Monday, 28 February 2011


With so much going on in the fashion arena right now-the Oscars, Milan, London and NY Fashion Weeks... as well as bright colors popping up everywhere & Fall Trends all ready in sight; It seems to me that the best thing I can do RIGHT NOW is focus on body shape and those essential accessories that help make an outfit memorable.

Belts are the one accessory that can help a woman feel and look slimmer in seconds... FDA approved.
Belts come in different widths, materials and colors but the ultimate goal of wearing a belt should always be drawing attention to the right places, contouring the shape in a way which is favorable to the wearer according to her body shape.
Belt width is essential in making a body and an outfit look good, so keep on reading as I give you a few pointers on what belt width-narrow, medium or wide- is best for YOU, according to your body type.

1. The Hourglass:
The hourglass figure is quite proportionate on top and on the bottom and is characterized by having a small waist. Celebrity examples of an hourglass figures are Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe.
Medium and skinny width belts places on the natural waistline... Wider if used with a pencil straight or short skirt, narrower if used with a A-line (50s-esque) skirt or dress. Remember, if your outfit also has prints, keep the belt color simple.

2. The Apple: Gals with this body shape can really push the envelope with both size and color in belts, while keeping the rest of the outfit simple. Yellow is a beautiful and uplifting color, that definitely screams "Look at me"... a yellow belt, medium width can be paired with a black ensemble... this will keep all eyes on the middle section of the body, while slimming the upper and top parts of the body. Celebrity examples are Queen Latifah and Drew Barrymore.

3. The Inverted Triangle: This body shape is also called "athletic"... basically, the person has broad shoulders and proportionately smaller hips. This body shape is often also characterized by having a long torso, so playing with the width of the belt can be priceless.
Belts and decorations on the hips work well- so a medium to wide width belt is recommended... as well as empire waists- with beading right below the bust area.
Being an inverted triangle myself, I've learned to purchase belts with some elastic in the back to pull in my waist as much as possible- it also does wonders for posture.
Celebrity examples of an athletic body shape are Eva Mendes and Halle Berry.

4. The Pear: If you have a slim neck, long and shapely arms and a heavy bottom, then you are a pear shape. This body types is naturally very feminine and accents on the upper part of the body, such as princess sleeves and architectural jackets can do wonders...Belts are absolutely wonderful for pear-shaped gals as well, since it draws attention to the waist, which makes the body look more proportionate. Celebrities with this body shape include J-LO, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce.

5. The Rectangle/Androgynous: If you are blessed with this body shape, be happy... Most runway models are have this body shape and literally can wear anything, including whatever kind of belt you choose. If you wish for a more feminine and curvaceous look, opt for narrow belts in neutral/bright colors for instant 70s style. If you want to look curvier in a more sultry way, opt for wide belts in strong materials, such as leather and metal. Celebrity examples are Kate Moss, Megan Fox and Nicole Kidman.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


It's certainly no secret that I have a thing for Menswear...I love it!
The cool thing is, I'm not alone... I recently visited American Apparel online and was amazed at seeing models-male and female- photographed with the same item. Retail stores seem to be catching on that some gals, like me, just love borrowing their man's clothes every once in a while.

As a Stylist & Image Consultant, I think all men should posses style that includes good tailoring, decent hygiene and a killer perfume as the essentials and basics of everyday dressing. And of course, who can resist a well dressed man? Most women will at least have a second look, even if it's from the corner of their eye!

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average height for an adult male in the United States is approximately 5'9"... I have guy friends who complain that clothes don't fit them appropriately, maybe because they're skinny or simply don't fit the "average"... The good news is this: Clothes con do wonders for your shape and appearance (AKA sex appeal). It can make you look slimmer and longer, bulkier in the arms if you want that and even less hung over if you choose the right color shirt...

The following images are from SSENSE.COM and offer a Menswear basic style guide. I've also included a few tips and comments regarding why I've chosen this item and body types who can benefit from each piece...

1. Dark shirts: Blue, black and dark denim wash shirts are great for minimizing the upper part of the body and also adding some structure. When combined with a similar/same color bottom it can also make you look taller and more slender. Pair with matching shoes for ultimate slimming or with bright sneakers if you want to make a statement; it all depends on the occasion.

2) Leather: A bad boy staple since the beginning of time, leather is one of those materials that always looks good. The basic colors are black and brown, but the possibilities of matching these items are endless... The jacket can be worn with jeans, dress pants or cargo pants. Leather boots are versatile as well and will last a long time.
Leather jackets are flattering for most body types, just beware: Avoid pleather, too big or spike details. If your skinnier than average the leather jacket will prove especially beneficial... Haven't you heard the Kesha song? Lots of girls still dream with a Mick Jagger look alike!

