Friday, September 30, 2016

Everyone needs a crispy white blouse

Crispy White Blouse

A crispy white blouse is a "staple" in your wardrobe.  It's a classic that is worth the investment.  Choose a good one that fits well and has a longer shirt tail.  You will wear it for years.

This semi fitted Finley white blouse has a long silhouette.  You can wear it tucked in as I have with my black pencil skirt.  I also wear it belted at times or tied in a knot at my waistline.
You can find the blouse   here

I love wearing red shoes.  Everyone should have a great pair of red shoes in their closet.

Bette Midler said:  "I firmly believe that with the right footwear one can rule the world" 

I have taken a 34 inch square scarf and folded it crosswise from corner to corner and rolled it.  It slips around my neck and ties in a knot

I've chosen a belt that fits over the top of my skirt with a large off-set buckle.  I purchased it at Chico's.  This one is nearly identical    CLICK

Words of Wisdom:   Do something today that your future self  will thank you for

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Horizontal stripes make you look thinner

 Horizontal Stripes !

which figure looks tallest and thinnest?

Haven’t we always been taught that horizontal stripes make you look wider and vertical stripes make you look taller.  Well, this may not always be true.  I have been reading studies done by Dr. Peter Thompson, Department of Psychology, University of New York and  articles dealing with the work  of Val Watham, winner of the BBC’s Amateur Scientist of the Year award  and ideas of the German doctor and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz

The whole discussion began in the 1800’s when Hermann von Helmholtz showed that a square made of horizontal stripes appeared to be taller and narrower than an identical square of vertical stripes. 
He used this information to note, in his 1867 Handbook of Physiological Optics, that ‘ladies’ frocks with cross stripes on them make the figure look taller’.

Then somehow during the next one hundred or so years, his ideas became completely reversed and we have grown up thinking the opposite.

Dr. Thompson in his study, (I believe in 2011) had people compare women wearing horizontally and vertically striped dresses.  His results showed that when the two women were the same size, the one wearing the horizontal-striped dress appeared to people to be the thinner of the two.

Now then, I do not have a PhD after my name and I have never won any awards (I did win a sewing machine when I was a senior in high school) but here are my thoughts:

Not all stripes work the same.  If the horizontal stripes are small like the ones in Katy Perry’s dress, the eye is tricked into thinking the body is thinner and taller.

But if the stripes are larger like the ones in the dress worn by Eva Mendes, the eye stops at each break of dark and light and adds weight.  Consequently, she looks larger than she is.

This same principle works with any break in color or distinct break in the line of a silhouette.  I had a professor once tell me that when the eye hits a “break” it adds ten pounds.  With this idea in mind, be sure the “break” comes in a place where you can afford to add ten pounds.  For example, this contrasting jacket and pant adds 10 pounds to my hips. My butt is somewhat flat, so ten pounds is OK. 

You may recall that there was a time period when Hillary Clinton was wearing pant suits in a variety of colors, but all cut the same.  The bottom of her jacket or the silhouette line break  hit just at the widest part of her hips.  This was not particularly flattering. 

Thankfully, she has a new designer who has put her in an A-line silhouette with her jackets coming below the widest part of her hips

1.  watch the size of your horizontal stripes
2.  thinner stripes make you look thinner and taller
3.  wider stripes may add weight and make you look shorter
4.  be aware of "line breaks" both in color and silhouette.  Weight is added at the point of the break.


Look at what I just found at Target.  It is only $12.00.  I can't wait to wear it.  I bought a large even though I usually wear a medium, but since it is from Target, I bought a size larger (in case it shrinks).  It is a cotton / spandex / modal blend.  It is extra long in length ..... perfect for us tall girls.

You can have one here

Def:  modal -  a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, in this case often from beech trees. Modal is used alone or with other fibers (often cotton or spandex) in clothing.

Now go and make it a great day..............

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dresses that say..."Hey, look at me"

This makes a statement

I saw this mirror print fabric at the Fabric Store and fell in love with it.
It is a Nicole Miller 94%Polyester and 6% Spandex knit from JoAnn's, but it is sold out.  But there are other Polyester/Spandex knits on their website and in their stores.    click to see
This print is called a mirror print.

