Posts Tagged ‘Personal Style’

Sleeveless: The New Micro Mini?


The right to bear arms.

Absentmindedly, while giving myself a pedi, I was watching a show on Fashion Television, where Jeanne Beker was interviewing two sisters, who I believe were writers – forgive me,  for I only caught the show well into more than half of it. In the interview, she asked if, in their opinion, people, specifically women, ought to dress their age. This question was met with dead silence, which seemed to have lasted forever, but I’m sure in reality only lasted a couple seconds. The writers looked at each other with a bit of a puzzled look, followed by a smirk, and then a huge grin.

Indeed, a controversial topic, if ever there was one.

Should we dress our age?

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In the end, it seemed that the both writers agreed that it would be recommended, although one was more emphatic about that view than the other, expressing utter shock and horror at women ‘of a certain age’ wearing sleeveless tops… or exposing their necks.

Poor Jeanne, who was visibly shocked at the response, or perhaps I should say more so disappointed. In light of the fact as, in light of the fact that she revealed that, though she was currently wearing a turtleneck, she is, in fact, a lover of the sleeveless. It was evident that she didn’t share the same view, though, though she was aware that, in some circles, this may be considered a major fashion “don’t”, as she recalled commenting on her arms – on camera, during one of her shows. See for Jeanne, she sees fashion as more of a mindset than an age thing.

Or should we dress our minds?

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Maybe there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps we ought to dress how we wish others to perceive us, or at least dress in what we feel most comfortable and powerful in, – outside of sweats *cough*.

“Dress your lifestyle, and you’ll always be relevant.”

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If one’s clothing doesn’t match one’s lifestyle, there will never be balance, and so, perhaps the problem is bigger than the clothes.  Just my opinion.

I’d be the last to condone dressing to please anyone else, but there must be the acceptance that there is a generally understood concept – how you present yourself to the world, is one of the factors which help communicate to the world exactly which point of view you are coming from.  It’s all a part of the ‘body language’ conversation really, and less so rocket science. Though complex as individuals, as a species humans are simple – It the end, it’s all about vibes.

What vibes are you giving off?

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Side note: The writers threw out an interesting statistic – That one in three (3) things we purchase, is a mistake, i.e. it either is not flattering, or is not the best look for us, aka it’s just wrong. E. Gad, say it ain’t so.

Perhaps the whole notion of dressing your age may be related to that. Logically speaking, the older we get, the more in tune with our personal style we ought to be, and so the less mistakes we are likely to make. But of course, it’s never that simple, is it. That high-waisted, fuschia, American Apparel leggings for example that I purchased with a matching navy one, and standard black long tank comes to mind – Yeah, about that statistic, I get you.

Having it all

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Something else that caught my attention was a conversation about “Having it all’. One of the writers said that she found it interesting that at every graduation, at every turning point in young woman’s life, there is a well accomplished woman who, by all appearances has it all, (which is why I suppose she was asked to address the young women in the first place), who is usually the greatest advocator that it’s not possible to have it all. Funny. She later concluded, less often regarded fact to this discussion is that to have it all requires a great deal of hard work, sweat and perhaps more than a few tears. That, perhaps that it’s less so that it’s not possible and more that it’s not a path for the weak willed, or lazy among us.

Right about here the sister of the first writer offered her two cents – that having it all simply means that you are at a point where

“…what you want, and what you currently have are in balance.”

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Simply, it does not necessarily reflect the balance on your chequing account, the number of kids you have, or if you are married or in any sort of committed relationship or not. She then recounted a time when she had just gotten a divorce, was living in a tiny apartment, and was a struggling writer, but at that moment in her life she felt like she had it all – that is to say, she was in a place where she was happy. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do, at that point in time, and felt that she was well on her way to success on her terms.

I’ve read that success is not the key to happiness, but that happiness is the key to success. So ya, I get it. I get it now.

In the end, it always seems to come down to balance, doesn’t it?

b FiercelyFabulous

Photo Credit

How to | Summerize a Simple Frock

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Fall may be fast approaching, sure, but summer is still here.  Starting with a simple dress, even a black one, here are 5 ways to bring some Summer into your life, and your remaining wardrobe, without busting the bank.

1. Add Stripes

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Nautical stripes (blue and white) is the most widely associated with spring and summer, but really any sort of stripes will do. A striped canvas bag/ tote, striped espadrilles, a striped headband – anything striped will work.

Prada’s multicoloured stripes were most popular this spring/ summer season, perhaps evidenced by the fact that it has been so widely duplicated from anyone from H&M to the chinee shop down the road, and everyone in between.

2. Add Shimmer

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Replace your customary blush with a bronzer, which you can layer under your blush when you re-introduce it in the Fall.

Mix a bit of loose golden/ bronze pigment/ shimmer powder/ loose shimmer eyeshadow – whatever you have, with a dab of your normal lotion and apply it to your skin – particularly your arms, legs and whatever else you will be baring. Blend well. Of course you can just buy shimmer lotion if you want to, but I try to find ways to use the ridiculous amount of coloured cosmetics that I own, don’t use and have a difficult time throwing away for whatever reason.

I find that moisturized skin that shimmers looks instantly healthier and toned. Seeing that I haven’t been to the gym all summer, that’s an optical illusion that I can work with.

