Friday, September 29, 2006

Jeans Options for the Good Guys

Dear She She: This isn't your typical She She question, but hopefully you can understand my dilemma! I have a lovely boyfriend who otherwise dresses perfectly. Except for his jeans. He's still stuck in regular old tapered Levi's. He refuses to even look at men's jeans with any flare! I obviously don't want to hurt his feelings, but I think I could delicately broach the subject if perhaps I had a few straight-leg, non-designer options. Can you help me? Thanks, Jordan

Hello Jordan! Darling girl, I know exactly what you are talking about. Most guys seem to latch onto a particular "look" and feel that it can carry them on into middle age and beyond. (This accounts for the myriad Birkenstock and chino clad guys wandering the streets of the Bay area.) It's always a tough topic to broach, especially without offending said fashion-challenged beau. It takes delicacy, diplomacy and timing. I would suggest a weekend of pizza, action movies and/or football and then and only then a very casual, "Oh, by the way, here's a little something I picked up at the mall yesterday - 40% off!" (Money off is always a bonus in a guy's eyes!) Here are a few very appropriate and non-scary denim choices for your guy:

These standard fit, straight leg, classic rise jeans by Lucky are great. As are these BKE Alec jeans. Button fly, slim fit, dark wash denim. Hollister has a great low rise denim, the Boomer fit. Several different washes to choose from.

Beautiful Bath Design

I'm finally building my first new place (an aweqome 3 story condo) and have the opportunity to replace my 3rd sink in the master bathroom (don't know why they planned 3 sinks in the bathroom) with a "make up station". The issue here is that I'm having a very hard time finding something (photos) to share with the builder for ideas and inspiration. This make up station will be a splurge on my part so I'm not prepared to hire a stylist/decorator of any type at this point. Please help! Thanks.

What fun! And to be able to start from scratch and make everything exactly how you want it -you are one lucky girl!! As far as ideas, my best advice is get thee to a Home Expo Center immediately! They have tons of bathroom/dressing room ideas, all set up like in a real home! Take a digital camera and snap away (ask first, so they don't toss you out!) Or any plumbing supply showroom (they all have showrooms these days, all decorated and looking like a Martha Stewart Living magazine.) Be sure to have the countertop lowered to a comfortable seated level. That way you can primp, pamper and apply your lotions and potions while seated on a lovely tufted chair, instead of standing on a cold tile floor and hovering in front of the mirror. Have your builder install a vanity-type table instead of a cabinet - that way you have knee room under the counter. Choose your lighting wisely. (Ask for help at Home Expo/plumbing center - they have designers there for just that purpose.) Most electrical codes for bathroom design require flourescent lighting, but you can add a standard bar-type light over your makeup mirror for targeted illlumination. Also, make sure the mirror goes all the way down to the backsplash (remember, you will be seated!) to give you full viewing access.

One more idea, and this one is totally fun - go visit model homes! Or, if there is a Parade of Homes in your area, take full advantage. Check local listings for any Builders Expo or Home Design Expo that might be happening in your area. These are great places for design and decorating ideas. Best of luck!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Super Sunglasses

Hi She She Me!

It's a little late in the year, but who am I kidding? The UV rays in the sun are as strong as ever in So Cal. But anyway, I need a great pair of sunglasses. Durable, pretty and cheap. I mean really cheap as I am on a very strict budget here. So if you have any ideas, please let me know! Thank you! Love, Esther

Hi there sweetie! So good to hear from you! You are one smart girl to realize that those nasty old UV rays are just as nasty mid autumn as they are mid summer! And it is so important to protect your eyes (and the delicate skin surrounding them, since that is where the first wrinkles appear!) year round whenever you are outside. There are several affordable options in UV protective sunwear, and they don't need to cost the earth either. (Especially if you tend to leave them on the seat of your car, then sit on them, like I do!) These darling tortoiseshell sunglasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. They are lightweight and wrap closely for extra protection. I love these super chic black sunglasses, with the stylish side panels and gradient lenses. They also offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. For a little retro Hollywood action, these oversize sunglasses are just the ticket. Very protective and very glam!

It's All About the Boots

Hi She She: I love the look of the knee-high boot, but I have a bit of a dilemma: I have a fuller/muscular calf muscle with a high instep and I wear size 11 shoes. I would LOVE a pair of boots, but have yet to find any that would fit. I have even tried boots with the stretch gore panels. Now, with all that said & done, I really don't want to spend a month's rent on a pair either. Do you have any suggestions or tips? Thanks so much! Kathie

Hi Kathie! This fall it is definitely all about the boots. Most knee boots tend to run between 12 and 14 inches circumferance at the thickest part of the calf, so if you have muscular calves (as an ex-gymnast I can totally relate) it can be difficult to find a pair of knee boots that fit without feeling like you are wearing sausage casings. These edgy riding boots by Stonefly have a larger circumference and a gore pleat at the calf. The classic riding boot is a style that will give you years of fashionable wear. These soft leather knee-highs have a drawstring collar for adjustability, as well as a comfortable circumference. Western style boots as a general rule are larger around the calves. This pair by daniblack is gorgeous without being too cowboy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Super Sunglasses

Hi She She Me!
It's a little late in the year but who am I kidding, the UV rays in the sun are as strong as ever in So Cal; but anyway, I need a great pair of sunglasses! Durable, pretty, and cheap. I mean really cheap as I am on a really strict budget here. So if you have any ideas, please let me know! Thank you! Love, Esther

Hi there sweetie! So good to hear from you! You are one smart girl to realize that those nasty old UV's are just as nasty mid-autumn as they are mid-summer. It's important to protect your eyes (and the delicstylish tortoiseshell sunglasses wrap closely, are lightweight and offer 100% UV-A and UV-B protection. Another great option, these black frames have gradient lenses and a decorative side piece, also with 100% UV protection. Or, for a very retro-Hollywood glamour, these oversized shades offer style, protection and sass!

