring creates a soft A-line which helps to hide tummies and hips. Style tip:: The length and pattern on this kaftan would swallow women of shorter stature. If that’s you, choose a kaftan that is no longer than mid calf and has a smaller pattern.

Accessories make an outfit really stand out. Here I layered a light-colored cami under my kaftan and styled the look with three gold toned necklaces and wide gold toned bracelet. These details draw attention to the face. The bracelet balances the weight of the necklaces and adds interest and texture at the wrist.

Most metals would compliment the colors and pattern in this kaftan. Today I chose gold tones along side peach hoop earrings and teardrop necklace which draws on the peach in the pattern. Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals, colors, weight and texture in your accessories-it adds drama.

Sandals in the rain? When it’s just a drizzle, why not? These simple heeled sandals were the perfect fit. They added height while the color and simple construction blended in with the print keeping the emphasis at the face and not on my shoes.

Kaftan  ::   Plenty Boutique, Santa Ynez, CA

Cami  ::  Idea

Necklace  ::   New York & Company

Bracelet  ::  yard sale find ($3.00 with a matching belt)

Heels  :: ALDO

Someone else’s “trash”

23 Jan

Have you seen the bumper sticker, Caution: Makes Sudden Stops at Yard Sales ? I resemble that remark. I love a sunny Saturday morning yard sale spree. It kills me when I am rushing to a weekend appointment passing yard sales to the left and right of me. Sometimes, knowing I’ll be just a wee bit later, I’ll pull over, quickly scanning for something fabulous. I’m just drawn to the fact that someone else’s “trash” could be a real treasure-at affordable prices.

Take for example the handbag above. I spotted it at a yard sale a few months back. I was immediately attracted to its simplicity, classic two-tone and gorgeous alligator texture. It was in mint condition inside and out, contained its original coin purse, hang tag and the brand, Palizzio. It looked and smelled like a vintage bag but I  know nothing about them and honestly could have cared less if it was vintage or not, drawn to its style and at a price tag of $3.00, I had to have it.

When I arrived home I did some research on the net and discovered that the bag was in fact a vintage 1960’s handbag made from real alligator skin and worth somewhere in the range of $80.00  So, please, please don’t be afraid to stop and shop at your local yard sales. Yes’ it’s true, some sales have nothing but “trash” but the first time you find a real treasure, you’ll be hooked.

“Any Palizzio is better than no Palizzio.” ad campaign, 1967

Rockin’ Retro with Modern Frocks

19 Jan

I thought it would be easy to click a few semi flattering pics of myself-NOT! Wanting to include the beauty of the outdoors, I dragged my full length mirror outside, began to pose, click and was caught by the gardner-ugh, embarrassing! So, I ditched the mirror, ran around the corner and began to awkwardly aim my iPhone at various parts of my stylish ensemble. At, well, uh, forty-something, I’ve discovered that if my head isn’t held at just the right angle my chin is chins and my neck resembles a turkeys.  Now that that’s off my chest, let’s check out, What I’m Wearing.

I’m in love with retro looks! This 40’s inspired ensemble pairs a classic black a-line skirt with pleat detail and a flirty peach blouse layered over a sheer black fitted top. The blouse’s style, outfits silhouette, flower and oxford pumps are what makes a classic black look go retro.

A bit of animal print, in this case-shiny black faux alligator-is haute! The gorgeous long cross necklace adds metallic modernism to this retro inspired look. Wearing this look to work, one of my staff member’s said, “You have the tiniest waist ever!” Although I knew the wide and shiny black belt was creating the illusion of a tiny waist, perhaps she earned a raise :)

A pretty flower worn in your hair draws attention to your face. In this case, the flower matches my blouse but don’t be afraid to choose a flower that is either analogous (colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel) or complementary (colors opposite of each other on the color wheel).

A suede heeled oxford is ultra stylish this season and adds great texture and height. Black ballet flats or a heeled boot would be smashing as well.