The Sweater: If your buff and want to show your muscles, without catching a cold, a knitted sweater is a great option... In a light color, its very reminiscent of Robert Redford in "The Way We Were" and perfectly 70s- definitely piece that will get you noticed in a good way. You can layer it, with a white dress shirt underneath to dress it up, or over a white tee shirt for a more casual look. If you are looking to slim down, opt for a sweater with a v-neck and tailored sleeves.
If you're looking to add dimension, you can choose a printed sweater in something such as Argyle or Tartan, which is very of the season. Prints add bulk and draw attention to wherever they're placed, so choose carefully.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


This week is back to College and I've suddenly realized that my favorite tops and jeans no longer make the cut... So, I've decided it's for me to update my wardrobe, one piece at a time, while keeping things budget friendly.

According to author and Fashionista Kathryn Finney there are 10 items that EVERY WOMAN should have in her closet. Finney calls these items the "PERFECT 10" meaning you will be able to do wonders with your wardrobe by focusing your budget, whichever it may be, on purchasing these essential items before splurging on trendier ones.
It's important to note that every person has their own personal style... This means that your PERFECT 10 should be based on your specific needs. For example, if you work at an office and have to walk considerably on a daily basis, your classic black pumps should be comfortable and easy to walk in... Kitten heels are a great option! These classic heels elongate the legs while still preventing you from taking any major falls!!!

"The Perfect 10"

1. The perfect Jeans: Not too tight, not too baggy... Consider a darker wash for optimum wear and versatility.
2. The Little black dress: This wardrobe staple was invented by Coco Chanel... I say mix it up! Tired of black? Opt for a little blue dress... A dark blue color can still do wonders for your figure and look professional. Blue can be combined with both black and beige colors so you can still mix and match.
3. Black pumps: With so many different shoe styles to choose from, its hard to remember just how easy dressing with the basics is... A pair of black pumps can be worn for almost any occasion: Work, dinner, parties, tango dancing.. with jeans, pencil skirts, jean skirts... The important thing is to find a pair that fits YOUR LIFESTYLE & PERSONAL STYLE. I highly recommend non shiny materials and sturdy heels...Shiny materials tend to scuff easily and a thin heel can easily get caught on things while walking.
4. White Cotton dress shirt: I personally prefer a white T-shirt, because I can dress it up with chic accessories or wear it under a slimming black vest. The choice between a white dress shirt or a white T-shirt is a matter of PERSONAL STYLE & LIFESTYLE... So choose wisely. The idea is that you find a shirt that fits your body appropriately: The quality, cut and stitching must be superb; this will ensure a long life and a polished look.

5. Black Suit: The materials, stitching and quality must be the best possible considering your budget... Shop around! Now is a good time to buy dress jackets and suits because of winter markdowns; you are more likely to find good quality pieces at a low price.
6. Leather tote bag: The essentials are of course black and brown. Feeling trendy??? Shocking pinks, greens and oranges are definitely IN style for Spring, so let you're third essential be a color that looks good on you...

7. Spandex T-shirts: I love Banana Republic and the Gap for getting good T-shirts. The basic t-shirt colors are white, black and grey... if you're still feeling trendy throw in a vibrant color T-shirt, possibly one that matches you're shocking color purse of item #6.
8. Pair of sneakers: It doesn't matter if you hate looking sporty, at one point or another during your lifetime... YOU WILL NEED SNEAKERS! Deal with it!
9. One pair of khakis or chino pants: I would like to add to this list a pair of cigarette pants... Cigarette pants can be very flattering when worn with a same color top and shoes, this monochromatic combo has a very nice elongating effect on the body.
Cigarette pants were first worn by Icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe and they can be purchased online or at your nearest GAP.

10. All weather coat or Trench: Or Jacket... This always depends on where you live and the weather. But overall, a good jacket or light trench coat is always essential. Just pick up a magazine, these are filled with ideas on how to style a trench coat... The author advises buying one with removable lining.

A true wardrobe wonderland can only be achieved when you focus on the PERFECT 10 and then add more trendier items later... Remember your wardrobe choices should always reflect your PERSONAL STYLE AND YOUR LIFESTYLE. Opening your closet in the morning should make you happy, so make sure you love whatever you buy!

Resource: Finney, Kathryn.(2006).How to be a Budget Fashionista. Random House: New York.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011


As a self professed and recent vintage clothing junkie, I have spent the last 6 to 10 weeks purchasing vintage clothing online.
Never before had I entered the complex world of internet buying as enthusiastically, receiving a few good surprises along the way and a few bad surprises as well.
My most recent purchase of a vintage item was made from a seller in California... Unfortunately, I am have the hunch that this particular item is a replica & not an actual vintage piece. How do I know???
Well, the stitching seems fresh and recent, and the buttons at the back are surprisingly stain free... If its vintage it should have at least some dry cleaning marks or stains in those areas which are touched the most- like buttons, especially if these are cloth buttons, which in this case they are.

I am not angry... I actually think the piece has a lot of potential and I know that many people prefer wearing Vintage replicas, and not an actual pre-worn item.

I've decided to keep this "vintage" piece for several reasons:
1. I love the red/black combination of the dress.
2. It can be used as both a dress or a long top.
3. Its distinctive high neck, seemingly menswear inspired is very of the moment.
4. Its vertical lines promise to make whoever wear this-ME- look more slender.