Dressing to Excess: 10 Ways to Rock the New Year’s Eve Fashion Party Scene
By: Sharon Mosley
If there is one night of the year to rock your fashion world, it’s New Year’s Eve. Let the champagne flow and your sequins glow: It’s time to party and celebrate. Bring out the bling and ring in a new you and a new year. Set your inner fashion diva free.
Here are 10 ways to rock the fashion party scene and dress to excess:
1. Sparkle. Yes, you can get away with wearing more and more on New Year’s Eve. That beaded top, the shimmering dress, the embellished sweater. Even if you are wearing your one and only tried and true little black dress, you can still pile on the jewels.
2. And Then Accessorize. Don’t forget you can always add some bling via accessories. Think shoes decked out with sparkling baubles, clutches glimmering in shining snakeskin, chandelier earrings dripping with crystals, and furry collars and cuffs. Even a feather boa can add a fun, festive touch to any outfit.
3. Dress It Up. Turn up the glam factor on your holiday dress. Yes, you can show some skin! Just make sure you are highlighting your best features. Got great shoulders? Go for a dress with a unique asymmetrical top or off-the-shoulder look. A great waist? Wrap yourself in a belt that sparkles. Longer dresses that hit just below the knee are fashion’s first choice this season, but if you’ve got great legs, you can go shorter. Just not too short … you might want to sit one dance out.
4. Vamp It Up With Velvet. Shimmer and shine is always a best-dressed bet on New Year’s, but you can also amp up your vamp style with special fabrics — velvety long jackets, leather vests, satin harem pants or a silk tuxedo shirt. Even jeans can be dressed up with a metallic sequined tank top. Just remember: Drama is queen of the night.
5. Wear Color. Black may always be your go-to dress-up “color,” but on New Year’s Eve, it’s time to be bold. Even dark colors like burgundy, navy and emerald green can be sophisticated choices for those tired of the same old black attack that shows up at most holiday parties. And to really get ahead of the trendy crowd this year, wear the new color of 2014: “Radiant Orchid” — a bright pinkish purple. It’s also a great complement to black pants or skirts.
6. Make a Shoe Statement. You may have worn your flat velvet loafers to that holiday office party, but on New Year’s, it’s time to take it up a notch. It’s the perfect time to slip into those sky-high stilettos. You can always soak your feet the next day while sipping mimosas and making New Year’s resolutions!
7. Max Out the Makeup. Bright eye shadows are all the rage this winter, but you don’t have to do much to have a great outlook on the New Year. Just dab on a little of one of the new electric colors — chartreuse, violet, cobalt blue or even a bronze metallic — on your upper lids and blink away the night.
8. After You Go Through All the Trouble to Dress Up for New Year’s Eve, Don’t Forget Your Hair. Updos are always more festive. And if you have long hair, the romantic “Renaissance” milkmaid look laced with braids and jeweled headbands are hot this holiday season. If your hair is short and you have one of the new pixie dos, then you can still get a festive look with tousled piecey scrunching. No do should look too “done.”
9. Punch Up Your Pout. Matte orange lips may be another big trend you’ll want to skip unless you’re 18 or younger, but remember red is always a classic lip color. And New Year’s is the perfect time to wear a bolder red lipstick.
10. Nail It. OK, time to book the manicures now. This is definitely one thing you can do to add some major drama to your holiday outfits. While you can definitely paint the town in glittery gold nails or lovely lavenders, check out your manicurist’s latest take on nail art. How about a few leopard spots on those fingertips? They’d be sure to inspire a roaring good time.
Happy New Year!
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
The Party Dress Code
By: Sharon Mosley
You may think you’ve got enough clothes to see you through any and all of those holiday events, but when the invitations start arriving, decoding the dress code can be daunting and haunt you for weeks. Is this too formal? Too buttoned up? Too casual?
Jill Martin and Dana Ravich, style experts and authors of “I Have Nothing to Wear,” admit that there is an easy way to dress appropriately for any festive occasion this holiday season.
“Know your audience,” they say. “Next to knowing yourself, knowing your audience may well be the most important consideration when picking your outfit, or anything else for that matter.”
Martin and Ravich encourage partygoers to consider who, where and when. The venue, time and date of the party, and guest list will play a large role in determining the fashion environment.
