Fashion Do’s and Don’ts for a New Decade
By Sharon Mosley
A new year calls for a new look. And a new decade is the perfect transition time to look back and see what has worked for you in the past and what changes can be made in the next few years. Then make your own list of do’s and don’ts. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
— Do take the best of the fashion trends and give them your own special spin. Don’t worry about copying celebrities; all the big bows and puffy sleeves may make wow statements for a few moments on the red carpet, but they will make most people look ridiculous in real life. Instead, take a cue from actress Zoe Kravitz who recently wore a Saint Laurent black and white polka-dot gown to the Golden Globes. Now, that’s something you can easily put on your spring wardrobe shopping list.
— Don’t worry about dressing too matchy-matchy. Fashion is on the brink of an exciting time when prints and patterns are wildly mixed in a fun explosion of unique designs. Stripes are paired with plaids, and animal prints are paired with everything. If you haven’t experimented with this new mix mash, it’s time to take the plunge.
— Do create your own uniform. With all the choices in clothing styles available in stores and online, it can be overwhelming to “do you.” Look in your closet, and do a review. You know the clothes you rarely wear. Focus on the clothes you grab day in and day out. Buy only clothes that you really love. You may have heard this a million times, but it works. It’s better to have fewer outfits you enjoy wearing than tons of clothes clogging up your closet.
— Don’t ignore color. If you’ve spent the last decade in black, then it’s time to turn the lights back on and brighten up your fashion life with color. It’s the cheapest way to change up your wardrobe. Most of us know what shades look best on us, but we get stuck in a color rut and don’t take the time to discover new ways of putting colors together. Think about new combinations: hot pink and red, emerald green with sky blue. Give your fashion spirits a lift.
— Do rely on accessories. Can’t afford to buy new clothes right now? Then concentrate on adding a few personal touches to your wardrobe with well-chosen accessories. Even if you have a closet full of little black dresses and suits, you can change them up immediately with new jewelry, scarves, hats, belts or handbags.
— Don’t forget your feet. If there’s one accessory that will usher us into the next decade in style, it’s footwear. As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” If you’ve worn the same style shoes for years, start shopping now for a new pair, whether it’s colorful pair of Mary Janes, a chic pair of modern loafers or a pair of strappy sandals for spring and summer. Try them on, and only buy shoes that are comfortable. Squeezing your toes into tight shoes is so last decade.
— Do find a new ‘do. A new decade is the perfect time to think about updating the way you wear your hair. You may be happy with your hair, but you can always talk to your stylist about tweaking the cut or color. Ditto with makeup and skincare. It’s easy to stick to the same makeup or skincare routine you’ve had for years. Check in with professionals. Put on a new face for a new decade. It’s time to look and feel better.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM
Resolve to Be a Healthier You
While traveling more, losing weight and quitting bad habits are annually among some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, the turn of the calendar does represent a perfect opportunity to better yourself in multiple ways.
The impact of taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle – from committing to eating well, sleeping better, drinking cleaner water or boosting your nutrient intake – can be far-reaching, but also overwhelming. Gradually incorporating the health-focused habits you hope to make permanent fixtures in your life can help ensure the process isn’t overly taxing, and some products can help ease the transition as well.
Find more tips to help keep you on the right path toward reaching your wellness goals at eLivingtoday.com.
New Year, Cleaner Water
When adopting health-focused resolutions like staying hydrated, it’s also an opportunity to commit to drinking cleaner water. The easy-to-install PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System makes it simple to wash fruits and vegetables, fill reusable water bottles before work or a fitness class and meal-prep with healthier and great-tasting water. The filtration system is certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99% of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Learn more at PUR.com.
A Healthy Snacking Resolution
Strive to snack better in the new year with an option like Stryve Sliced Beef Biltong, which is a tasty meat snack with zero sugar and no artificial ingredients. Packed with protein, it is made with only air-dried beef and spices, meaning you don’t have to give up goodness to stick to your clean eating resolutions. Paleo and keto-friendly, the beef biltong is available in seven flavors and comes in resealable packs so you can satisfy cravings wherever they strike. Learn more at Styrve.com.
Download Wellness this Year
To help achieve your health goals in the new year, consider downloading the free Nature’s Pharmacy app. It cross-tabulates 57 health priorities, such as increasing good cholesterol, preventing cardiovascular disease and easing insomnia, along with desired outcomes like improving energy levels or reducing wrinkles with 74 fruits and vegetables. By selecting a concern or desired outcome, the app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, generates a selection of produce that can aid in reaching those goals. For more information, visit limoneira.com.