3. Add Colour

Colour can come from anywhere really

- Makeup

Coloured lips, either lipgloss or lipstick – your preference, is the easiest way to add some colour to your makeup. Pink and coral tones are most widely used, largely because these tones are easiest to wear and most flattering on most skin types. Coral lip colour will carry you through fall, so feel free to still cop one that flatters your skin tone.

Adding a coloured eyeliner, like a teal, turquoise, forest green… can up the ante on your summer nights look, as would coloured mascara. But please, unless the  eyeliner and mascara are the exact colour, do either or.

- Shoes

Pumps, moccasins, sandals, wedges, Keds, Vans, whatever you choose to wear, add some colour or patterns to the mix.

Please, flip-flops are for the beach and belong nowhere near an office.

- Bag

Choose whatever style of bag matches your personality. A fanny pack if you are a no-fuss minimalist. A tote if you have a kazillion must haves. A knapsack. A messenger bag if you are more the ‘ready, set, gone’ type. Whatever bag your personality craves, get a coloured/ patterned one.

- Accessories

Add hair accessories like bandeaus, flower pins/ clips, stack statement tatement bangles/ necklaces OR add brightly coloured earrings. Choose one and work it.

One thing to make sure when earring shopping – most bold earrings tend to be heavy so make sure to check out the weight of them before purchasing. 5lb laptops are near passe, why would you want to carry a 10lb earring? Stretched earlobes, much like a back injury, cannot be reversed.

- Belts

Thick/ thin/ woven/ metallic/ leather/ pleather or otherwise, a coloured belt can take your wardrobe up a summer notch.

Tip: Let your physical size, both girth and height, be your guide to choosing the width of your belt. The more petite your are, the more flattering slimmer belts will look. Likewise, the taller and/or wider you are, the more flattering a wider, brighter, coloured belt will appear.

4. Add Sandals

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I’m a stiletto girl myself eh, but even against the fushia-est, peep-toe, stiletto pump, there’s really no mistaking the ability of  the simplest, nude-leather, thong, flat sandals, to make even the blah-est dress feel like summer. Perhaps it’s because, unlike the pump, there’s no thought of wearing thong sandals in any other season without risking a dread frostbite in ya tail.

If you must go tall, wedges are a lot more summer-y than stilettos. Throw in cork, or the woven espadrille typed soles and you’re even more in the mix. Also, peep-toe (rather than closed-toe) or sling-back, styled wedges, look more like you consciously opted to wear wedges, and less like needing to wear them for orthopedic reasons.

5. Smile

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It’s summer for crying out loud. Longer days, ripe for patio dinners and sangria with friends and family over a never-ending, ever-amorphous convo. Festivals. The beach. BBQs. Road trips. No  jackets.

*Spoiler Alert*: If you can’t find a reason to smile now, then your life would really suck in a few months.

Carry on.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Elevate Your Summer Style.


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Summer Staples: A wide-brimmed hat. Vintage shades. Sandals. A good book. Sangria.

Carry your Summer Style to another level with these few tips.

1. Lighten Up

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In every aspect of your life. Starting with your:

- Clothing
Starting with the colours and fabrics of your summer wardrobe. Cotton blends work best to beat the heat and still look fashionably crisp. The words ‘wool’, ‘ flannel’ and/ or ‘tweed’ have no place in a summer wardrobe.

- Makeup
Start with swapping your cream foundation for loose (or compact) powder, and coloured cosmetics in deep rich hues for fresh, golden ones. Or skip the powder altogether and just apply a bit of bronzer on cheeks and the bridge of your noze, a coat or two of mascara and some lip gloss. No long talkin’.

- Food
Swap ground provisions and hearty soups for lighter fare that doesn’t weigh you down, and keeps you hydrated while you check out the various scenes and festivals of the season with your chosen few.

- Drinks
Substitute the hard liquour for the season’s crisp wines. If you insist on beer, try the ‘lite’-r versions.

- Attitude
Quit taking yourself so seriously. Noone else does.

Half the year is gone. There is great opportunity for physical and emotional cleansing during Summer; Take advantage of it.

2. Accessorize

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Layer chunky necklaces, bangles, and rings. Don statement bags, hair, lightweight scarves/ pashminas (for when the temperature drops in the evenings). Step out of your tunnel and get creative.

And colour it up. Add colour wherever you can – busy patterns, loud and proud brights, neon nails, coloured capris (guys included), colourful kicks… just one at a time though.

3. Keep a clean scene

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Hygiene. It is imperative that this is kept at an all-time high.

Keep nails clean and at a decent length. Exfoliate heels regularly and moisturize with a thick cream at night. As gloriously, luxurious as reality TV may make this appear, this process doesn’t have to be expensive. Invest in a nail file, a nail clipper, a foot file (or pumice stone if you prefer). In terms of moisturizing, you’d be surprised how effective cocoa/ shea/ coconut butter, applied to heels at night before bed, is against ashy feet/ cracked heels. Even olive oil from your pantry can work, so there is really no excuse.

Keep hair at bay, especially in the pits and nether regions. For women it’s best if the pit area is all clear. For men, well the jury is out on that, but at least control the “RARH” effect with a trim every so often. Line up the nether regions and keep it low, if not only because the heat and humidity of the summer climate increases the chance of [foul] odours.

Ladies, I think it’s generally accepted that all hair be removed from legs if you are going to put them on display. Different hair removal methods are discussed here.

In a crunch and didn’t have time to wax/ shave? Wear sheer, coloured, leggings under a short frock. The general public would be non the wiser, unless of course you are over 2 weeks overdue. In that case. opt for opaque ones.

