Thursday, July 23, 2009

THE LIST of fashion's seasonal guarantees

Real Simple,, says these are the wardrobe basics every woman should have hanging in her glam closet. Wow, could it really be this easy?

Always in Season

Black tank: A white tank has its place—at the gym or on casual outings—but a black one is more universal. Dress it up with dark jeans or a skirt.

Short-sleeved white T-shirt: White tees become unwearable quickly, so skip the costly designer versions and buy a bunch of good-looking inexpensive ones. Then replace as needed. I agree 100%.

Short-sleeved black T-shirt: The best short-sleeve length is about 1/2 to 1 inch longer than a typical cap sleeve—it shows just the right amount of arm.

Long-sleeved white T-shirt: For a trim silhouette in white, choose a slim-fit T-shirt that skims your body but doesn't cling. Same rule applies in black or any other color you may choose. This is a good option for quick errands. A long-sleeved T-shirt can be accessorized and paired with jeans, ballet flats, etc. for a nice effortless look.

Long-sleeved black T-shirt: A surprisingly sophisticated layering piece, this works well under a dress shirt—or even a dress. I wouldn't layer black under many things. I would keep a long-sleeve black T-shirt around to dress up for a casual lunch or dinner with my friends. BUT be careful if not taken care of well, you black tee will end up as a dingy looking grey tee. I stress dry cleaning anything black that is 100% or majority cotton. If unsure, just dry clean all blacks.

Black turtleneck: Consider investing in cashmere: You get more warmth with less bulk. I think a definite, timeless, staple is a charcoal grey turtleneck. Black can sometimes come across as a little stuffy. Plus, I like to look as if I didn't try too hard and charcoal grey can add that little bit of a casual essence too. Really, any neutral, or all the neutrals, are good investments in turtlenecks...especially cashmere.

White button-down shirt: A fitted one will get the most wear: It's easier to tuck in and looks neat when left out.

Crisp white blouse: Softer looking than a button-down, a white blouse is a timeless addition to any wardrobe. Because I like color, I never invest in a white blouse. Also, it's a hard call finding one that works well for me.

Crewneck sweater: Thin knits, in cotton or wool, layer easily for versatility and comfort.

Cardigan: A neutral shade goes with everything, and a longer style that hits at the hip flatters most figures.

A black dress: The “little black dress” is a cliche for a reason: It’s a wardrobe necessity. AMEN! Be sure to get one that's appropriate and has some personality!

Pencil skirt: This classic piece should be tailored so it grazes the tops of the knees.

Jeans: It's worth paying extra for jeans that fit and flatter. Your best bet? A pair made from stretch denim with no more than 2 percent Lycra. (The fabric will follow your curves while keeping its shape.)

Black pants: To get the most from this wardrobe staple, select a style made of an all-season fabric, like tropical wool or viscose.

Skinny jeans: Once considered a trend, they are now a denim staple. Skinny jeans look best when they don’t fit too snugly at the waist. Skinny jeans are not appropriate for every body shape. If you have a larger bottom, or a pear shape, stay away from skinny jeans. They can end up causing similar harm as the taper leg jean.

Khaki pants: For a casual, comfortable look, forget the pleats (a flat front is more flattering) and forgo the front crease. Definitely forget the pleats and iron them flat.

Denim jacket: A dark wash and a slim fit look the most polished.

Cropped jacket: Made famous by Coco Chanel, this item has become a fashion mainstay. You’ll have more opportunities for pairing with one in a solid color or traditional tweed. But be careful, this style jacket can come across as boxy if not done correctly. Try it on! Make sure it hits just above the hip and don't go for shoulder pads!

Black cashmere wrap: A fabric that was once seen only in fall and winter has become a year-round regular.

Fall Basics

Cotton waffle robe: Perfect over pajamas or after a shower, this robe is far less bulky than its terry cloth cousin. Okay?!

The tuxedo shirt: The ultimate day-to-night top, it has a crisp quality that makes it a great multitasker. I'm not a big fan of the tuxedo shirt. I have had great variations of this top, but it's not a piece I go in search of. If you are budget conscious you can just stick with your crisp button up.

