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Category Archives Reader Advice Column

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.

Avoiding trends by defining your style

While I was in flight to California from NYC, I perused another fashion blog – Who What Wear. There was a posting about how to dress like a fashion blogger without the expensive price tag. Anyone who knows me knows that the issue is rarely the expensive price tag. I actually have a gift of finding high end duds for far less than the cost.

But I did concur with the gist of the post. For me it is not so much wanting to dress like bloggers, it is the fact that when I get the new magazine for the month (Bazaar, W, Glamour, and People Stylewatch) the fashions make me want to shop. The models so wonderfully styled in the latest fashions makes me want to recreate the look. There are magazines that do a good job of showing us how to get the look for less, but overall, I find it is problematic to chase style trends of bloggers or magazine models because 1) they are fleeting and 2) because they sometimes mess with your own style sense.

By the age of 43, I have become very well aware of what my style is – It is vintage chic with a modern twist. I like wearing pieces that are unique. This is why I opt for Ebay and thrift store shopping rather than mall or department stores. I tend to be underwhelmed by row after row of the same clothing item in different sizes.

Fashion trends, however, can get overwhelming and they are non-stop. So my advice is not so much about how to dress the trend but how to secure a style that is right for you.

To do so, think about the following questions:

1) Are the clothes you choose for yourself flattering to your shape? Be sure you haven’t developed a fashion sense that simply allows you to hide. Make sure the focus of your clothes is to accentuate the things you love about your shape – not to totally hide in hopes of disappearing.

2) Are the clothes that make up your style age-appropriate? Be sure that you are not trying to capture decades past by dressing too young. Also, in response to the post I saw, most fashion bloggers are in their 20s and 30s so I would certainly be remiss if I tried too hard to keep up with them.

3) Does your style make you feel good about who you are? Do you feel pretty when you’ve dressed yourself? This may be the most important thing to consider.

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you certainly need to rethink your personal style.
Drop me a line and we can talk.

a bit of advice

Wow! That cape is beautiful and the red gloves elevates the look! What about people who are a little shorter? I am 5’2. Any advice on how to choose the right cape?

Thanks for the question. I would say if you are short, 5’2″, wear a shorter cape like the cream one. Wear it with jeans and ankle boots or pumps. If you wear it with high boots it may make you look even shorter. I also think you should use a larger handbag with the pumps or ankle boots. Give it a try and let me know how it works out.

In Response to Karyn Washington

Karyn Washington - Rest in Peace Black Beauty!
This blog post space is suppose to allow readers to post pictures or ask questions about fashion. But I wanted to share some thoughts that get to the heart of how we see ourselves. Our clothing is only an attempt to accentuate our external beauty and help our inner beauty radiate all the more. Unfortunately we live in a society where beauty is constructed by the same ideology and forms of oppression that make many people of color question their intellect, or their beauty, and all too often their worth.

In response to 22-years-young Karyn Washington, she struggled to refute many of the social constructions of beauty that aim to silence, stifle and dehumanize women who don’t meet the mainstream perceptions of beauty. This young lady, as cute as she wants to be, had so many emotional and psychological struggles tearing away at her that she ultimately took her own life. I can understand her depression after having lost her mother, but the additional stress of being a darker skin Black woman is not understandable – and rather infuriating. The fact that music (particularly rappers) and magazines, and television continue to impart psychological violence upon us that in many ways leads to the physical violence that we impose upon our own bodies is beyond problematic. I appreciate artists like India Arie who have attempted to reframe those negative messages that girls receive.

We must continue to resist the superficial constructions of beauty and celebrate who we are in all of our wonderful shades. Rest in peace Karyn.

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?