4. Underwear

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Because of climate and temperature restrictions, there’s only so much $$ I’m willing on spend on summer gear that I can wear for, and within, a maximum of about 8 weeks from the purchase date.  As such, my Summer season wardrobe is probably the collection that consists of the most ‘disposable’ elements – You know, brand, spanking new items  that cost $21.50 or less, tax inclusive. The jersey dresses, maxi or otherwise, the light-weight knit bodycon  dresses, and the ever present racer-back-tees-and-lightweight-knit-pencil-skirts combo are staples. Simple, easy to pack and carry, can be dressed up or down, and effortless to pair with anything at anytime. Can go from work to patio dinners to the club. Plus no ironing necessary; Everything in life should be this simple.

Perfect for the most part, only thing is that lightweight materials provide very little structure in terms of holding the body parts in. Invest in some decent shapewear with the money that you’ve saved on copping inexpensive summer gear. And most importantly of all use it, especially under that white, stretch, H&M, tube, Maxi dress… O_o

Oh, and brightly-coloured, thong underwear under white clothing naaaaaah mek it.

5. Swimsuits

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Surprise us. Do something different and try a fashion forward, one-piece why not.

Carry on.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Colour-Blocking 101

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Image: Denim Magazine | Aug ’11

Tips on working on of my fav. Summer trends ever.

1. One trend at a time.

Either Colour-Block OR Animal Prints. Not both. The end is never good when two divas are placed in the same room. Opting for the color-block look is eye-catching enough; Having one trend compete with each other just screams trying too hard.

My two cents would be to choose colour for now and save your animal prints for Fall – it’s right around the corner.

2. Choose your colour battles.

Keep colour in the same family, (oranges with reds, pinks with purples, use the same colour in different shades) …  or not, if your personality would allow you to get away with it. Pair fuschia, orange and light-but-bright blue as Malinda Williams does on the cover of Denim Magazine here, but remember to ground your look elsewhere.

“Either boldly coloured clothing OR accessories OR shoes.”

The “Nicki Minaj” fashion statement only works on Nicki Minaj.

If you choose to wear boldy coloured clothing, keep accessories to a tasteful minimum, and ground the look with nude shoes/ sandals. to pair black shoes with such a multi-coloured, get-up would be a tragic, amateur mistake.

If you choose boldly coloured shoes, let that be the focal point of the look and go with a more neutral or mono-toned clothing choice. The same goes if you choose to wear bold accessories.

P.S. – Neon nail colour also counts as accessories on Grown folk.

Taking heed to this either, [either], or, will be the difference between looking skillfully put together, and looking a saucy mess. It’s a razor thin line, but the results are worlds apart.

3. The Fit-&-Flatter Concept

Bold clothing will attract some level of otherwise unintended attention, so this concept right here is key. With so much going on, colour-blocked items usually work best when worn in a body-conscious silhouette, meaning that the clothing fits very close to the body. Be sure to wear the right underwear/ shapewear if necessary. the tag may say “One size fits all” but all what? All models? All size 2-8s? Definitely not all human beings on this planet. That is physically impossible. What is it made out of? Ballon plastic? Even that has a breaking point. There is a reason why even condoms come in different sizes.

The hotter the trend, the less room there is for mistakes. Know your size and the tensile strength of the fabric that you are wearing. And oh, Spanks don’t catch everything eh, especially if the brand is “fanks”.

4. Tone down the makeup

Another secret to pulling off this bold trend is to keep makeup to a minimum. There is never an excuse to wear red lipstick with this trend. Please and No.  No neon-clothing-with-fuschia-lips-and-blue-eyeshadow combo.  At least not for normal daytime activities for you will look like a 0.99c special. Clown days are over. Less is more.

5. Confidence

As with all other statement trends, the real clincher is here genuine confidence. The kind that emanates from the depths of your soul. The kind that is reflected in the pep in your step, and not store-bought, or BS kind – that’s not substantial enough. It’s very important for you to be comfortable in whatever you are wearing. Pick your peonie and ROCK. IT. HARD.

Carry on.

b FiercelyFabulous

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Body Concious | Rocking Ruffles

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S2011| Emilio Pucci

Ruffles, much like the graphic prints of the season, add detail to a garment, but more than that, they also add volume.

They are dramatic, and bring attention to the area. With this in mind you can use ruffles to your advantage, by incorporating them in areas that you may find, well, lacking.

The size of the ruffles that you don should coincide with how much drama you wish to attract to that specific area.

How to Make Ruffles Work for You

Generally speaking, the placement of the ruffles will depend on your body shape – Pear, Inverted Triangle, Apple, Hourglass or Athletic – As ruffles, along with other embellishment trends like as feathers for example, work at attracting attention to an area, which, as a result, then removes the focus from other areas that you’d prefer not to play up as much.

The basic rules that apply when working the ruffles, feathers or embellishment trends on the above body shapes are as follows:

1. PEAR

Shoulders, chest and waist proportionally smaller than hips and thighs.


S2011 | Valentino

Focus ruffles in your top half, and keep lower half simple.

Ruffles located along interesting necklines like boat, and cold shoulder styles, draw attention away from lower half.

2. INVERTED TRIANGLE

Proportionately larger top half. Wider shoulders, little or no hips, slim legs


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Balance broad shoulders with ruffled volume on lower half. Create the illusion of a waist by adding a belt.

3. APPLE

Proportionately larger waistline. Smaller shoulders, chest and hips. Slim legs.


S2011 | Alberta Ferretti

Whereas adding a belt a tied waistband will draw attention and add weight to the midsection,  ruched fabric in the the midsection area works at both camouflaging and minimizing waist.

Intricate necklines, and asymmetrical hems will also help divert attention away from midsection

Horizontal ruffles placed off center gives the illusion of an elongated torso. Alternatively, ruffle detail may be placed along V-neckline and/ or along hemline (either at knee or floor grazing, not in-between).

4. HOURGLASS

Proportionately smaller waist, chest and hips are wider and somewhat balance each other.


S2011 | Prada

This body shape naturally has volume in the desired places. Add ruffles in areas that do not put the flow in imbalance, like at the hem of a knee length pencil skirt ala Prada.

5. ATHLETIC

No areas are particularly wider, or narrower than the rest. Negligible difference between chest, waist and hip measurements.


S2011 | Jill Sanders

A blank canvas – add ruffles wherever there is desire to add more volume

  • Up top to enhance cleavage
  • Around waist to make a statement or
  • Around hips to add curves.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

1. A smart way to wear ruffles is to wear small ones horizontally on a sheath dress silhouette – considered to be  universally flattering. This way, like stripes, the ruffles elongate rather than widen.
2. Ruffles, like feathers or jeweled embellishments, are noisy beings.  So that you do not start answering yourself, at least not in public, keep accessories minimal and  makeup natural.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Dodging Fashion Roadkill | The Maxi Dress



S2011 | Micheal Kors

As long as there are women, there will always be the Maxi dress. Designers must find this fact annoying because, perhaps in an effort to relieve their boredom, they’ve decided to inject different textures and structures into this spring/ summer staple. The possible result? An epic miss, with some of the most unflattering combinations known to man… or in this case, woman.

The word “Maxi”, as it applies to a dress (or skirt), refers to either length (usually floor grazing) or fullness  (voluminous) – either way there is a whole lot of fabric. The goal of a Maxi dress is to create the illusion of easy sophistication, but this punchline can easily get muddled when designers run with such wild abandon in the park of imagination,  that they miss the mark  totally.

Most of trends for this Spring/ Summer 2011 (S2011) may be seen somewhere on a Maxi Dress near you. Beware of the pitfalls.

1. The See-Through-Maxi

S2011 Trend: Lace/ See-through Fabrics


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

The issue: Visible underwear, isn’t Sexy. [Visibly] going without underwear, tramp style, is worse.  No-one is interested in seeing your ‘titillating’ ‘assets’. This dress will flatter noone with an ounce of flesh. Much more than the sheer fabric will be… bouncing… in the wind.


S2011 | Givenchy

The solution: Go sheer without going bare. Printed sheer materials can offer less translucency that plain coloured ones. Also, well placed detailing can detract, or conceal, areas of perverted interest. Depending on the dress, you can wear a (modern) slip.

2. The Bright, Boxy, Structured, Maxi

S2011 Trend: Bold Colours/ Menswear/ Suits



S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Your waist called. He misses you.

May be laid back,  but this look is definitely not sexy. All that’s missing here are the potatoes, which is ironic because that’s probably the last thing that’s available  on that menu.

Proportions. Proportions. Proportions. An hourglass shape, or the illusion of one, is the key to classic style. Also,tThe overly structured look of this dress defeats the purpose of a Maxi dress.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: The bold colour rocks. Keep the structure to an asymmetrical neckline and a belted waist.

3. The Retro Maxi

S2011 Trend: Retro/ 60s Ladylike/ Red carpet glam


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: More like 60s/ Ladylike Prom, and looks like the dress equivalent to helmet head – Untouchable.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: Switch up the fabric. Interpret the retro ladylike, rather than raid your mother/ grandmother’s closet. Similar silhouette, different reaction.

4. The Graphic Maxi (I)

S2011 Trend: Floral Prints


S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Large prints, like this floral overwhelms petite frames. The dress’s voluminous nature around the waist area also does not complement a woman’s figure.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: Choose a floral print that is proportional to your size – larger frames are better able to carry larger prints. Add interest to a floor grazing floral number with a contrasting detail in a complementary colour at the waist. Peek-a-boo skin, unveiled through a v-neck, gives balance to a potentially, visually dizzying number.

5. The Graphic Maxi (II)

S211 Trend: Bold Colours/ Geometric Prints/ Asymmetrical hems


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The Issue: An effort is made to highlight the waist with a twist-tie, but the  over-sized vertical stripes + no structure + peculiar dress length + bold colours+ excess fabric = Please Stop. My head hurts.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: One voice at a time. Keep silhouettes, to dresses in busy fabrics, simple. The ruching detail in the right places breaks the monotony, and gives a flattering look to even the no-no horizontal stripe rule.

6. The White Maxi

S2011 Trend: All White/ Minimal/ 60s Ladylike


S2011 | Chloé

The issue: The abundance of fabric on the top half, in white no less, coupled with a gathered waist would make for an excessively commodious, unflattering look on most humans.


S2011 | Chloé


S2011 | Chloé

The solution: A wrap dress, or one that mimics it, is universally flattering, even in white, as it breaks up the details, as well as highlights the natural waist.

Tip: A V-neck works better than a round neck for fuller and/ or curvier figures.

7. The Unfinished Maxi

S2011 Trend: Asymmetrical Hems / Metallic/ Sheer/ Unfinished Detailing


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: The first issue is the trend itself – Unfinished garments. Unhemmed garments, unclipped trimmings. A frayed, fuzzy look with thread dangling everywhere. Why? I’ll file this in the juvenile section, right next to destructed jeans.

More than the hems, the statement is undone in this crinkly, scratchy, bed-head looking kit, the draping of which also makes for an unflattering profile. Besides, if you are going to tote all of this fabric, and still have a peep show, why not just don a fitted, loosely crocheted dress instead? Oh yeah, that’s also a don’t.


S2011 | Micheal Kors

The solution: Just because the fabric has a metallic finish, doesn’t mean it has to look like it will cut you. Switching up the fabric to a touchable knit, (one that is also less sheer), and tightening the silhouette a touch, gives the still-asymmetrical look an easy-going, figure-enhancing flow. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

8. The Body Concious Maxi

S2011 Trend: Body Concious/ White/ Lace/ Sheer Fabrics


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The issue: The combination of the above trend may make for a body conscious, but not a body flattering combo. Perhaps this would be better worn as resort wear, in the form of a beach cover-up.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The solution: Emphasize your curves in one trend. Either in lace/ sheer fabrics OR a body hugging silhouette.

OTHER USEFUL TIPS

1. DO give unexpected skin via a high slit or an asymmetrical hemline to give overly voluminous , or excessively lengthy dresses a modern edge, as Emilio Pucci does here.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

2. DO play with the Military trend with ‘sober’ colour choices – e.g. olive green, navy, combined with subtle masculine detailing.


S2011 | Lanvin

Whoever said that Power can only be unleashed in a pant suit must have never experienced the Power of a Maxi.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Best Mens S2011Trend | Colourific Love

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S2011 | Custo Barcelona

There are some staples that a man should possess, regardless of the season. A timepiece, tailored suits, and the good sense to know that brown shoes go with a blue suit.

Then there are Spring staples. For example, a waterproof trench coat, a lightweight, cotton sports jacket and a pair of vintage sunglasses to shield you from the glares of average men. For men especially, the difference in seasonal trends, from year to year, may be a change in colour, cut, or perhaps an update on a classic style. Toss in some “out there”s, and your wardrobe, as a guy, is as good as complete. No fussing, no fighting.

Spring 2011 Trends.

There are the obvious trends, e.g. Military and the Biker trends. It is Mens Fashion after all. Chances are that the Military look would count.

An interesting, but perhaps not so obvious change is that it seems that a looser fitting mens pant leg is back. Yay! The cajones can breathe. This is not to say that the Mens skinny pant is no longer worn, because it is, but at the very least, the style seem to have peaked.

The, for want of a better word, absurdCrop tops, Chains, Meggings (Mens leggings), Lace and sheer fabrics so delicate that not even I would  wear them,  Florals and Monokinis.

A glimpse at what Emporio Armani offered:


S2011 Monokini | Emporio Armani

Where do I start?


S2011 Meggings | Emporio Armani

Make up your mind. Do you want to be warm or cool? As if super, skinny, stretch jeans on men weren’t bad enough, the weather warmed up and brought us Meggings.


S2011 | Emporio Armani

Regardless of your sexual orientation, putting your jewels on display is always a DON’T.


S2011 Cropped and Sheer | Emporio Armani

Cropped tops looked odd in the 90s and this aesthetic never improved. They look even more out of place on the 21st century metro-sexual.

Cropped pants shorten your legs. Do forgo.


S2011 Lace and Chains | Emporio Armani

Want to get in touch with your softer side? Wear lavender or pink, rather than lace.

Impeccable fit, Debatable taste. Not a fan of conceptually complicated clothing and/or styling on men. They are intriguing and mysterious enough?, thanks. Me no likey. K.I.S.S.

By far the most stand-out-but-reasonable and, most importantly, wearable on trend this season is colour – Pastels or Bold, Printed or Plaid.

Your underwear may be monochromatic, but your clothes doesn’t have to be.

COLOUR

S2011 | Jill Sander

More editorial, less ready-to-wear for the average person perhaps, Yes?

I feel you.

Here are some ideas for wearing colour in a more down-to-earth, yet fashion forward manner. For balance, keep either the top or the bottom of the ensemble colourific and balance the other half with a neutral.  Standard neutrals include white, grey, brown, navy, olive green and of course this season’s neutral, khaki.

Fitted button ups


S2011 | Dsquared

The key here is fit.

Long-sleeved tops


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2010 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Casual Shirts


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

Cardis


S2011 | Gilded Age

Tees


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Yay for everything, minus the raccoon eyes.

Dress Shirts


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Men in sandals are possibly the most misunderstood.


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Too loud for you? Try the Khaki Shirt, without question the season’s must have.


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Steven Allen

Never understood espadrilles, especially on men, but say what. I suppose it works here as a definite slipper upgrade.

The Khaki V-neck


S2011 | Etro

The Khaki Dress Shirt


S2011 | Dsquared

The Casual Khaki Shirt.


S2011 | Dsquared

There is so much versatility with this trend, we need to talk about this privately.

Pants

S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Moschino


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Bring out the colours in your ensemble with some complementary socks

S2011 | Tommy Hilfiger

Windbreakers

Worn with shorts…


S2011 | Micheal Bastian


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

or trousers…


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

The Slim-fit, lightweight, cotton blazer

Pair with fitted button ups, a coloured tee, or coloured dress shirt. Dress up or down as required.