Fleece vest: Terrific over a turtleneck or peeking out from under a coat, a vest offers versatility in unpredictable autumn weather. I say no to fleece! Well, I will okay fleece if it's the warm up you wear to and from the gym during cold weather. Other than that, absolutely not!

Athletic sweatshirt: As comfortable as a flannel pajama top—but appropriate for wearing in public. I love my sweatsuits. My sweatsuits are cut for a woman's body, with some sort of feminine embellishment. I will not do an athletic sweatshirt! I just feel they add bulk to the frame and are anything by feminine. Instead opt for a feminine sweatsuit or zip front sweatshirt. BUT, remember this is for quick errands only!

Lightweight waterproof coat: Ideal for traveling, this practical item looks as right with a skirt as it does with a pair of jeans.

Khaki trench coat: Structured and stylish, it’s a true classic. Don't limit yourself! There are so many trench coat options. You can play with the length or try colors. The sky's the limit.

Leather blazer: A trim leather blazer brings a little sophisticated edge to any piece. Add a scarf and you’re ready to go anywhere.

Peacoat: No longer just navy blue, peacoats come in a range of colors and a variety of lengths. I own a navy blue light weight canvas peacoat that I love! It steps up any casual outfit, and the fit is divine.

Winter Basics

Heavy sweater: Look for a big, chunky knit that’s both comfortable and stylish. No! Chunky is a bad word. Before you buy a big heavy, chunky, sweater look into a nice wool coat.

Cashmere hoodie: More luxurious than the cotton variety, this layering piece is a sportier version of the cardigan. I haven't thought about this as an option in the past. It's worth exploring as long as it is free of a kangaroo pocket!

Dark-wash jeans: A wardrobe standby in the cold winter months that’s available in a variety of cuts. Keep in mind that boot-cut and wide-leg styles work well over boots.

Pantsuit: Wear the jacket and pants together to show you mean business—or treat them like separates to maximize their use.

Gray flannel pants: These stylish standards look great with brown, navy, and black—and also with brights.

Wool trousers: Look for a lined pair in fine gabardine wool, made with a twill weave, which won’t feel too heavy.

Down vest: Works best in a neutral color like brown, black, or navy, so you can wear it with anything. Be careful. This can come across as looking very juvenile (avoid the hooded vests), or add lots of bulk if you carry extra weight in the middle of your body.

Black cashmere wrap coat: Whether calf or fingertip length, this elegant item will work for day or evening.

Winter coat: Fur-trimmed, down, or wool, a winter coat should offer enough room to accommodate a sweater or jacket.

Spring Basics

Cotton polo: More tailored than a T-shirt, it offers cool comfort on even the stickiest days.

Cotton blouse: An airy and attractive springtime fundamental.

Printed tops: A few boldly patterned pieces add life and color to spring basics. No polyester though!

Lightweight cashmere sweater: Single-ply cashmere offers comfort in over-air-conditioned offices and movie theaters.

Cotton button-up cardigan: Combines the softness of a sweatshirt with the elegance of a cashmere sweater.

Lightweight waterproof raincoat: Easy to carry as a guard against spring’s fickle skies, it blocks wind and rain without weighing you down.

One-button blazer: A cotton or lightweight-wool jacket is a pulled-together layer that can be removed when the temperature rises. Be careful with the one-button part. Some of us may need a little extra support. If you have a larger chest look for two or even three buttons. But don't forget the length. No matter how many buttons you end up needing don't let the jacket pass you hips.

Inverted pleat skirt: As good looking with a tailored button-down shirt as it is with a tank top, it can be paired with a jacket for a more professional look.

Capri pants: These ankle-baring bottoms look great with ballet flats or strappy sandals.

Chinos: Comfortable cotton pants that are durable enough for a day in the park but still look proper in the office.

Summer Basics

Bathing suit: A well-fitting one- or two-piece in a go-anywhere color like black, white, or navy never goes out of style.

