31 October 2010

shirt cuffs & cuff links

While all men’s dress shirts may seem the same, they aren’t. There are many subtle but important differences that go into making a dress shirt what it is. We’ll start breaking down men’s dress shirts by cuff types.
 Button, or Barrel, Cuff: The standard cuff style, fastened by one or two buttons.

 Double, or French, Cuff: Extra length of sleeve folded back and fastened with a cuff link. This style is more formal than the button cuff.

Single Cuff: Like the double cuffs (fastened with a cuff link) without the fold. This is the most formal style and is usually only worn with formal evening wear.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s talk cuff links. We love vintage or vintage-inspired links. They give off a simple and elegant vibe, like these 1944 mercury dime cuff links from Nordstrom.

 Also, if you live in the New York City area, visit LEO Design (543 Hudson Street, between Perry and Charles Street) for a great selection of reasonably priced vintage cuff links.

28 October 2010

last-minute halloween costumes

Halloween is just around the corner (T-3 days)! And if you are anything like us, every year has you scrambling last minute for a Halloween costume. Seeing as you’ll only wear it once, who really wants to spend a lot (if any) money?

We’ve each come up with a quick and easy idea using what you have in your closet but still helping you look fun, stylish, and classy (forget the trashy nurse).

 Casey: Last year, my hubs and I were looking for a last-minute original and cute costume. Considering menswear-inspired clothing was, and still is, all the rage, Charlie Chaplin fit the bill. For men, wear a dark suit, white collared shirt and a black skinny tie. For women, wear loose black pants and a white buttoned-up shirt. Finally, don’t forget your bowler hat and mustache! Ladies, hot red lips are great for spicing up the outfit.

Natalie: I’m obsessed with Mad Men, and it’s an easy look to re-create for Halloween. For men, wear your most tailored suit with a skinny tie, slick your hair to the side, and add a pocket square. For women, wear your favorite shirtdress or pencil skirt and blouse, bright lipstick, and pin curls in your hair to channel Joan, Peggy, or Betty.

26 October 2010

camel craze

Michael Kors, Prada, Hermes, and a plethora of other top designers featured this buttery tan color in their fall 2010 collections. If you are in the market for a new coat or blazer, camel might be your color of choice—it says luxury and decadence. While it is hot this season, it’s also a great neutral that will stay in fashion for years to come, can be easily paired with any other neutral, and looks great with almost every skin tone.

24 October 2010

cinch your waist

I’m the biggest advocate of belts! Whether it’s through simple ribbon or chunky leather, belts can be used to accessorize and fill in that missing piece to any outfit. And with these cold winter months ahead, belting chunky sweaters and dresses is a must. Here a few loose guidelines that will help you transform your outfits.

—Do not shy away from belts if your tummy is your trouble area. In fact, embrace this accessory! Cinch a thick belt right above the waist and instantly give the impression of a narrower, hour-glass figure.
—If you have a skinny frame, thick, boxy belts might swallow your torso. Instead, opt for a mid- to skinny-width belt to keep your body in proportion.
—Rummage through your closet for any old, shapeless dresses or blouses and make them current by adding a belt of any width.
—Remember that you don’t have to match your belt to your shoes—get creative when pairing the two for a new and exciting combo.
—Layers, layer, layers! Add a jacket or cardigan over a top with any belt and add an interesting textural dimension to your outfit.

21 October 2010

sprucing up your office wear

Office attire for women doesn’t have to equal boring. While there are guidelines for appropriate business dress, here are a few quick tips to give your work clothes personality:

1. Instead of your standard button-up work shirt, pair your suits with blouses or camisoles that have visual interest—a pattern, pop of color, texture, or sheen.
2. Add jewelry.
3. Stray from your standard black pump and wear a shoe in a color or a subtle animal print.
4. Break up your suits. For example, pair your black jacket with a gray trouser with a subtle pattern.  Or wear your pencil skirt with a blouse and cardigan.

19 October 2010

bow ties

Drop your stereotype and replace it with something a bit more cool, classy, and stylish. Bow ties are a fashion must for any confident man’s closet and can surprisingly be paired with many items you already have. Depending on the pattern and fabric, bow ties can swiftly dress up or dress down an outfit. Pair flannel and wool ties with a buttoned-up shirt for instant fall style.

17 October 2010

basic skirt silhouettes

A-line: Fitted at the hips and gradually widens toward the hem. This is flattering on most body types as it camouflages any extra weight you may carry in the hips without adding too much volume.

Circle/Full Skirt: A knee-length or longer skirt that is gathered at the waist. Fuller than an A-line skirt, it can be equally as flattering when cut to the knee and cinched at the waist. Be careful not to choose a skirt with too much volume.

Pencil: A slim-fitting skirt with a straight and narrow cut. This is ideal for those that want to create an hourglass shape or accentuate existing curves. Wear with a blouse tucked in for a polished look. However, don’t wear if you want to camouflage hips.

Tulip: Similar shape as a pencil skirt but with more volume in the hips. It usually looks best with a more fitted top. If you carry most of your weight in the hips, be careful not to choose a skirt with too much extra fabric.

Mini: The name says it all—short and sassy. It is best to avoid micro-mini skirts (keep them mid-thigh) and denim minis and to choose a fabric with some weight and structure. Also, wear a more conservative top with a mini to keep the look classy.

14 October 2010

utility bags for all

Finding a bag that can hold all your items and be versatile enough to go with the majority of your current wardrobe can be tough. So good thing they invented the utility bag! Whether they’re made from canvas, tweed, wool, or leather, these guys can weather any storm and help you look good doing it. 

Ladies, keep in mind that these are just as much for you as they are for the gents.
The talented designers at Jack Spade recently came out with an incredible line of utility totes, duffles, and briefcases that must be checked out. For a cheaper alternative, Urban Outfitters has some good-looking buys as well.

12 October 2010

faux fur

We’re starting off our Trend Tuesday posts with a tricky one. We love faux fur, and it can look very luxurious without breaking the bank. But it can be easy to miss the mark with this trend. However, when you get it right, it’s fabulous!

Here are some tips on making it work:

—Stick to a natural-looking, neutral-colored fur. Avoid bright, harsh prints like leopard or zebra.
—Try a faux fur vest or cropped coat.
—Keep the overall look simple. Don’t create competing looks by adding flashy patterns, sequins, or anything else that would make the overall look too busy. Try a vest or coat with skinny jeans, boots, and a neutral top.

We love how Kim Kardashian and Rachel Zoe are rocking the looks: