STYLISH BABY BUMP

Being a new expectant mother brought on new challenges in my wardrobe as I am sure it has yours as well if you have expected or are currently. As a stylist I took this on as a styling challenge since there was no way I was going to head to the maternity department. Staying stylish while my baby bump continues to grow (not to mention my chest as well) is a must. 🙂 Not until about week 13 did I actually notice that my pants were getting tight, from there it spiraled to my dresses not zipping and my favorite pieces going on the shelf until next year. This is when I decided my new wardrobe had to began! And I do not mean buying a whole new wardrobe, I just mean adjusting the way I wear my wardrobe. So you ask what are my secrets? How am I accommodating my growing belly? Well here are my 5 tips and tricks and as I grow even bigger I am sure I will have even more to share!

Tips & Tricks:

1. Get BRA fitting: Ladies if you think you are going to stay the same size while your baby bump is growing you are crazy. Trust me are boobs is one of the first things to start growing and trust me there is nothing worse than in ill fitting bra. Plus, if you want to keep your boobs perky wearing the right size bra is truly important. 🙂 I would recommend just buying one nude and one black. If your boobs grow out of that size then do the same thing and get the next size up that you need. DO NOT buy a bra to large thinking you will grow into it. Be the size you are TODAY! (Also, put all the bras the currently do not fit in your wardrobe into a bag and store in your closet, you do not need to be bothered with those at the moment.) Embrace your new found curves!

Example: When you get the appropriate bra size you boobs look even better! 🙂 I was 4 months pregnant here!

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2. Buy for TODAY: I think many make this mistake. Buying to large to either try and hide the baby bump or thinking buy larger so you will grow into it later is exactly what you do not want to do. Instead you should be embracing your beautiful miracle at the stage you are currently at and buying for your current size. Trying to hide it only makes you look larger and over weight instead of pregnant! 🙂

This is what happens when you buy clothes trying to cover your bump! (Not styled right)

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This is how stylish you can look when you buy the right size! (Styled right)

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3. STRETCHY fabric is your new best friend: When things started to fit tight I went through my wardrobe put all my stretchy items towards the front of my closet. Leggings, skirts and dresses that are stretchy are now my current favorite pieces in my wardrobe. I also then put all my tops that were looser to the front as well. That way I wouldn’t waste time trying things on I knew were to small for the current moment.

5 months pregnant here! Amazing what stretchy skirts can do! Both these items were already currently in my closet.

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4. Belly Band: These belly bands were one of my first purchases I made. I knew that I loved all my jeans and buying a bunch of maternity jeans just did not seem appealing. What is great about these belly bands is that they allow for your growing belly all through the pregnancy. They help hold your jeans up and save you a ton of money on buying new jeans. You can find these at target only $16, I bought them in every color!

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5. Buy a few pieces through each stage: Of course the inevitable will happen and you will need to buy a few things for your growing belly so make sure as you go shopping that these items are comfortable, not too tight and again are stretchy fabric. That way even if you grow a little you will not have grown out of it so fast. 🙂 Try to intermix these items with things you are still fitting in your current wardrobe.

Only dress I have bought since becoming pregnant! And I love it, not only does it fit my style it shows off my cute baby bump and still room to grow in it!

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Until next time stay styled right! xoxo FSR

My TOP 10 beauty tips and tricks!

In the spirit of Miss America tonight I thought I would share with you my TOP 10 Beauty Tips and Tricks I have learned as being a pageant girl myself! Have you ever wondered how pageant girls get their hair so volumized or how they always look flawless under those burning bright lights? Well lucky for you I am going to give you some insight about the pageant girl magic!

As we all know there are a million products for hair care, facial care, nail care and the list goes on. So the question is what really are the best products and brands to use. Now I could tell you that there is just one brand of makeup that is the best for foundation that gives a flawless look or the best face wash for clear skin but because every ones skin and hair is different that is not the case. However, after trying so many brands myself year after year I can tell you that I have learned some tricks along the way and have found some products that work for many skin and hair types.

  1. AMAZING EYELASHES: If you are like me putting on fake eyelashes is a chore and even though I want long thick eyelashes putting on lashes everyday is just unrealistic! Also, putting on false lashes everyday can actually do damage to your lashes so go ahead and throw out those lashes and glue because I have something way better! You can get the same look as false eyelashes with just two mascaras!
    • TRICK: First curl your eyelashes then put on a lengthening mascara (you can layer it twice if you would like) and then put a thickening mascara on top (you can also layer this twice if you would like) and waaalaaa you have super thick and long lashes without ever putting on fake lashes that takes half the time!  My favorite lengthening mascara is Benefit ” they’re Real” and Dior “Show” which is currently my favorite thickening mascara! (they just came out with a new Dior which is even blacker then the normal black)mascarabenefit Mascarabeforeafter diorshowblackout
  2. FLAWLESS LOOK: Ever wondered how some women’s makeup looks great all day especially those pageant girls who are on a stage for hours under bright hot lights. Or have you ever given someone a huge and realized you just left a makeup stain on their shirt! Well, the key is in the application before and after putting on your makeup.
    • TRICK: It is really important to put on a primer (this allows for the makeup to go on flawless and some primers even help to reduce the look of large pores) and then to put on a setting spray (this sets the makeup so it stays all day and does not start to slip off your face or get onto anyone else’s clothes!).  My favorite primer is by Laura Mercier (it even smells good) and my favorite setting spray is by MAC. Laura_Mercier_Oil_Free_Primer mac-fix-rose_1
  3. FACE REGIME: So you wonder how so many beauty queens have great skin? Well it doesn’t come just by putting makeup on to cover up any blemishes it really starts with how you treat your skin daily. And you can try a million different face wash products and toners and moisturizers but the true key is to wash your face every night before you go to bed. The worst thing you can do is go to bed with your makeup on this can also increase the wrinkles you will get underneath your eyes.
    • TRICK: So ladies if there is one thing you do everyday let it be that you WASH YOUR FACE NIGHTLY! And while you think washing your face with a wash cloth or your hands is doing the job let me tell you it is not! I can not tell you how much using a Clarsonic day/night will make such a difference. Yes this product may be a little pricey but trust me it is really worth it (make sure your replace the brush head every 2 months and wash it out after each use).  My favorite products right now are Philosophy’s “Just Release Me” makeup remover, Bobbi Brown’s Extra Bright Face Wash, Hydrating Toner and Vitamin Enriched moisturizer (if you are like me and want to keep things simple you can use the moisturizer day and night). Also, it is really important to use a eye cream (not only does this help for makeup to go on better but it helps reduce the existence of wrinkles and help them not form). A few other good face wash brands are Kate Somerville and Philosophy. Picture 135 Bobbi_Brown_HydratingSkinCare_01philosophy-just-release-me-dual-phase-oil-free-makeup-remover_7-best-products-for-longer-lashes
  4. CLEAN BRUSHES: Another important trick to keeping your face looking great everyday is washing your brushes weekly. My favorite product is the MAC brush cleaner. I let all my brushes soak in a cup of this wash for about 30 minutes and then rinse them out. Also, if you are like me and are always on the go a great product to travel with is a spray brush cleaner by Bobbi Brown. All you do is lay your brush on a tissue spray the brush and swirl it on the tissue and now its ready to be used!brushcleaners
  5. VOLUMINOUS HAIR: So you ask how do you get that volume in your hair and get it to stay all day. Well, ladies it is all in the product you use when your hair is wet and how you blow dry it!
    • TRICK: Now I have tried every brand and product you can think of from Big Sexy Hair, Aveda, Bumble & Bumble, Bed Head, Fekkai and many more but there is nothing that compares to Kerastase. Kerastase just came out with a new volumizing product called “Forme Fatale” that I use and of course when I do wash my hair which is once a week (yes I said once a week) I use Kerastase shampoo and leave in 30 minute conditioner. Now depending on your hair you will want to find the right Kerastase products for you (they have it all). Also, because I only wash my hair once a week I use a great dry shampoo by Not Your Mothers. forme fatale kera1
    • TRICK: Also, blow drying your hair is definitely an art and will also really help with making your hair voluminous! So get yourself a round brush and a good blowdryer and section your hair to blow it dry from root to end. Trust me this will make a world of difference. Remember, how you dry your hair is how it will go back to when it gets any humidity on it. how-to-use-a-round-brush-to-curl-hair-2.WidePlayer
  6. SILKY HAIR: Now that you know how to get voluminous hair now lets make sure it is silky smooth! This goes back to the same thing when applying makeup it is all in the application before and after.
    • When it is wet use a serum that will help moisturize your hair my favorite is by Kerastase called “Elixir Kultime”, I put this all through my hair from roots to ends. Then when it is dry I use Moroccan Oil to make my ends silky (use this maybe every other day)! kerastase_elixir_ultime moroccanoil-oil-treatment-three-four-oz-278x278
  7. GREAT NAILS: Ever look down at your nails and think yuck I really need to get my nails done. Well until you can get to a nail salon a quick trick to making them look great is using cuticle oil. Just keep this in your purse and when your standing in line for coffee or stuck in traffic whip this bad boy out and make your nails look great! cuticleoil
  8. PERFECT LIPS: When I say perfect lips no I am not going to go tell you to get lip injections! 🙂 I am talking about how to get your lipstick to stay on and how to make them look plump without anything abrasive!
    • TRICK: Moisturize your lips daily, my favorite lip balm to use is by Kiehls. Also, if you are like me and hate when your lipstick smudges or your boyfriend refuses to kiss you because it will get all over him. Try my new favorite lipstain by Stila. To get a more full lip put your lip liner on from the outer corners of your lips and work your way in. You can also put a little bit more right in the middle under neath your bottom lip. kiehls Stila-Lip-Stain
  9. SOFT SKIN: So I could tell you that I use some $500 cream all over my body to keep it smooth and silky but then I would be totally lieing. I have found that this is the one time the higher the price is actually not better in quality. Some may swear by Lamar cream but I swear by Eucerin that my grandmother uses. You find it at any grocery or drug store for $15 bucks! Eucerin-Smoothing-Repair
  10.  THICK AND LONG HAIR/NAILS: Well there is a lot you could do but my own really key trick is taking Biotin! I know many believe taking prenatal vitamins are a good way to get your nails and hair to grown nice, long and strong. But let me tell you Biotin is way better! Plus if you are not pregnant you do not want to always be taking prenatal vitamins! 🙂 biotin_1

