Lost in Transition
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 $2000 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, then 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 whose personal style you admire, this is a good time to ask for his or her help. Invite them over and make it a party for two. Scope out your closet and ask for 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. Check out the red palette for fall. Bright “Grenadine” red leads the line-up, followed by burgundy “Tawny Port,” rusty “Autumn Maple,” and a rosy pink “Ballet Slipper,” according to Pantone, Inc., the color authority who predicts the fashion color trends every season.
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, then consider giving them to charity. I love “vintage” clothes and accessories, but sometimes we should admit the vintage in our closet has seen better days and may find a new life at a costume party!
Step Ten: 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. It’s always exciting to discover a stylish new treasure. Wear things you love, and every new season will be a chance to explore a new you!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM
Made in the Shade
BY: SHARON MOSLEY
Audrey Hepburn knew it. John Lennon knew it. And Rihanna knows it. Sunglasses can give you a whole new outlook on life. They can change your image instantly. And more importantly, they are must-have eye protection. In other words, sunglasses are possibly the most necessary accessory you can wear…so why not make sure they’re stylish, too? Here are some tips and trends for finding the most flattering sunnies this summer:
–First, look in the mirror. If you’ve worn the same Wayfarers for 20 years, it may be time to see life in a whole new way. Make time to check out updated frames and lenses at your local optician or sunglass boutique. If you don’t have a clue about what shapes of glasses look best on you, get some professional help, especially if you wear prescription glasses and you need to get the most out of the money you spend since these sunglasses are more of an investment.
–The most flattering shaped sunglasses will usually be the opposite shape of your face. However, with the dozens of choices available now, nothing beats trying on the glasses in front of a mirror. While many of us have a “wardrobe” of sunglasses to match our every fashion mood, sunglasses can be expensive, so it’s best to choose wisely. (And then try not lose them!)
–If you have an oval face, then you’ve truly got it made in the shade! Oval shapes can carry off just about any style of glasses. Just make sure your glasses are as wide as the widest part of your face. Proportion is important when you try on sunglasses. Aviators are always a good bet for this face shape. This year, the colorful tinted mirrored aviators are the trendiest way to wear this classic shape.
–For longer, oblong-shaped faces, check out glasses that have more of an oval shape. Strong, horizontal brow bars are also good bets to balance out oblong faces. Thicker temple frames can also add extra width and detract from large noses. Trendy glasses this year include many frames embellished with decorative details like crystals and studs.
–Round faces are complemented with more angular styles of sunglasses. Oversized rectangular frames are one way to balance fuller faces. The butterfly cat-eye is one of the latest styles that flatter rounder faces.
–Heart-shaped faces benefit from eyewear frames that are squared off in strong frames that boast darker colors and finishes like tortoise or black. Strongly defined brow bars may also help to balance the upper part of this shape of face. Rimless round frames which is one of this year’s biggest trends in eyewear is another flattering shape that compliments the heart-shaped face.
–If you have a square face, then sunglasses in more curvaceous shapes are generally preferable. The horizontal space-age sunglasses that are trending now like the colorful ones Rihanna sports for Dior in its ad campaign are perfect for this shape of face.
–With so many options in colors and styles of eyewear, choosing the sunglasses that are right for you may be overwhelming. Stick to colors that reflect the colors in the clothes that you wear. Another tip: choose glasses with frames that provide contrast to your normal skin tone. Also, consider the color of your hair — dark hair, dark frames; light skin, lighter frames.
Sunglasses can be one of your best fashion statements, year in and year out. But sun protection for your eyes is even more critical. Make sure the glasses you buy are polarized and block the maximum amount of UV rays. Then pick the most flattering pair of shades for you. It’s easy to change your view of the world and how the world views you — one pair of sunglasses at a time.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM
Mind, Body and Summer
By: SHARON MOSLEY
There’s no time like summer to make us sweat … sweat the small stuff, like what to wear when we’d rather just strip down and hibernate indoors for a few months. But the hottest months may be the best time to focus on what really matters — finding the clothes that fit and flatter our bodies no matter what time of the year. Here are a few tips for making the most of summer and the big reveal.
