Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Red Carpet Styles
By Sharon Mosley
This season, be your own leading lady in red carpet runway looks that will land you in a starring role. And no, you don’t have to splurge on custom Dior or Chanel haute couture to get the glamorous look. Just take a peek at what the celebrities are wearing at the awards shows this season to rock your own party style, no matter what your budget. Here are some of the biggest trends for spring:
Think pink. Pink is the runaway runway color of the year. Soft, pastel blush shades dominated the star-studded events, but pink in all shades took the winning color award. Worn head to toe, pink swirls onto the dance floor in beaded ballgowns like the one by Versace that Regina King wore at the 2020 Oscars. Laura Dern and Gal Gadot each took a turn in pink dresses accented with black; layers of bubblegum pink tulle and ruffles made a statement in a Christian Siriano princess gown worn by actress Julia Butters.
Dress for nights in white satin. White is also shining bright at proms and parties this spring. Cynthia Erivo sparkled in a white one-shoulder gown with glittering silver. Ditto for Renee Zellweger, who wore a sleek Armani one-sleeved gown. The one-shoulder look outshone the strapless trend of past seasons. Take your pick from short or long dresses. And watch for white pantsuits and jumpsuits to hit the scene, too.
Black out. Black has always been a favorite of the celebrity crowd, and this year is no different. The all-over black gowns this year are often accessorized with white — white embroidered bodices, white pearl belts, white floral skirts and white over-the-elbow gloves. Long, sweeping capes, feathered hemlines and crystal jewelry are also perfect foils for black. And, of course, there’s nothing better than a classic black tuxedo … anywhere or anytime.
Sing the blues. With “Classic Blue” pronounced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, you can expect to see all shades of blue popping up at special occasions this spring. From icy pastels to deep sky blue to inky midnight, the blue hues are a refreshing way to change up formalwear. Designer Stella McCartney paired classic blue with black and white in a long gown for actress Olivia Colman at the Oscars.
Watch for more colors, like green and yellow, as well as the metallic golds, silvers and bronzes to take center stage in festive evening attire.
Do your own thing. Want to stand out at your event? Take a fashion risk and put your own spin on star style. Take your cues from Janelle Monae, who made an entrance at the Oscars in Ralph Lauren’s stunning silver, hooded dress that could easily have been beamed down from the Starship Enterprise. Then there’s always Billy Porter and Spike Lee, who push the fashion envelope whenever they can with creative ensembles. The same goes for the unisex vibes worn by pop star Billie Eilish, whose superlong fingernails usually steal the show.
PHOTO CAPTION: Pink in all shades was a red carpet favorite at the 2020 Oscars … a barometer of fashion trends to come. Blush-pink dress from Lulu’s.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM
Romancing the Stones: Spring 2020 Jewelry Trends
By Sharon Mosley
Have a fling with a little bling this spring! Kick off the season by giving the love of your life (or yourself) the gift of jewelry for Valentine’s Day. Here are a few romantic updates that will add a touch of sparkle to anything you wear.
— Be the girl with the pearls. Pearls have long been a jewelry favorite, but this year, baroque styles get a modern update with mixed metals and lots of stones, giving them a whole new look. Get the look by layering semiprecious gemstone necklaces with your grandmother’s pearl strands or a pair of pearl-sprinkled gold or silver hoops.
— Play with colors. Multicolored jewelry makes a big statement this spring with a rainbow of vibrant shades like bright green, sky blue, hot pink and orange corals. Combine them in stacked bangles, drop earrings or beaded necklaces; the more colors, the better.
— Get chunky with chains. Oversized is the way to go with chains that link up to form giant necklaces, chokers, earrings and bracelets. Big jewelry is a major fashion trend after years of smaller-scaled styles. Think of fashion icon Iris Apfel’s signature style; you can always mix smaller jewelry pieces together to create a more substantial layered look.
— Jump through hoops. Again, the bigger, the better. And the more, the better, like earrings that are hoops within hoops or hoops dangling from hoops. The molded, sculpted hoop earrings are often all you need to give an outfit an instant blast of updated style.
— Do the artsy thing. One of the best places to look for your new spring jewelry may be your local art museum. Look for sculptural designs, geometric shapes and tribal interpretations that will appeal to the inner artist inside you. These one-of-a-kind accessories will be treasures you’ll love for years.
— Go long. You don’t have to get all choked up over jewelry this spring; there are plenty of longer necklace styles to get wrapped up in. Pendants, lariats, y-necklaces and even bolo designs are draping around stylish necklines. Initial necklaces, vintage charms and textured coins are also making a comeback.
— Look to the sea. Watch for shell jewelry to be a big part of the spring and summer accessory scene. Whether it’s a pair of gold earrings in the shape of shells or a shell-studded cuff bracelet, the ocean and its tropical shores inspire all of us to give our jewelry wardrobe a little vacation and think of sunny days ahead.
— The one and only. If you really want to have an ear party this Valentine’s Day, create a one-of-a-kind jewelry look by wearing just one special earring — a gold chain dripping with emeralds, a stud of a giant star or diamonds dangling with feathers. Celebrate your own individual style, one earlobe at a time.