Double breasted or a single button, the right blazer pulls it all together.


S2011 | Dsquared

That Body.

Moving on smartly we have the bolder version…


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Prada


S2011 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Minimalist options:

Casual


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

or swanky


S2011 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Canali

Yum.

Leather


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna


S2011 | Gucci

For the minimalists, brown counts too.


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Dsquared

Shoes

Add colour without going casual. Be casual, without looking like you’re going to the gym.


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Swim trunks

Opt for solid-coloured, matte ones over tropical printed ones.


S2011 | Gilded Age

They mirror the solid, matte shorts of the season


S2011 | Gilded Age

I suppose if you are European, and live over yonder, and look like this, you can venture into these …


S2011 | Dsquared

God is great. Gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘minimalism’.

As we’re on the topic, if you aren’t one to stray too far from your neutrals, then  it’s all in the details for you.

The belt.


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

The tie.


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Gilded Age

You never have to be dressed up to wear ties like these.


S2011 | Moschino


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna


S2011 | Micheal Bastian


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Under a cardigan


S2010 | Gilded Age

The piping.


S2011 | Moschino

The pocket square.


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

2011 TAKE ON CLASSICS

The Suit

The single button jacket re-surges this season for a look that is both classic yet fashion forward.


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

So is the double breasted jacket.


S2011 | Canali

Madd.

The Trench

If not out of pure necessity, Spring requires a trench. Make yours as versatile as you wanna be -


S2011 | Buckler


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Moschino

Hot. No-one would ever guess that all your underwear is white.

In the event that you light afire, be sure to throw on a pair of these vintage frames.

Moscot

b Freakin’Fabulous

2010 | Fall Favorites


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Aviator Jacket | Burberry

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There’s a lot going on in fashion this Fall/ Winter season. Great for experimentation and expression of our inner “individual”, but also ample opportunity to get it well wrong.
Here’s my round up of the best of the best. Lets jump in shall we?

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The 60s

Louis Vuitton

One of my fav things that happened this season, is the re-emergence of clothing designed for the average person, i.e. people with some sort of manner of three dimensional shape, rather than the 2D, if-you-turn-sideways-you-will-disappear ones.

Perhaps this was wildly influenced by Mad Men (wikked show), but whatever it was – Thank you and Amen. Everyone with curves, let me hear you roar for this is hourglass season. Slightly longer hems (below the knees), full circle  and curve-hugging silhouettes run the route. I wasn’t ever really good at history, science was more my thing, but I believe this is decidedly an early 60s trend, (not to be confused with the mod 60s)… could very well be late 50s. Either way….

1. Full skirts

(below-the-knee circle skirts) ala Betty Draper [Mad Men]

2. ‘Granny’ skirts

usually mid-calf, pleated or gathered with a flowing easy hemline, that falls rather than sticks out like those cotton candy skirts, much like Peggy Olsen [Mad Men]

Of course the #1 thing with pulling these two types of skirts off is to have a close fitting blouse. The last thing a curvy girl needs to be be voluminous on the top AND the bottom. You’d be 3D alright, but more cylinder than hourglass.

3. Sheath skirts and dresses.

Definitely Joan Holloway [Mad Men]. The ultimate in sophisticated femininity.

*Snap*

For those of us *cough* who find it difficult to get the sheath dress to fit just quite right, you can always try a wrap dress that looks like a sheath one.

or try a high-waisted pencil skirt. This also works this trend quite nicely.

For the more daring the peg-top skirt (full at the waist with pleats or darts, then it tapers narrowly down to the hem) is a good look. If you have a lot of ‘assets’ this may be a tricky look to pull off, largely because it never fits right. I’d say stick with the pencil.

Accessorize. Accessorize.

A costume is not complete without the fandangles.

If you are going to choose such statement looks, accessorize like you mean it.  This way you don’t look like you’re stuck in a time warp. Can’t carry a 60s vixen look with 90s contemporary trimmings. Come on now.

1. Kitten heels

The anti-FMP.

Was never really a fan but… I guess I understand their purpose. Shoes then were more functional and less glamour, as women actually walked very long distances to and from work with them, hence the lower heels like these Pradas:

My problem is that I walk horridly in them. Go figure. Throw me 6″ stilettos and I’m on easy street. Kitten heels and I will twist my ankle. Automatic. For some reason my brain mistakes them for flats.

Functionally fab, Givenchy and all.

2. Wide-waist cinching belts.

Every curvy girl ought to know that this is her longest standing bff by now.

3. “Sexy” Hair

i.e. confused.

“I’m neat, but I’m messy. I’m styled, but not really. I’m slick, but I’m pouffy.

It’s that way purposefully.

Don’t judge me.”

4. Red lips

Fire engine red specifically. Not everyone’s cup of coffee. Roger that.

You can update this look and make it yours by opting for any of the season’s various berries.

Cherry, plum, grape, blue… choose a bold berry that works for you. Just remember the darker the berry… the more stern the look. This is a high maintenance look so eat and drink with caution. For tips on applying/ wearing bold lip colour see post Lady in Bold.

Okay. So it may be obvious that the that’s my top look pick for the season. However other trends worthy of mentioning include:

The 70s

This look also combines high-waisted, wide-legged trousers and ‘blousey’ shirts with neckties. The Power struggle between masculine and feminine continues. Works well for a day/ office/ working-girl look.

Above, from left: Gianfranco Ferre, Akris, Salvatore Ferragamo, Balmain.

