Archives for February 2014

Must-Haves to Up Your Accessory Game

If the polar vortex has wreaked havoc on your personal style this winter, you’re not alone. Even the most debonair gentlemen had to go Eskimo at times, sacrificing style for clunky boots and full-body long-johns—anything that would bring some semblance of warmth. Now that the polar vortex is (hopefully) on its last legs, it’s time to thaw out and look ahead to some of the upcoming spring and summer trends.

When it comes to fashion trends for 2014, the devil is in the details. Once you’ve emerged from your puffy parka cocoon, you can focus on letting those details shine. Accessories are the perfect way to add personal flair to your outfit, especially in warm weather, and can serve a practical purpose as well. If you’re looking to win the accessory game this year, here are a few must-haves to consider.

military-watch-boxsetWatches

Unless you’re a Luddite, chances are your cell phone (or computer, or tablet) does a perfectly good job of telling you the time. So why invest in a watch? A bare wrist is like a blank canvas. You could leave it blank and call it art, or you could use the opportunity the canvas presents to make a statement about your style. It’s one of the few pieces of jewelry that a man can wear without looking like he’s trying to win a bling competition (Unless you’re wearing a diamond-studded watch that takes up half your arm, but we’ll leave that up to your discretion). You don’t need to break the bank to find the right watch either. A Rolex is great for some, but unless you have thousands of dollars to spend, consider a cheaper alternative. Look for something that matches and complements your personality. Smart Turnout is a British company that sells a variety of colorful, affordable watches and watch straps. Purchase a collection of watch straps and you can switch it up depending on your outfit. For a classic, non-flashy look, consider a vintage watch, even if it isn’t the most accurate time-keeper. Watches are more about style than function anyway. A unique, old-fashioned timepiece will be an elegant change-of-pace from your brethren who demand the newest brands. Heck, be bold and wear a pocket watch if the spirit moves you.

Socks

There’s no need to let your sock drawer turn into a quagmire of whites, blacks, and grays. First of all, those socks are drab. The only statement they make is that they’re utilitarian and plain. Not to mention that a pile of similar white socks is harder to match when folding laundry, and you have better things to do with your time. Dark solids are already well-represented in your wardrobe, so why not spice up your outfit with a dash of bright color, such as Nice Laundry’s collections? Robert Griffin III rocks some crazy socks, and you should too. Even if you work in a conservative setting, show the world that you’re not afraid to let your personality shine. A little uplifting color never hurt anyone. Build up your sock drawer with a range of patterns and colors. Polka dots, stripes, and bold patterns can match a range of outfits and will add panache wherever you go. Don’t let your otherwise chic style be brought down by boring socks. Take back this oft-forgotten frontier by being that style pioneer with crazy, cool socks.

urban-messenger-01Man Bag

Despite the fact that technology has consolidated most of the paper products of the world, it seems like we’re now inundated with an endless supply of high-tech gear to lug around.

Computers, tablets, cell phones, MP3s, and an endless supply of chargers and cables must be transported. These expensive items are certainly not something you want to lose or drop, so investing in a good man bag is a worthwhile investment. The Leather Shop makes a variety of high-quality laptop cases, briefcases, and messenger bags that can handle all your transportation needs. The leather bags look sleek and elegant so you won’t look like a college TA toting around a backpack. If you’re looking for a great way to organize all your chargers and gadgets, consider the Cocoon Grid-It. These cases feature a network of elastic bands that will hold any size gadget in place, and the entire organizer will easily slip into your new man bag.

Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions.

Photo sources: Smart Turnout and Leather Shop

Prom Perfect

I had my first prom in 2004. Like any other girl, I was excited to prepare for the event. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best experience. My dress was bland and my gay neighbor took it upon himself to shave my thick eyebrows until there was almost nothing left. Oh the horror! However, because of that awful experience I learned a few things and tricks. The next year I made sure I planned everything—from the dress to makeup. When the day of my senior prom arrived, I looked okay but it was a vast improvement from the previous year. I enjoyed the prom so much—partly because it was my last year and I was with friends, and I was comfortable with my look that night.

If I had a choice though, I would have had a dress made specifically for that occasion. Alas, I only came from a humble family and all we can afford is a rented gown. Butttt.. if you have money to spend, I do not see any reason why you should not plan on looking prom perfect. Since I’ve been there, below are some tips I can share on how to have the best prom evahhh!

