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Monthly Archives May 2014

Caught Being Fabulous – Desiree

Desiree - Caught!

Desiree – Caught!

I have gotten a few messages from readers saying I need to write about women who have African-American bodies. Technically, I could be offended considering that I am an African-American woman. But, I am not and of course I know what you mean. You want me to write something for the woman who has a BADUNKA DUNK DUNK – JUNK IN THE TRUNK… or something like that. Well, today Desiree who is curvaceous in the way that many African Americans women are, nailed this look. Fabulous!

Desiree is wearing a beautiful rust-colored pencil skirt; she is wearing a light green and beige pattern long-sleeve shirt. The lightweight shirt with a bow-ties is a nice contrast to the heavier fabric of the skirt and is quite appropriate for spring. Now because we know that the wrong type of fabric on a pencil skirt will cause it to ride up, she picked a perfect fabric to maintain the look. The brown belt at the waist is a great accent to define an hour-glass. The heels – t-strap, open toe. Yes! The accessory statement bag – a structured Gucci handbag. Very nice. I love this look!!

Being Fabulous!

Being Fabulous!

Toe-tal Neglect

Today I took my box of sandals off the shelf in anticipation of the warm weather. I have flat sandals, high heel sandals, and open toe wedges all waiting for their day in the sun – literally. As I tried these babies on to awake them from their winter slumber, I took a gander at my feet – toe-tal neglect. I mean the winter closed up in boots and uggs allowed me to totally neglect my dogs. I think we all (anyone over 35) remembers the scene from Boomerang when Eddie Murphy lifts the cover and takes a look at Lela Rochon’s feet – it was a deal breaker.

toe-jam and hangover - source: google images

source: google images

cement scrape

cement scrape

But let me take a second to give a little advice about sandal wear – it is not acceptable for any part of your feet to be hanging off of your sandal. The pedicure is negated by the toe-to-cement contact. It demonstrates a lack of judgment. And when the heel is hanging off, it makes you look as though you are wearing someone else’s shoe or you have no sense of fit.
To get the best of your sandals avoid the toe-jam in the sandal, the cement scrape and the miss-fit. And certainly get a pedicure.

I am not the one to frequent nail parlors, so the task of making my feet spring/summer ready is all up to me. So, a hot soak, nail file, clippers, cuticle remover – are put to work.
Whether you do it yourself or go to a nail parlor, you must get your toes together. Your sandals are waiting.

And no Sequoia, these are not my feet.

Buy for Real


If you recall from the 10 Closet Must Haves that I posted a while ago, I suggested that every woman have a high-end status bag – Louis Vuitton Speedy or Alma, A Gucci Boston bag or if you’re daring a classic Chanel 2.55 (a little out of my budget). I noted that ebay is a great place to purchase one of these pre-owned luxury bags for $175 -300 easily – except for the Chanel.
There are several reasons to have one of these. The first reason being because you deserve to carry a bag that brings every out fit to the next level – yes you’re worth it.
But there are two reasons why you need to buy the real thing and not the knock off –
1) The knock off market is thriving on the backs of low-wage laborers in Third World countries, and it is doing great damage to the luxury brands. The fashion industry has actually taken a firm stance against counterfeit bags and has had conferences about the problems that come with purchasing them.
2) The value of the bag has larger implications. I read recently in the book, The Hidden Cost of Being African American by Thomas Shapiro, that one area where African Americans lag behind their Caucasian counterparts is in the acquisition of assets. Of course, there are structural reasons for this – A history of discrimination and inequality in pay, and prior generations wealth (which of course is influenced by the first two) , has lots to do with why African Americans haven’t acquired as many assets. But think about a luxury bag as having real prolonged value. My sister purchased her first Louis Vuitton Alma bag on ebay. She carried it for over a year, and she sold it back on ebay for the same price. Not to mention, had she passed that beautifully broken-in luxury bag to my niece it would have been somewhat of a family heirloom. These bags become classic. Your investment in an authentic quality bag means you are also acquiring an asset – and this is just as valuable as money.

Feeling sexy in Flats – 50+Looking to Be Fabulous

This was posted in one of the comments, but I wanted to offer my advice in the advice section. This posted by 50+ Looking to be Fabulous
Hello Silynrose,

I know your site is for 35+ and although it is a really great site I wish it would address the bodies of most woman, especially( African American) that expand as age progresses. I would love to do the pencil skits and the belts but to be honest my stomach is running neck in neck with my booty. My other problem is with shoes. As I’ve gotten older I find that I can no longer wear heals with confidence and was wondering what is your fashion advice on how to look sexy with flats. I feel that I lost my sex appeal advantage once I had to put my heals away.