The two fashion stylists decode the party dress code for several different types of “styles” — the classic, the bohemian, the preppy girl, the fashionista, the surfer chick and the soccer mom.
Here are their takes on dressing the part for a holiday cocktail party:
—The Classic. If you’re a classic, perhaps you’ll choose a sleeveless crew dress that hits just above or below the knee. You might also have a structured clutch and you might choose your pumps. A bit more conservative, but that’s just your style. Add your diamond studs and your watch and you’ll be set.
—The Bohemian. If you’re a bohemian, you might choose a flowing dress with some sort of detail or maybe a halter neckline. You will probably choose the metallic sandals and a clutch that is softer and might have some beading or some other detail. Just don’t go overboard with the details on both the dress and the purse. Choose one. For jewelry, put on your armful of bangles, and add some hoop earrings to dress it up.
—The Preppy Girl. Your dress might be a short-sleeve or three-quarter sleeve number that is a little on the shorter side. You might also choose the more conservative pumps over the sandals. Your clutch will have a bit more structure and a conservative slant. Your pearl necklace and earrings will be a perfect complement to your look.
—The Fashionista. You will have the latest in all things dress and accessories. If the trend is an asymmetric neckline, rest assured, that is the LBD (Little Black Dress) you will be wearing. Your strappy sandals will be right on trend as well, most definitely a stiletto heel. Or try a pair of trendy ankle boots. Your clutch will follow suit, as it will fall under the “it” category. And, of course, so will your jewelry. Cocktail rings are all the rage? Check. You know better than to wear a necklace with an asymmetric neckline. But perhaps some fabulous earrings will do the trick.
—The Surfer Chick. You will prefer something soft and feminine to show off your toned frame, perhaps a spaghetti-strap dress that hits just above the knee. You might choose your metallic sandals, and you, too, will have a less structured clutch. Choose your chunky silver ring and perhaps your small earrings.
—The Soccer Mom. You might go for a wrap dress — sexy, yet elegant and appropriate. You might choose to dress it up with your sandals, and try to fit all your things into a structured metallic clutch. We know it’s been a while since you’ve carried a purse so tiny! Add a pretty necklace to accentuate the V-neck created by the wrap and you’re complete.
Martin and Ravich suggest showing off what flatters you the most and makes you feel most confident. “Great legs? Go a bit shorter. Great waist? Try a wrap dress or something fitted or belted. Great arms? Strapless, sleeveless or spaghetti straps. Want to camouflage your hips? Go for an A-line.”
And if you can’t decode the party code all by yourself? Call in the reinforcements! Ask a friend … a very good friend … for advice. They are usually more than willing to help.
The Holiday Fashion Remix
By: Sharon Mosley
Think you’ve got nothing to wear to that cocktail party coming up in a few weeks? Step inside your closet and think again! It’s time to put a little spin on your holiday wardrobe and come up with a remix of festive favorites. Steal the spotlight with a new twist on the classics.
Here are a few tips to put the punch back in your party clothes by giving them a shot of new life:
—Think unexpected. No, you don’t have to don a green gown and flip flops like model Elle Macpherson did at a gala museum event, but you get the point. Think like a stylist and pull together some unusual separates that you rarely put together. For a casual party, dress up your jean jacket with a sequined scarf, a long tunic and leggings with thigh-high boots. For a dressier occasion, think Sharon Stone with her long black skirt and Gap t-shirt. Or rock a vintage vibe with a menswear tuxedo jacket, skinny jeans and cowboy boots.
—Don’t be predictable. If you’re a tried and true little-black-dress girl, think outside your dark side and stand out in living color, but please steer clear of the Christmas red and green combo. Black and white is one of the season’s best ways to go this year, but a brilliant blue or regal red worn head-to-toe is another way to do the remix this holiday season. And if you’re really brave, how about wearing all white to a cocktail party? Just be sure to stick with white wine!
—Go for texture. This is one of many fashion stylists’ secrets, and it is easy to remember when putting together new holiday outfits. Make sure all your pieces are a different texture. You wouldn’t wear a leather jacket with a leather vest with leather pants and boots … now would you? Hopefully not — unless you’re arriving at your destination on the back of a motorcycle. Otherwise, mix velvets with leather, satins with tweeds, knits with chiffons.