A Simple Vitamin Solution
If you’re tired of swallowing multivitamins, consider an option like Vitamin Booster+ to help make your morning ritual more enjoyable. Simply dissolve one drink stick in water to get 100% of your daily essential vitamins along with 610 mg of electrolytes. Containing real fruit juice and only 15 calories per serving, this vitamin-dense drink is ideal for the whole family and is available in single-serve lemon-lime flavor sticks for an on-the-go boost. Find more information at drinknutrient.com.
A Sleep Apnea Solution
For those who suffer from sleep apnea, one of the best ways to get the sleep you need is the DreamPort Sleep Solution, which is small, lightweight, headgear-free and easy-to-use. You can say goodbye to bulky headgear and uncomfortable straps as nothing constricts your movement or gets in the way. Plus, it fits the shape of your nose for zero leaks to provide a better night’s sleep and more energetic days. Visit bleepsleep.com for more details.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Winter Skin Care 101
Cold weather can take a real toll on your skin. Dry skin can lead to discomfort and, if neglected, can affect your skin’s elasticity and trigger outbreaks of irritated skin.
Help keep your skin feeling healthy and hydrated this winter with these tips:
Drink water. Hydrating your body from the inside out plays an important role in keeping skin supple and soft. When you’re dehydrated, the body pulls water from any source it can, including your skin. A good rule of thumb is at least 8 cups of water a day.
Hydrate with food. You can also boost your internal water reserves by eating foods rich in water, nutrients, vitamins and beneficial fats and oils. Fish, nuts and avocados all contain plenty of essential nutrients that help promote well-hydrated skin. Foods like cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and watermelon also naturally have a high concentration of water.
Use body lotion. Your skin naturally loses moisture throughout the day through evaporation, but you can help trap the hydration you add from bathing by adding a layer of quality lotion. An option like Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotion contains a proprietary botanical blend of nutrients, emollients and antioxidants, including green tea, clove and safflower oleosomes. Its smooth, rich formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling soft with no greasy or oily residue. Formulated by skin care experts, the lotion helps skin stay moisturized for up to 24 hours and is free of 80 of the most common allergens that contribute to rashes and skin sensitivity. Learn more at remedyderm.com.
Protect skin. Exposure to harsh weather can quickly dry and chap your skin, so any time you’ll be outdoors, especially for extended periods of time, be sure to cover up exposed areas. Keep an extra set of gloves and a scarf in your vehicle so you’re prepared for unexpected time outdoors, whether from an accident or impromptu stop at a local park for some fresh air and exercise.
Change out of wet clothes. Always remove wet clothes as soon as possible. Not only do cold, wet clothes affect your body’s ability to regulate internal temperature, they can create friction that leads to uncomfortable and painful skin irritation. If getting wet is unavoidable, consider layering your clothing so you can shed wet outer layers quickly before they can soak through.
Use a humidifier. The indoor climate becomes considerably drier in the winter months when the furnace runs regularly. Using a humidifier can help restore a level of humidity that’s better for your skin. Aim for humidity levels in the range of 35-50%; depending on your climate, you may need to err on the lower side of the scale to reduce condensation on windows.
Wear sunscreen. Winter sun rays are just as strong as summer rays, even if you don’t feel their heat quite as much. In fact, snow burns that result from sun reflecting off the snow can be even more dangerous than regular sunburns. Protect your skin from burning and drying out by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 any time you venture outdoors.
Lotion Do’s and Don’ts
Do use lotion, even when your skin doesn’t feel dry. Experts say you should apply moisturizer onto damp skin to help lock in any water sitting on the surface before it evaporates.
Don’t use too much. Quality moisturizers are highly concentrated and designed to be effective without a thick layer. If you use too much, it’s more likely to sit on the surface of your skin, occlude the surface and potentially trigger breakouts.
Do look for products that match your skin type. While there are common allergens that are present in many lotions, an option like Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotion is free of parabens, fragrances and aloe that can irritate sensitive skin or allergies.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Crashing the Christmas Clearance Sales
By Sharon Mosley
When it’s sale time, it’s savings time. And when the holidays roll around, it’s time to give yourself and your family the gift of a little extra cash. After Christmas is the time to buy these fashion favorites at bargain prices to wear any time of the year.
— Scour the shoe sales. Shoes are basic necessities, and when you can find them on sale, snatch them up — especially if they are your favorite brands. A new pair of shoes can make you feel like you’ve got a whole new wardrobe. The workhorse shoes like flats, pumps, sneakers, driving loafers and boots are always good deals. Boots are winter favorites, and if you’ve had your eyes on that pair of designer snakeskin knee-highs, now is the time to watch for end-of-season discounts. Pay close attention to all the buy-one-get-one-free deals out there. You still have a few months to wear them, and they’ll be ready and waiting for you in your closet next year.
— Bring on the bags. Handbags, backpacks, totes and carry-alls — these are accessories that we rely on, year after year. While the fashion trends are constantly changing, there are lots of classic shapes and styles that you can depend on forever — the ladylike top-handle satchel, the oversize slouchy hobo, the crossbody messenger bag, the sturdy leather backpack. Now is also the perfect time to stock up on party accessories, too. Take advantage of store coupons and customer reward points to save money on these everyday classics.
— Dig for the deals on denim. Another basic in most of our wardrobes, denim, doesn’t change in style that much from year to year. Most of us do have a label we love, but when you find denim on sale, it may be a great time to try something new. This may be the time to let your teens splurge on that one pair of “Mom, I have to have those” jeans. Denim skirts are year-round basics. You can always wear tights and boots with them in chilly months, and sandals come summer.
— Dive into swimwear. Whether or not you’re jetting off to tropical beaches, you can still take some time this winter to shop for new beachwear at end-of-year sales, especially online. Update swimwear wardrobes for the entire family. Add mix-and-match swim separates to stretch what you already wear on and off the beach or poolside. Get creative with cover-ups that you find on the sale rack. The popular kimono-style tops in flirty florals are easy to layer over swimwear or cropped jeans and tank tops later.
— Stock up on kids’ clothes. If you’re shopping the clearance sales and you’ve got young kids, then think ahead. Children grow out of clothes as fast as they can tear the wrapping off those packages under the tree. Now is a good time to stock up on larger sizes in clothing basics and shoes that they can wear all year. Coats are always a good deal at end-of-season sales. And who knows … those graphic T-shirts for young boys and glittery rompers for girls that were the hit of the fall back-to-school season may be marked down even more.
— Work on workwear. Everyone loves scoping out bargains on casual clothes and accessories, but when we must get back to work, our professional wardrobes are what we rely on. So, when you’re shopping for deals, think about those basics that need to be replaced or refreshed in your everyday workwear. Staples like trenchcoats, white shirts, neutral-colored trousers, pencil skirts, tailored jackets and little black shift dresses are perennial classics. Find these classics on clearance, and maybe you can give yourself the gift of a little more vacation time once summer rolls around.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Give the Gift of Travel
Finding the perfect gift for someone who already has it all may be easier when you stop thinking in terms of “things.” A gift that creates an unforgettable experience, like a trip to a special destination, may be more meaningful than a trinket under the tree.
Whether you give a travel gift for someone to enjoy on their own or as a present you share together, a gifted trip provides all sorts of advantages, like making lifelong memories, spending time with families and friends, and using your vacation days for pure enjoyment.
When planning a travel gift, consider popular destinations like these:
City Life in New York City
Discover the intersection of rich history and contemporary city living with a visit to the city of all cities. Must-see destinations include Central Park, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Fifth Avenue, all of which can be found near the JW Marriott Essex House New York, a luxury hotel located at one of the world’s most exclusive addresses on Central Park South since 1931.
Ski Slopes in Aspen, Colorado
From renowned skiing and snowboarding to picture-perfect dog sledding, a wealth of memorable winter experiences await in Aspen. Visitors can enjoy sporting outdoors or stroll over to historic Aspen where entertainment venues, luxury boutiques and charming restaurants beckon. From its prime location on the base of Aspen Mountain, The St. Regis Aspen Resort is uniquely situated to experience it all with luxury rooms with custom furnishings, a renowned spa and other special amenities, including 24-hour butler service.
Beautiful Beaches in Key Biscayne, Florida
The nation’s southernmost barrier island, Key Biscayne offers beautiful beaches, wildlife and tranquil parks. Located close to Miami Beach and downtown, this is the location for those looking for a serene island escape. Families visiting the area can explore the Miami Seaquarium, which features exhibits, shows and a chance to swim with dolphins. Stretching along the beachfront, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, is the only luxury hotel on the bay.
Desert Exploration in Scottsdale, Arizona
In Scottsdale, the Sonoran Desert landscape is punctuated by mountain views, including famed Camelback Mountain. Visitors can enjoy an immersive experience with hiking, biking, horseback riding or taking in a special eco-tour. Others may delight in exploring the Scottsdale Arts District’s galleries, museums and festivals, as well as the diverse, award-winning food scene. After a day of activities, The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale, allows guests to indulge in unparalleled resort amenities, from a three-level pool complex to an enriching spa, athletic club and golf course.
Arts and Culture in Austin, Texas
The “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to more than 250 bars, restaurants, theaters and concert venues. At the epicenter of it all, near the Austin Convention Center, the University of Texas campus and the capitol building, you’ll find W Austin, including its unique Living Room, which features four eclectic areas that provide special experiences.
Visit Marriott.com to explore more ideas for giving the gift of travel this holiday season.
Cheap Thrills and Frills: Holiday Fashion Hacks
By Sharon Mosley
If you’ve blown your holiday budget already, don’t get in a frazzle-dazzle. Before you charge one more party dress on your credit card, think about these easy fashion hacks. Here are a few fast and inexpensive ways to instantly update your wardrobe and still get the festive vibe going.
— Update the little black dress. Since the little black dress that many of us already have in our closet is what we tend to wear for just about every occasion, it can get predictable. But there are lots of ways to change up the iconic classic. Accessories are the obvious choice: a faux fur shrug, a statement necklace or pendant, a chunky cuff bracelet, a fabulous pair of heels or a distinctive jeweled clutch. Make those the focus of your evening ensemble, and no one will ever remember that “old” dress.
— Get a leg up. Everyone loves leggings, and even if you really feel like keeping those yoga pants on and sprinting over to the neighbor’s open house, check yourself. Now there are lots of easy “pants” that are leggings all grown up. They are much more appropriate than the utilitarian gym clothes. In faux leather, sexy prints or velvet, leggings can party with the best of them. And, of course, always CYB (cover your butt) with long tunics or sweaters.
— Dress up basic separates. We all have those staples in our wardrobes that we wear to work and on the weekends, and they can easily be given some festive flair with a little thought. Those wool trousers you wear to the office? Team them with a colorful velvet blazer and silk blouse. That jean jacket you love to wear on the weekends? Pair it with a turtleneck and sparkly sequined skirt. Satiny pajama pants? Just add a one-shoulder cashmere sweater top.
— Wrap it up. This is a really easy hack. And it can have a huge impact on whatever you wear. French women have always been the masters of this trick. There are plenty of wonderful scarves available now to suit your every mood — from colorful cashmere to big, bold checks to shiny metallics. And, of course, don’t forget the fuzzy fur neck wraps that add instant glamour.
— Dare to go bare. Sometimes, all it takes is to just take off your blouse. Depending on the cut of a jacket, you can definitely show a little skin (the operative word is “little”) and fill in your neckline with a drapey collar necklace dripping with style. You can also show off a little shoulder or try a keyhole top. Or do the sheer thing with a lace blouse or dress that is covered up in all the right places.
— Borrow from his closet. The tuxedo jacket has long been a menswear favorite of famous celebrities who sport a more androgynous look on the red carpet that is both festive and classic. Scope out vintage shops for a one-of-a-kind dinner jacket or tux that you can adapt to your own eveningwear wardrobe. Make it feminine with a chiffon floral skirt.
— Layer, layer, layer. This is where you can get a little creative. If you haven’t tried the short-over-long look, then experiment this holiday season. The vest is the perfect place to start. Wear a short furry one over a long tunic and leggings. Or do the opposite: A long vest over a festive metallic sweater and short skirt is another option.
— Mix — don’t match — prints. This one hack may be the most fun … but one of the hardest to put together. Wearing mismatched prints, however, is a big trend in fashion. So look at the clothes in your closet with new eyes, pull out that printed floral top you love, and see what else you can wear with it. Chances are you have prints that are in the same color family. You might be surprised at what pieces will work together for a fresh, unexpected outfit.
— Add sparkly accessories. Your everyday gold locket and hoops are not going to cut it when it comes to dressing for a party. Now is the time to go for all-out sparkle. You don’t have to spend a lot to put on the glitz. But do shop for huge beaded cuffs, dangling crystal earrings and glittering shoes to spark the holiday spirit in anything you wear.
— Walk on the wild side. If you want to give yourself one fabulous holiday present, then a pair of incredible evening shoes is the place to look. Hopefully, you’ve experienced the joy of having that one pair of shoes that you feel is a work of art and want to keep on the shelf of your shoe closet forever. Start your collection now. Or at least tell Santa.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: Use accessories to dress up holiday outfits. Faux fur stole from J.Crew.
Spruce Up Your Guestroom for the Holidays
The holidays are typically a time for lots of merriment and cheer. They also often include an abundance of guests visiting your home, which means it’s time to get the guestroom ready for family and friends who’ll be spending time with you this season.
If sprucing up your guestroom induces panic, fear not. Consider these easy tips to help transform your guestroom into a comfortable and restful retreat.
Clean and Clear
The first step in creating a welcoming get-away for guests is giving the room a good cleaning and clearing out clutter. If your guestroom has become a catch-all for items you’ve been meaning to organize throughout the year, the arrival of guests (such as in-laws) can serve as the perfect motivator to take care of the task. For a painless approach, start the process a few weeks in advance, devoting 15 minutes a day to clutter-busting and cleaning. Make sure you remember to leave room for guests to unpack any luggage and free up outlets for cell phone chargers and other devices they may bring along.
