Timeless fashion and ageless style

This content shows Simple View

Monthly Archives February 2014

Forget the Ring -Put a Glove on it!


Gloves are one of the most underestimated fashion accessories. Usually in cold weather, people wear very bulky gloves. The purpose, of course, is to keep the hands and finger tips warm. But you can wear gloves that serve that purpose and look great. Try a cashmere or fur lined leather glove in a bright beautiful color. It can liven up a dull black winter coat. Gloves also make you look a bit more pulled together. My most recent pair were purchased a Loehmann’s in Riverdale – may it rest in peace. For those of who are experiencing the woes of winters, you know already that when your extremities (ears, fingers, toes) are cold, the rest of you body is miserable. And while I love a nice vintage pair of leather gloves because of the snug way they fit your fingers, the truth is they are not very warm – Stylish yes, but not will not stave off frostbite. So, in the next few weeks forget about a ring. Part of keeping warm in the last days of this treacherous winter is to put a glove on it ☺

What did Cinderella do?


When I first saw these spiked Sam Edelman heels, I thought – these could hurt somebody. They are so heavy, and they are fabulous. Of course I wasn’t thinking that they should hurt me. But somehow, accepting the pain that comes along with fabulous shoes is more a normal occurrence than an anomaly.

We’ve all seen her. One leg kicks out a little; there’s an unusual labored bounce in her walk. There is a strange tweak of the ankle to keep the shoe from flopping at the heel. Or she stands shifting her weight to relieve the pain of one foot waiting anxiously for a seat to open up at the bar. You have seen her, or worse, you have been her. This week I have seen two such poor souls, bearing the pain for the beauty. Their poor soles indeed.

Why do pain and beauty have to be so closely linked when it comes to shoes? There are several reasons. First, the cutest shoes seem to be designed to cause some of the most agonizing pain. Second, heel heights of today have extended past 5 inches and women have become stilt walkers. How do we avoid this? Well in some cases we can, and in other cases we can’t. Where we can, is in the fit of the shoe. When you purchase shoes, don’t just try them on. Walk around in them for a while. It doesn’t take long to feel a pinch at the heel or that rub against the pinky toe. And this is where I caution buyers who shop second hand. If you see a fabulous pair of heels that barely have any wear on the heels, you must think twice about why the previous owner may have let those beauties go.
Honestly, there are the times where we can’t avoid the pain of the shoe – or rather we are so in love with them that we tend to overlook the pain they cause. We rationalize it. We go on the offensive using Dr. Scholl’s blister protectant, or we strategically place band-aids on our heels or around our big toe and pinky toe. In the cases where you have opted to brave the pain for the beauty of the shoe, think Cinderella.

All we know is that she put on the glass slipper and ended up in the arms of the prince. She didn’t walk around, and she certainly didn’t wear the glass slippers to dance around at the ball for more than one dance. More than likely, she and those snug fitting glass slippers were seated somewhere in a VIP section while being wined and dined. What do I mean? Well, some times when the shoes are very cute, you must calculate your standing time. You have to get a sense of how much standing time you can allot to the heels. And relate that the activities in which you plan to engage for the night. This seems problematic I am sure. Men would probably tell you not to buy the shoes – those silly men. But sometimes fashionable footwear defies reason. This practical advice will allow you to look fierce for a while – even if you have to carry your flats or flip-flops in your purse for the walk back to the car. Sometimes, those Cinderella moments are well worth it.

The Art of Thrifting

Gone are the days when shopping at thrift stores was a reminders of poverty. “Thrifting” as I once heard it called a few years ago in California has become chic and it is environmentally friendly to boot. Lucky magazine just featured an article in its February 2014 magazine about one woman’s successful life of thrift store shopping.

One of the things I like most about shopping in thrift stores and second-hand stores is that you find yourself in many different stores all at once. I mean it is not far-fetched that you could go into a thrift store and come out with a modern Coach bag, a fabulous vintage satin dinner coat, a lesser-known name brand skirt, and a pair of perfectly broken in Frye boots. Some higher end second-hand stores like Crossroads Trading Co (numerous locations from coast to coast) have items on consignment; others like Beacon’s Closet (Manhattan and Brooklyn), have very nice purses, scarves, and bags all at very reasonable prices.

Now, as with many thrift stores, you have to be up for the challenge, and have a pocket-sized hand sanitizer in your purse. The clothing is color-coordinated and in row after row after row. But, flipping through the clothes is relaxing for me. And I always surprised when the woman in front of me passed of a fabulous blazer or unique silk skirt.

For fashionistas who are set in their ways and hesitant about trying new styles, going to thrift stores and buying items for fractions of the regular price gives you a great opportunity to try new things without feeling guilty and without a tremendous pinch on your wallet. It is also a great place to buy nice quality leather, snakeskin and metallic belts. If you have been in any store, you know that belts, even cheap looking ones, can be surprisingly expensive. I have gotten Coach belts, Donna Karan belts, and the kicker was a Cartier purchased for $20.00 (yes $20!!!) at Crossroads in Rockridge near Oakland, California. I eventually sold it on ebay ☺
Thrift stores are also great places to purchase accessories – bracelet for $8.00, or a woven leather choker, or cocktail rings can all be great steals at thrift stores.
If your aren’t one for shopping (gasp) or you don’t like going through rows and rows of stuff, go for something specific. You may be looking for a pencil skirt or a fitted blazer. If so, just go to those sections. It is worth the time and the effort.

If you are interested, go to the link – I shop, you shop and take a look at some items available to you on this site. Many were thrifted ☺ but I had to include shipping. Take a look, or get up and get out there. Feel free to check in with us and share your fabulous finds.

Getting familiar with the Fashion Cycle – Don’t keep it in the closet

Getting familiar with the fashion cycle.fashioncycleIt is likely that if you have pre-teen or teenage children they have already hinted at where your wardrobe is in the cycle. And if you’ve ever been a teacher in middle or high school it is also likely that your students have, either out of pity or disgust, given you an earful about what you need to do to get yourself together.  Many of the comments I received about my clothing from teenagers were based upon my age and the fit of the clothing, but sometimes they were just based upon the fact that the youngsters felt I was out of date.  Once in the middle of teaching an 11th-grade English class, a student raised her hand (of course I thought she’d have a question or comment about the work) and said “Ms. Parker, you are too young to be dressed like that”.

I remember, I was 26 had on some grey wool slacks and a pair of navy blue Easy Spirit loafers.  She was right.  I was purposely trying to dress older because I looked young, but I guess it was more of a distraction than a buffer.  I had another student that same year tell me that my orange leather coat, which I loved, was “young”.  Young in this context didn’t relate to age appropriateness in the way we typically think about it.  It related to the fact that the sleeves were a little short.  Needless to say the grey slacks and the orange leather blazer were no longer part of the wardrobe.

My sister once told me that after she’d gotten dressed, and of course thought she looked ok, my 9 year-old niece said “those boots are making me mad”.  Geez.  If your clothing items are altering someone’s mood, I guess you have to rethink.

Right now I am cleaning out my closet and drawers, mainly because I need the space – I am in NY after all.  I ran across the above fashion cycle and thought it a great guide for filtering through things.  Now, you may not want to clean your closet out all at once. But as you purchase new things, be sure to get rid of  things that may be “shameless, indecent, dowdy, ridiculous, amusing” and certainly get rid of things that are making children “mad”. If you are unsure, enlist a teenager to help or send me a picture of the item(s) and we can filter through together.

*outre – means unusual or startling. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you must be bold to be ahead of the times.