—Experiment with prints. If your party wardrobe is very limited, this may be the way to go. Wear your basic black pants and tops and then layer on the printed patterns … whether it’s with a metallic striped wrap or a folkloric-inspired statement jacket. The under layers will disappear and your punched up prints will make your outfits seem not so “everyday.”
—Indulge in embellishment. Another way to remix your old favorites — think ruffles, feathers, fur, beading or brocade — is by getting a little exotic with your holiday party clothes. These fashionable flourishes will even jazz up jeans. And why not go for the glamorous touches, maybe not all in one outfit, but you get the picture. If not, see the above tip about texture and being clad in all leather.
—Work it with accessories. Holiday time is the perfect time to go all out with accessories. Here’s where you can really shine — think colored tights with a LBD, heavy metal cuffs with your sleeveless sheaths, drop-dead chandelier earrings with a messy updo, and artsy clutches dripping with jewels. I collect huge cocktail rings to wear on special occasions. Shoes can also make a festive appearance in strappy metallic sandals, velvet smoking loafers (so comfy) or textured snakeskin ankle boots. Motorcycle boots with a sequin sheath, anyone? Again, restraint is key. Don’t pile all the bling on with one outfit. After all, you’ve got to ring in the New Year, right?
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Holiday Style Countdown
By: Sharon Mosley
When it comes to planning for the holidays — whether it’s serving up a scrumptious dinner or hosting a small cocktail party for the neighbors — there’s always one thing to do first: Make a plan. Even though you may still have candy left over from Halloween, it doesn’t mean it’s not too early to ditch the candy apples and get your mind stuck on sorting out what you’re going to wear for special occasions during the next few months. Leave the scary costumes behind; it’s time to put some festive touches on your wardrobe. Start the countdown now.
First, make a list and make it count. Santa does it, so can you. If you already have special events on the calendar or family dinners, then start writing it down. Or let your phone keep you on track. The holidays tend to snowball once November rolls around, and we all know where those end up … at the bottom of the hill if we’re not careful … covered up in more tidings of comfort and joy than we can stand.
At the top of the list should be shopping for special clothes, if the occasion calls for it. If you’ve got any “Save the Date” invites, go ahead and set your sights on what you might wear. If you rarely attend black tie events, then you may need to carve out a date to browse the Internet or the mall. There’s nothing worse than making a mad dash to the designer department of your favorite store a day or two before the big party to find nothing but picked-over offerings … and nothing suitable in your size. It is, indeed, a little too stressful, and wouldn’t you really rather be drinking eggnog before the fire, looking at those beautiful fashion magazines and imagining yourself the belle of the ball? Ha!
But even if you’re just cooking up some delicious fun for your relatives and friends, or that special someone you’ve just met on Match.com, dress up! Bring out the velvet and brocade; make it festive. Or wear an embellished cardigan and tee with your jeans. Comfortable leggings and a graphic sweater is another stylish option. You can always wear one of those fun holiday aprons! Remember all those photos that will show up on Facebook.
Anyway, we’ve all been there, so promise yourself that this year things will be different and start shopping early if you need to. You can always get some of your holiday gift shopping done while you are looking for the perfect dress, too — hopefully, at a leisurely pace so big mistakes are kept at a minimum. Or give yourself enough time ahead of special events so that if you do decide that you really can’t sit down in that frothy pink feathery skirt or slinky sequin sheath, you can still return it in plenty of time and find another stunning entrance maker.
Don’t pass up vintage stores. These are some of my favorite places to find those unusual one-of-a-kind treasures to wear and to give as gifts. I’ve found patent leather 1950s clutches, a Persian lamb stole, suede platform pumps, and tons of interesting statement jewelry.
A great pair of rhinestone drop earrings will give that old, little black dress new sparkle or make a wonderful gift for a friend. And remember, one size fits all is the perfect gift you don’t have to worry about returning. Indeed, make the weeks before December count, scoring not only stylish treats but also stocking stuffers and hostess gifts.