At nights? Lots and lots of shimmer and shine. Gold, lame, bold looks.

Leather

It’s Fall after all… leather can hardly be considered a trend as it’s always present in this season.

Head to toe leather? Definite overkill.Works best when you mix it in with other trends like…

Lace

A definite shoo-in for “Holiday Season” swag.

Before you reach for your grandmother’s lace, take a small time out. If you are thinking of the 90s all-over, stretch lace… wrong still. This lace has been updated, and normally it’s the ONLY layer. Yep, that’s what I said.

Ya girl Eva ‘Marcille’ at the Z100 Jingle Ball 2010 hits this one home in this number… with cut out shoes.

So… naturally this automatically eliminates some of us from rocking this trend, or at least it should…. Know your limits with respect to size…. and body tone.

For the more conservative, try pieces with sheer panels rather than a full sheer number. This can work too.

Cut outs

This was pretty big in Spring 2010, so I guess it wasn’t ready to leave. If you live in a country that has a pseudo winter go right ahead. I can hardly imagine this in my -30 degree weather. But more than clothing cut outs have extended itself to accessories, as well as shoes. Kinda reminds me of an updated colour block, but so long as you don’t wear a mustard and purple combo, you should be alright.

See the discussion of the cut out trend for Spring 2010 somewhere in this post Spring/ Summer Getups 2010.

Velvet

I’ve seen this one floating around, and I try not to pay too much attention to it.

Velvet is definitely one of those fabrics that you either love or despise. You either get it or don’t. It can be pretty masculine and/or overwhelming when worn, so ensure that your pieces are classic,  and well tailored, a la Halle Berry here in her September 2010 VOGUE spread.

And remember, velvet not velour.

In case you were wondering, a tracksuit doesn’t qualify as a ‘classic’ piece. Jenny left the block at least a decade ago.

The last trend worthy of mentioning…

Military

This comes back pretty frequently, perhaps because it never really leaves. Being a classic stiletto girl myself, I’ve never really paid this trend much attention BUT, I’m REALLY feeling it this year. Probably because they’re now military inspired rather than straight from the training camp. Less 18th century, more 20th century. More understated and functional, less… lashing-y. This goes for both male and female style.

Never got into the camouflage print, and I’m still not feeling it, sorry. Army green is the big colour for the military trend, but there’s also the navy option, which I’d opt for. A navy military jacket. Yum.

Another take on the military trend is the ‘Aviator’ inspiration, my fav largely because sleek, slim cuts work best for me than say… a cargo pant. Army green can have a tendency to make some of us look sallow. In this case we can go straight for the darker brown hues that are typically associated with the aviator trend – shearling lined, sleek leather jackets et al., much like the feature photo above. THESE ‘military’ takes I can do.

Talking about shearling, how about these fur babies?

Toundra Fur Boots | Louboutin

Sick.

But I digress.

Military boots. My word, military boots. It’s all about the laces. Male or female (high or low heeled) military boots are definitely the way to go. And after all, we aren’t REALLY going into combat are we guys? Right. No we aint. So less Caterpillar-esq and more…

All Saints Military-esq.

They look pretty fly on females too…

Not quite sure what Ms. Keri baby is promoting here, but…. the boots look nice.

Ladies if laces aren’t your thing, properly placed metal (less punk rock studs more biatch in charge) will suffice fabulously. Like these Alexander McQueens here.

Kick. Ass.

‘Must be a power thang.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Blues Clues | Find Your Fashion Sense


I love shoes. They’re like my foot orgasms.

Personally, shoes (and clothing for that matter) are an expression of my inner being. A reflection of my inner thoughts, shoes are my opportunity to step into the world with wild abandon. On that note, I also like my jeggings, and my extensions. Sue me.

There is a reason there are stores out there with a plethora of new shoes, and clothing. This is so that when the old ones get ratty and disgusting, new ones can be purchased.

Not quite sure why this will come as a surprise to anyone, but I didn’t know that it was going to be necessary to inform certain folks on how/ when to exit your comfort zone.

“Whatever does she mean?” You ask.

*inhale*

*exhale*

We live in a brutal world, one where first impressions last. I will be the first to tell you that that mess stinks, I mean who wants to be seen as that shallow? Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. It’s a mind game, honey-pies. If you want to win, you have to learn the rules ofthe game.

The average person out there will treat you exactly how you treat your self. If you show up everyday with scant respect for your self, then guess what the world will do? They will wipe their feet up and down your rump. Twice.

And so it is with great trepidation I write on…

When to throw away the clothing that does not respect your body.

Ladies:

1. Stained, holey underwear, bras, tights and stockings are a distinct no no.

Nothing is worse than you going out for a night on the town with your significant other or new/ old/ borrowed, right-now, eye candy, and dude is about to get lucky. However you have to get undressed in the dark, because your underwear looks like it’s as old as X-men’s Wolverine, having lost the battle between the mutants and the humans. That ish could never be sexy.

It makes sense that if your va-jay-jay is your most prized possession, then you would want to take care of it. You know, take it to the doctor twice a year and yes, clothe it in breathable, pretty things. How do you expect someone to treat your lady parts with respect when you clearly don’t do that for yourself?

Sure, it’s not easy with the Uncle T.O.M.* popping in every so often, but we can’t let him get the better of us and make this be our staple. Let’s keep the sexy stuff for the nights out on the town and the hardware (those bingos) for the old Uncle.