Convertible strapless bra: This adjustable undergarment looks smooth and natural under a strapless dress, tank top, or halter.

Cotton pajamas: A pretty patterned pair works as both lounge wear and sleepwear.

Built-in bra tank: Offering coverage and support (and an end to visible bra straps), this tank can be worn to workouts or cookouts—and even to the office, under a jacket or sweater. Only do this if you have a chest that can be supported by a built-in bra. If not opt for a tank with straps wide enough to hide the straps of your supportive bra.

Ribbed cotton tank: Originally made for men, these shirts are now available in female-friendly shapes. Pick one that fits your figure—it works well alone or under a suit jacket.

Cotton blouse: Choose a lightweight top from a range of colors and a variety of prints.

Cotton printed dress: Stay comfortable even in heavy-duty humidity. A cotton dress, period. I make Maxi dresses a summer staple because they can be worn in a variety of ways, to a variety of places. Also a cute eyelet dress or shirt dress can handle humidity and numerous types of affairs as well.

Strapless dress: A white one will show off a great tan, but black, navy, and camel also work beautifully. Do strapless if you are comfortable with strapless. If you aren't, remember that dresses are staples in the summer. It's near impossible to go wrong!

Khaki shorts: The summer-wardrobe equivalent of air-conditioning, khaki shorts keep you cool, comfortable, and looking crisp.

Cotton drawstring pants: A good-quality pair will take you straight from yoga class to lunch with a friend. I don't agree with this either. I usually keep the drawstring pants in my pajama drawer. They have no structure or support. Wear at your own risk! If you are looking for that great option to always fall back on get a cotton dress! You can also go for a jersey to avoid the possibility of excessive wrinkles.

White jeans: Available in a wide range of styles, white jeans look chic with almost any warm-weather top.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Inner beauty...blah, blah, blah

Where fashion is concerned, no one gives a damn about your inner beauty. First look doesn't include a stellar personality. No one cares initially. Of course, it is important to be more than a pretty face, fabulous accessories, and perfect outfit, but don't discredit the importance of those things. The fashion industry is a major force. Fashion is a staple in this society. You cannot ignore it or avoid it. So, embrace it, live it, and enjoy it!

What is personal style?

It is in my opinion that personal style is the combination, or crash, of personality, fit, and comfort. Funny combo, I know. I think about my own personal style.

1. It speaks to me and about me.

2. It fits my body the way it is today. This is important. I want to feel and LOOK nice currently as I am. I will worry with tomorrows body, better or worse, tomorrow.

3. It's comfortable. I have had clothing that fit me perfectly, but I wasn't comfortable wearing. I feel comfortable in my wardrobe, and it helps me feel comfortable in my own skin.

Now these are the most important things to me, but not the only. I do love color, but all color is not good on me. Some colors are better than others. I play off my skin color, skin undertones, hair color, and the season. Also, print can be an issue if not used correctly. I am a shorter girl with real curves. I have to handle prints carefully. This works for me though, because I'm not a big fan of prints anyway. I just make sure that I'm not covered in any print. It's important for my shape and short stature that I only go half print to half solid. That's the gist of my personal style.

"Fashion? Fashion is..." they say. (QUOTES)

