SilynRose

Timeless fashion and ageless style

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Monthly Archives October 2015

A.A.

My collection of shoes - they mean little, if I can't get my ankles right.

My collection of shoes – they mean little, if I can’t get my ankles right.

In the summer of 2008, I along with a team of four other North American teachers went to China to work with Chinese teachers of English for a six week stint. One day, I was talking with one of these teaching colleagues, Kathy, and she asked me a question related to her experience with Black students at the school where she taught. It was sort of like when people who aren’t Black muster up the courage to ask you some burning question about your hair. Kathy asked… why do the Black kids come to school so shiny? I actually laughed at the question because I knew immediately what she meant.
You probably do too. We don’t like being ashy – heck nobody does – and so sometimes there is an extreme precaution to avoid the distinction.

My sister and I have recently discussed that ash is another thing that begins to win the battle as we age. Perhaps our flexibility and reach prevent us from being as thorough as we once were. We become extremely susceptible to A.A. ( ashy ankles).
And, unfortunately, the cutest pair of Christian Louboutins can lose cache if the wearer is suffering from A.A.

Last week, I had on a really cute pair of pointy toe tan pumps. They did all the right things – like elongate my legs. I even received a few compliments from people. However, I got home and as I took them off to return them to my shelf, I noticed an ashy ring-around-the ankle. What’s strange is that I had certainly lotioned up before leaving the house. But, I guess I had failed to saturate a key (apparently very moisture absorbing part) – the Achilles heel area.

You, like me, have undoubtedly seen the extreme ashy ankle – they are nearly all white as if someone had doused them with baby powder. There is often a level of cracking as well.

This should not be!

As we move into colder weather, we know that it is much harder to keep moisture in. So I suggest, when moisturizing, use a mix of Johnson’s gel baby oil and a lotion. Start with the ankle ( our literal and figurative Achilles heel) and work forward and up the leg. You may decide upon another moisturizing agent, that is fine, but START with the ANKLE!!

Many of us work too hard to select the right shoes with our outfits; we cannot let our ankles sabotage our look.
Thoughts?



Coats for Apple shapes Part 2

A structured princess coat pulls in the midsection, but has fabric that floats away creating feminine hips. The beige and dark brown ones pictured above are long, but they also come knee length which is best if you are short.
An A-lined swing coat has a vintage feel. Now the pink and green Erdem one pictured above has the great effect of floating away from the troubled area. Imagine it in red and white if you must ;-).

Another coat that works well is the wrap coat with or with out belt. There is a burgundy Gucci one picture with a belt, and a beige, black and with that is lose without the belt.
The detail on the collar draws attention away from the midsection but also helps to give shape.
The woman at Gucci also suggested that investment in a structured trench coat that is cinched at the waist helps to create an hour glass illusion.

These coats at Bergdorf all ranged in price with some being between $2600 – $3500. While this is well out of most of our price ranges, it does give a sense of what is out there.

Even with the suggestions presented here, what is most important is that you try on different coats. Even if you know you will wear a princess coat, you have to choose the color, pattern, and texture that match your style.
Hope this helps. Let me know your thoughts.



Fall Coat for an Apple Shape

I was asked what I would recommend for an apple shape. Well, apple shaped women generally hold their weight in their mid-section. The weight in the center is more prominent than the breast and often competes for attention.
I took this question seriously. I did much reading and conferred with fashion sales people at Bergdorf in New York.
The best coats for women with apple shapes are structured princess- coats, loose draping wrap coats, belted trench and A-line swing coats.
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The Cookie Craze

I can’t recall the last time Black women were able to unite around a style icon. (I haven’t dismissed Kerry Washington, but Olivia Pope is a style figure for other women as well.) But last night I, along with my best friend, watched Cookie disrupt Lucious’ party wearing a golden rope bustier and neck piece and we both had the same visceral reaction. It was an iconic moment. Was it as big as when Michael Jackson moonwalked? Probably not, but for the first time I got the Cookie craze. I don’t purport to be a huge fan of Empire itself because the drama seems to be over the top, and I never particularly liked Terrance Howard. But, I could become a fan simply to see what Cookie will wear next. There is something ghetto fabulous and something simply fabulous about her outfits. They evoke power and strength, probably more so than class. Though she will rock a leopard print fur or a brightly colored one with gold slacks, somehow she still appropriately belongs in the board room.

What does this mean? My friend and I mused over the outfit and how we’d like the items. But where would we being going? She could hardly take meetings dressed this way and I would be remiss to conduct observation in a first grade class dressed in such an outfit. The solution – my friend may need to throw an Empire party with attendees demonstrating their best renditions of Cookie. Thoughts?