Again, I love your site and look forward to your advice on these challenging questions.
Hello 50+ Looking to be fabulous.
Thank you for your post. There are a few things I can say. 1) SPANX. Women have raved about the power of spanx to minimize the look of a larger stomach, while also streamlining the silhouette. Try one on in a dressing room with a dress and you will see and feel a big difference. 2) Try the pencil skirt with a structured blazer that goes just below the waist. You could send a picture if you’d like and I could provide specific feedback based on your body type.
Shoes. – Now, I am wondering if you have tried wedges. They are a great heel that often gives you a really stable feeling base and are easy to walk in. There are some really stylish ones too, that will allow you to feel sexy. As far as flats there are very stylish ballet flats; try bold colors. Also try pointy toe flats to elongate the leg. I do know what you mean about not feeling as sexy in flats, but know that when you are in flats, you need to work your sex appeal elsewhere; make sure the rest of the outfit is put together and really work the accessories – that is bag, bangles, earrings necklace and sunglasses. And – this may sound strange, but wear perfume or a scented lotion. Having on an alluring scent may also make you feel sexy.

Some Days You Just Gotta Go to Work

When some fashion stylist talk about clothes, you can get the impression that you have to look and feel fabulous all of the time – as if every outfit should feel like a shining red carpet moment. I think ideally we’d all like that to be true, but the reality is that it is not always the case.
Today, I put on an outfit that I’d imagined myself wearing. I mean I had already envisioned the color block beige, white and yellow dress with beige shoes and a pink sports blazer. I tried the dress on, and it seemed to have a weird fit. It had a belt but the belt drew unwanted attention to my belly (not my waist) so I took it off. Then, the blazer seemed to fall in a really strange place beyond my lower back to the middle of my butt. The beige heels were blah, so I tried white pointy toe pumps, but they scraped against my heel. Not sure why I hadn’t noticed it before. So I pulled out a pair of yellow Michael Antonio pumps – that shoe brand is cheap and the quality is hit and miss. But, I actually like those yellow pumps. Then I tried to cinch the blazer, but it felt too busy with the color block dress and the necklace. I canned the belt and just left the blazer open. At this point I was fidgeting around with the dress – and I thought, I have to head to work.
The reality is I could have spent another 20 minutes trying to get the outfit to feel fabulous, but we do have the day-to-day commitments like work, or school, or appointments we need to head to. So today’s outfit was just good enough. I threw on my Fendi shades, and was out the door. When I got to work though, one of my co-workers commented, “you look so cute”. I took the compliment without going into details about all the morning’s issue. I got some mint tea from the lounge and got to work.

Would you wear yellow apples?

An apple print shirt

An apple print shirt

Most of you would look a shirt that has yellow apples as the dominant print and pass it by without giving it a second look right? Well, while doing a recent thrift store haul my eye was drawn to the afore mentioned shirt (and a large wool checkered cape, which I can assume that most of you wouldn’t have ventured to purchase either). But when I saw the shirt I thought wow, what an interesting pattern. Upon looking closer I saw that it was a Dolce & Gabana shirt. I immediately imagined wearing it with a red belt, and a black pencil skirt, both of which I already have in my closet.

Now, for me wearing a crazy print shirt is eye-catching feature of the outfit. I like to downplay everything else keeping solid color on the bottom and minimizing the accessories. When I tried the shirt on the thin red belt, it did very little for the outfit. The belt got lost. I needed something bolder to accentuate my waist. So I went with the wider patent leather red belt. I leave the shirt out rather than tucked in because I like the way the blouse melds into a silhouette. If I were to tuck the shirt in, I’d wear belt lower and close to the waist line of the skirt rather than my natural waist.

So when the entire outfit was put together – yellow apple print blouse, wide red patent leather belt, black velvet pencil skirt and pointy-toe black patent leather shoes. The outfit was ok. I ended up changing the black skirt to a dark olive statin skirt and I played around with the two pairs of shoes you see in the picture. I am sure this look isn’t a-peeling to everyone (apple pun intended), but it is nice to play around with prints every once in a while.

Your turn.
You try a printed top, and solid color pencil skirt pointy toe pumps. Use a belt to accentuate your waist.
Here is what I did with the apple shirt.

Vintage spring coat

The outfit 5-5-14 The outfit 5-5-14[/caption]

The first in this category. My outfit for today – casual. Hair in a natural twist out.
This is how I wore it. Blue skinny jeans, the vintage coat, with a pink t-shirt underneath that goes virtually unseen, the suede Pollini lime heels that pick up the lime in the coat, and a red structured Coach bag to add unexpected color to the outfit. I added big hoop earrings as an accent.