PHOTO CAPRTION:Pearls get a modern touch this spring in updated oversized hoops and bracelets at Kenneth Jay Lane.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM
The Winter Reboot
By Sharon Mosley
Look down at your feet. It’s winter, and chances are you’re wearing a pair of boots. Whether it’s a pair of thigh-highs or wedges, boots are one of the fastest ways to step up the style in your wardrobe this winter. Do some fancy footwork and slip into one or more of these trends right now. You might even find some of them on sale! Time to reboot.
— The thigh-high boot. Yes, it may be going to extremes, but the taller boots have sky-high style. These over-the-knee boots (they’re best with a little stretch built in) can be worn over slim pants or skinny jeans, or paired with shorter dresses and skirts. Wear them like tights.
— The lace-up boot. This is not your traditional granny boot. Think a little more equestrian-inspired with a boho folkloric twist. Find lace-ups in all kinds of boots, from funky flats to dramatic thigh-highs.
The extra touch this winter? Lots of fuzzy faux fur trim. How’s that for cozy?
— The Chelsea boot, also known as the Beatle boot. Vogue calls this the only boot you’ll need this year. A rock ‘n’ roll favorite, this flat ankle boot may be one of the most comfortable ways to put some cool back into your wardrobe. Go for the pointed toe and a few buckles for even more of a rocker look. Wear them with cropped pants or shorter skirts and bare legs (if you dare) for an updated vibe.
— The biker boot. The punk-inspired boot that rides into winter comes in all shapes and sizes. From chunky-soled work boots with lots of metal hardware to combat styles with lace-ups, these boots have lots of rough-and-tough style that give your outfits attitude. Wear them with miniskirts and dresses, and team them with lace socks for even more punky pop.
— The wedge: another favorite boot this winter. Wedge heels are making big strides into the colder months with platforms reminiscent of the ’70s. When you need comfort, this is the boot that you will come to rely on day in and night out. Wear them to give you a little lift with flared pants, long skirts and tailored suits.
— Slithering snakes. Snakeskin may also qualify as the boot of the winter season. Snakeskin, the fashion favorite, shows off in slinky knee-highs or fun ankle booties. Dress up your casual outfits, and give them an edgy vibe. These boots are definitely eye-catching accessories and will up the style factor on any outfit.
— Snow boots. And of course, what would winter be without cold-weather boots? For rain or snow, a pair of waterproof boots is one of the season’s necessities, especially if you live in a region that gets a lot of icy precipitation. While function is very important, snow or rain boots can also be fashion forward with decorative linings, fur trim, fun soles and lace-up details. Ditto for hiking boots. When you try them on, always remember to leave room for socks!
COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM
PHOTO CAPTION:Hike down the city streets in style with plaid boots by Jessica Simpson.
5 Easy Ways to Say “I Love You”
If gift-giving isn’t your strong suit, occasions like Valentine’s Day are likely to bring on stress and worry, but procrastinating will only serve to elevate your unease.
Follow these steps to simplify your shopping, and while you may not come to love the task of finding the perfect gift, your loved one will undoubtedly appreciate your effort.
1. Browse for ideas online. Many retailers offer special promotions and gift idea sections on their websites, so finding inspiration can be as easy as visiting the sites of your loved one’s favorite stores. There are also dozens of articles online to help get the ideas flowing. Searches such as “gifts for horse lovers” or “Valentine’s gifts for a new boyfriend” will reveal a long list of ideas to peruse.
2. Keep it simple. Although the advertising industry works hard to convince consumers otherwise, Valentine’s Day isn’t really all about the bling. Sure, a pretty bauble is a welcome gift, but there are plenty of ways to show your affection that don’t require spending a month’s salary. A heartfelt card paired with a memento of a meaningful event or place in your relationship sends the same loving sentiment.
3. Make it a (different) date. For many couples, navigating the demands of work, kids and life make spending time together a luxury. Instead of fighting crowds at busy restaurants on the official date, celebrate your love on a day of your own choosing, when you can relax and enjoy the time together without the pressure to rush through dessert so your table can be flipped for the next waiting couple.
4. Give blooms a boost. A dozen long-stem red roses is a beautiful gesture, but unless your intended rose receiver is a strictly traditional type, try adding a little spice to your floral arrangement.
Go for a bouquet in her favorite color, or have the flowers arranged in a practical vessel she can reuse to remember the occasion, such as a cocktail shaker or a watering can.
Best Valentine’s Day Gifts Featuring fruit such as pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew, and strawberries, Edible Arrangements® gifts offer something for everyone to enjoy. For an added kick of sweetness, choose an arrangement with fruits dipped in semisweet chocolate.
5. Go ahead, gift yourself. It may seem counter-intuitive, but finding a gift you’ll enjoy may inspire an idea for your loved one. The trick is finding something you can share together, whether it’s tickets to a show or his and hers mugs for enjoying your favorite brew. Just be sure the item is something your intended will share your enthusiasm for, or you may as well go buy a blender.
Find more ideas to simplify every occasion at eLivingToday.com.
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.