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
-Coco Chanel
"The difference between style and fashion is quality."
-Giorgio Armani
"I don't do fashion, I am fashion."
-Coco Chanel
"Elegance is a question of personality, more than one's clothing."
-Jean-Paul Gaultier
"Style is primarily a matter of instinct."
-Bill Blass
"Chanel is composed of only a few elements, white camellias, quilted bags and Austrian doorman's jackets, pearls, chains, shoes with black toes. I use these elements like notes to play with."
-Karl Lagerfeld
"Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
-Jean Cocteau
"Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity."
"Fashion is made to become unfashionable."
-Coco Chanel
"We live not according to reason, but according to fashion."
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
-Mark Twain
"The expression a woman wears on her face is more important than the clothes she wears on her back."
-Dale Carnegie
"Fashion condemns us to many follies; the greatest is to make ourselves its slave."
-Napoleon Bonaparte
"While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence - which, I believe, does make the woman."
-Mary Kay Ashe
"Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind."
-Gail Rubin Bereny
"I've always thought of the T-shirt as the Alpha and Omega of the fashion alphabet."
-Giorgio Armani
"I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men."
-Marlene Dietrich
"Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women."
-Elsa Schiaparelli
"Fashions fade, style is eternal."
-Yves Saint Laurent
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
-Coco Chanel
"Jeans represent democracy in fashion."
-Giorgio Armani
"The well-dressed man is he whose clothes you never notice."
-W. Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I am passionate about all things glamour. This does not mean I follow, or agree, with every trend. I don't purchase every item I like. I don't sacrifice comfort. I have rules. These rules fit MY STYLE. They make me a wonderful teacher of GLAMAZON 101. (Actually I nominated myself, seconded the nomination, and intimated the "na's.") I just feel strong about personal style. I think it is the essence of someone. It's using your body as real estate to market, to advertise, who you are and what you are here to do. You can be trendy, casual, bohemian, business, sexy, and on and on and on. Just be glam about it. Dammit please, be glam about it.

As women we are far to naturally fab to be hiding ourselves away. I mean, over lunch, cigarettes, or ice cream cones look at the people around you. Women come in so many shapes and sizes. We have such amazing oddities about ourselves. We are beautiful in drastically different ways. Look at the comfortable women. I use the word comfortable because it's impossible not to find beauty in someone who is comfortable in their own skin.

That brings us to the first lesson.

1. Be comfortable in your own skin. Look at yourself long and hard in the mirror. Identify every glitch and hang up. Then realize it ain't so bad. There's someone out there dealing with a physical imperfection far worse. No one is perfect. No one is made from a perfect plastic mold. We are all designed to be flawed. Get over it. Once you embrace your cellulite, extra pounds, big nose, front gapped teeth, thin lips, or clef lip, no one can use those things against you. Love who you are today. Yes you should aspire to be better tomorrow, but do not shit on yourself today. The moral of this long story is this, people can sense your comfort like a crazy dog can sense your fear. So, be comfortable in your own skin!

2. Be yourself. Stand on your own two feet with your own style. Anyone desperate to mock my PERSONAL style scares me! I would think you were planning to skin me and wear me as a coat. My personal style is just that. It belongs to me. You can't have it or copycat it.

3. Know your general size. There's nothing like an outfit being great in theory. I see women all the time marching around in beautiful clothes that look like they are being horribly abused. Figure out your most comfortable number in that clothing piece and buy it. My closet is a vast array of numbers. Different articles are different sizes. Different designers are different sizes. Different cuts are different sizes. I'm a pear shape. I have to purchase a different top and bottom size. This way I can look more like an hourglass. If I made my numbers match I'd look a hot ass mess! Even with dresses, an A line dress typically works well with my top size, but a straight dress works with my bottom size and gets belted. No matter the dress, I have to try it on, and I typically enter the dressing room with three sizes.

These rules are important for comfort and confidence! I don't know everything and this isn't everything I know. I will add to it, and you feel free to do the same.


Accessories Rules:

Love rocking your accessories! Be confident and choose well to accentuate your ensemble, personality, and body.

My trick is putting my outfit together when I have plenty of time to explore numerous options. I build my outfit the evening before the morning I have to wear it, or the morning of the evening I need it.

When purchasing pieces do two things. First try most accessories on. Just because you see it as a flattering piece doesn't mean it will be flattering on you. Somethings are too chunky or too tiny for some body types. Something things may fall in odd places or fit oddly. Typically you cannot be certain just by looking. Secondly, buy what speaks to you. I have an attachment to most of my wardrobe because I love my clothing. I take time to pick out flattering attractive pieces. There's absolutely no way I would damage all that glamorousness with what I would consider generic accessories. No way!