Ok until next time my fashionistas! Stay styled right! xoxo FSR

How to dress for YOUR body…

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With hot weather brings out some interesting outfits to say the least and with this heat wave the outfits have become more unbearable than the actual heat. I have seen this first hand more than ever living in California. And I have heard my friends say time and time again “what is she wearing” and this is usually referring to someone wearing a garment that is not suiting to their body type. So I figured this was a good time to give some guidelines as well as tips and tricks on how to dress for YOUR body type!

GUIDELINES:

1. Understand your body: If you are a size 12 stop trying to be a size 6. Wearing garments that actually fit your body properly will make you look smaller. For example, if you know you have a large chest don’t squeeze into that dress that smothers them find something that compliments them.

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2. Know your best body assets: This is my favorite trick when it comes to dressing different bodies! Did you ever notice in Destinys Child that each girl wore a different garment and it always showed off their best assets.

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For example, have you ever noticed Beyonce wears mostly outfits that show off her legs to the max? Well that is done on purpose to give her butt the perfect look and show her other great asset her legs! Knowing your best asset(s) allows you to hunt for pieces that show off that asset.

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So to figure this out stand naked in a full length mirror and look to see what looks good naked…

  • Arms: Wear a tank top or short sleeve garments and stop covering up those nice arms!!
  • Butt: Find dresses or jeans that make that butt look plump not flat. And just because you have a nice butt does not mean wear short shorts to literally show it off. Show it off with the right garment over the top.
  • Chest: If appropriate where those plunging necklines and be more conservative below.
  • Legs: Go conservative up top and show off those legs with a great pair of heels
  • Back: Go for those backless dresses and open back tops.
  • Stomach: Wear those cute mid drift tips that are such a big trend right now!

3. Know your troubled areas: Just like you stood in the mirror to find your best assets do the same to find your troubled areas. Knowing these areas will help to find garments that will disguise these. For example, your trouble area is your thighs. Even though it is hot resist the urge to buy those short shorts and purchase a pair of capris or a flowy long skirt and disguise the thighs. Wear a more light weight shirt since you will be wearing a long covered garment below.
4. Just because they make it in your size does not mean you should buy it: Not every garment is meant for you just because it comes in your size. This goes back to knowing your body and finding the best garments that show it off appropriately.
5. Being able to zip up that garment does not mean it looks good on you and fits you properly: Sometimes it’s not even the women squeezing into the dress that is too tight making their chest spill over… it can also be the skinny girl who puts on the jeans that are so tight she literally has a pancake butt.

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6. Undergarments are the key: It is so important to wear the appropriate undergarments with your ensemble. I can not stress this enough that a well fitting bra and the correct underwear will make your garments fit ten times better. That means no panty lines and no rolls seen through shirts. Panty lines can be avoided with the famous “seamless panties”! And no rolls can be created by using tummy controlling garments. You would be surprised how many celebrities that have great bodies wear spanks and other body controlling garments!

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7. Less is more: I’m sure many of you have heard this before! Many women have the misconstrued conception that showing off more skin makes them more sexy. But in fact it has been proven that men like a little left to the imagination.