Then don’t forget to make salon appointments early. Even if you wear your favorite holiday jacket that you’ve relied on for years, you’ll feel more like celebrating if your hair looks good and your nails are manicured! Think bright red. And spray tans are looking better and better.
Get in the spirit of looking good. You may actually have time to celebrate.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Police Department and Home Depot Team Up to Promote Crime Prevention
The El Paso Police Department’s Pebble Hills Regional Command is teaming up with Home Depot to conduct a crime prevention event this Saturday, October 26, 2013 between the hours of 9:00a.m. and 1:00p.m. The event will take place at the Home Depot located at 11360 Rojas and will include a H.E.A.T. Drive, which stands for Help End Auto Theft. H.E.A.T. is a statewide program that allows law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle that is displaying the H.E.A.T. decals between the hours of 1:00a.m. and 5:00a.m. This is done to allow Law Enforcement to insure that the vehicle is not stolen. Here is a link to the Texas DPS website regarding the H.E.A.T. Program:
You will be required to show current vehicle insurance as well as a current driver’s license to take advantage of this program. The program is FREE to the public and the Police Department encourages you to attend this event.
By: Sharon Mosley
Halloween doesn’t have to be a fright night when it comes to having a little fashion fun. Just get a little creative. Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire magazine and judge on the hit TV series, “Project Runway,” and author of her latest “Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion” has a lot to say about getting into some costume drama come Halloween.
“For the style mavens among us, Halloween is the ultimate game of dress up,” she says, “a night stripped of regulation, where we can finally go completely GaGa (as in Lady) if we want to.”
Here are some of Garcia’s tips for celebrating Halloween at the office and after hours.
—Garcia is not a big fan of dressing up for work, but if you do plan to make a full day of costumes, she suggests toning it down a bit for the workday and saving the real thing for after hours.
—You don’t necessarily have to come up with two completely different looks for work and an evening bash — smart editing is key, she notes. Leave the naughty nurse and the sexy cat outfits at home. “Even though you’re in costume, nothing should detract from your ability to command respect from coworkers, subordinates, and bosses. Are you really going to walk your supervisor through that PowerPoint presentation dressed as a zombie?” Let’s hope not.
—Don’t dress up as anyone in the office. Halloween or not, most people do not finding mockery charming, admits Garcia. Neither do most people find costumes that could be perceived as making light of a real tragedy in good taste … no notorious serial killers. Ditto for politicians or religious figures — you’re bound to offend someone.
—Instead, if you are celebrating Halloween at the office, wear something witty and G-rated, advises Garcia. It’s a great time to show your own sense of creativity and ingenuity. Wear a costume that will impress your bosses. “Choose a costume that is not completely contrary to your normal attire and is nothing too wacky.”
—Before you leave the house, ask yourself a few questions: Is this too sexy? Will I be embarrassed to see pictures of myself? Would I wear this around children? If you answered yes to any one of the above questions, except for the last one, you should leave your costume at home for the after hours party!
—And if for some reason you’re the only one not to get the memo … have a backup of an office outfit, in case no one else is dressed up in costume when you get to work.
—Save the fun stuff for the adult parties, and then knock yourself out! Witches, vampires and pirates are always easy to imitate. Or take your cue from pop culture and music. Celebrities and reality TV stars are also fun inspiration: Miley Cyrus or the bearded folks at Duck Dynasty anyone?
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Open House to Highlight Physical Therapist Assistant Career Training Opportunity
Western Technical College is hosting an Open House for attendees to learn more about training and education as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The Open House will be on Monday, October 21st from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Branch Campus located at 9451 Diana Dr. Faculty and staff from Western Tech will be on hand to provide information on applying for the program and to answer questions about the curriculum. Attending healthcare providers will be entered into a drawing to win a set of new scrubs, and all attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
Of the growing demand for PTA’s, local Physical Therapist, Denise Campbell, PT, Dip. MDT, OCS, says, “As insurance requirements change and healthcare reform takes place the need for high quality physical therapy providers will increase. Specifically the need for PTA’s will greatly increase because of their unique position given their education and licensure.”
According to the American Physical Therapy Association www.apta.org, which represents more than 85,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy, National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is celebrated each October. APTA members are encouraged to use NPTM as an opportunity to reach out to consumers and educate them about the unique benefits of treatment by a physical therapist.
What: Open House: Physical Therapist Assistant Career Training Opportunity, Western Technical College
When: Monday, October 21st, 2013, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Western Technical College, Branch Campus – 9451 Diana Dr.
Information: (915) 760-8157
Top 10 Fashion Must-Haves for Men
By: Sharon Mosley
As the weather cools down, the fall style trends heat up, and many of us head to the stores and surf the Internet to see what we can add to our wardrobes to celebrate the change of seasons. It may seem like we girls have all the fashion fun, but there are plenty of ways you guys can put some newness into your closets, too.
Here is a roundup of the top 10 items to put on your fall checklist suggested by Tom Julian and other menswear experts at the Doneger Group, a fashion retail and consulting group.
1. The crewneck sweatshirt — We have observed the emerging athletic influence into leisure dressing (which we call ath-leisure), and as a result, the crewneck sweatshirt looks great with items like premium or designer denim or five-pocket rich colored corduroys. Look for sweatshirts that are pieced fabrics or detailed with knit wristbands or neck collars.
2. Cardigan sweaters — The alternatives to casual sport coats. Wear the cardigan with patterned shirts, accessorized with a knit tie or bow tie. Take note that some cardigans are designed with shawl collars or with full lapels.
3. The printed shirt — A great visual focus for a wardrobe from the traditional guy who might like a small foulard pattern style button-down sport shirt to wear quilted vest and khaki pants or to the modern guy who might like a paisley print dress shirt with a dark slim suit and no tie.
4. The work shirt/shirt jacket — A weekend outerwear option that works well with a chambray shirt, flannel shirt or plaid shirt and worn with denim or cords. We also like the jacket around 30″ to 32″ in length.
5. Slim-fit Sport Coats — Think two-button, narrow lapel (from 2-3″ wide) with a clean silhouette and flap besom pockets. We would use the slim sport coat only with flat front pants, denim jeans or dress wool flannel trousers. Directional dressers are using the slim fit cargo with the slim fit sport coat.
6. Corduroy Pants — Pants with texture from five-pocket jean styles in thin wale to tailored dress styles in a wider wale with creased seams (a product that would require dry cleaning). Also, some cords are mixed with stretch fabric for comfort and wearability.
7. Wool Trousers — Dress pants that range from Super 100 performance wools to wool blends for small checks, tweeds and herringbone patterns. We like the trousers dressed up with a shirt and tie or a lean looking turtleneck.
8. Modern-fit jeans — Time for men to go modern in jean silhouettes. Look for slim or straight over boot cut or relaxed fit. We also like the Japanese denim (darker, heavier) with selvage or the red interior stitching that allows one to cuff the jean and show the hem.
9. The biker jacket — Classic and cool ala James Dean, or edgy and rock cool like Adam Levine. The jacket can be all leather or pieced leather. It can be cropped and asymmetric in cut or blouson. We like the Biker jacket worn with a long-sleeve, v-neck t-shirt and black jeans. The classic jacket is still zipper front and adorned with quilting, seaming and banded collar.
10. Urban Boots — From the ankle boot to the Chelsea boot, from the biker boot to the rugged country style, the boot options are endless for men. We like seeing a boot added to the mix of wing tips, canvas lace-ups, driving shoes, sneakers and leather loafers. Boots are now a year-round fashion must-have.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
City Seeks Public Assistance with Controlling Overgrown Weeds
The recent rainfall has weeds sprouting up throughout the El Paso community.
To help educate the public about municipal codes related to overgrown vegetation, the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department’s Code Compliance Division will step up enforcement of weed violations over the next month. Code inspectors will notify property owners or tenants of violations. Violations not corrected within the designated period may result in a citation or clean-up fees if the City has to clean the property.
“Overgrown weeds and other vegetation are unsightly and have a health and safety impact on the community. Overgrown vegetation can harbor mosquitoes, rodents and other vectors that impact the public’s health and safety,” Elda Rodriguez-Hefner, Code Compliance Division Manager said. “We are asking for the public’s assistance in minimizing these public nuisances by keeping their yards trim and by abiding by the municipal code and maintaining the vegetation in the parkways and alleys abutting their homes and businesses.”