Accessories are so important to an outfit. Take advantage of the vast array of options to enhance your outfit, mood, and overall appearance.
*wear only one MAJOR bold eye catching jewel accessories at a time
*be certain your accessories COMPLIMENT your clothing not compete with it
*avoid looking hodge podge or like a craft project

Product Rules:

Figure out what makes you love your favorite products to be prepared against discontinued items.


Haircare Revelation: For many years I used a shampoo and conditioner from a line called Beyond the Zone. I loved those products. I loved the way my hair responded to the products. Immediately my hair had vitality, fullness, and a glossy sheen. So, I built a haircare regimen around the cobalt blue shampoo and baby blue conditioner with Infusium leave-in conditioner, tea-tree oil spray conditioner, and Isoplus oil sheen. These were the only products I even owned. Well those and my Precise relaxer.

At one point Sally's Beauty Supply ran a promotion on all Beyond the Zone products. I bought out the inventory. This lasted me months. Then after I squeezed the last bit from the last bottle I found out it had been discontinued. The company stopped producing it. This dilemma was far bigger than Sally's Beauty Supply or me.

For a year I experimented with different products. I was constantly disappointed. The texture, hydration, and health of my hair changed. Finally, I came across someone who remembered my perfect products. It wasn't the Beyond the Zone shampoo and conditioner I loved so much, it was the hemp oil and hemp protein I missed so much. Eureka!

So now, I use Naturelle's Hemp Hydrating products. I love them, and my hair is back. Again, it's smooth, looks and feels healthy, and the vibrancy is returning. I hope to never lose these products, but it will be okay if so. My haircare key is hemp seed oil and hemp protein. That's what is most important. I know my favorite part of my favorite haircare product.

Skincare Revelation: After every shower, I bathe myself in Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Lotion. It's such an amazing product. Skin desperately needs hydration and cocoa butter hydrates and conditions. It also works to even skin tone and encourage that natural glow.

In keeping with the versatility of the product, I depend on cocoa butter's nutrients to enrich my lips by using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick. I adore lips, and may God bless a perfect pout and curvy bow. Lips make as major a facial statement as the brow just by being there in sheer perfection. I take care of my lips year round by relying on my gem cocoa butter.

So my skincare guarantee and the favorite part of my favorite product is cocoa butter for the conditioning and hydration provided.

Plus Size Fashion

There are a number of things in life you can just fake your way through. If you speak with heavy doses of confidence and some authority things will get done. But, there are other tings you just have to know. No matter how well you attempt to fake it, it won't work. Plus sized fashion, fashion, cannot be faked.

July brought a new issue of the local women's magazine, Her, to newsstands across town. I got my hands on a copy and it was mainly the same. Similar models, in similar clothes, from similar local boutiques graced the pages. It was well done as always. Then amongst the final pages of sales promotions of blah fashion was a plus size article written by Ben. Ben of, I don't seem to know much about the plight of the plus sized woman. Ben is obviously employed by thin women who aren't that knowledgeable either because someone ok'd this mockery!

First, the article starts out reasonably entertaining and informative, but quickly there are huge misunderstandings disguising themselves as advice. Ben writes that "plus size women should wear clothing that draws attention to the face, as this is where you want the most attention to fall." What?! I am a plus size woman, and yes I do have a pretty face. But, I also have a great bust line, narrow waist, and a great shape. I want to draw attention to all my beautiful attributes. I think that are worthy of attention. I only want to camouflage a problem zone. Everything below my neck is NOT a problem zone.

So already upset by that paragraph I read on with my guard high. Accessories were highlighted generally. Hair and make up advice was also given. The article was okay in places, but still obviously the work of a clueless individual. The only thing overshadowing this ridiculous write up was the layout. Everything else in the magazine was highlighted by beautiful pictures of local models. This article had unflattering outfits stolen from national retailers circulars. With an abundance of plus sized women in the world how were they unable to find local models?