–First, make a list of your assets. Even if it’s a mental list that you have filed away over the years, most of us know what works and what doesn’t when we take a twirl in front of that dressing room mirror. In warmer months when the layers get peeled away, it’s even more important to play up the positives. Great legs? Take the short cut. Heavy arms? Try a blouson-sleeve tunic. Need an updated swimsuit cover-up? Wrap up in a silky kimono. Wanna wear a dress? An A-line silhouette is a good bet for a variety of shapes and sizes.
–Then get down to the essentials. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a tank top and capris needs to be your official uniform of the summer, but summer wardrobes do tend to give us much more freedom to make the most of slimming down ourselves and our closets. Instead of baggy, tent-like tops, choose more form-fitting designs with built-in stretch that gently define the waist; steer clear of billowing wide-leg pants that just make you look even wider. You can still keep your cool and loosen up in the summer, but choose clothes that fit and don’t swallow you whole.
–Lighten up. The fabrics we wear in summer are critical. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen have long been fashion favorites; but man-made blends are making strides. Jersey is one of my all-time summer favorites because it doesn’t wrinkle. Color is another way to keep cool, too. Ditch the all black routine for now, and experiment with brighter hues and eye-catching prints and patterns.
–Skip the frou-frou. Sticky weather is not the best time to just keep piling it on. All those excessive embellishments like sequins, embroidery, tassels and ruffles that might be the stars of a holiday party may not be at their best in the heat and humidity. They will just weigh you down more. Ditto for wooly scarves and heavy metal jewelry. Save these over-the-top extras for more festive occasions coming up this fall.
–Acknowledge the years. If you are still trying to squeeze into that bikini from high school and 10 years later you still find yourself stuffing it into your beach bag, you definitely need a reality check. Or if you’ve gone through a major life change like pregnancy or illness that affects your clothing size, then it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your wardrobe, period. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your whole outlook on style. After all, a vacation may be just the thing you and your closet deserve.
Wedding Planning 101
First comes the proposal then comes the wedding planning. There are dozens of decisions that need to be made before it’s time to walk down the aisle, which can be overwhelming for brides and grooms.
To help make it less stressful, these tips from Macy’s can help couples through the entire wedding-planning process, from on-trend apparel and accessories for the entire wedding party to all the essentials to create a perfect registry.
Dressing the Ladies
When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, the mix-and-match approach is trending in popularity. Start by deciding on a color palette, such as lilac, champagne and petal pink. Then have each bridesmaid choose her favorite style within that range of hues. Bring it all together by choosing a uniform look for makeup, shoes and accessories.
There is no better time to thank the ladies than the morning of the big day. A few thoughtful gifts can go a long way, such as matching robes, tumblers to stay hydrated throughout the day and cosmetic cases to stow makeup essentials.
Dressing the Gents
Similar to bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen attire can be dependent on the venue and overall event aesthetic. While a suit can fit the bill for a country club wedding, a city affair may call for the sleek finishes of a tux. Tuxedo accessories, such as cuff links or bow ties, make great groomsmen gifts and are classic pieces they can use time and time again.
Creating the Perfect Registry
When building a registry, it’s never too early to start. People want to give gifts as soon as they know a couple is engaged. Start by taking inventory of what you already have, what you need and what you want to upgrade. It’s also recommended to update the registry regularly so there are enough gifts to choose from, especially if there is an engagement party and bridal shower coming up. To get started, some popular registry items include stand mixers, craft beer glasses, Dutch ovens, bath towels and vacuums. For extra guidance, couples can speak to advisors who can help with the full registry building process at Macy’s stores.
For more wedding ideas and inspiration, and to find the right attire and gifts for your wedding planning, visit macys.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images #13827
Surfing For Beauty Bargains
By: SHARON MOSLEY
The heat wave may be on, but there are lots of ways to keep your cool and some of your extra cash, too. Beauty bargains abound. Dive into these deals now and don’t sweat all those wonderful moments in the sun. Soak them up with these tips.
–Start with sunscreen. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays may be the best thing you do — not only in the summer but all year long. Look for products that combine skincare with sun protection. Check out the new line of bronzers, balms and sunscreens from the apparel company Pacifica, debuting at Target. Founder Brook Harvey Taylor has created a collection of vegan mineral products loaded with probiotics, caffeine and antioxidants with a 50 SPF.