Home is Where the Hairdryer Is
While fancy furniture and decor are nice, a gracious guestroom is about hospitality and anticipating the needs of your guests. Think about useful necessities provided in hotel rooms –a reading lamp by the bed, extra hangers in the closet, an alarm clock, fresh sheets and towels and sometimes even a hair dryer. These are items you likely already own. Simply add them to the guest bedroom or bathroom to create a thoughtfully appointed home away from home. To take it up a notch, provide extra toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap and other necessities in case your visitors left something behind.
Comfort is King (or a Queen or Twin)
Few things make guests feel more comfortable and cared for than being able to get a good night’s sleep, and that can start with your mattress. The guestroom mattress is often overlooked because you’re not the one sleeping on it. Give the mattress a good inspection. If it has lumps and bumps or is more than 7 years old, it’s time to replace it. For an easy solve, the sleep specialists at a retailer like Mattress Firm can help you find the best mattress for your needs, and the holidays can be a great time to catch the best deals. Also remember to check the pillows to ensure your guests don’t have to endure any sleepless nights with flat, lumpy pillows that are past their prime.
Focus on Functional
Because your guests may not conform to the same schedule as you, ensure the early risers and night owls have things at their disposal to stay occupied while others are sleeping. Reading lights, a photo frame that includes the Wi-Fi password so your guests can easily connect their smart devices, and a television in the room are all accommodations that are typically universally accepted. You may also consider leaving coffee and snack options in an easily accessible location in the kitchen.
Thoughtful Touches Add Up
Take time to add some thoughtful yet affordable touches to the room. Consider a small vase of fresh flowers, a scented candle, some subtle holiday decorations or even a few of your favorite magazines and books. If you really want to wow your guests, leave a small gift basket of snacks along with a handwritten welcome note.
Find more tips for getting your guestroom ready for holiday visitors at mattressfirm.com/blog. Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Eat, Dress and Be Thankful
By Sharon Mosley
Every year around this time, it’s good to take a break from all the holiday hubbub and focus on the blessings we have — even when it comes to our clothes. I try to do this every year and am constantly amazed at all the small fashion blessings to be thankful for. Here are a few of my favorites this year:
–– Shapewear. This never changes. As I get older, however, I find myself only wearing shapewear when I really need to … like the weekend after the big Thanksgiving feast. Spanx founder Sara Blakely has made us all feel a little better about our lumps and bumps with a host of innovative products. Her velvet leggings are a holiday hit for me, especially in the new snakeskin prints and metallic faux leather, just in time for the holidays ahead.
— Inclusive sizing. Speaking of feeling better about ourselves, now more than ever stores and labels are catering to a wide variety of sizes. Retailers and designers are finally catching on to the fact that many American women wear a size 16 and up. The inspiring company Universal Standard, founded by Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman, offers luxurious quality at affordable prices for sizes 00 to 40. And if a piece from their core collection doesn’t fit you within a year of purchase due to size fluctuation, they’ll replace it with your new size … for free! Check them out before that turkey dinner!
— Online shopping. Click, click, click … Here comes good ol’ St. Nick. There’s just something about getting comfy in bed on a Sunday night and taking care of fashion business with a few clicks. Want a pair of knee-high suede boots for the party next weekend? Or a pair of dangly chandelier earrings for your date on Saturday night? Or a pompom knit beanie for a favorite niece for Christmas? It can be liberating and thrilling to discover new designers and new products that might have once been inaccessible to you where you live. With retailers offering early Black Friday promotions, expect to see more deals right at your fingertips. Curated gift guides are great ways to get new ideas.
— Gentle soles. Even though I love the ease of internet shopping, I also love perusing the boutiques and the malls at holiday time. You never know what you’ll find. And that requires comfortable shoes, right? Stilettos are for special occasions and are rare in my world, but sometimes I can’t pass up a sparkling pair of silver sequined high heels. The animal print slip-ons are calling this party girl’s name, too. Afterward, I can always slip into my worn Frye cowboy boots with Dr. Scholl’s inserts, and life is good again. I’m gellin’.
— All warm and fuzzy. The new advancements in the quality of faux fur have been dramatic in the past few years. Just in time for winter weather and the festive season ahead, these soft, cozy coats are both warm and stylish. My favorites are the faux leopard jackets. Leopard has long been a classic neutral that goes with everything from jeans and a turtleneck to a little lace dress. Fuzzy faux fur vests are another way to add an instant touch of glamour to holiday wardrobes. My feathery silver vest is ready to shine!
