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Monthly Archives August 2014

Again with the pencil skirt





As you well know I am a big fan of the pencil skirt. This wool blend pink j.crew skirt is high waisted, and made my torso look short, but I really like it with the black vintage light weight jacket over it. You can’t see the details well because of the camera, but it a square textured pattern. I wear it often. the shoes are peach patent leather Nine West heels – purchased them years ago in Santa Monica Ca. I think this bright color montage faux leather bag (ebay $35) does a lot for the outfit. Thoughts?

Cheap fashion or Vintage appeal

Room view - vintage yellow dress.

Room view – vintage yellow dress.

Yellow vintage dress and structured purple Coach handbag.

Yellow vintage dress and structured purple Coach handbag.

Months ago I attended a lecture given by Elizabeth L. Cline, the author of the book Overdressed:The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. There were several things that struck me about the lecture and the drawbacks of cheap fashion. Among them is the fact that we live in a world of fast fashion sort of like fast foods. I have noticed, especially in New York, there are little stores along 181st in Washington Heights where the clothing items for $3.99 or $6.99 are here one week and gone the next. It is like fashion trends on steroids. Cline said that in addition to the fashion being “cheap” because its often mass produced in sweat shops, the fashion is itself cheap because once you wash items they shrink, fade, or somehow begin to disintegrate. Because the quality of cheap clothes is lacking it has implications on whether the clothing from the past few decades are capable of becoming vintage items. Think about it. Vintage pieces of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s – items were better made, sturdy, polished stitching, well lined. Do items now days hold up? The answer is no. Cline says she often shops at thrift stores looking for vintage pieces. She is not alone.

I have always liked vintage dresses especially from the 1950’s and 60’s. It seems that vintage dresses are more flattering to the female form. Items were carefully darted and pleated to account for curves and accentuate the female body.

This yellow dress you see pictured above is a beautiful vintage piece that I purchased years ago. I feel wonderful in it. Today I wore it and I felt extremely ladylike. I went for the total vintage look as you can tell by the bouffant hair style. Some random guy told me I looked beautiful and offered to take me to lunch while I was buying Cheetos at the local store. I am certain it was because of the vintage dress.
So if you haven’t already, considered buying vintage items. Go on ebay and just search vintage dresses or blouses or skirts and see what comes up. According to Cline, only really high end clothing from this era will make the cut years from now, because high end designers are still making high quality items for the affluent audience. For the rest of us, we can either save our money to buy high end, or hit the thrift stores looking for great vintage pieces. I vote for the latter.

Blurry but it captures the dress better :-)

Blurry but it captures the dress better 🙂

Kerry Washington – Emmy Don’t

Lainey Gossip Entertainment - photo credit for Kerry Washington 2014 Emmys

Lainey Gossip Entertainment – photo credit for Kerry Washington 2014 Emmys

Kerry Washington has become a style icon as Olivia Pope, and if you google that name and look at the images you will see the status as an icon is well deserved.
So why the orange glitter craft dress by Prada?
I don’t care what anyone says -that dress was not fly – period.
The sequin accents along the edge look like as child’s arts & crafts project and the black sequin shorts did not add much to the outfit.
This outfit got rave reviews from Huffington Post and other style reports. That baffles me.
I have come to really like Kerry – and have since Save the Last Dance, so this has nothing to do with Kerry the person, but that dress is a definite don’t. With that after-baby body, and Kerry Washington being who she is, I expected her to come much harder on the red carpet.
Check out the links I provided and tell me what you think.

Putting it All Together

on the runway

In June I got my first opportunity to style a woman (Valerie) for a fashion show. The show was a culminating activity in which women who were being empowered through a program at their church discovered who they were and learned to love themselves for the beauty they possess inside and out.
I started my first gig very seriously. I had already drafted the SilynRose Client intake form – on which I ask questions about size, dimension, and what you feel you best features are.
I remember in response to what are your best features, Valerie had responded with “ha, ha, ha”. That was troubling. Every woman should know and embrace her best features. I would say mine are my legs.
Anyhow. Since I had been given permission to shop secondhand, I went to all of my favorite spots (Crossroads Trading Co, Beacon’s Closet, Goodwill) and put together the three required looks – business, evening, and casual.
The business look – a leather wrap skirt, fitted blazer, with a belt to accent the waist, a structured blue handbag and a green necklace – and a tan and metallic shoe (the metallic makes it a neutral)
The evening look – a fitted short sleeveless dress in black and white. Because you usually don’t want to do both short and sleeveless, I added a sheer black scarf to be worn with the tails of the scarf flowing to the back over her shoulders. I added a red purse for accent. – I love red. Whether in a shoe or a purse, hat or nail polish. It always accents an outfit.

Lastly, the casual look – I had found a beautiful, colorful circle skirt with the word Paris on it and an etching of the Eiffel Tower. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a hit. I paired this extra colorful bold skirt with a plan white tee-shirt (remember I categorized a white tee-shirt as a closet must have). I bought brown high heel sandals that would elongate the leg and brown wooden necklace. The browns and the white tee-shirt would neutralize the outfit a bit. The key to wearing bold colors is let the one piece be the statement piece but don’t over do it. But I was very careful to accent the colors in the skirt. I put 3 colorful bangles, a red hat and red sunglasses, and an orange vintage woven bag for accent.

I remember when my cousin received the items for Valerie; she commented that the Paris skirt was too much. She couldn’t get with all of the colors. Trust me, she isn’t alone. Many people still don’t know what to do with too much color. But luckily Valerie was willing to take the risk.

The fashion show was a hit. – And the Paris skirt received rave reviews. I had an opportunity to speak with Valerie afterwards. She said she had never even considered buying items that looked like what I had sent for her to wear. She simple hadn’t considered a leather skirt as a possible business skirt. And she, like many others, doesn’t think in complete outfits. What I had sent included bracelets, necklaces, bags, sunglasses, and hats. I had considered the arms, neck and head a part of the body that needed to be accessorized when putting an outfit together. It worked out well and I have secured my first client ☺