–Moisturize with makeup. Summer may mean more vacation time, but most of us may not want to take a total break from wearing makeup. Tinted moisturizer offers the best of both worlds, and if you can find one with sunscreen, it’s even better. Try the e.l.f. version at Walmart for $3.
–Cool down fast. You don’t have to visit a professional to get quick results with hydrating masks that soothe sun-kissed skin with moisture-infused ingredients. Just pat on a sheet mask like Dr. Jart’s Vital Hydro Solution for a mini facial that refreshes parched skin within minutes. Another possibility: Spritz on Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Body Mist with SPF 70.
–Get a glow on. Even if you can’t manage a week at the beach, you can still fake a little of that bronzy glow. (And no, it’s not orange). A personal favorite — and one of the best ways to get your glow on gradually is with Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer lotion for $9, found at many drugstores.
–Don’t forget your lips! One of the most sensitive areas of our faces, our lips can easily burn when exposed to hours of sun. Some of us may learn this the hard way. Take time to lick the problem before it becomes painful. Fresh has plenty of colorful options in its Sugar Lip Treatment collection that includes SPF 15 sunscreen. Fuchsia is the latest shade in “Candy,” $24 at fresh.com.
–Nail it. Summer is the perfect time to get creative with manicures. Break out of your everyday pinks and experiment with artistic designs that are available with DIY instructions like Sally Hansen’s “I Heart Nail Art” kits.
–Open your eyes with color. Nobody wants to smear their eye lids with goopy shadow during the hot summer months. Instead, just dab on a tiny amount of blue or green glaze (or better yet, blend them together) for a sheer wash of shimmering ocean hues. Clinique’s collection of Lid Pops in Aqua will give you an instant wave of the deep blue sea on your eyes.
–Texturize hair. Get that messy “undone” beachy hair look without ever stepping foot on the sand Just spray on a volumizing finishing product like Pantene’s Texturizing Non-Aerosol Hairspray for loose curls or messy braids that shines all day and all night long.
Dad’s Day, Dad’s Way
Gift ideas sure to bring a smile
Finding the perfect gift for dear ol’ dad may be easier than you think. Show that you’ve paid attention all these years and know what it takes to make him smile. From gifts that make practical tasks easier to accessories for his favorite pleasure pursuits, these ideas take the stress out of showing your dad how much he means. Add a simple “thank you” and a big hug, and he’s sure to feel the love this Father’s Day.
Anywhere Garage Door Control
If your dad has ever driven away from home, wondered if the garage door is closed then turned around to check, give him the gift of peace of mind. Let dad use his smartphone with the Chamberlain MyQ Garage universal controller and free app to confirm the garage door is closed, open or close it remotely and even receive activity alerts. The controller works with most openers manufactured after 1993, installs in minutes and is available online at The Home Depot, Lowe’s and online at myqsmartgarage.com.
Father’s Day T-Bone Gift Package
Impress dad this year with the meal of his dreams from Omaha Steaks. Tender filet on one side, robust strip on the other, dad will love sinking his teeth into this 30-ounce T-bone. Plus, with gourmet jumbo franks, eight ground beef sliders, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes au gratin and rich New York cheesecake for dessert, this combo has something for everyone in the family. Find more delicious meals for dad at omahasteaks.com.
Outdoor Cleaning Made Easy
Give dad the power to quickly and easily tackle any outdoor cleaning task with a pressure washer that’s durable enough to pass a military-grade drop test while offering the convenience of electric power. From spraying down the grill after a meal to keeping his car and garage looking pristine, the compact Briggs & Stratton S2000 electric pressure washer with an onboard detergent tank is just the tool for the job. Visit briggsandstratton.com to learn more about the full line of outdoor cleaning products or purchase at amazon.com.
Gear Up for a Good Time
Whether it’s the thrill of the catch or the peaceful solitude that draws him, fishing is a pastime many dads enjoy. A true fisherman can never have too much fishing gear, so it’s hard to go wrong. If you’re uncertain about the specifications of items like rods and reels, focus on accessories instead. An assortment of lures, a new tackle box or a GPS device created specifically for fishing are all ideas sure to earn your dad’s appreciation.
Get the Job Done
If one of dad’s favorite places to spend time is the garage, a new set of tools might be just what he’s looking for to finish up his project list. When a little home maintenance is required, helpful items – as simple as hammers, screwdrivers and tape measurers or more job-specific items like ladders, saws and power tools – can really come in handy. Or, if he’s already got the tools he needs, consider a tool chest or work bench for optimal garage organization.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
10 Tips to Make Outdoor Parties Unforgettable
Entertaining is one thing, but dazzling your guests with an outdoor party sensation is another. Summer can be the best time of year for outdoor parties.
From twinkling lights to patterned tablecloths, every detail counts when it comes to impressing family and friends.
It may feel like a lot of pressure to live up to expectations, but your party can be both simple and elegant with a few easy tips.
Early is never early enough when it comes to planning a rock-star summer gathering.
Check to see if you have enough utensils, make sure everything is in place and that there is enough food for your guests. Prepare weeks in advance, if possible, to make sure you have all the materials necessary to throw your dream outdoor party.
Spice up the invitations
The perfect invitations can do three things. First is tell the basics: what, when and where. They can also tell guests what to bring along with them. Of course, invitations should also be appealing to the eye. This is your time to get a little creative and catch guests’ attention before the big event.
Show your style
You want your guests to be as comfortable as possible. Make sure to dress tables and chairs with cushions and tablecloths. Mix it up and show off some of your personal flair with bright colors or fancy patterns. It’s easy to celebrate summer with styles that bring summer vibes to life.
Light up the party
Brighten up the big day or night with some candles, lanterns or sparkling lights. In case of wind or weather, try to purchase covered candles to increase the chances the flame will stay lit. Make sure everyone can see the hard work you have put into the party.
Less mess meals
No one likes messy meals, especially at a summer party. Put together a menu that isn’t stressful on the cook or stressful on your guests to eat. Dropping sauce on a white summer top is a party no-no.
Rain, rain, go away
Always prepare for the worst. If clouds roll in on party day, make sure you’re ready. You can simply move the party indoors at the drop of a hat. Tents can also help keep the party going outdoors in case of precipitation.
Brighten it up
It’s finally summer and that usually means flowers everywhere. Pick out an arrangement and make it the focal point of each table. The bright colors can draw your guests in and make them want to appreciate the beautiful nature around them.
Make your own games
Give the kids something to do and make it fun. While the adults visit, the little ones need something to keep themselves busy. Whether it’s bubbles or water play in the heat, something to mix it up can help keep them occupied.
Jam it out
Keep the music low and cool. There is no need to blast your speakers across the entire yard. Play your favorite jams, but nothing too crazy. The music can really set the mood of the entire party and make or break the atmosphere.
Cool it down
The summer heat is blazing and sometimes being outside can be miserable. Make sure your guests stay comfortable, even in the heat. Lay out handheld fans, lots of water and even some towels. Your guests will want to stay hydrated so they can
Find more summer party tips at eLivingToday.com.
8 Ways to Optimize Your Sleep
While a healthy lifestyle requires a balanced diet and exercise, sleep is another pillar of overall wellness that is both essential to your health and success, and often overlooked.
By simply making small changes to your daily routine you can improve your quality of sleep. Follow these tips from Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health consultant and director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, and get on your way to better rest and a healthier life.
1. Manage your sleep time. Rather than trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list at the expense of sleep, reverse your approach. As the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, make sure to set aside the time needed for a full night of rest.
2. Stay on schedule. Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent on both weekdays and weekends. With time, your brain and body will acclimate to these set times, but until then, rely on an alarm – not only to wake in the morning, but to keep you from staying up too late at night, too.
3. Find a routine. A routine performed 20-30 minutes prior to bed every night can subconsciously ease your brain into sleep. Unwinding with a book, taking a warm bath or meditating are all ways to slow your mind and transition toward peaceful rest.
4. Brighten up the morning. Getting plenty of bright light in the morning helps keep your sleep timing on track, particularly if you wake up early. Make opening the drapes and blinds your first task each morning.
5. Ditch the clock. Fixating on the time can create stress and keep you up at night. Instead, set your alarm, turn your clock around and forget about the time.
6. Get moving. Research shows that exercise can act as a natural sleep remedy, often leading to a more sound slumber. However, if you exercise late and have difficulty falling asleep, consider moving your workout earlier in the day. The increase in body temperature from exercise tends to be prolonged, sometimes making it hard to fall asleep.
7. Kick the caffeine habit. Morning caffeine can linger in your system until it’s time to sleep. Coffee, tea, dark sodas and dark chocolate are the main offenders for most people.
8. Pay back debt. If you are chronically deprived of sleep, allow your body extra sleep time to make up for the loss. In these cases, even 8-9 hours each night may not be enough. Allow your body to catch up then commit to more consistent sleep patterns in the future.
Find more resources to help improve your sleep, including tips on how to purchase a new mattress, at DailyDoze.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Mattress Firm
Beauty and the Beat
By: SHARON MOSLEY
Wake up those weary winter wardrobes. Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to refresh, restart and recharge your beauty routine. Go big and go bold with glittery eyes, orange lips, rosy hair and graphic nails. Here are five fast ways to wake up to make up in 2017.
–Wake up and shine. Get ready to put your party face on all day long. Shimmer and shine has taken over the runways and chances are you’ll see it staring back at you in your own mirror. Yes, there are lots of not-so-subtle Lady Gaga glitter eyes out there (just press little flecks of glitter into your lip gloss and you get the “no kissing tonight” picture) but you can take it down a notch or two or three. There are plenty of luminizing beauty products that will give you a barely-there metallic sunny glow. Reflective golds and silvers are the usual suspects, but bronzed sun-kissed shimmers are springing up just in time for sunny days ahead.
–Wake up to color. The nude palette has been our go-to beauty routine for the past few years, but now there is a new way to brighten up the pale no-color makeup trend. Think blue eyeshadows, orangey lipsticks and pink, pink, pink. From vibrant neon rainbows to psychedelic holograph effects, there’s a wave of color crashing into the spring season. And unless you’re performing in a stage show, remember, a little goes a long way. Pink eyes, pink hair and pink lips may just make you look like you need to check into the nearest ER.
–Wake up to bed-head hair. This one is almost too good to be true, but yes, messy hair is trending big time this year. It’s tousled, it’s teased, it’s loose and it’s easy. Swept to the side in breezy braids or textured chin-length bobs or long twisted ringlets and curls, hair styles have come undone. Another way to refresh your hair this spring is to add some color. Rose gold shades are big, but colored highlights in blue, red, pink or layered ombre effects are ways to have fun expressing your inner diva — especially at prom or party time. And if you’re a little skittish about taking the color plunge, consider popping a colorful braid or two into your everyday do.
–Wake up to nail art. Rihanna and Adele may be nailing it with long dagger nails, but for most of us, embellished nails are the way to go, especially if you don’t have a manicurist on constant call. Spring is the perfect time to book a mani/pedi and break out of the dark, vampy polishes. Paint the town in sea greens, sky blues, tangy oranges and petal pinks. Graphic nail art can be an easy DIY project if you have the patience. Cosmetic companies make it easy with on-line tutorials and mix and match color collections. Watery iridescent effects and two-tone color designs are perfect places to start. Leave more complicated nail art to the pros at your favorite salon.
–Wake up your skin. A new lipstick or a new eye shadow may be more exciting, but revving up your skincare routine may be much more important in the long run. As a new season rolls around, reevaluate how you treat your skin every day and night. Are the products you’re currently using really working? We all know by now that regularly using sun protection is a must (SPF over 30 is recommended), but this spring think about treating your skin to a refresher course by incorporating a soothing eye mask or invigorating facial peel into your weekly routine. And if you really want to get off to a fresh start this spring, schedule an appointment with a skincare professional or makeup stylist for personalized tips and trends, a great way to wake up to a new season.
IN FASHION BY SHARON MOSLEY
Square toes. Pointy toes. Round toes. Twinkle toes. The shoes this spring and summer are a study in contrasts where opposites attract and the possibilities are limitless. Footwear is fun again, so get that pedicure and start shopping now. Here are the shoe trends you’ll want to slip into right now:
–Dig the heels. It’s all about the heels this season. From low to high, kitten heels to midi heels to stilettos and from clear acrylics to circular geometrics, heels are making a major mark on footwear trends. And opposites attract: choose from chunky silhouettes to ladylike slim styles.
–Rise to the occasion with platforms and flatforms. There are plenty of Lady Gaga-like sky-high platforms out there this year, but there are also lots of ways to come back down to earth. From mid-high thick soles to flatter versions called flatforms, these wedge shoes are a trendy way to pump up the style volume and give your wardrobe a youthful attitude. Floral prints and rope trims are making the buy now list. Just make sure you can stay grounded and keep your balance with all that funky fun.
–Satisfy your hunger with sliders. From plastic pool slides to jeweled mules, these are the ultimate comfort shoes for spring and summer. Dozens of styles range from casual athletic looks to tailored menswear loafers to bedazzled cocktail party shoes. Pick your slides carefully. Some of these slip-ons this season have paper-thin soles and don’t offer much support.
–Go for something extra with embellished footwear. These are the fun shoes. Extra details are the icing on the footwear this year. Think embroidery, appliqued flowers, fruit, pom poms, tassels, crystals, pearls, feathers and bows. Asian prints abound and feminine details flourish. If you have a special occasion coming up, look for shoes that have something extra going for them. They’ll make your outfit.
–Think pink. Put away the black boots and treat yourself to delicious colors this spring. The pastel candy colors are a perfect way to put some spring into your step. From pretty hot pink to subtle blush to even more subtle nude hues, the sophisticated shoes of the season come in everything from slides to stilettos.
–Shine on. Metallics have become a fashion neutral in accessories, and shoes are having their shining moment too. Slip into some silver loafer slides, shiny purple slingbacks or satiny pink midi boots, and lighten up warm-weather wardrobes.
–Tie one on. Heels may be one focal point of fashion footwear this spring, but ankles may tie for second place. Ankles are wrapped and laced for added visual effect. Try a pair of strappy sandals in flats or heels tied up with ribbon for a walk down the red carpet or even down the beach.
–Sneak into spring. Sneakers have come a long way, baby. They’ve gone high fashion, and we all can appreciate the level of comfort that athletic-inspired footwear has to offer. White is still a springtime favorite, but bright colors are popping up everywhere. And how about slithering into a pair of python sneakers? And if sneakers aren’t your thing, you can still go sporty with a pair of utility sandals or moccasins with lug soles. Supplement your trusty gym shoes with a new pair of these updated comfort shoes and wear them every single day.
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
Think wearing your pajamas all day long is too good to be true? Not if fashion designers have their way this spring and summer! They are waking us all up with boudoir basics that are no longer so basic. Hollywood starlets have long known the luxurious appeal of loungewear and lingerie, as well as the power of the pajama.
The slinky slip has always had a steamy history — especially in the movies. From Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to Diane Lane in “Unfaithful,” the sexy slip has been immortalized in some of Hollywood’s most glamorous film scenes. And then there was Naomi Watts slipping in under the fashion radar in the remake of “King Kong.”
In other words, there has long been a fascination with the sumptuous slip in Tinsel town. Think glamorous film stars like Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow wearing long shimmering slips and gowns in the early days of Hollywood. These bias-cut gowns gave a whole new meaning to body-conscious silhouettes still in style almost 100 years later.
Courtney Love also inspired us with this long-time fashion favorite in 1995 when she wore a bias cut and “slit-up-to-there” slip dress to an Oscar’s after party. The rest is history. And the slip dress had a real ’90s moment … or two … or three. Now Love is doing her own boudoir collection for Nasty Gal.
Today, designers are once again reinventing the slip and turning it into a new classic. The new slip is a dress that is dominating the spring fashion trend news. In all shapes and sizes, from short and sassy to long and lean, these silky slips with shoestring shoulder straps are meant to be seen.
White is the choice of color for the season’s latest interpretation of the slip dress for designers at Burberry, Calvin Klein, Celine and Givenchy. Alexander Wang lets it slip with a black lace maxi dress, and Ralph Lauren does it in scarlet red.