Ok ladies… you now have all the tips and guidelines to successfully dress for your body. So remember your best assets and troubled areas and dress accordingly! I guarantee you will get more compliments than ever before and may even meet Mr. Right instead of always Mr. Wrong!!

Until next time my fashionistas! Stay styled right! xoxo FSR

HOLIDAY STYLE GUIDE…Sequins, Bows and Lace OH MY!!

With only 35 days till Christmas for most the holiday planning, shopping and decorating is in full swing! Holidays are suppose to be the most joyful time of year however sometimes it can become stressful with so many things to check off your list. And of course piling on the stress are those invitations on your counter to family and work parties along with New Years Eve events! And the inevitable question is “what am I going to where?”. Well, fret no more my holiday gift to you is this Holiday Style Guide to make your holiday outfit shopping a breeze!!

HOLIDAY STYLE GUIDE

One of the key ingredients this holiday season is making the most out of a few pieces! You do not need to go buy 4 new outfits for 4 parties!

  1. Figure out what is the common theme between all your events.
    • Dressy: A few glamorous items to your wardrobe is all you need, thus shop for a few items such as a skirt, sweater, clutch or dress.
    • Casual: Shop for a few items such as a skirt, sweater, jewelry, scarf or a handbag.
    • Family friendly: Shop for garments you can have fun in. You never know the games they might have, so you want to look fabulous yet be comfortable. Shop for a few items such as a pair of pants, sweater, festive top, or flats.
    • Work: Shop for garments that are not to revealing. I always love buying a new pair of shoes and some great jewelry for work events!
  2. Decide what trends you are loving this season.
    • Sequins: If you are loving sequins there are endless options!! My favorite garment this season is a sequin skirt (there are endless options when it comes to styling it). Also, sequin clutches and heels are a big trend as well! And of course, the newest trend is sequin nails!
    • Bows: If you haven’t already noticed BOWS have really made a statement this season. Look for a great dress, jacket or sweater with bow detail or even a bow headband. 🙂 I am also loving heels with bow detail!!
    • Lace: A classic trend that is always around year after year for the holiday is lace! You can find lace on dresses, tops, skirts and scarfs.
    • Mesh: My absolute favorite trend this season and definitely the biggest trend is MESH! You can find dresses and tops with mesh!
    • Velvet: If you need something simple and classic yet is dressy velvet would be the best choice in a garment!
    • Embellished collars: All you need is one! I love this trend because it can really grow your wardrobe by taking a top, dress or sweater and changing the look just by adding an embellished collar!
  3. Where to shop.
    • Nordstrom
    • Banana Republic
    • Express
    • ALDO
    • H&M
    • Ann Taylor Loft
    • J. CREW
    • Steve Madden
    • Saks Fifth Avenue
  4. Mix and Match.
    • Have one focal point:
      • If you purchased a sequin sweater let that be the focus of your outfit and everything else you want to compliment it. For example: take a simple black dress and throw your sequin sweater over the top! Or if you are going to a family party try pairing the sweater with a nice dark denim, a silk shell!
      • If you invested in a new skirt try pairing it with your favorite heels for a work event with a nice blazer. Also, try pairing it with a casual t-shirt and blazer for a casual event.
    • Accessories can change any outfit: If you invested in a necklace and/or clutch. You can mix these with any of your outfits! A sparkle or lace clutch is sure to make any outfit festive!

A FEW OF MY FAVORITES

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS,

XOXO FSR

Vintage Snob!

 

 

Have you ever wanted to vintage shop however you walk into the store and you have no idea where to even begin, let alone how to decide if you are getting a good deal or not? I know when I lived in Paris, France for a month one of the many things on my to do list was to go vintage shopping. However, I discovered very quickly just like you how overwhelming it can be if you do not go in with a mission in mind. When I say “mission” I mean you have already decided on what piece(s) of clothing or accessory you are going to be on the hunt for. And when I say “hunt” that is not an exaggeration because most vintage stores are jam packed with a million in a one different styles of clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories and an array of other miscellaneous items. I know the first time I walked in I turned around and walked right back out; I can barely handle shopping at Nordstrom Rack let alone shop in a vintage store! At least at the Rack there is more than one size of a certain garment, at vintage shops all hope is lost immediately when needing a different size for  garment you have just gushed over!  I would have to say that is the most difficult part about vintage shopping you could totally fall in love with a certain piece to only be disappointed when you put it on and discover it does not fit. Now I am a huge believer in tailoring clothes to fit you correctly however some pieces a tailor can not fix enough to make it fit right. You may lose the shape and or design of the garment and that is the whole point of vintage shopping; classic silhouettes that are hard to find in most retailers today.

