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The Holidays Are Here!!

From the early Black Friday sale at Neiman Marcus to the invitation I got this week to a New Year’s Eve party all signs points to the full on arrival of the holidays.  They seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each year too.  So, if you think my receiving a New Year’s Party invitation this week is too soon, this post is definitely for you.

Take a look at this photo of Delinda Brown of Vallejo. This is the perfect use green velvet wth a pink Coach accent bag. She has bold accessories which are ideal for any holiday party.

How does the saying go – If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready…Well chances are you still have some of the holiday wear and accessories from last year and the year before  that will be perfect for the 2018 season.

Fashion for the holidays doesn’t really change much; all it takes is a google search of holiday outfits years past to see the striking similarities. Just look at Harper’s outfits from last year at  The magazines make an effort to reinvent holiday fashion, but really – sequin, satin, velvet in rich burgundies, bright reds, satin Royal Blues and silver, playful greens, vibrant fucshsia and pinks are staples, not to mention  the black cocktail dress with holiday accessories. These are what is always “in” for the holidays.

Do the accessorizing big.It is the best way to let people know that you are on board for the holidays. Try jingle bell earrings or Christmas tree brooches.  Last year I wrote about the holiday manicure because your finger nails are one of your best accessories; thrift stores are great places to find accessories like holiday pendants scarves and belts. There is no need to pay full price for things that make their way to the surface only once per year.

Perhaps most important when thinking about holiday outfits is to   know where you are going early on.  I always find myself scrambling for where I am going on Christmas and New Years, which sometimes makes putting together the outfit more stressful than it should be.  So, solidify you party plans early on and do not be afraid to ask the host about the dress code. Remember that the holidays are about celebrating love, life, family, new beginnings. It is not about giving or receiving the most expensive gifts.  So think about showing up in outfits that celebrate who you are and the people you are with.  More to come as the holiday season is just beginning.




She get it from her Mama…But she probably shouldn’t

Two words. Mom Jeans.
My sister and I have been on a serious search for jeans. Somehow with our ever expanding midsections, the fight to avoid the muffin top has become quite serious. An easy solution would be the mom jeans with high waist that would allow our stomachs to rest comfortably. But, we have come to realize that comfort may need to be sacrificed. The perfect jeans when you’re over 40 need to do work. They cannot go gently into that good night…They need to lift and cradle the butt, contain and flatten the stomach, and snuggly fit the legs without evoking images of Italian sausages. Seems like a lot to ask, but I think they are out there. And, with the impending cold weather, a good pair of jeans is a must. Go out, find a nice pair of fitted skinny jeans, and a pair of straight leg dark washed jeans – both of which should do some work to make you assets look as good as possible.

The holiday time is a great time to find bargains too. One of my favorite pair of jeans actually comes from New York & Company. I think we know enough not to try to wear jeans for juniors – hence the success of Not Your Daughter’s Jean. But, as we shop must fight any urge to allow ourselves to succumb to the hideousness of Mom Jeans. Happy holiday shopping – I would love to hear about your jean purchases.

Kardashian – One of the most iconic names in Fashion?

Some of the greatest names in fashion plus one. [/caption]I know what you’re thinking. There is no way the Kardashians should be on the same shelf as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Diana Vreeland. Fashion wise, the innovation of Chanel and the insight of Vreeland should far surpass the icon-status of the Kardashians. But ask a Kardashian fan what Kim wore last week, they could tell you, but ask who Diana Vreeland was, they probably couldn’t tell you. Since I call myself a fashion fanatic, I think it is important that I understand the changing nature of fashion’s influencers. The term “influencer” itself even has a different meaning – essentially, it is anyone who shapes the directions of fashion usually through their social media presence. And oddly enough, nearly anything donned by one of the members of the Kardashian clan will quickly become one very coveted item. It is interesting that clothes don’t necessarily make the man when it comes to celebrities. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The man makes the clothes. And, the man makes the fashion trend. Imagine just how many bra-less women in sports jackets came as a result of this outfit that Kim Kardashian wore to 2017 LACMA Art & Film Gala. Well, I write this post just as a wink to fashions’ big names. And I end with two quotes: One by Vreeland and one by Chanel”A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous” – Coco Chanel
““A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.” – Diana Vreeland
Embed from Getty Images
Why this post about the old book you ask…well I was shopping at my favorite thrift store in Vallejo. And in the book department was a Chanel book for $3.98 and right next to it was this Kardashian book ($3.98 with 75% because it was a yellow tag). So, while I put the books in my basket, it just made me wonder.

Christian Louboutin: Sole-Shaming

Photo/styling shoot in NYC in Louboutins

Photo/styling shoot in NYC in Louboutins

I shot this picture during a styling/photoshoot a few years back. I remember one of the comments that I got from a dear friend. “Her soles are scuffed.”
It seems like a strange comment, but not for Louboutins; in fact it was quite true. I made a note of it and sought quickly to unload the “damaged goods” via Tradesy before they lost too much of their value. I mean the shoe is the sole right? – well partially at least. This brings me to another Louboutin sole-shaming issue. I have watched youtubers post about having their soles reinforced with rubber. I have a pair myself, but sometimes it feels inauthentic. Why should it? It must be that Louboutins by any other sole is not as sweet – to sort of quote Shakespeare.

A friend of the family was at a fundraiser and Christian Louboutin was there. The friend shared on Facebook that fundraiser attendees took pictures proudly displaying the coveted red-bottoms. However, I imagine I would have felt somewhat embarrassed to show the well-worn red and the reinforced rubber replacement. That imagined embarrassment is what motivated this post.

I have been guarding my marble Pigalle Follies pumps. I bought them for myself for Christmas in 2015 – purchased in the lovely shoe salon at Bergdorf’s. This was the ultimate gift to myself, but I had been so petrified of the scuffed soles that I have only worn them once. That is ludicrous. It is akin to the good old days when people would cover their couches with plastic never allowing themselves to fully enjoy the beauty of the fabric.
So, this past Sunday, I took my Louboutins off the shelf, out of the box, out of the tissue, and out of the dust bag. I wore them to church. I walked across the street in them. I didn’t put on the flip flops. I just walked in them. Sole to concrete risking a scuff with every step I took.
I wore the shoes and yes I know the sole will wear off eventually (after all it is the sole – that’s what it does). I’m fine with that. What a stupid realization to have to finally come to.

Macy’s Fall Fashion Event SF falls short on the Fashion

Indeed one of my journalistic error.  I am not mad at the orange leather outfit though.

Indeed one of my journalistic error. I am not mad at the orange leather outfit though.

One of my biggest regrets as an entertainment writer for the Oakland Post Newspaper was writing a good review for B.A.Ps (Black American Princesses) -the horrible 1997 movie starring Halle Berry and Martin Landau. I was young and it was my first movie review, so I tried to put a positive spin. That took some writing wizardry, but I never felt that I had done right by my readers. I vowed to always try to be honest about my take on an event. This, of course, would never apply to a Beyonce event, however – everyone fears the BeyHive.
But, I feel that it is my duty to share my thoughts about last night’s Macy’s Fall Fashion Event. It was so different than last year’s and not in a good way. This year focused on the featured musician, James Maslow, and less on the actual fashion. Don’t get me wrong, James was awesome – I even tweeted about it. And sure, there were models positioned on pedestals in the aisles of the third floor, but this was a far cry from the runway that they had last year. The vibe was way too relaxed too.
Models positioned on pedestals.

Models positioned on pedestals.

I found myself seated with a group of ladies, who like myself, had come to last year’s event and were somewhat disappointed at the change. This just didn’t feel like a fashion event. There was nothing to ooo-awww at, nor was there anything to applaud. The ladies and I had all come earlier than we had last year because we’d remembered the lines, and the clamoring for a front row seat. But we also remembered the give-a-ways, Kelly Osbourne, and the fabulous male models. This year – no one even checked our tickets. It was as if no one cared who showed up…
There were free appetizers and drinks, but that wasn’t enough to make the event magical. Two of the ladies decided to call it a night early, and I followed suit shortly after. Overall, the event just fell short of my expectations. It wasn’t an epic fail, but it certainly wasn’t a fall event to remember.

Patriotism looks good on you

The combination of the Mexican Flag, the American Flag, and the cowboy...Love it. Photos by LynParkPhotography

The combination of the Mexican Flag, the American Flag, and the cowboy…Love it. Photos by LynParkPhotography

Lately in our country there has been a question about who is and who isn’t American. There have been attempts to ban, deride, belittle and dismiss certain groups in this–our country–which purports to be one nation under God. This is not new, but the fact that it is spearheaded by the leader of our country is quite unnerving.
Look at the beads on this baby - The red, white, and blue! -

Look at the beads on this baby – The red, white, and blue! –

Independence Day, however disrupts the one-sided notion of patriotism.
Full of hope!

Full of hope!

I had the pleasure of covering the Fourth of July Parade and Celebration in Vallejo, CA and was thrilled by the way in which Americans, in this small city, came out to represent. Patriotism is diverse and is expressed in many ways, and it was not only fashionable but it was a reminder of the strength that comes from difference.
Lady Liberty - from Obtainium in Vallejo. Photo by LynParkPhotography

Lady Liberty – from Obtainium in Vallejo. Photo by LynParkPhotography

Just as confidence is one of the best accessories one can wear – patriotism, in all its form was the accessory of the day. Gotta love the stars and stripes.
Stars and Stripes done their way.

Stars and Stripes done their way.



And their little dogs too!

And their little dogs too!

Live Free

Live Free

In all its glory - red, white and blue. Beautiful family!

In all its glory – red, white and blue. Beautiful family!

Faithful defenders.

Faithful defenders.

These photos are reminders of who we are and what we are.

Fashion Waits for No One

It has been a while. Trends have come and seasons have gone. All the while, my blog has gathered cyber spiderwebs. What accounts for this? Two things: 1) my day job and 2) my age.
Let me explain. My job as an instructor leaves me teaching and grading in a seemingly non-ending cycle. Additionally, I have been doing contract work as an evaluator, which leaves little time for other things including writing. Next, it’s my age. I remember vividly while in my twenties, jumping in my car and driving to the Bay Area from Los Angeles in the morning and coming back driving back the next morning. Now, I find myself hesitant to drive across the Carquinez bridge opting instead to work from a Starbucks in near my home. Uh, 44 is no spring chicken and sometimes, I just don’t want to go out. That’s the truth. The fashion world and the social media world is full of millennials and they are active and bubbly. Me. Not so much.
Last weekend, I went to a social media hack-a-thon that had among its speakers Cliff Worley. He mentioned, as he was telling us how to grow our instagram, that he was in college when Facebook came out. I was in the audience thinking – uh we didn’t even have the internet when I entered college.

So, that’s the back story. But I have certainly not been ignorant of the emergent 2017 spring fashion, among which are denim, black and white, and of course florals and soft pastels. Lightweight fabrics are in because the weather requires it, but there is always something appealing about mixing structured fabrics with lightweight fabric to create a wonderful tension.
Here in the Bay Area after the rainy winter that pretty much single-handedly reversed the California drought, I am just happy to be out of rubber boots and trench coats. I have already begun incorporating flowy skirts and sheer blouses into my wardrobe for work. I have made a vow to jump back into Bay Area fashion, because like time, and most other things, fashion waits for no one. Happy Spring.

Trying on clothing…Good luck!(?)

Today, I visited one of my favorite second-hand stores in Vallejo, Eco-Thrift. After perusing accessories and coats, I found two coats (and a skirt even though I wasn’t particularly in the market for one) that I wanted to try on. I headed to the dressing room.
Now, I have stressed before that trying on items, especially at places where there are no returns, is a must. If you are at a second-hand store, you often want to wear leggings or something that you can actually wear under the used clothing items when you try them on.

As I parked my shopping cart and headed into the dressing stall, the attendant manning the dressing room said “good luck.”
Good luck? I thought.
She must have read the confused look on my face and my hesitancy when I said “thank you” with a somewhat questioning tone. The woman commenced to explaining. “We get surprised when we go in there. I blame the manufacturers for the inconsistency with clothing sizes.”
“Yes, I guess you’re right” – I agreed.

Most recently I have been surprised going into the dressing room, not so much because of the manufacturers, however. I have known that my clothing size has ranged from a 0 to a 4 for years. It definitely depends on the brand though. I have been surprised more so because I keep underestimating the size of my belly and thighs which have grown considerably over the years.

But the idea that we now have to go into a dressing room hoping that luck is on our side is not the way I want to shop. Being wished “good luck” shows the degree to which our psyches can be utterly messed up in how we think about clothing, fashion, and our bodies. I do not think we should be as concerned with clothing sizes as much as fit, appropriateness, and whether or not the item is flattering. But I won’t pretend like clothing size is not an issue. Indeed, I remember shopping with my cousin once, and she would not purchase a perfectly fitting skirt because it was a size 10. She said she couldn’t let herself. The interesting thing is that there was another skirt that was similarly perfect fitting, but it was a size 8. Same body – different skirt manufacturers. A slave to the numbers…definitely
I wonder how many more women would be well dressed if they focused on their figures rather than the label figures.
Yeah…I can almost hear my most of us saying -Good luck with that…Good luck indeed.

Caught Being Fabulous – The purse accessory in action

Two weeks ago, I wrote about accessorizing your handbags, but wasn’t in a position to take a picture of the trend in action. Luckily for you readers, the ladies featured below are wonderful examples of how to accessorize – using the puff.  While I was out this Saturday enjoying the sun and catching up on some reading, I happened to be struck time and again by women rocking the puff purse accessory. It is the take on the Fendi Monster you see here to the left.image While the monster is out of reach for most of us, these lovely ladies have found ways to rock the look minus the costly price tag.


Below you will see Thana and Yajaira spotted with the trend I spoke of weeks ago.  There was no one with scarfs or key chains, but generally when I am on the upper east side, I see more women wearing the scarves as additional accessories for their handbags. That fact notwithstanding, these ladies demonstrate the puff trend in different ways according to their personal styles .

Thana of Pennsylvania showing off her beautiful Serena-esque legs while showing us how to accessorize.

Thana of Pennsylvania showing off her beautiful Serena-esque legs while showing us how to accessorize.

Yajaira of Yonkers, New York spotted demonstrating how to accessorize your accessories. In this case, she's jazzing up a Michael Kors bag.

Yajaira of Yonkers, New York spotted demonstrating how to accessorize your accessories. In this case, she’s jazzing up a Michael Kors bag. The pink puff actually pulls together the pink accents in the blouse and makes the outfit more cohesive.