And remember, in this season of giving thanks, be sure to pass on the blessings. If you have gently worn clothing, especially coats that you are no longer wearing, donate them to a charity of your choice or take them to any Burlington store who works with the nonprofit Delivering Good, which provides warm clothes to families who need them. You’ll receive a 10% discount on any purchase.
PHOTO CAPTION: Shopping in pajamas! A real fashion blessing! BedHead Pajamas x Monopoly at Nordstrom.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Decorate Your Home for the Holidays
Chances are good that at some point during the holiday season, you’ll welcome guests into your home. Whether you lease or own your home, creating a cozy, festive setting for holiday gatherings can actually be quite simple, especially if you take on the project one room at a time.
One advantage of seasonal decorating is that it is, by definition, temporary. This gives you plenty of freedom to experiment with new ideas and completely transform your living space on a short-term basis. It’s also an opportunity to get creative with your home’s decor to create warm, inviting places for family and friends to gather.
Get started decking the halls this holiday season with these room-by-room decorating tips from the design experts at Invitation Homes, one of the nation’s premier home leasing companies with more than 80,000 single-family homes for lease in the United States.
Curb appeal isn’t a concept reserved for buying and selling; set the festive mood from the moment guests arrive by enhancing your home’s outdoor space. Bold or twinkling, strings of lights add instant holiday appeal, and the possibilities for creating a custom look are nearly endless when you use weather-resistant removable hooks. You can embellish the design with fun, whimsical inflatables or go more traditional with stylish wreaths and garland to accent the door. Make the look your own with unexpected touches like an old sled propped against the porch railing. The beauty of outdoor decorating is that virtually all of it can be easily removed to make way for a new season or event.
In most homes, the kitchen is an entertaining hub. While platters of food may occupy many of the available surfaces, you can still incorporate a holiday theme. Set the table with a festive yuletide log with faux berries, pinecones and candles artfully placed nearby. Seasonal candles, festive seat cushions and a cheerful table runner all add subtle touches of holiday flair. Other ideas include dangling lights from the chandelier or stacking pinecones with string lights in a bowl or vase to accent the buffet line or to use as a table centerpiece. Holiday desserts can be artwork in their own right, so get creative to make the dessert table a stand-out element of the decor.
A comfy, cozy environment that invites guests to make themselves at home as they catch up with loved ones is a holiday entertaining must. Extend the holiday happiness into this space with little touches like a lantern filled with pinecones, faux gifts by the mantle, stockings hung from stocking holders that reflect your decorative theme, seasonal throw pillows and evergreen arrangements on the end tables and coffee table.
It may be a smaller space, but the bathroom is a room every guest is likely to visit. Incorporate flameless candles and seasonal metallic accents that complement the fixtures. Hang holiday items from shower curtain rings and replace your standard curtain with a festive or candy-cane striped alternative. Be sure to finish the look with seasonal decorative towels.
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, but you can do your part to make guests feel comfortable by adding some cheerful touches to the area they’ll call home. A miniature evergreen tree in a planter or pot makes a fun addition to a nightstand. You can adorn headboards with garland or delicate lights and add festive throw pillows and blankets or even swap out linens entirely for a full-blown holiday welcome.
Find more lease-friendly holiday tips at invitationhomes.com.
Shine On: Holiday Fashion Trends That Glitter
By Sharon Mosley
If there’s ever a time to shine, it’s during the holidays. It’s the most shimmering time of the year! Think everything metallic and get your gleaming glamour on. Here’s the brightest of the best holiday fashion to put on your shopping list.
Start with a metallic tank. This is a quick and easy hack to give your old separates some new, sparkly personality. Layered beneath a tailored jacket over flared pants, it’s a dressed-up go-to for any party. Layered underneath a leather motorcycle jacket over skinny jeans, it’s a more casual option.
Add a sequined blouse. If you want a glitzy piece that will stand on its own, try a colorful sequined blouse with a bow or a high neck. In a sparkly print, a blouse can easily up the glam factor with a pair of high-rise trousers or a shorter skirt and knee-high boots. Perfect for an office party or after-work cocktails.
Wear metallic leather. A short, bomber-style leather jacket is a fun way to update any holiday apparel. Silver and gold are favorite wear-with-everything combinations, but frosty pastel metallics are fast becoming the most fashion-forward color of the season. So, think pink!
Pull on sparkling pants — another quick update to basic black or jeans. Check out the new versions of slim pants with metallic threads woven into the fabric. High-waisted pants are rising in popularity and look great when paired with a tucked-in, high-neck blouse or turtleneck.
