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Monthly Archives March 2014

What do I wear with these shoes?

So, we’ve received our first inquiry from Dandelion. Let me start by saying the shoes are fab-u-lous! And it is very fitting as we make our way into spring.

But what do I wear? I imagine a few looks. A structured pencil skirt and a lighter fabric shirt. A nice structured sun dress (like the one pictured below) with a bold floppy hat and large shades. I pulled these images from Harper’s Bazaar. – Note – it is very important to subscribe at least one fashion magazine.

From my own closet…
I would wear some nicely worn jeans and this blue satin tuxedo blazer and these shades with mirror lens to pick up the silver in the shoe, and a structured handbag (not a shoulder bag). I would roll the jeans up a little above the ankle, because yes, these shoes need to be seen.


How would you wear these shoes?

You thought you were just wearing a shirt

Yellow silk button down, puff set-in sleeve, with a bow-tie

Yellow silk button down, puff set-in sleeve, with a bow-tie

You thought you were wearing a shirt, or maybe a blouse if you’re fancy. But what does that really mean? As I’ve begun trying harder to understand the who, what, and why of fashion I am discovering these tidbits of information that I really like. The first was the fashion cycle – I mean who knew you clothing could be dowdy.
And what I discovered about every garment is that there are very specific names to every part of them. Yes, this was probably common knowledge decades ago when Home Economics was the elective of choice for women and most people’s clothing were handmade. This is certainly not the case now.

Yesterday I thought I was wearing a yellow blouse. But what I was really wearing was a yellow silk button-down blouse with a bowtie collar and with puffed set-in style short sleeve. I thought for a second the sleeve was a melon sleeve, but not quite.

Take a look at these neckline types, collar styles, and sleeve types. Then decide what you are wearing. Oh what I wouldn’t give to hear a friend tell me she just discovered her new shirt has set-in, Leg-o’-mutton sleeves. ☺ Click on each picture if you need to see it up close, then double click the back button. Then let us know what you are wearing.oh… I am so hoping that one of you discovers that your blouse has a jabot collar. 🙂
What type of shirt are you wearing?

How to look fashionable in Freezing weather – Better late…

I started writing this post in January, but this is a tough topic and I suppose it wouldn’t have been helpful to say I don’t know.

What I can say with all honesty is that I have not completely mastered this. Case in point: One Sunday in January, I went to an 8:00am church service and while hell didn’t f freeze over, the streets of Harlem certainly did. By the time I got out, the city streets were glazed over with thin layers of black ice. People were walking very slowly. I held on to security gate bars as I made my way down the street and turned to find one of the fallen churchgoers being helped up off the ground. I was thinking oh no – I can’t fall; I’m in my pointy toe Gucci boots and my fur coat.

Thankfully, I didn’t eat pavement, but the experience did make me long ever so much for my UGG boots, and beg the question – So, how does one dress fashionably in the winter? especially when the winter is long and brutal as it has been for me in New York and my sister in Illinois.
I find that a few things must be taken into consideration. First decide whether you are going to focus on the arrival at the destination, the travel time, or both.

When I am going out to shop or window shop like I do often, the focus is the traveling, being outdoors. In such a case, I need a coat that is chic and stylish. Light blue leather, yellow vintage coat with a black belt, or Black textured swing coat. I feel great in all three. I layer heavily underneath and wear leggings or opaque stockings under almost every garment. But since the winter is generally a sea of people in Blacks and grays, I enjoy being in a bright color. In fact I have a co-work who wears a beautiful violet colored coat for this very reason (shout out to Dandelion).

If, however, the focus is on the destination there are a few other considerations. If you are going out to dinner or to work it is likely you will have a place to check your coat, and your scarf, and your boots. This means what is underneath the coat should be fabulous. It also means that when the destination is the key, you need to have a cute tote to carry auxiliary pieces. You need your heavy ugg or hunter boots to get through the ice, sleet and snow. In your bag should be the pointy-toe pumps or whatever cute shoe you choose. — That’s all I have for now, so if you’ve figured it out, by all means chime in.

In the above picture I am wearing a vintage I.Magnin & Co coat with a mink collar; a pair of fuschia leather gloves (purchased from Loehmanns in Riverdale); a pair of pointy-toe Gucci boots purchased at Crossroads Trading Co. in Rockridge, Oakland California; a structured leather handbag; and a pair of beige Coach shades.

She Aint No Patsey! – She’s Beautiful

Click name to view source of photo

Click name to view source of photo

Lupita Nyong’o

If you saw the heart-wrenching scene of Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) being viciously beaten at the hands of a twisted slave owner–like me, you may have been inconsolable because of the implications it had.

If any comfort or redemption were possible it came in the form of Lupita Nyong’o commendation as Best Supporting Actress – and Her beautiful showing at the OSCARS. Clad in powder blue Prada, Nyong’o epitomizes poise, elegance and class. It made me proud to see her. She wasn’t alone throwing ripples in the red carpet Sunday night. Also very beautiful was Amy Adams, who did it big in a midnight blue Gucci gown (even though I read a post that said it was underwhelming).

Why Lupita Nyong’o’s Prada dress worked… The color a pale blue– against that flawless brown skin, the soft flow of the gown, the plunging neckline, which only works on a very modest bust. Her stylist Micaela Erlanger did a great job of capturing her beauty.

photo credit:

Caught Being Fabulous – Christina S.


The Analysis: The brown leather boots caught my attention. Great high-heel, knee boots. The first thing I asked is if the dress was vintage. It is. What is very nice about this dress is that is it figure flattering. Remember the importance of fit. The flared skirt of the dress helps define the shape. The white belt is a nice accent to show off- a small waist. And you can’t tell by the picture, but Christina’s edgy shaved head contrasts the very soft feminine silhouette. The Bulky scarf with its gray, rust, and beige color pallet pulls the outfit together nicely, and…keeps her warm. Nicely done.

Caught Being – Uh Stank?

Larisha3-22-09 112 Model:Larisha Photo/Stylist: SilynRose

One category that I had conceptualized as part of my blog is called “Caught Being Fabulous.” In this section I am to catalogue every day women who look fabulous, and explain what in particular works well about their outfits. There are a few reasons why after two months I hadn’t yet blogged in that category. First, I needed to get a small hand-held camera that I could keep in my purse. Second, I needed to have business cards to hand out to the luck-fashionista. Third, I needed to do the work of being out and finding the women to feature.

Well, I got the camera in January, and my business cards came in this past week. Today, I went out in to Manhattan – what better place to find fierce fashion – right? Oddly enough, the problem wasn’t that I didn’t see anybody who looked great; the problem was the unapproachable attitudes these women held. The scowls, the coldness, and I guess the fear that I may actually ask someone for directions or something was enough to make most women turn away.

This made me think about the things that really make an outfit work. We have heard time and time again that a woman must be confident, but today I thought maybe women should also crack a smile every once in a while. I guess I have been guilty of this myself because I have heard men who I passed on the street say things like “smile, it ain’t that bad” or “why are you looking so mean.” So, I am not sure if these women knew that they were emitting such negative vibes and giving such “stank” looks, but I can say that an outfit can not do its job properly if the person wearing it looks so angry.

Take a look at the photo above. This is a woman who looks happy to be in a stylish outfit. No one in Manhattan looked like this today.

While LL (Cool J) may like a Fendi bag and a bad attitude, I’d have to say that is a waste of designer bag. Fendi certainly doesn’t want its product represented by someone who has a nasty attitude – it would cheapen the brand. Part of being fabulous (and fabulously dressed), I would have to say is being welcoming enough to actually receive the compliment.