And if wearing one of these skimpy little frocks gives you goose bumps, then not to worry. Just add lots of layers — oversized knit sweaters or tailored jackets will do nicely. Then balance the slim silhouette with a pair of spring’s newest chunky platforms.
Then there’s always the pajama to get the party started. If slip dresses aren’t your thing, why not try the boudoir chic trend with menswear pajama-inspired tops and bottoms. Claudette Colbert may have started it all when she wore Clark Gable’s pajamas in the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night.” But Lucille Ball also popularized the pajama game by wearing Ricky’s PJs in several episodes of the 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
This spring, pajama-like separates — especially in matching printed designs — are rolling out of the bed and right onto city streets. Prints are particularly plentiful in the collections from For Restless Sleepers and Sonia Rykiel; Alexander Wang did boxy tops with cropped pants, and at Dior, the boxer short and camisole turned pajamas into streetwear when teamed with oversized blazers.
And if all you want to do is just wrap up in a comfy robe and be done with it all, then there are fashion options out there for you this spring too. The robe jacket/dress is making a big comeback. Witness the news making dress that actress Blake Lively wore to a recent White House State Dinner. Her silvery silk robe dress by Ralph & Russo stole the show from the Canadians.
So if you’re looking for a new dress for an upcoming special event, then check out this wrap silhouette that’s a take-off of the “le smoking” tuxedo. It’s effortless chic and Hollywood glamour at its best … in and out of the bedroom.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM
Join the New Gifters: Less Stuff, More Meaning, No Fruitcake
By Marilynn Preston
The holiday season is upon us. And there’s a 6-foot-high, plastic inflatable Santa standing outside the pet shop around my corner that I want to kill. He’s so cheesy, so filled with mechanical joy that his robotic “ho ho ho” makes me want to yank his polyester beard as I pass by on my way to yoga, knowing I can always calm down later, on the mat.
Finding calm and feeling real joy during the holidays is a personal goal you might choose for yourself this December. Setting the goal is easy. Planning for success is the challenge. What are you going to do this year that is specific, different and dramatic enough to shift your behavior and elevate your spirit?
Take gift-buying, for instance. It’s an aerobic sport this month, a virtual minefield of anxiety, stress and indecision. Will Samantha flip for the earphone-ready Ugg earmuffs? Does Sydney crave another pair of cashmere-lined gloves? Should I go into credit card debt to pay for more toys, more gadgets, more STUFF just because there are phony snowflakes in every store window?
The simple answer to that last loaded question is no. Simplicity is part of a growing trend in gift-giving that has nothing to do with more purses, more scarves, more useless stocking stuffers that add little more than clutter to our lives.
Instead, people on the path to a healthier, happier lifestyle are finding more satisfying ways to express their love and gratitude. Instead of buying into the crass commercialism of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Kiss-my-Mistletoe Tuesday, conscious spenders are rethinking old habits and replacing them with new ones that are greener, cleaner, more inspired and more charitable.
Interested? Wrap your mind around these:
CONSUMABLES ARE KING. Nothing is true for everyone. But for many people on your holiday list, giving consumables is the way to go.
What’s a consumable? Simply put, it’s something you use up. Like a fine bottle of wine. (In my house, anything over $25 dollars fits that bill). Or a box of fabulous chocolates. Or a fruitcake-free fruit basket filled with the yummiest organic produce you can find.
The one exception to the Give Consumables rule, in my book, is a great book. They’re a dwindling species, but readers still exist, and matching a great book with an eager mind remains a thrill. I remember one year giving everyone I know a copy of “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. But most years, I find a fabulous food item or two online. Have you ever tasted a Greenberg Smoked Turkey? Or Heart of the Desert’s garlic & green chili-flavored pistachios?
EXPERIENCES LAST FOREVER. I like giving consumables … but I love giving people on my list something experiential. Stuff is stuff, but an experience can have real impact that lasts way beyond the holidays. Here are my FIVE favorite experiences to offer a loved one:
— A massage: Nothing beats a session with a blissful body-worker.
— Manicure-pedicure: good for ladies and hilarious for guys.
— Private coaching in his or her favorite sport: a total winner!
— Cooking lessons: fun for one, but better done in pairs.
— Tickets to theater, dance, music: Buy two, and share the good times.