Dress it up. It’s a one-step wonder: the holiday dress that’s all shimmer and shine. In layered sheer fabrics and tinged with metallic threads, the silhouette of the season is a fit-and-flare look that accentuates the waist. Shift dresses are go-to classics. With special details like high-low hemlines, smocked waistbands and keyhole backs, these dresses are party-ready.
Jump into the season. Another easy one-step option is the metallic jumpsuit. Black has long been a holiday staple, but this year, glittering jumpsuits hit the party scene in sleek wide-legs, halter necks and keyhole backs. These jumpsuits are great to wear from desk to dinner when paired with a blazer or short jacket.
Get cozy in a metallic sweater. Warm up to the holidays in a sweater with gleaming threads woven into the knit. Whether it’s a cardigan, a crew neck or a sleeveless turtleneck — or all three — this may be the easiest way to get your sparkle on, whether you’re wearing velvet jeans or a sequined skirt. The metallic leopard print sweater is one of this season’s hottest buys.
Don’t forget metallic leggings. If you really want an edgy take on the shimmer trend, check out the slick look of animal print leggings. In faux leather snakeskin, they are subtle but trendy. Tights sparked with gold or silver are another way to get a leg up on the glitter glamour look.
Accessorize with metallics. From dangling chandelier earrings to chunky metal cuffs to glittering clutches and barely there sandals, there are plenty of ways to shine this holiday season … even when you just want to relax and kick back in a pair of metallic leather sneakers. Now that’s a real party treat.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Holiday Prep: The Fashion To-Do List
By Sharon Mosley
As the holidays rush to greet us, so does the round of celebrations. Time to put the ghosts and goblins behind you and start feeling thankful for bountiful blessings. It’s never too early to plan ahead. Here are a few reminders to get you in a festive mood so there’s plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the season.
— Write it down. As soon as you put it on your calendar, it’s on your radar. If you’ve worn the same black sequined dress for the last few years to the office party, it may be time to invest in a few new party pieces. Separates may be your best bet. Slinky satin pants in skinny silhouettes or a pair of wide-leg silk trousers are both a good start to a mix-and-match holiday wardrobe, especially when topped off with velvet jackets or metallic tunics.
— Shop smart. When you make that list of gifts to buy and venture out to the malls or your favorite boutique — or even online — shop early. There are already plenty of deals and steals out there for the early birds. And let’s face it, when you’re shopping for other people, you can also shop for yourself. We all do it, so shop smart and add a few things to your own holiday list. Only Santa has to know!
— Scope out the unusual. Don’t forget that there are lots of unique places to shop. With the ’70s trending in fashion, charity stores and vintage markets are the perfect places to find interesting retro finds, especially accessories. A touch of the bohemian vibe may be just the way to glam up the holiday fashion scene. Sparkly pins are all the rage this year … and you can often find them at bargain prices.
— Don’t forget the small stuff. Sometimes it’s not the party outfit or the gifts for the nephews and nieces that put us over the edge in the holiday rush; it’s the little things like hostess gifts, office exchanges or neighborhood drop-ins. Put these gifts on your shopping list, too. These gifts can be bought in multiples all year long — scarves, candles, soaps, lotions, etc. Create an extra stash of last-minute gifts that you can easily grab and go.
— Make appointments early. How many times do we wake up to find our hair is suddenly out of control? Or our nail polish is barely hanging on? During the holidays, it’s even more important to think ahead and schedule hair and nail appointments before stylists are booked. Ditto for pants or skirts that need hemming or shoes that need refurbishing. And if you are ordering clothes or shoes online, consider buying several sizes in order to avoid lengthy delays when waiting on returns.
— Keep it simple. It may be easier said than done during the holiday season, when frantic is often the word of the day, but if you can get ahead of the rush, you’ll have more time to enjoy the real reason for celebrating with your family and friends … no matter what you’re wearing.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Sweater Weather: Top 5 Knit Hits
By Sharon Mosley
Don’t come unraveled. Instead, enjoy the big chills of the season ahead in a big sweater. Save the coats to wear when the temperatures dip below freezing. Keep your fashion wits about you indoors and outdoors with these cozy knit hits for fall and winter.
— The Fair Isle sweater. It’s THE sweater of the year. This classic is named after an island in the north of Scotland, where the softest heathered yarns were produced and used to make sweaters with yokes and cuffs in brightly colored patterns. The latest Fair Isle sweaters are updated in new colors and sophisticated designs. Take these sweaters with you on your next ski trip, or make them city-chic paired with short skirts and tall boots.