Shoes::   Levity

Skirt::   Mossimo

Top::   Morgane Lee Faye

Blouse  ::  Lola

Belt::   New York & Company

Necklace::   Plenty Boutique, Santa Ynez, CA

Earrings::   BCBG

Flower::   I wish I could remember

Wear a Scarf 13 Super Simple Ways

16 Jan

I’m a real sucker for a colorful scarf!  Small ones, large ones, skinny ones, old ones, new ones – I’m not prejudice. They’re like jewelry. They add that bit of detail that makes a bland outfit really pop. And the ways in which you can wear a scarf are absolutely endless-around the neck, as a belt, headwear, halter or tube top (unless you’re built like Dolly) or to dress up a  handbag, just to name a few. Grace Kelly even used one as a sling to support her broken arm.

Scarves can also be quite inexpensive.  I’ve found some gorgeous scarves-silk, designer, with hand rolled hems-at yard sales and second-hand stores. One of my favorites was only $1.50! You can find that kind of cash in your couch cushion.  The one used in the super easy style examples below is a 44×44 Cynthia Rowley scarf I picked up at TJ Maxx for $19.99.

Wear a scarf around your neck to draw attention up and emphasize your face.

A simple knot

A feminine bow

Sweet & short bow (wrap around the neck twice before tying)

Masculine tie (tie a knot in one side of the scarf, place around neck, weave other end through the knot, add detail with a vintage brooch)

Bling, bling (thread both ends through an eye-popping ring)

Tied in knots (tie a knot, twist, tie another knot, twist, tie a third knot, twist, tie both ends together)

Big splash o’ color

Easy layer (tied at back of neck)

Emphasize the smallest part of your midsection by using a scarf as a belt.

Flower power

Chain, chain, chain (wrap a chain belt right over the top)

And how about these fun ideas to add detail and color to your outfit….

Perfect purse (tie a knot 6 inches from each end, tie all ends together to form a handle)

Gussied up (tie the scarf around one handle)

A simple shawl (tie two ends together, slip it on like a sweater)

What happened in Vegas

14 Jan

So, I recently learned some distressing news and, as a stylist, feel the need to share it with you. If you easily get nauseous and are not already sitting, I suggest you do so before reading on.

My very good friend told me of a gal, whose name shall remain anonymous in order to protect her identity, who was enjoying a stroll down the Vegas strip when her sandals began to cause painful blisters on her feet. Not wanting to endure the pain any longer, she slipped into a store and purchased a pair of socks. She then placed the socks on her feet and………gulp………the sandals over the socks. She, with her ever so accommodating hubby, exited the store and proceeded to walk the streets of sin city, in broad daylight, wearing cropped pants highlighting the socks and sandals in all their glory.

The look on my face must have said it all because my friend asked,

“What? Is something wrong with wearing socks with sandals?”

To which I responded,

“Absolutely yes!!! One must never ever wear socks with sandals! Oh my gosh, what a fashion faux pa! I bet someone put her on UTube. Please tell me they weren’t the thick, fuzzy kind of socks. Tell me they didn’t read Viva Las Vegas and have dice hanging from them.”

In my book, socks worn with sandals is one of the biggest what not wears, yet this gal don’t think twice about it. Now, I love a person who has the confidence to rock an atrocious look, especially  in bright daylight, but next time please, please cover them blisters with band-aids, hail a taxi, rest at a buffet for a while, have enough cocktails to kill the pain sista’. Don’t wear socks with sandals!

Stripes, polka-dots and checks, oh my!

11 Jan

Stripes, polka-dots, checks, herringbone, floral, animal, abstract, realistic, colorful………….pattern. It’s all the rage this season but do you know how to wear it properly? Here are a few basic style tips::

  • Small patterns should be worn on small frames
  • Large patterns should be worn on larger frames
  • Vertical strips elongate
  • Horizontal stripes add width
  • Busier patterns disguise less desirable parts
  • Do wear a pattern on the body parts you want to draw attention to
  • Don’t be afraid to mix small and medium to large patterns in the same outfit
  • A little animal print is always haute
  • Mix and match accessories to draw out colors in pattern and add texture

Try this on for size………..

Blouse::   Flamingo

Purse::   Melie Bianco

Shoes::   Sam Edelman

Scarf::   BCBG

Brooch::   yard sale find


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