Some of you may be thinking, I do not even want to bother with vintage shopping. However, once you experience the feeling of wearing garments that were hand made with fabrics of top quality and in a wide variety of silhouettes that are just beautifully crafted; you will appreciate vintage shopping that much more. You are guaranteed to find a silhouette that is best for your body type while wearing a garment that will allow you to be uniquely dressed; what a deal! No matter the season, you can find the silhouette that is right for you, you are no longer constricted to the trends of each season. Because as I have explained in early posts being STYLED RIGHT is not just wearing the trends of the season, it is wearing garments that make your body look its best and purchasing ONLY the trends that enhance your existing wardrobe. A true stylish woman knows what looks best on her body and only purchases items that follow those guidelines no matter what is in or out for the season. Thus, learning to be an expert vintage shopper is a major plus to your wardrobe.

Here are tips and tricks to becoming a VINTAGE SNOB…

Best pieces that are total bargins: Even though these items may still be a little pricey; the quality and interesting styles are totally worth it. These are pieces you will not find in retail stores and ones that will be one of a kind!

  • Anything leather
  • Beaded and embellished pieces
  • Cashmere sweaters
  • Trench Coats
  • Fur
  • Tailored pieces
  • Camel-hair coats
  • Cocktail and evening dresses

RARE finds, a vintage shoppers dream garments to find: Do not pass up these pieces if they look great on you, you will kick yourself later if you did not snag these garments as you come across them because guaranteed if you go back they will not be there.

  • Mary Quant minis
  • Yves St. Laurent tuxedos
  • Halston jersey dresses
  • Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses (first season)
  • Sheath dresses by Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Hubert de Givenchy
  • Trench coats by Burberry or Auascutum
  • Accessories by Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Bonnie Cashin for Coach, Chanel, Calos Flachi and Bottega Veneta

DEVELOPING AN EYE:

Fabric: Be on the look out for pieces that are well made by looking at how it drapes and feels. Fabrics that are coarse, stiff or fuzzy stay away from! If you can find 100% cashmere snatch it up also any silk fine fabrics are also good finds. Also, do not buy if the fabric is shiny, faded or discolored.

Condition: Because these garments have been previously owned and are probably at least 10 years old or more it is important to examine the garment thoroughly looking for holes, stains and other signs of wear. Look closely at the seams and closures, if either feels weak that is a sign of dry rot (meaning DO NOT BUY). Look under the arms and examine the collars, cuffs, waistbands and closures for signs of friction or perspiration stains. Vintage shopping is just like shopping for an old classic car; you want it to be in mint condition with little wear and tear. Those are the finds worth paying the price for! 🙂 Just because a piece is vintage does not mean just purchase it, it must possess all the qualities for it to be a great vintage find! You would never go into a retailer and buy a garment that was torn or had a stain on it so why buy a vintage piece that does? Also, when looking to buy a vintage handbag make sure all hardware works. And for shoes check for abrasions and cracks (those are big no nos).

Label: A lot of people make the mistake when vintage shopping to only look for designer labels. When people do this they actually miss out on what I consider to be higher quality than some designer labels. Back before the mid-twentieth century, a lot of garments were hand crafted by local dressmakers who put their own name and city they were from on the label. Also, many retailers would use their own tags. If you find garments like this you can be sure that they were not mass-produced and are of high-quality. Furthermore, not only can the name of the label tell you a lot but the way it is sewn on can tell you even more. If the label itself is completely sewn down (especially if it is woven on) it is of true high quality. I know  it is funny how much a label can you tell you about the garment; you would never really think that but now you can say you are a total label horror when it comes to vintage shopping and that is actually a good thing [lol].

Workmanship: Since many vintage garments are handmade you should expect noting less than top-notch workmanship; both inside and outside the garment. The most obvious giveaway is the buttons, if they are made of brass, pearls, bone or jet you can be sure you are in the presence of serious quality. If the buttons do not give the garment away look at the bottom holes (see if they are beautifully bounded). Next, look at the seams, nothing should be left raw. If the garment is of finest quality the edges would be turned and sewn under or binded. There will be no bumps or ripples in the seams. Additionally, the lining will usually be made of beautiful fabric, like silk, in a breathtaking pattern or color. If there is no lining do not be weary, however wool should definitely be lined. Just like in life the smallest things make the biggest difference same can be applied here. Surprising details to a garment like inside pockets, dress weights are always good indications of a well made garment.