Then came information from a plus size woman. You'd expect it to be fool proof, but no. The wonderful, at times, advice close with, "most stores should carry plus sized clothing because of the expanding (in more ways than one) numbers of larger people." Never use the words expanding and larger in an article about plus size women! Besides that, practice what's preached, these tidbits ran beneath an unflattering picture of this plus sized woman in what appeared to be drab fashions, dying lilies, and lack luster hair and make up.

The truth is plus size fashion is a growing phenomenon that deserves attention. But it's also a delicate topic that must be handled appropriately. Because plus size fashion is still fashion and deserves the same respect, information, and attention, don't stick it in the back of the swimsuit issue with obvious disregard. We plus size fashionistas don't appreciate that!

*Let's be honest, I am currently a plus size woman. I don't love that fact, but I realize it. I am working diligently to leave the club, but my understanding will last a lifetime. Plus size women have numerous battles to fight with health and discrimination. Fashion should be easy, flattering, forgiving, and fun!

*I contacted Her Magazine after first seeing this article. I left a message for a Deb Ford. She never returned my call. I did not call again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

White pants?!

I have spent years terrified of white pants. I mean terrified. I would see them in a store and turn and go in the opposite direction! I'm being serious. I felt the same way about them as I feel about swimwear. I'm just not in that confident wear and love it stage.

So anyway, I was on a shopping adventure a few months back. More than anything else I was blowing some time waiting on something to be done, or fixed, or whatever. I went into one of my favorite little boutiques, and there in my walkway were a pair of white denim pants (beside a pair of white trousers). You can blame the door opening and closing, but they were swaying and taunting me. Now, I never, NEVER, back down from a challenge. Well unless I just don't really care, I never back down from a challenge. So I snatched my size, and the size above, and went into the dressing room. I turned on the iPod feature on my iPhone, got some motivational tunes going, and slipped into the evil pants. What? Wow? When? Why? Hot diggity, damn sexy! The pants were fabulous! I stayed in the dressing room impressed with myself for awhile. When I finally came out still singing, now Beautiful by Snoop ft. Pharrell...oh Pharrell!!!!, I practically skipped to the cash wrap.

The moral, I was never really afraid of white denim. Not really afraid. I was obsessed and intimated. I'd owned beautiful white canvas pants back in junior high or high school. They were Ann Taylor, wide leg, and so very perfect. There was a lot of firmness on my frame back then, and I loved those pants. Most girls didn't understand them...this was when flare leg denim was all the rage. They were so glam! Then last summer white jeans were the it item next to all things yellow and Kelly green. I didn't have my white pant body anymore. Plus, they only advertised white pants on thin women wearing huge boyfriend cardigans that made their legs look even thinner. No fair! So I figure it wasn't my trend. And I was right. Dammit, it's my staple. I will always and forever have white pants in my wardrobe. They are now officially, stamped with my approval, apart of my personal style.

This is all to say, there are very few true blue, not trend, items in fashion that won't adjust themselves to any body type. You just have to remember the importance of fit, appropriateness, and comfort.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What was she thinking???

Okay I am the very first to say make fashion do what it do! I believe that personal style is personal. I agree that your fashion should make a statement and say something about you. BUT should it say crazy?
These aren't the worst. Come on true red spandex pants, animal print spandex pants, spandex pants??? I can't get behind it. Plus, when I saw Dr. Marten's being sold at a discount shoe store, I swore them off for life. I mean super discount, a store with "shoe" in the name! Somethings should be left in the past. I like them, but they don't belong in my today. Just my opinion though.

I mean, as far as Amber Rose goes, she has amazing pieces, and she rocks an edgy as hell hairdo! But I miss out on her fab finger gloves and glam zebra print clutch, while I focus on the black ties on her pink spandex, again, pants and the odd khaki thigh pads. And those beautiful sandals got the second look after the wide elastic waist denim shorty short. Amber...make me understand?
With that beautiful body and dream girl face, why does she keep being photographed looking like who, what, and why?

I'm a traditional fashionista. I don't do coo coo cachoo. I do traditional and modern with a twist of my personality. I don't understand the way-out-there women with their not-in-real-life fashion choices. But again, this is just my opinion.