The pattern is from McCall's  click to see

Since the dress is semi-fitted, I first made it from muslin using just the front and back.  I used a basting stitch to sew in the darts and then the side seams.
Then I had a friend do the "fitting", adjusting darts and side seams.
The muslin pieces then became my pattern for making the dress.  Have you ever cut out a dress, sewn it together only to find that it doesn't fit?  You may wear a size 8, but when sewing you will need to cut out a 12 or 14.  If you are using an expensive fabric, be sure to make it out of muslin first to avoid disappointment.

The fabric is so stretchy that I did not need to put a zipper up the back.  The dress slips over my head.

Shoes are Louise et Cie and purchased at Dillards
 Click HERE

I also found them on Amazon  in dusk blue click HERE

This dress certainly makes a statement.

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak"
                                                              Rachel Zoe

Friday, September 23, 2016

Let's bring back the little square scarf

The little square scarf

I have a stack of square scarves (19 - 22 in sq.) that I inherited from my Mom..... and a few of my own mixed in.
I remember shopping with my Mom when she was in her 80's and she would always buy a square scarf to wear around her neck because she said that it covered up her neck wrinkles. 

And now, being the only daughter, I have them all.

All of this brings me to my new crusade.
I am going to, single-handedly, bring back the little square scarf.

The scarf may be worn or used in a variety of ways as shown on this website.  Click on the pictures on the left hand side  go HERE

I bet that many of you have one of these little scarves tucked away in the back of your drawer.  

If you don't have can buy one.

I found these on Amazon:

I found these at Nordstrom:
 Save up for this Givenchy Paisley:  Click

I am wearing mine with a slightly shaped jacket with a mandarin collar.

My bag is a satchel by Brahmin
The brand may be found at any of the major Department Stores such as Dillards   CLICK here
or on Amazon  CLICK here

Be part of my campaign to bring back the little square scarf !

“In the fashion industry, everything goes retro except the prices.” 
                                                                                                                    Criss Jami   

Def:  mandarin collar -  a short unfolded stand-up collar style on a shirt or jacket. Mandarin collars start at the neckline and typically rise vertically two to five centimeters. The style derives its Western name from the gowns worn by Mandarins in Imperial China.

Def:  satchel handbag - Rigid flat bottom with shaped sides.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Help ! My pants are too tight in the waistline

my favorite black pants

Have you ever had a favorite pair of pants?  They may be  a favorite because they fit perfectly, hang just right, are the perfect length, the perfect width at the bottom, or just a great fabric.  Now, if for some unexplained reason, you can no longer zip up the zipper to the top...........oops....... you feel very badly because they fit everywhere else!
How did my waist grow??
This happened to me!
Should I just give up, give them away, hang them at the back of the closet?

I will fix them.

I cut through the waistband and unpicked the side seams about four inches.
I placed a wide piece of elastic (purchased at JoAnn's Fabrics) on the under side.  

I top stitched the elastic into the "V"

Now my pants are an extra three inches in the waist.

Of course, I cannot tuck a top into my pants and let the waist line show, but I can live with that!

My bell sleeve top is from White House / Black Market.

I purchased it last year, but I found this one with the same neckline at White House / Black Market.  Click

I found this bell sleeve blouse at Nordstrom.  Click 

The bell sleeves we see today are a retro look from the 70's.

def:  retro - imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past.

Remember:  Measure twice, cut once.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How to make one dress from two

A great find......

I bought this Calvin Klein dress at Dillards two weeks ago.  It was on sale for 65% off.  I really liked it and the way it fit, but I do not wear sleeveless dresses.  So, after thinking about it overnight, I went back the next day and bought another one in the largest size they had.  (it was an additional 40 % off the already marked down price)

Why?? you ask.

I made sleeves for the dress!

Using a previously used sleeve pattern, I cut a sleeve from muslin.

After removing the sleeve facing, I inserted the muslin sleeve into the armseye to be sure that it was going to fit properly.
I then cut two sleeves from the bottom hemline of the extra dress and set them in.