SIZING

Oh and most importantly I cannot forget to talk about SIZE! It is not uncommon for a vintage garment to have no size tag, either it was cut out or it was made to measure. And really even if the tag does have a size it may have been altered which changes the original size and/or it may be of a European cut. Like I have said before when shopping size really does not matter it is truly based on how it fits when you put the garment on. Thus, it is really important to TRY ON each garment before purchasing (most likely there is no return policy). However, vintage stores can sometimes make it difficult to do so, so its important to come prepared; meaning dress for the hunt! Wear baggy pieces so you can slip pants or skirts on underneath, wear layering tops so you can slip on top garments over slim tanks. If the garment is too small just put it back, however if the garment is too big see if it can be tailored to fit you look at where the seams are placed and zippers are as well. If so go for it but if you think it will be too tricky again put it back!

WHERE TO SHOP

Vintage Boutiques: Can be compared to “Off 5th” (Saks Fifth Avenue discount store). This is where you will find the largest selection of most garments being in great condition and are usually of higher price because of their collectible value. The staff will be the most knowledge out of the three different types of shops and the most organized (which is definitely helpful). Shops like this will have finely honed selections because for the most part owners will have focused on one or two decades. I would suggest you shop here until you have figured out how to really dig for the buried treasures!

Lemon Frog Shop (BEST SHOP)

1202 N. Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213-413-2143

Lemon Frog Shop is one of Los Angeles’ most unique vintage clothing boutiques for women. Located at the border of the Echo Park and Silverlake districts on Alvarado and Sunset, we’re Hollywood’s fashion trend setters’ best kept secret. At this shop you you can find one of a kind, rare clothing and accessories from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in every price range.

 

Consignment Shops: Can be compared to “Nordstrom Rack”. This shop will have a wide array of garments with no specific time frame from when the pieces originated. Here people can sell their gently worn items, the store owner will most likely take the garments and accessories as long as they are clean, are in pretty good condition and not more than a few years old. Most likely if you are wanting to update your wardrobe with pieces from today’s market this is the shop for you but if you are looking for true vintage pieces dating way back when this will NOT be the shop for you. Also, it is definitely not as organized, however the staff are usually pretty knowledgeable.

Thrift Shops: Can be compared to “Ross”. Merchandise in this shop have all been donated, usually to benefit charity so not only is the inventory huge, varied and in constant flux the sales people are not knowledgeable and it is most likely completely unorganized. Trust me when I say unless you have been vintage shopping for years STAY AWAY! Only shop here when you know EXACTLY what you are on the hunt for because if not you will become quickly discouraged and frustrated. However, if you have become an expert or rather a “vintage snob” these shops can be the best places to shop. Because the prices are low even on the finest of garments and most people shopping in here do not have the same purpose as you so it can be a true benefit once you have mastered the craft of shopping vintage!

Ok, so now that you have all the tips and tricks I can think of you are on your own. In no time, I am sure you will turn into a Vintage Snob just like me! As much as vintage shopping can be a chore it can also be like treasure hunting. Trust me after you find you first few amazing pieces you will create a true love for the hunt. So goodluck and happy hunting! Ps. I would love to hear about your great finds so email with your goodness!

Traveling in STYLE

“On a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy”…

Okay, I admit I was totally that woman at the airport with way too many pieces of luggage and on top of that my luggage always weighed over the 50 lb limit. And then I would try the batting of my eyes to say “please its only a few pounds over”, well it usually worked but not always! 🙂 I would be going on vacation for a week but it looked more like I was going for a month. This was my thoughts as I was packing…”well I made need this top and I need these shoes for this dress, and these earrings for this outfit”. My packing would continue like that until my suitcase was so stuffed I would have to get another one out. Eventually, I learned that half of what I packed I never wore and on top of that who wants to look a mess in the airport, I could barely even carry everything! It is never a good look to be struggling to carry your bags, although it may snag you a cute guy to help you but most likely you will just look really unorganized and not put together. And if I am not mistaken as a woman, we should always look put together, organized and of course stylish with little to no effort.