*Uncle T.O.M. being Time Of Month.. whom I am of the opinion has to be a man since another woman would NEVER inflict those nasty hormones on another human being.

2. If you must, “comfy clothing” such as sweatpantS, short shorts, ratty vests, and your boyfriends old college t-shirt should remain at home, away from public view.

There is no reason to dress like that outdoors, even if it is just to go to the drugstore, EVEN if it is that time of the month. It’s appalling. Whatever happened to a simple pair of jeans, a baby tee/ vest and some clean sneaks, or pair of sandals, or some rocking heels (but that is just me…)

Dressing down doesn’t mean dressing down and out. Why leave your house in some hotshorts, that have seen better days, and apparently better arses, since you may or may not have packed on a few down there. Just so that we’re clear, no one wants to see your cheeks hanging out of a grey shortpant that does nothing to flatter, or tell the world of the great respect that you have for yourself. Normal jeans and a tshirt will do.

Please and Thank You.

3. If I see one more jacked-up, shoe mess I just might explode. If  the shoe is missing heels, and make that scraping sound when you walk, guess what? Something is not right. Either have them repaired, throw them away, or wear another pair from your closet.

Safety pins on sandals, and busted sneakers… oh come on. If the fake leather is flaking off, then leave them at home please. And, oh gorm if yuh damn shoes talking to you, doh talk back – fix them or throw them out.
Shoes that have lasted 15 years should be left to die. Don’t attempt resuscitation.

4. Belts, jewellery and handbags that look like your dog chewed them should be replaced. Dirty head bands and hair accessories should either be washed or thrown away, or given to the aforementioned dog.

Gentlemen:

1. Holey undies are an issue.

If you don’t have to remove your undies to utilise the toilet , there is something severely wrong with this picture.

Your mother was right. Dress as if you may get into an accident, for you never know who you may meet.

While on the subject of undies – keep them in your pants. No one cares if you are wearing Fruit of the Loom, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein or Armani. Pull those pants up to where they belong.

2. Wear your size.

Clothing that is either too tight, or too big is not a fashion statement.

3. Ratty pants, ripped jeans or surf shorts, pants with oil markings on it, T-shirts that are ripped or stretched at the neck and arms, or anything that should be bound for the bin should not be intercepted.

4. On the subject of shoes, if it’s falling apart on your feet, that’s usually the last sign that it would give you that it has seen better days. Gluing them back yourself to some semblence of order doesn’t cut it.

It’s really not rocket science. Dress yourself with respect, and others will respect your self too.

End of story.

Forward ever.

Dying for fashion

by 3 comments

How skinny is too skinny?

I’ve just come out of hiding. You know this. But I keep seeing something that makes me want to run right back  into my secret hiding place, until it all goes away. What the hell is up with ‘skinny’ jeans, ON MEN?

I mean, I am something near to disgusted when I see this ungodly trend. I don’t know what it is like outside the wonderful cocoon that I like to call Trinidad, but I went to a band launching this year and I was appalled and worried at the same time to see all these ‘skin-tight’ jeans on men. Especially the young men. Never have I ever been so happy to be my own age (especially when I’m considered a MILF – a degrading, but somehow flattering term I will touch on at some point.)

I see these young men strutting around, and the pants are so tight,  TOO tight. My girlfriend had to point out  to me that some of these little boys (cause no Grown man would would wear these fashion DON’TS on purpose; they’d be aware of the risks) are actually wearing  women’s jeans, which just is just bordering on insane.

Some other trends that throw me for a loop are the:

  1. Grilles.
    Gold/ silver/ diamond encrusted/ platinum teeth coverings
  2. Excessively baggy pants.
    that are so large that they would not ever fit even with a belt
  3. Underwear that is purposefully on display.
  4. Tonnes of gold, silver and platinum jewelery around the neck
  5. Earrings that are ridiculously large and/ or way too heavy for any earlobe to handle .
    Both the diamonds, real or fake, and the ones that stretch the earlobes to gargantuan proportions.
  6. Full body tattoos with no meaning to the individual whatsoever other than, “I liked the design

I can go on forever.

But the one that really worries me is the tight pants on fellas. I mean is this the end of the human race as we know it? Do they really know the consequences of these choices?

Even I know that there is a reason that the Almighty put the family jewels in a little sack AWAY from the body. It is because the normal body heat of the human being can hamper sperm production.

HMM…

I am actually a little happy about this since I have two younger brothers who have fallen prey to this fad:. It means that should they put Jesus out of their thoughts and do the nasty without protection, at least the little swimmers will be at a distinct disadvantage. For some men its reversible, but who wants to test that theory?

This trend is so worrisome to me that, as per usual, I just had to do a little more research to see what are the possible repercussions of squeezing and suffocating the man jewels. The list was shocking. Aside from the reduction in sperm production that I already knew, I read about hip displacement, strange bowel movements, nerve damage…

I mean we ladies wear the high heels, but that isn’t screwing around with our reproductive systems. This is serious people!

Then too, it doesn’t even look good. I am sorry but I don’t find it sexy to see tight-@ss jeans down to the ankles, drawers hanging out AND converse sneaks. YUCK!  Beenie man is an entertainer , who needs the attention and so can wear that nonsense and get away with it. It’s like Lady Gaga – you don’t see me wearing period coloured lingerie.

So the choice is yours fellas. Die for fashion or Live with sense. If you plan on having kids, you will be thankful that you chose the latter.

Forward Ever

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