A New dress is born.
(I hope Calvin Klein doesn't mind.)

The fabric is 92% polyester and 8% spandex.
It's just stretchy enough to shape to my body.
The dress is still available and on sale!
Click HERE

And yes, I'm wearing a shapewear; you can too.
Here it is  Click HERE

Shoes are Louise et Cie and purchased at Dillards
 Click HERE

I also found them on Amazon  in dusk blue click HERE

I love buying clothes on sale and with a little work I was able to make the dress just right for my taste.
Even after purchasing two dresses on sale, the price was less than the original price tag for one!

Remember:  Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dare to wear white after Labor Day

It's still summer where I live

Maybe you have figured it out, but I live in the land of perpetual sunshine.
The high today was in the 90's
I'm still wearing white pants.

It may be a little windy, but you can see the wider pant leg.  This is a classic straight leg which is always in style.  This pant leg is the width that anyone can wear.  It compliments any body shape.  It is universally the most attractive pant silhouette.

The pant is by Dana Buchman.  Dana Buchman was an upscale women's fashion brand.  Dana Buchman, an Amerian fashion designer and creative designer, was the founder.  In 2008, Buchman announced that she would be discontinuing her higher priced line to design exclusively for Kohl's, and now Kohl's owns the brand name.

My pants were purchased probably 20 years ago (more than likely on sale)

At the present time this shape is difficult to find in a lower price range.  I did find this pair at Neiman Marcus.  
Click to see

 And here is the perfect pair at Neiman Marcus, but way out of my price range........ it's fun to dream sometimes.

The long paisley print polyester blouse is from Chico's. And now it is on sale!  You can find it here

Shoes are a low heel sling back sandal from Ann Taylor purchased a while ago.  I found a similar low heel sling back at Nordstrom 
click here

Remember:  A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to wear Animal Prints

Animal Prints

Animal Prints are always in style.  This print top has just the right shape to camouflage any mid section bulges.  It is a slight a-line and loose fitting.  The fabric is 100% polyester.  The lower hip length is very flattering.

This top is from last year, but I found some great length tops in the latest J.Jill catalog 

I love wearing a low wedge heel.  I’ve had these for a few years, but this height heel is easy to find in shoe and department stores.  

White pants were purchased at Steinmart

As to the rules for wearing animal prints and mixing animal prints.  Watch this short entertaining video by Adam Glassman.  He says it all in less than three minutes.

rules for wearing animal prints here    video

Remember:  "A little animal print goes a long way"
                                                        Adam Glassman

Friday, September 9, 2016

Who should wear skinny jeans

To wear or not to wear

It took a while before I decided that I could wear skinny jeans.
Am I too old?

I believe if they are made in your size......try them!

If you’re over 50 and have lost that perfect shape………..wear a LONGER top

This striped cotton knit top is from Polo and was purchased a while ago.  Notice the length!  It was actually a dress and since I am tall; it was way too short.  I hemmed it up a couple of inches to make it the right length.
And the fact that it is A-line makes it perfect for camouflaging the extra pounds at the waistline.

Coco Chanel was one of the first designers to use cotton knit jersey fabric.   Because of  World War I fabric rationing, she purchased and designed with knits that were previously used for men’s underwear.  The knits were practical and fit with her idea that women’s clothing should be relaxed and comfortable.

Similar length tops may be found here

The jeans are from Chicos, but it seems the season for 

buying white is over, so switch to blue .  I like the jeans from 

Chicos because they come up higher on my waist (that is, 

they are not hugging my hips)

I found this pair at Nordstrom.

just a suggestion...............If you think you are too old to wear the trendy tattered jeans with holes in the probably are.

Should you wear white after Labor Day?

By the 1880’s in order to tell who the wealthy women were, it became necessary for them to create fashion rules that everyone who was “in” followed.  Not wearing white outside the summer months was one of those silly rules.  When Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, high society adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

By the 1950’s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America:  white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.  These days the fashion world is more relaxed about wearing white.  You can wear white all year long.  But you may still hear people say that white after Labor Day is unacceptable, all thanks to some snobby millionaires over 100 years ago.

If loving fashion is a crime, I plead guilty