1. Pick a dress that YOU LIKE. You cannot go to a party wearing your pajamas, so make sure to pick or design a dress that best suits your personality. There are a lot stores online that offer affordable and trendy dresses, like JenJenHouse and DressFirst to name a few. If I were to go to prom today, the following are the dresses I would likely chose:

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A pearl pink dress, because pink is a pretty, feminine color. Case closed. Just look at the details at the bust part. Gorgeous, aren’t they?

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A gold dress with a beautiful cut at the back. Gold, when paired with minimal accessories, can make anyone look like a queen.

2. Do not sacrifice comfort for style. Prom means a lot of dancing and “chasing” your crushes, so a dress that will let you move freely can help you in enjoying the occasion at the highest level. An empire-cut dress is not very restricting because it doesn’t hug the pelvis and thighs, enabling the wearer to move about. The empire cut is also my absolute favorite.

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3. Dare to be different. 95% of girls who go to prom wear long dresses. Be more unique by wearing something short or any cut that will show your gorgeous legs. This silver beaded dress has a beautiful mullet cut, plus the color is something that you don’t normally see in occasions like prom. Aside from that, this kind of dress is perfect for petite girls like me.

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Silver can make anyone look like the Ice Queen ready to take her well-deserved crown.

So those are just a few tips I wanted to share. As for shoes, silver heels can be paired with just about any dress. Putting on some earrings, bracelet, perfume, and a simple makeup would be great too. Just remember not to wear too much. Minimalism is key.

And finally, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. I know that sounds cliche, but if you keep on conforming to other people’s standard of beauty you will only end up unsatisfied and unhappy. Just enjoy the moment and let you inner prom queen shine! 🙂

8 Engagement Ring Shopping Rules

When buying an engagement ring for the one you love, it is both wise and correct for the groom-to-be to consult his future bride’s taste.

The engagement ring is generally not the biggest wedding expense – that’s typically reserved for the wedding reception – but for many women getting married is all about getting an awesome piece of jewelry.

But what if you are clueless as to what is the best approach to buying the perfect ring?

There is no need to panic. By following a few time-tested shopping rules, you can find a ring that is wow-worthy and a true token of your love.

  1. Become familiar with the 4c’s. A diamond ring’s value is determined by the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat weight. While clarity or flawlessness is an important factor when buying gemstones, color and carat are also important considerations. A reputable jeweler should provide verification that the stone is synthetic or natural and verify the stone’s color grade using the Gemological Institute of America’s grading system.
  2. Set a budget. While the jewelry industry recommends that you spend the equivalent of two month’s salary, you can figure out easily what is appropriate for the occasion and your paycheck. According to Modern Bride Magazine, couples typically spend around $2900 dollars on average for an engagement ring.
  3. Select the type of stone that she prefers. Some brides select a traditional diamond engagement ring with a round stone. While others prefer a setting featuring her birthstone. Many women skip the diamond and choose to wear larger semiprecious stones instead of a smaller and more expensive diamond rings. Aquamarines, sapphires, topazes and transparent tourmalines are lovely colorless diamond ring alternatives.
  4. Choose the proper setting for the stone. A ring’s setting frames the stone and sets the tone for the ring’s design. Modern designs like these Shaneco.com ring setting styles include: vintage, solitaire, yellow gold, rose gold, mounted bridal, and the option to completely design your own.
  5. Metals do matter. The metal of the ring should flatter the color of the stone and the bride’s skin tone or skin sensitivities. For example, 18-karat white gold is less likely to cause allergic reactions, but is more affordable than most 14-karat white settings.
  6. Consider her lifestyle. Think about the long-term ramifications of selecting the right ring for the wrong woman. For a woman who tears her pantyhose frequently, a heart or pear-shaped ring could prove to be disastrous. For a middle manager in a large corporate company a large 5-carat diamond may be perceived as gaudy and ostentatious by her coworkers or bosses.
  7. Don’t get ripped off by an unscrupulous jeweler. As with most expensive purchases in life, you should be careful of deals that look to good to be true. Although most jewelers are credible, diamond ring swindles still thrive. A legitimate jeweler should have no problem with you having a ring checked out by an appraiser before your final purchase.
  8. Take her to the store. Sure, it sounds un-romantic. But this is the best way to make sure you don’t buy a ring she hates. Make the first visit to the jeweler alone to discuss your budget and her stone and setting preferences. Then bring your fiancée to the store so she can choose the engagement ring she likes the best.

