Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Color Me Happy

Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2011.  In case you didn’t know it, Pantone is THE color authority. 

I know, you don’t care about all that, you just want to know what the color is.  Well, here goes: It’s Pantone 18-2120TCX.  Huh? For those of you not so knowledgeable of the variances of the color spectrum, here it is in plain language:  Honeysuckle. 

But wait, it’s a PINK Honeysuckle.  I don’t know about you, but where I live, we have multiple varieties of naturally growing Honeysuckle, and 99% of the ones I see around are yellow.  Do not be confused and start wearing yellow or white! (Oh, the embarrassment!) Kidding! I bet you look stunning in either of those...

 The only way I can describe the color is… well, I don’t think I can, so take a peek at it here http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/pantone.aspx?pg=20824&ca=10...

You’ll see this color EVERYWHERE this year.  Pantone not only covers fashions in clothing and accessories, but also in furnishings and other home d├ęcor as well as online! You’ll start to see this color pop up on websites as design options, and will be part of the top used graphic online.

So, you’ll have to run out and get you some HONEYSUCKLE, but I would like to add a word of caution.  Keep this color to your accessories: handbags, jewelry, head wear, belts, and shoes.  Why? Because next year it’s going to be a different color and accessories are cheaper to replace than an entire wardrobe devoted to what’s hot in color NOW.

What do you think of the 2011 color? 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Real World Fashion Show

I have spent the weekend at the conference and I just loved seeing all the different styles and personalities that were present. When you get a bunch of jewelry ladies together- it is hard not to talk fashion and here’s what came out of that.

Girls like sparkly things. Maybe it isn’t your personal style to wear it, but we’re drawn to it like a moth to a flame, or more apt, like a little girl to glitter! There was a dazzling array of crystals, rhinestones, sequins, and other unnamed sparkle that just delighted the eye. I noticed that even the ladies who have an understated style still stepped out with a subtle shine, the gray sweater with a sparkly thread running here or there.

And, based on what I saw most, the trend of lacey clothing is here for a while yet. Paired with a no nonsense pair of slacks, or a more ultra feminine look over a frothy skirt, the lace overlook is super stylish right now.

Of course, you’ve got to have a good pair of boots and now, the higher they go the better! However ladies, fishing hip waders are NOT a fashion statement! Leave those in the garage for your husband’s next trip.

As for accessories, there were all kinds of bright bold handbags, the most popular kind seemed to be the faux croc with flower accents. Mostly large bags, because we know the bigger the bag, the smaller the booty!

Another noticeable trend was intricate, fashion head bands. There were as many different kinds as women, but one consistent detail was flowers. Headbands are great for reigning in those wayward hairs, keeping that style in place, and of course, just adding a punch of style to an otherwise unremarkable outfit. That is my favorite thing about accessories, you don’t have to have a crazy super trendy wardrobe- style comes from what you do WITH it!

Last but certainly not least noticeable trend was the tights. Bold patterned, solid colors, thick, thin, it was all represented. Pair the tights with a tunic, cowl neck sweater, or dress and you’ve taken your look to the next level, and on par with current trends.

What trends have you noticed while out and about?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Real or "Inspired:?

Today, I'm going to be brief (well, for me).

I have a million and one things to do before the fundraiser this evening, but I just need to give a quick shout out to my wonderous husband.  I casually mentioned  before I headed out the door for a meeting that it would have been cool if I had thought enough in advance to make ring shaped cookies.  I come home hours later to find a cookie cutout of a diamond ring on the kitchen island.  Awww...

So that brings me to my topic for today.  When it comes to fashion, do you prefer only to have the real thing for your accessories (an authentic couture purse, diamonds & gemstones, Manolo's) or would you buy a copy cat?

I am half and half on this one.  Should I carry a designer handbag, it will be the real thing, because frankly, those with the discerning eye can spot a knockoff a mile away.  So, until I'm ready to invest in another Burberry (my brand of choice) I will go with the basic no name bag, it's just a glorified catch-all anyway!

When it comes to jewelry, I am much different.  I don't really care for brand names, and that's not just because I sell it.  I never did like wearing someone else's personal style.  There are a lot of jewelry designers out there that are actresses or singers, or just famous for some reason I cannot fathom, trying to sell me jewelry because it's what "all the major stars do now".  Well, hooey on that.  I want to go with brands and styles that flatter me personally; trends that fit into my personality and lastly, I don't want "stand alone" pieces.

I am an extremely frugal person and I want to know that I have jewelry that isn't going to be out of style in a single season, or be a piece I bought so that it would appeal only to the other people who wear that brand.

What is your preference?
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What does 'Casual' mean to you?

Have you ever noticed that there are some people who, when dressed casually, look they just rolled out of bed, and others who look as if they are meeting with the President?

The meaning of “casual” is so wildly varied that it’s almost impossible to mention without qualifiers.  You know, when you add on: no jeans, t-shirts, or tennis shoes…

I think I yearn for a simpler time, (in my mind) of when wardrobes were less varied, it was ok to wear the same good dress every Sunday and couples dressed UP for dates.  Something like the 50’s, maybe? 
When I think of the 50’s, I think of ladies who were perfectly coiffed, dressed for an unexpected important visitor at any time.  Ladies who, when dressed down still look better than 90% of the “business casual” wearers today. 