Environmental Services reminds the public to avoid code violations related to weeds by trimming overgrown vegetation in their yards, as well as, parkways and alleys abutting their properties.
Title 9 of the El Paso Municipal Code states that grass, weeds or uncultivated plants should not be allowed to become overgrown. Weeds must not be allowed to grow to 12 inches or taller or become a nuisance.
The City of El Paso helps control weeds in public rights of way, parks and public facilities by spraying them with herbicides. To learn more about codes related to overgrown vegetation review Title 9 of the El Paso Municipal Code at www.elpasotexas.gov.
Ten Steps to Welcome in a New Fashion Season
By: Sharon Mosley
Now that you’ve sweated through most of the summer, it’s time to start thinking about the new fall fashion season ahead. I know that for many of us, there’s still plenty of steamy days to come, but it doesn’t hurt to start at least doing a little planning to refresh those tired summer wardrobes. After all, the new fall collections will be hitting the stores and online as you read this!
So take some time out now to plot your shopping strategy, even if it’s just shopping in your own closet!
Step One — Collect magazines. August is the month when you will see those giant “books” of fashion photography beaming up at you in the checkout aisle. Buy at least one or two or three. These will give you great ideas to get inspired. Rip the pages out, and start your own “Pinterest” collection. No, you may not buy the $2,000 leather jacket, but you may find one that you love for $200.
Step Two — Think, think and think some more. Yes, it really does pay off to ask yourself a few questions about your wardrobe every now and then, especially at the beginning of a new season, and especially if your life has changed any in the past year. Think about what’s coming up in your future. Any job changes? Any special events? Travel plans? (Or that dreaded high school reunion?)
Step Three — Make a list. It sounds simple, but it works. An organized approach to shopping is one of the best ways to insure that you stay focused. But then, I also believe in the “I love it. I have to have it.” theory, too.
Step Four — Shop your closet. After you browse the magazines and make your lists, take a look at your own closet and see what you already have. I often catch myself buying the same things over and over again (black pants anyone?), only to find several pairs in my closet that would have been just fine.
Step Five — Make your accessories count. Take inventory of what handbags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, etc. you already have. What condition are they in? What did you “wear to death” last year. What needs replacing or updating? Accessories are one of the easiest and often inexpensive ways to instantly update your wardrobe.
Step Six — Replacing the inevitable. Some of us like to hang on to our possessions until the last thread is worn out. But a new season is the perfect time to consider when that cherished pair of designer heels from 1999 that’s showing some wear and tear should be forever banned from our closet.
Step Seven — Call in reinforcements. Enlist some help. If you have a friend or store associate whose personal style you admire, this is a good time to ask for her help. Invite her over and make it a party for two. Scope out your closet and ask her advice. With a glass of wine or two, you will probably get some good feedback.
Step Eight — Experiment with color. This is another easy way to get the season’s newest look. Zero in on the “color” of the moment. Emerald green happens to have that cachet this year. But so does “Mykonos Blue” according to Pantone, Inc., the color authority who follows the trends. So how about combining the two? But, if you love red, there’s always that hot fuchsia “Vivacious!”
Step Nine — Stay in the present moment. We all have clothes that we hang onto forever: the prom dress from 1979, the bridesmaid dress from 1989, the cocktail dress from 1999, but if these clothes are not working for you now, consider giving them to charity. I love “vintage” clothes and accessories, but sometimes we have to admit the vintage has just run out of style.
Step 10 — Be true to yourself. Whether you feel like you need to replace your whole wardrobe or you just want to buy a few new things, remember that ultimately you will be the one wearing your clothes. Wear things you love, and every new season will be a chance to explore a new you
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Summer Fashion Coolers
By: Sharon Mosley
If the summer heat wave makes you want to roll over in your bed every morning and wake up in October, \ you may need to swallow hard and take a chill pill. Or take a deep drink of one of these fashion coolers. Here are a few ways to beat the heat of summer in style:
Heads up! There’s nothing hotter than long hair dripping down the back of your sundress. Take a clue from the trendiest hair stylists and pull it back into a ponytail or a chignon at the nape of the neck. The trick is to add a volume building mousse before your hair is dry, according to the experts at John Frieda. Then spray with an all-day hold hairspray. And so what if it’s all a little messy with a few strands of hair sticking out here and there? The look of these “deconstructed” chignons are loose and easy, perfect for a hot summer’s day or night. Headscarves are another hot trend to keep tresses at bay in hot weather.