Presented by Shane Company

Swimwear Trends for 2014: How Suitable Are These Swimsuits for Petites?

The secret is out, swimwear in 2014 is about being noticed, going out with a bang, and making bold moves. The trends sported at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim Show are refreshing in their cheeky audacity, while also bringing back the sexy of bygone eras (think Bo Derek in “10” or Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot”), with vintage/retro touches here and there. Do these swimsuit trends suit petites? Whether you’re a 32a cup or a 32d, the swimsuits on the catwalk can work for you too!

Swimwear Trend No. 1 – Black and White

Back to black was the theme of many designers’ offerings, with two-tone, high-contrast factor swimsuits, often in vintage styles (high-wasted and wide-hipped panties, etc.). From the heyday of Art Deco to its current renaissance, the pairing of black and white or pink  and other high contrasting colors has always had an enduring allure.

How does this look measure up for petites?

These styles can work for petites, if the particular woman isn’t more comfortable in a short-torso style. For petites with shorter torsos, they may not be as flattering as other styles. Style gurus say striped halter-style swimsuits would be especially flattering for petites, due to the way they elongated the form.

Voda_Corsica-String_CroppedSwimwear Trend No. 2 – Jungle-Inspired Styles

These looks are right out of a Duran Duran video – wildly 80s and not the least bit ashamed. Animals, banana leaves, and other jungle/rainforest motifs splash across swimsuits, tankinis, capes and sarongs.

How does this look measure up for petites?

In this case size does matter. Large animal figures, etc. can overpower the petite wearer, but a fetching alternative may be had in swimsuits with smaller prints.

Swimwear Trend No. 3 for 2014 – The Vintage-Inspired Swimsuit

Retro is so prevalent in fashion it could just as well be called contemporary and this is no less the case with the swimsuits coming out this year. Masterful use of retro brings vintage elements into the present, rather than merely mimicking them as they were in their original incarnations. Bows, polka dots, and other touches from the 40’s to the present are reflected in this trend.

How does this look measure up for petites?

Vintage works! Whether the woman is pixie or a veritable amazon.

Swimwear Trends No. 4 – 7 – Colorful Prints, Geometric Prints, Maxi-Length Cover-Ups, and Big Beach Bags

How do these measure up for petites?

For petites, colorful prints can work if the print isn’t too big; geometric prints that feature vertical or diagonal lines are surefire hits on petites; maxis with proportionate motifs can work for petites; and big bags are simply the practical choice when you’ve got a bunch of beach necessities – whatever your size.

Source:http://petite.about.com/od/swimweartrends/ss/Swimwear-Trends-For-2014.htm

 

Claire Pearl is a petite fashion designer specializing in petite bra and lingerie. She has collected a variety of  sources including www.lulalu.com to write her post. Feel free to connect with her over at Google+.

Sexy White Shirt

One of the wardrobe staples every woman should have is a good v-neck white shirt. It’s simple, comfy, and can be paired with just about anything.

Yesterday I woke up 15 minutes before class and I didn’t have enough time to put an outfit together. I grabbed my cotton v-neck shirt from Sexy White Shirt, a matching skirt and flats.

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What’s great about this plain v-neck shirt, despite its simplicity, is it doesn’t make you look drab and dull. Whenever I see a person wearing one, I often think of her as someone cool and laid-back—two qualities that I really like.

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I arrived at school past one o’clock; I was very late so I was frantically running along the halls of Palma Building. I was quite lucky to have unconsciously chosen this ensemble, it was so easy to move in. So what’s the lesson here? Make sure you have your most comfortable shirt and flats ready in case you’re running late for class. LOL.

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After that class I had to go straight to work. Obviously I could not come in wearing a mini skirt and flats, so I made sure I brought a pencil skirt and a pair of pumps.

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People don’t normally associate v-neck shirts with corporate looks, but I thought why not give it a try? I’ve always had this image in my head about pairing casual and corporate pieces. I’ve never done it until recently, so you can imagine my delight upon discovering they actually looked great together.

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It’s probably because the look creates a balance between ease and formality, which is something that I always gravitate towards, style-wise at least. Not too flashy, but at the same time not too simple. What do you think about how I styled my sexy white shirt? 😛

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Hype this look on Lookbook and Chictopia 🙂

White V-neck shirt from Sexy White Shirt (website | facebook)

Forever 21 pencil skirt | Twinky pumps | Mendrez flats | TMART bag

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