What was it that caused the change? Women’s lib? Bra-Burning? Working outside the home? It seems that the more “equal” women get to men, the worse we strive to look.  Comfort replaces style, and then style grows to be comfort. 

Remember a couple years ago when the matching track suits were all the rage? In every imaginable shade of velour, they were considered “dressy”.  Seriously, when in the world can a SWEAT SUIT be considered dressy?

Don’t get me wrong, as I type this I’m wearing a… well, let’s just call it the “bottom feeder of comfort clothes”. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t yearn for days when you wouldn’t DARE wear athletic clothes without an athletic event you were participating in.  I blame society; that it has become the norm rather than the exception to dress down, and casual is now the name of the game.

Since they vary so widely, what does “casual” mean to you?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is YOUR Style Story?

The first Tuesday of the month, I have lunch with a good friend at the same restaurant, where I order the same food every time.  Well, today was different.  I got a salad.

There were some other differences as well, for instance, my friend had a new mascara- I noticed- and it looked awesome on her. She gave me the story behind the new brand- as women do- and it got me to thinking…

I have a story for everything I own, wear, and use- do you?  I mean when someone compliments your hair, do you say, “I was running late today and just left it” or if someone compliments your new jeans, do you bring their attention to the spanx you are wearing underneath to smooth out your shape?

As women we don’t just take compliments, we give stories.  “Nice Shoes” gets the response, “They are so old, I’ve replaced the heel already…” and “That’s an interesting top” is followed with, “My sister and I were in Hawaii and she had one and I wanted one, and there was only one available, so I ordered it online”.  

I compliment women all the time.  I always try to find something that I like about them, and let them know.  I do this because you just never know who needs a boost in confidence, and I want each and every woman to leave my presence feeling great about herself.  Also, you can tell a lot about a person by what their style story is.

I’ve got a breakdown of what I think women are like based on their responses to the “I like your…” statements:

I got it on sale” says: “ I am frugal; I care about my image, but am not a slave to fashion; getting a good deal is better than being on the forefront of trends.

I’ve had it forever” tells me:  “I am pleased with this purchase that I smartly made years ago, I wear classics cuts and can mix and match old with new and no one would notice. “
*Alternately, if this is said looking down, it means, “I feel like I’m not in fashion because I’ve not updated my wardrobe in years, and I don’t believe that you truly like it.”

Thanks, it’s got a rip in it right here” pretty much tells me:  “I am not detail oriented and do not take initiative, so instead of fixing the rip, I’ll just show you so that I don’t actually have to do anything.” 

Thanks! I got it for next to nothing because it was damaged, but I fixed it and now it’s perfect” shouts: “ I love a challenge! I’m an adventurous person and willing to take chances.  I’m confident, and a people person.”

Thank you” is very simple, and a very rare response.  And it’s quite insightful.  Because to women, simply saying “Thank You” feels like we’re being rude.  It is not a natural feminine response, and shows that she has been largely influenced by men.  This woman has been taught to conceal much of her femininity, whether because of her career, or because of a traumatic childhood/past relationship.  The best case scenario of this type, is that she just doesn’t feel like people care what she has to say, and that it isn’t worth it to engage you the person doing the complimenting.

Of course, I’m only an observer, what do you think?  The next time someone compliments you, take note of how your respond, and think about what story you’re giving.

Monday, January 3, 2011

To Nina, With Love!

Ah, the first Monday of the year and it’s quite magical! Maybe because there is unlimited potential for the year, new beginnings and all that. But, for me? It’s the day my husband goes back to work after a 2 week vacation. Two weeks of being within 6 feet of each other.. At. All. Times.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore him; he’s my BFF and we get into all kinds of shenanigans… but still, I’ve forgotten what being all alone feels like. FYI: it’s kinda nice!

So what have I been doing with my new found alone-ness? Working of course! Though that isn’t really fair because if you love what you do it’s not like work at all!

This morning I’ve been researching new trends in fashion and colors for the upcoming seasons. It’s so exciting to see what’s in store for us ladies!! I’ve also been doing some “Window’s Shopping” (… get it, on Windows?.. nevermind) for some of “The One Hundred” that I will be purchasing this year.

What is “The One Hundred” you ask? Well, just the greatest thing to happen to style since Ralph Lauren ( I know some of you will disagree, but really: for classic style, who’s hit it on the nose nearly every time?) Written by Nina Garcia, this book is a comprehensive list of the top 100 things every fashionable woman should own. Some of them are crazy, some are ancient, but all of them are a must have. Believe me- once you read the history about the somewhat questionable items, you will be clamoring for one of your own.

This year I’m purchasing one thing every month. Many of you may already have much of what is on the list- some of you will have less, but every woman will have something, and that’s a start, right?

Have you already read ‘The 100’? How are you coming on getting it all? Is there a certain piece that you are working on next? My purchase this month will be the Vintage Tee… I’ve been hunting down the perfect CLASH t-shirt for about 6 months (I wanted it to be authentic!) and will soon be the proud owner of a ‘Bond Street Poster’ Clash Concert T.

I’m looking forward to hearing about your own journey with the list!