Ditch the black! When the temperature is soaring in the 90s, you don’t want to be wearing that all-time heat soaker-upper — black. You’ll bake … and ugh … even probably sweat a little. So instead, lighten up with one of fashion’s favorite color palettes this year … white. Whether it’s a white chiffon tunic top, a white cotton oxford shirt, breezy linen cropped pants or a sophisticated white sheath dress, this is the time to choose to let those rays bounce right off of you.
Get shortie! Just looking at those dark denim jeans in your closet during the hot summer months can give you a heatstroke. Instead, opt for a pair of printed denim shorts or Bermudas. Even cropped pants can be a lifesaver that won’t drag you down like those full-length boot cuts you wore last winter. Stick to lighter washes of denim. Now is the perfect time to try a pair of distressed jeans — slashed with instant built-in air-conditioning. Check out the selection of denim shorts at Old Navy.
Go for a tropical punch! Summer is the best time to play American tourist in Hawaii! For those of us who tend to steer clear of all those bold tropical prints during the rest of the year, why not give your warm weather wardrobe a vacation and ease into these breezy prints that are all the rage this year? Stepping out in a maxi dress blooming with huge hibiscus flowers will surely give your spirits a cool lift.
Free your soles! No feet encased in heavy sport sandals and socks! So unless you’re trekking through the Rockies, it’s better to give your feet some breathing room. There are plenty of stylish ways to step out this summer in our favorite flip-flops. Yes, I know they’re just one step above going barefoot. That’s the point, isn’t it? But if you’re tired of the same ol’ rubber thongs, then check out Tkees (tkees.com). These colorful thongs will give your feet real personality. Don’t skimp on the pedicures either … whether you do it yourself or visit a salon!
Slather it on! With summer heat comes itchy, dry summer skin. Try adding something new to your beauty routine … products that are soothing and refreshing. The Lulah collection is a great place to start. From the parent company Thymes, Lulah is an assortment of aromatic body washes, lotions, spray mists and hand creams in delicious scents, such as vanilla orchid, citron, peony, magnolia fig and ginger. Lavanila has bottled its vanilla scents into handy non-spillable roller-ball bottles, and L’Occitane has refreshing packages of totable towelettes — great for tucking into your beach bag.
Ban the bling! Keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum during hot, sticky weather. A hat is a must-have for sun protection, but leave the big baubles at home. Fall is right around the corner!
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Bridal Bliss on a Budget
By: Sharon Mosley
There’s one day that many women want to be perfect — their wedding day — a day filled with romance and the perfect ceremony with their perfect significant other and, of course, the perfect dress. But when you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to get that perfect dress, then you’ve got to think outside the big white dress … or do you?
Fortunately, there are plenty of retailers now doing some rethinking about those expensive bridal dresses for you. Think you’d ever shop for a wedding gown when you’re shopping for laundry detergent? Now you not only have traditional bridal boutiques to help you find the perfect dress, you also have big retailers like Target to give your bridal budget a break.
“The average bride shops at between four and six stores before settling on The One,” says Nina Willdorf, author of “Wedding Chic” (Penguin, 14.95). According to a 2013 survey by TheKnot.com, brides spent an average of $1,211 on their wedding dress in 2012.
“When was the last time you spent somewhere in the vicinity of several thousand dollars on an item of clothing you wore once? How about … never,” says the style expert.
“So why should this day be any different? Yes, it is one of the most meaningful milestones in your life. And, yes, the dress sets a mood. But that doesn’t mean you need to make the commitment ‘Till Debt Do I Part’ when purchasing your wedding dress.”
Here are 10 tips from Willdorf on finding bridal dress bliss without breaking the bank:
—Familiarize yourself with what drives up the price of pretty frocks, so you can choose detailing wisely. The designer gowns, fabrics and intricate details will cost you more.
—Simple is always better on a budget, especially when it comes to your dress. And it’s also often the most elegant and streamlined that many modern brides are choosing today. Price hikes can happen in two ways: with the initial cost and for altering extras. Indeed, alterations of fancy dresses can add hundreds of dollars to the original cost of the dress.