— The fisherman’s sweater. Another seasonal favorite, this chunky knit sweater was a must-have in water-repellant wool to keep fishermen warm. It became a fashion statement in the ’60s, when the bulky cable-knit look was a must-have with jeans. This year, the fisherman’s sweater makes a big comeback in creamy neutrals and slightly oversized silhouettes. This sweater is a go-to basic that works with with anything in your wardrobe. With leather pants, it’s a rock star.
— The turtleneck. This high roll-neck sweater has long been associated with the cool fashion crowd and is a cult classic. It started in men’s sportswear and then became more androgynous around the turn of the century. As celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, as well as bohemian beatniks in the ’50s and ’60s, embraced the black turtleneck, this knit became a hit and remains a timeless wardrobe basic today. In cashmere, it’s one of the best investments — and holiday gifts — you can buy. Where did it get its name? Think about a turtle who pokes his head in and out of his shell.
— The long cardigan. This coatlike sweater is probably one of the most versatile knits you can have in your closet. According to fashion historians, this knit hit got its name from the seventh Earl of Cardigan, who needed extra warmth when wearing his uniform during the Crimean War. Centuries later, the cardigan has evolved into a variety of wardrobe basics from twinsets to sweater coats. The long cardigan this season provides a finishing touch (and warmth) to everything from jeans to skirts and is the perfect “coverup” for leggings.
— The sweater dress. Head-to-toe knit dressing is one of the top fashion trends this year, and sweater dresses are the fastest way to get this all-in-one look. It’s also one of the best ways to show off curves … and may require some shapewear. But these formfitting knits are a quick way to dress for work, or even a cocktail party, when paired with a jacket or coat. This year, sweater dresses are updated in midilengths that stand on their own … or can become long tunics over skinny jeans or leggings.
PHOTO CAPTION:The Fair Isle sweater is one of fall’s favorite knit hits. Sweater from J.Crew.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
The Fall and Winter Coat Check
By Sharon Mosley
Snap. Snap. Cold snap … and we’re reaching for the coat closet. If you haven’t checked out your coats in over a year, you may want to snap your fingers and magically transform the chill chasers in your closet. With a new fashion cold front blasting its way into fall, it’s time to warm up to some new outerwear trends and heat up your wardrobe.
— Snuggle up to Teddy. One of the biggest trends for the cold weather is the teddy coat. This fuzzy faux fur coat is named after — yes, you guessed it — that childhood favorite, the teddy bear. Comfort is the name of this coat, which comes in all kinds of retro ’70s styles, from short, cropped pixie styles to full-length maxis.
— Take it to the tailor. Menswear-inspired coats are classics that will last in your wardrobe for years. If you only buy one coat this fall, make it a tailored version of this basic, reinterpreted in checks, plaids and tweeds. Or invest in the all-time icon of style: the chesterfield camel coat.
— Stay cozy in a robe. Belted coats are wrapping up the season in relaxed silhouettes that put the finishing touch on whatever you wear underneath. In a neutral color like navy, camel or gray, this is another outerwear piece that never goes out of style. In cashmere, you’ll think you can just crawl back in bed!
— Get in the trenches. The trench coat is taking on a new lease on this 100-year-plus legend. Originally created for British and French soldiers in World War I who were literally in the trenches of warfare, this outerwear staple has developed into a fashion statement that has evolved into the perfect transitional piece, updated with studded collars, satin epaulettes and even floral prints.
— Weather the cold in leather. Leather coats are the ultimate in chic cover-ups this fall and winter. Go matte or go shiny. Today’s soft and supple leathers are a far cry from the old days of stiff and rigid material. There are lots of options in leather outerwear: bombers, motorcycle jackets, blazers, trenches and more. This is an item you’ll want to try on in a store rather than buy online; the touch factor is critical. Whether faux or real leather, quality is key.
— Visit the cape. Many of us fell in love with ponchos several years ago. For those who live in mild climates, the poncho was a blessing in disguise. Now, the cape has taken its place as an untraditional alternative to a heavier coat. The armless wonder is easy to toss on over dresses, pantsuits, sweaters and jeans. Fur-trimmed, it’s an elegant finishing touch to holiday outfits.
— Keep it casual. When all you want is an everyday coat that’s perfect for everything from running errands to hitting the ski slopes, then the puffer coat is one of your best options for warding off winter chills. In bright colors, it’s a mood lifter this year. There are also plenty of other casual choices: duffle coats, car coats, peacoats and roomy cocoon coats.
— One last roar. Of course, it must be included on this list. You may not be wild about animal prints, but the designers who dream up all the newest coat trends are. Animal prints, from leopard to zebra, are one of designers’ favorite patterns for outerwear. Animal prints have indeed become a classic, so don’t be afraid to include this trend on your shopping list.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: Bold brights update puffer coats this fall and winter.