It is not uncommon for women to struggle when packing between wanting to be prepared for every eventuality or fashion whim and needing to actually be able to carry their luggage. Packing is truly a serious game of give or take, while common sense tells you just to pack less, your fashion sense tells you pack everything you may need. I am sure you have thought “come Saturday night I may be yearning for those blue pumps or that black top”. You are now in a fashion and packing dilemma but fear not I am here to rescue you from packing hell!!!! Below will be your packing bible, be ready to take notes because I am going to teach you how to pack smart and chic for any vacation trip! With a little planning a lot of organization you will have created a vacation wardrobe of mix- and-match basics that cover all your needs while even leaving room for those great accessories you cannot leave behind and maybe even one or two special pieces. Packing smart will in-turn allow you to travel in style and that is the whole idea! So here you are ladies: this is how to pack and travel in style…

3 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL PACKING:

  1. Planning
    1. Do your research: Meaning read the guidebooks and travel sites for your vacation spot, check the weather for your entire stay and call your hotel to see what amenities they have (this may allow you to leave some amenities behind such as a blow-dryer, iron etc.). Doing these three things will help you decide what to bring making packing already that much easier. You should be able to weed out certain items you may have considered taking before.
    2. Make a list: I know this may sound really tedious and time consuming but trust me when I say, this will help immensely. Make a list, day by day of all your planned activities and even possible activities; such as shopping, horseback riding, sunbathing, dinner, dancing, etc. Then pick out an outfit for each event. This is also great because you will have a record of what you packed, just in-case anything should happen to your luggage.
    3. Edit your choices: Okay brace yourself this is the hardest part! Once you have decided what you would LIKE to bring, lay everything out and create ensembles; this includes lingerie for each outfit and accessories. Now look at all your outfits and see where you can overlap or where you may have duplicates of something similar. This is where you cut back and limit yourself to one base color, this will force you to mix and match creating outfits maybe you wouldn’t have thought of in-turn you will get more than one wearing out of almost everything you bring (and look your becoming more fashion savvy while packing who would have thought). I consider the chicest woman to be the one who can work a sweater in three or more ways.
    4. Take precaution with shoes: Chose very wisely, this is where a lot of weight can come in. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT bring a pair of shoes that can only go with one outfit! The only exception is if you are going to a special event such as a wedding other than that, these shoes must stay at home. I know it will be hard but I know you can do it! What you need to bring are a pair of comfortable walking shoes (flats, etc) and something for evening. Try your best to only bring two pairs, definitely no more than three.
    5. Add color: Since your base is neutral add color through scarves, thin knits, colored belts, statement jewelry and t-shirts. These items will enhance your wardrobe and will take up little space in your suitcase.
    6. Fashion show TIME: Now that your wardrobe is complete its time for a mini fashion show in your room, check for missing buttons, stains and falling hems.
    7. Mini toiletries: Prepare a small bag with all miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, moisturizer, etc. This should always be ready for travel, this will save you a lot of time later (fill everything back up when you get home from your trip so you are ready for next time).
  2. Packing
    1. Close all closures: Zip, button, snap all closures on every item to insure each piece lays flat.
    2. Layer: Pack all your heaviest items first and anything you will need immediately when you get there pack last.
    3. Wrinkle safe: To insure the least amount of wrinkle, turn your dresses, jackets, and shirts inside out. If you have room stuff your jacket and blouse sleeves with tissue paper and most importantly line everything in plastic before folding. (Also, if you need a quick steaming of your clothes hang them in the bathroom turn on the shower and shut the door!)
    4. Roll-and-stuff: This is the best way to get the most use out of the space in your suitcase. Small items such as underwear, socks, sleepwear, scarves, t-shirts and anything wrinkle resistant should be rolled and stuffed into the dead spaces in your suitcase (example, inside shoes).
    5. Pack to the max: Try your best to not leave excess room in your suitcase so chose the appropriate size suitcase for your travel needs. This will keep things from wrinkling and moving around to much while your suitcase gets abused at the airport. 🙂 If you plan to shop stuff an empty duffel bag in your suitcase.
    6. Weigh it: No more than 50 lbs is your goal! Weighing your bag ahead of time will save you money and time at the airport. A great device is the Digital Luggage Scale, I swear this has become by packing buddy, it has yet to fail me! If your luggage is over weight reevaluate what you packed if there is something you can leave behind do it if not try to reorganize your carry on and swap things around.
    7. Lock and buckle: Its always a good idea to put a lock on your suitcase just to be safe. Also, to make it easier when you are at baggage claim and ensure no one accidentally takes your bag put a suitcase bright colored strap around it (mine is lime green).
  3. Preparing for air travel
    1. Be comfy: DO NOT I repeat DO NOT wear a sweatsuit to the airport I do not care if its Juicy Couture. Lets not fall in the “fashion police” category! I will consider you a “hot mess” for that! Yes, I know I said be comfy however, you still want to look stylish so be comfy but in style! 🙂 Wear something that can be mixed and matched with what you brought, preferably fabrics that are wrinkle resistant and I encourage you to also wear pants not a skirt or dress.
    2. Wear bulky: If you are traveling somewhere cold wear your jacket, boots, etc these items will be a deal breaker when it comes to weighing your suitcase.
    3. Flats not heels: Maybe you are a heel girl all the way but please lets make an exception here and wear FLATS! Not only do you look more at ease you actually look more chic, you are wearing the appropriate foot attire for traveling. Nothing is worse than a woman running in heels trying to catch her flight (now you should be early anyways because as a chic woman you are well prepare for your travels but just in-case lets not look a mess in the airport!)
    4. Carry a shawl: Well thanks to new airline changes, blankets and pillows are no longer provided. So, not only will this keep you warm on the plane it can serve as a mini pillow too!
    5. Bring little treasures: Airplane cabins are notorious for being dry so to keep yourself looking great pack lip balm, eye drops, bottled water and lotion!