—Think outside the box, and don’t automatically go for a white, poufy dress. You can save big. Willdorf’s own dress was a “non-wedding” dress in silk organza with spaghetti-straps and no elaborate inner layers or beading. (By the way, Willdorf also paid a fraction of drycleaning costs simply because her dress was NOT a traditional wedding gown.)
—Shop at the right time for considerable discounts on your dream bridal and bridesmaids’ dresses. Willdorf suggests shopping in February and August before shipment of new seasonal stock arrives to get the best deals.
—Scope out alternative shopping spots. Bridal boutiques can be one of your best bets; it’s true especially for one-of-a-kind designer gowns. But also consider checking out online vendors, sample sales, consignment stores and now retailers like J.Crew, Anthropologie and Target for ideas. Just make sure you are aware of return and exchange policies.
—And if you really know exactly what you want, you might choose to be your own designer designing your won dream dress. The key, according to Willdorf, is to know exactly what you want, from top to bottom. You won’t need as much time, and you can forget extra charges for alterations.
—Be sure to get good prices on all your other accessories by doing research on what these items should cost — and how to save on them. If you get a great deal on a sophisticated simple dress, you can splurge on a beautiful pair of earrings or necklace that you can wear again and again.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
Style: From the Inside Out
By: Sharon Mosley
Bobbi Thomas does not believe that “fashion” and “style” are interchangeable. As a frequent contributor to NBC’s “Today” show and author of the new book, “The Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow” (24.99, Harper One), Thomas believes that true beauty comes from the inside.
“Fashion alone is an external thing, not a way to identify you,” she says. “Style, however, is about being whole and balanced.”
Thomas started her professional life as a rape crisis center counselor, so she knows how much self-esteem can affect how we view our own sense of style.
“Whether I’m on NBC’s ‘Today’ show talking about the latest trends or hosting events at JCPenney or Gucci, I believe in leading a woman toward discovering her authentic self — her personality, her essence — on the inside and then reflecting that self on the outside through style. My ‘makeovers’ are more about self discovery and reinvention than overhauls and major transformations.”
And Thomas admits that she “loves a hot shoe or stunning gown as much as the next girl,” but she likes to delve deeper. “Style is about a lot more than stuff.”
Here are Thomas’s 10 steps to “Matching the Outside to the Inside” from “The Power of Style:”
1. See Yourself. First, work on developing a healthy image. Thomas suggests getting serious about using “mirrors” around you like your friends and home to reflect your best qualities.
2. Act the Part. Be aware of your body language and check out what verbal and non-verbal messages you are sending. Pay attention to how people react to you. Remember appearances do matter.
3. Speak Up. Appearances do matter and conveys a “language” that you communicate to others. Thomas suggests thinking of your style as a “brand” to promote who you are and what you want to say.
4. Know Your Worth. Acceptance of yourself is key and worth whatever effort it takes. Invest in yourself and your “packaging.”
5. Put a Plan into Practice. “Input equals output,” says Thomas, who urges women to keep a style journey, set a budget and find time for fittings to find the perfect outfits.
6. Learn Your Colors. In order to choose the most flattering style statements, Thomas encourages women to study their “colors,” and find out whether a “warm” or “cool” palette best suits your skin tone. Hues from red to yellow, including brown are considered warm, while hues from blue-green through blue-violet, including gray, are considered cool.
7. Balance Your Body. Know what silhouettes of clothes work best on your own particular body shape. Thomas identifies several “X factors” that will help you determine which clothes will flatter your unique shape.
8. Perform A Closet Cleanse. Yes, a clutter-free closet is one of the keys to enjoying getting dressed everyday, according to Thomas.
9. Make a Most-Wanted List. Think about the items in your closet that you wear the most and make a list. There is a reason that you like certain clothes. But by making a list, you become more aware of what kinds of clothes you are attracted to. Then before you buy anything new, you will know automatically know what kinds of clothes you love to wear.
10. Time to Go Shopping! Of course, this one is the most fun. Thomas has lots of tips about shopping — one of the best — “Shop with friends, but buy alone.”