Fall coats – You knew this was coming right?

If you look through the September and October magazines, you will see several ads and articles about coats for fall. Prada and Chanel both have great tweed coats, which I’ve talked about before. There are parkas and wool pea coats. But finding a fall coat is dependent on personal style and body type.

Nanette Lepore black and white coat and leather Max Studio coat

Nanette Lepore black and white coat and leather Max Studio coat


I think magazines bank on the fact that in the fall and winter months you start to understand that the coat IS the outfit. A cute coat goes very far in fall and winter when it may become like a second skin.

vintage purple and pink tweed coat and vintage green wool coat

vintage purple and pink tweed coat and vintage green wool coat


I have already shared that tweed is back with a vengeance. You can see it in several famed fashion houses. But outside of buying the “it” coat because it is on trend, what truly makes a great fall coat? Well, it depends on a few different things.

Is it a great shape for your body? Are you pear shaped – you may want a coat that floats away from the hips and has some embellishments up top to even you out. If you are an inverted pear, you definitely want to have something that minimizes the broad shoulders. Go for sleeker lines and maybe some that cinches at the waist. In the fall, I am a fan of the trench coat in the same way many women are fans of the wrap dress. It covers a multitude of sins. I like trying different belts with my trench coats because different belts give a bit of flare.
When selecting your fall coat, I also like the idea of considering location. I don’t think enough fashion magazines pay attention to the fact that fall in NY is different than fall in CA – and winters in NY or places in the Midwest are much much different than winter in CA or FL. So let’s not pretend location doesn’t matter.

Do you feel good in it? This question is becoming more and more important to me.
The coats I have shown above are coats that I like and feel they fit my style and my body type. I have them paired with shoes and bags. Though fall is often browns and auburn colors, I want to incorporate color this fall. I particularly like the green with the burgundy.

I have put the green coat with a pair of burgundy Lanvin pumps and a oversized bag with scarf.  I paired the tweed coat with a pair of Aldo pink stessy pumps and a vintage patent leather structure bag

I have put the green coat with a pair of burgundy Lanvin pumps and a oversized bag with scarf. I paired the tweed coat with a pair of Aldo pink stessy pumps and a vintage patent leather structure bag


Nanette Lepore coat paired with a leather dress, booties and an Anya Hindmarch handbag.  Max Studio coat paired with leopard print pumps and an oversize Kate Spade tote.  I imagine wearing it with jeans as well as with a pencil skirt and blouse.

Nanette Lepore coat paired with a leather dress, booties and an Anya Hindmarch handbag. Max Studio coat paired with leopard print pumps and an oversize Kate Spade tote. I imagine wearing it with jeans as well as with a pencil skirt and blouse.


Thoughts?



Fall Fur event at Bloomingdale’s

Beautiful furs featured in the Maximilian fur salon in Bloomingdale's in Manhattan

Beautiful furs featured in the Maximilian fur salon in Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan

I went to the 2015 fall fur Maximilian event at Bloomingdale’s on 59th in NYC hosted by Bazaar magazine. I have never been a huge fan of fur coats because I always feel as though wearing one makes me more susceptible to attack by dog or squirrel or some furry beast – not to mention the extremists at PETA.
The furs at Maximilian, however, made me a believer. The first grey and black chinchilla fur I canoodled was so soft and plush that it is hard to do it justice with those adjectives – neither does the picture above. The price…$12,000. One of the women working there said that it’s an investment. Indeed. It is 7 months worth of rent; its more than the value of my car.
The event was catered and there was endless champagne and a refreshing cranberry basil drink.
I tried on a wonderful dark green fur that matched the velvet wedges I was wearing. The camera man for the event took a picture of me in the coat and two women told me I looked fabulous. I actually agreed. I did. The price of that green fur, $11,000. There were dyed mink, dyed curly sheep hair among other things. I fell for a white fur Love shirt. Where would I be going in it though?
I know some of the women there wear furs just because, but I still think of a fur as an event coat. It will take more than one event to change that. But I am ok with wearing furs to church or an evening out. I do remember my grandmother talking about her mink coat given to her by my grandfather. I have a little mink stole that I have yet to wear. I purchased it while Black Friday shopping with my sisters. It may just be time to pull it out of my closet. I was certainly inspired to do so.
If you have an interest in furs, you can go to any high end store, but you can also peruse the internet – Ebay and Etsy and even sites like Tradesy will have real and faux fur coats and reasonable prices. You shouldn’t have an issue buying a used fur either, after all, all furs are second-hand.