Dressing bulky, great outfit for the airport!

See the shawl! This is a perfect example!

Travel style: DO (Cameron Diaz) & DONT (Cheryl Cole)

BEST LUGGAGE: Now that you know how to pack in a chic and successful manner it is only right that your luggage is of best quality! I highly recommend Tumi luggage as its considered to be the most durable and functional luggage brands around. They have great packing accessories if you like to be extra organized as well as the option to personalize your luggage too!  They have a lifetime guarantee and specialized carry-on bags when traveling out of the country. Check it out here: TUMI LUGGAGE

If my fashionaholic boyfriend can do it so can you, that man can fit a whole months wardrobe in a carry on! Now start packing…

Stylish at any size!

Have you ever thought it would be so much easier to just be a man? I have when it comes to SHOPPING I would much rather shop for my boyfriend than myself. Anything from H&M to Gucci looks good on him and for the most part no tailoring needed. And even the H&M merchandise looks expensive for what it is, he is able to easily find his size with such ease. All it really takes for a man to look put together on a casual day is a nice pair of jeans, crisp t-shirt and a nice fitted blazer accompanied by loafers, sneaks etc. The average American man is a size 44 jacket and weighs around 189 pounds so for most it is easy to shop at retail stores and have the ability to wear any brand.

However, the fashion world for women is the exact opposite. Designers seem to think that all American women are between the sizes of 0 and 10, however this is obviously a big misconception which you can tell just by stepping foot into a mall. The average American woman is a size 14 weighing about 162 pounds. Now even though I am no size 14, having broad shoulders and a tiny waist makes it no easier for me to shop. I have tried over and over again to wear Smythe blazers (carried in my department via C) but no such luck, my shoulders are just to broad and they already run small as it is. I work with many women ranging from all sizes and my job is to make them look their best no matter what size they are. I keep the motto that “size is just a number” its how it looks is important. Half the time I will not even ask a woman what her size is because not only do most brands fit differently it really depends on the cut of each individual piece. And a lot of women will say what size they want to be and not what they really are. For many women they look at magazines and aspire to be that model on the cover, however even the model isn’t that size. Society unfortunately has put a taboo on being anything larger than a size 10 and is due in part to designers not designing for them. This only creates more “fashion crimes” seen daily by millions of woman (ahhhhhh). Unfortunately, this happens because so many brands do not accommodate the average American woman, most are forced to wear the not so cute designs or trying to squeeze into the shirt that does not come in their size. Hence, is why we continue to see women that yearn to be in fashion or stylish feeling they must where the latest designs, even if it means squeezing into a garment that truly does not fit, they try the “make it work” (what we always hear on project runway), however in this case it is better to not try to “make it work”. Wearing something that is too tight makes a person actually look bigger than they really are just the same as wearing something way to large by trying to cover up. The best way to look your slimmest is to wear the CORRECT size. Most designers are under the impression that extra small through medium is the only size that should be seen wearing their designs. But all hope is not lost there are a few designers that have thrown that idea out the window and are catering to women from a size 00 to 16. This list includes what I consider to be the best designers and brands when it comes to still wanting to be stylish at a larger (or rather average) size! 🙂

Couture Designers: Valentino, Armani, Michael Kors, Carmen Marc Valvo, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen (runs big), Burberry

Other Labels: Diane Von Frustenburg, Ellie Tahari, Tadashi, Juicy Couture, DKNYC, Eileen Fisher, AK Ann Klein, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Jones New York, Karen Kane

So… if you were that woman feeling down on herself or wishing to be a size 2 so you could wear that rocking dress or those amazing jeans, you can worry no more!! If you shop the brands I have listed above you will be sure to not only feel stylish but look it as well. There is nothing worse than trying to wear a designer label to only have it be ill fitting. You are the average American woman size do not be ashamed be PROUD, be BEAUTIFUL, be STYLISH!!