DONATE TO A
NON-PROFIT. This is one of the highest forms of gift-giving, but it takes a little courage. Trust me — you will not disappoint. Find a charity you believe in, or one that’s in sync with your loved one’s interests, and donate in their name. One wonderful one to consider is Heifer International (heifer.org), where your gift of $20 dollars or more can buy a struggling family a flock of chicks or a share in a llama.
Another outstanding nonprofit I support and shamelessly promote whenever I can is Girls in the Game (girlsinthegame.org), where the mission is to teach young women to lead healthy, active lifestyles so they can grow up to be confident, strong leaders in their community.
So the choice is yours. If you decide to rethink your gift-giving, Santa and Rudolph will rejoice in their lighter load.
ENERGY EXPRESS-O! LOL
“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” — Joan Rivers
Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, well being coach and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, http://marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to MyEnergyExpress@aol.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD.
Beat Cool – Weather Keep health in mind as cold creeps closer
Temperatures may be dropping, but just because swimsuit season is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your fitness regimen fall by the wayside. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-around, so stay on track as the weather cools with these tips and tricks.
7 Healthy Habits for Fall Fitness
1. With cooler temps comes the temptation to indulge in comfort foods. Remember that it’s OK to satisfy those cravings but keep portions in control.
2. From the start of school to the kickoff of new sporting seasons, fall is a time of fresh beginnings. Get your own start on a healthier lifestyle by kicking unhealthy habits such as smoking.
3. Make the most of these last few months to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Try new recipes featuring options such as apples, pears, pumpkin and squash to enjoy the natural goodness of fresh produce and add some variety to your typical diet.
4. Colder weather may bring relief from the heat, but it also brings cold and flu season fast on its heels. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often to minimize your exposure to germs and illness.
5. Commit to a workout routine. Whether that means investing in the proper home workout equipment to have at home or securing a gym membership (or a combination of the two), pledge to make time for a workout most, if not all, days of the week.
6. Set a good example for the youngest members of your family by finding ways to get the whole crew involved. Take a walk or bike ride, or organize a game of backyard ball to get those feel-good endorphins going.
7. Poor sleep not only drags you down, it can raise your risk for numerous medical problems. Set a bedtime that allows you plenty of rest and stick to it. Also eliminate as many factors as possible that can disrupt your sleep, such as the TV, music and lights.
Electrolytes for Fitness
During a workout, you lose more than just water when you sweat – you also lose electrolytes. If you don’t replace what you lose, you can become dehydrated, decreasing strength, reducing endurance and delaying muscle response. Water alone doesn’t contain electrolytes, so you need a beverage enhanced with electrolytes like Propel Electrolyte Water. With 9 available zero-calorie flavors, it’s the only national water brand with enough electrolytes to replace what you lose in sweat. Learn more at propelwater.com.
Performance Training for a Healthy Lifestyle
Building healthy habits, strength and endurance is possible with the T618 Nautilus Performance Series Treadmill, which is perfect for home workouts. With a full suite of training programs, including interval training, weight management and other customized workouts, this powerful machine features an exclusive cushioning system, a gym-quality running path and an easy-folding deck. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to share data with the free Nautilus Trainer app, which automatically syncs with popular fitness apps. Learn more at nautilus.com.
Best Foot Forward
Keeping in shape requires keeping your feet in motion, but without proper footwear you can find your energy sagging and muscles straining. This is especially true for runners, whose feet take a real pounding. Look for a shoe that fits well in both the heel and instep, fitting snugly but not restrictive. Remember that feet swell during a run, so be sure you have ample room in width and length. Also be sure the shoe offers enough flexibility to give without causing blisters or rubbing uncomfortably while you’re running.
A Sporting Way to Get More Cardio
Keeping sports equipment handy makes it easy to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. Assemble a variety of sporting goods to create some variety in your workout, and be sure to include options you can enjoy solo, with a partner or with a group of friends. An assortment of balls for games such as basketball, football, soccer and softball are simple ways to get in an extra cardio workout. Jump ropes, resistance bands and free weights are also handy to have around the house when inspiration to mix up your workout routine is necessary.
Family biking photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Running shoes photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Sports glove and balls photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images