One More Winter Wedding Suggestion!

Megan darling, I have one more suggestion for bridesmaid dresses! Chic, sophisticated, and most importantly WARM!! You can pair a gorgeous satin or taffeta skirt (tea length would be absolutely exquisite!) with an elegant wrap top. Go with either a crisp side-tie blouse, or a stylish wrap sweater. (The side wrap is very flattering, much more so than a shrug or front-tie top; and shrugs are sooooo over.) Also, either of these options could be worn with strapless, sleeveless or halter type bridesmaid dresses, providing both coverage and warmth, and removed when things heat up at the reception or on the dance floor. One of my co-workers actually paired a yoga-style wrap top with a beautiful taffeta skirt, then wrapped a coordinating taffeta scarf around her waist and tied it in a big bow on the side. Positively divine!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Winter Wedding Attire

Hi SheShe! I've been a fan for a couple of years now - love your suggestions and creativity with fashion. OK, here's the problem. My younger sister is getting married at the end of December, but she can't figure out what she wants to have her bridesmaids wear (I'm one of them, and thankfully she's letting me suggest things; but she has good taste, so I wasn't too worried!) Her colors are champagne and a pale green, and we will be out in the cold for about an hour, at least, for pictures, so we'll need coverups or something. The main thing is that she's on a strict budget because she and her husband are in college. Any ideas? I know this is asking a lot, but even style suggestions would be great (and we can try to find better bargains from there). Thanks! Megan

A winter wedding - how fabulous! And I absolutely adore the color selection - très elegant. I hope your sister is going with a really bold floral accent color (deep burgundy or black/red roses come to mind) to add some drama to the color scheme. But I digress. Bridesmaid dresses are what we are after here, right? There are a lot of great bridal websites and sources online for inexpensive, but gorgeous, bridesmaid dresses. One option is to go to prom dress sites or shops, because prom dresses are generally less expensive than gowns found in wedding shops. As far as the outdoor photos, the bridesmaids could wear short velvet capes with satin ribbon ties. That way you can choose basically any style of bridesmaid dress (sleeveless, strapless, halter, etc.) for the ceremony and reception, but not have the girls turn into frilly popsicles while taking photos. Capes and capelets are very simple and inexpensive to make, and since they are a fashion staple this fall and winter they are available in many retail and online shops. A soft, champagne velvet or even a faux fur, with pale green satin ribbon ties would be gorgeous. Another option would be for the bridesmaids to wear elbow length satin gloves, and matching satin bolero jackets with their dresses. If the ceremony itself is being held in a chapel or synagogue, the bolero also provides a bit more modesty for the religious service, and can be removed for the reception and dancing. The gloves add elegance, and also warmth! One final option, a luxurious silk pashmina, which could be wrapped casually around the shoulders for warmth, and could also serve as a very elegant bridesmaid gift (one that would also be used time and time again!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Trouser Style Jeans

What's your opinion on trouser cut jeans? I like the idea of trouser jeans and they seem more flattering for women who have curves (wide hips, etc). Boot cut jeans are not made for every body type. These trouser jeans are hard to find...what stores should I be visiting? And what do you suggest I wear with these jeans? Thanks for the fashion advice!

Trouser cut jeans are generally more classically tailored, like trousers, as the name suggests, and are great for when you want to dress up a bit more. They do, however, have a tendency to accentuate the hips and thighs. Have the pockets sewn shut to avoid gaps. There are a few things to look for in a pair of great trouser cut jeans. Since they are more tailored and sophisticated, look for a cut that’s crisp — an easy waist, front-slash pockets, a straight or slightly flared leg and a smooth back. Today's trouser cut jeans ride a little lower (thank heaven - no one wants their jeans cinched up under the armpits!) and are more flattering to all body types. Because the leg is usually fuller, it's best to wear them with pumps, platforms or boots. I would stay away from flats. Goldsign makes a great trouser cut jean, which I particularly like because of the patch pockets. They are a little pricey, but the quality and fit is superb. I also really like the Joe's Jeans 'Mitchell" trouser. It has back welt pockets and a wide cuffed leg. For a more affordable option try Levis 542 Trouser Flare or these whipstitch trouser jeans from The Gap.

Try wearing a tailored jacket or blazer and crisp white blouse with trouser jeans, or a belted tunic for a more casual look. Go preppy with a cashmere crewneck sweater, or a white blouse paired with a retro vest.

Pump it Up in Basic Black

Hello! I am in the market for a fabulous pair of black leather pumps. One would think they would be easy to find, but it seems as though this is not the case. I need a pair of all-season shoes that will look smashing with a suit (skirt or pant) and are comfortable enough for me to give lengthy presentations in and trot around campus. I'm looking for something under $200. Suggestions? Thanks, Kenda

While some people may think that all things basic black are basically the same, nothing could be further from the truth! A great pair of black pumps is like the perfect little black dress, and will see you through any social situation. Stick with smooth, supple leather (no suede), a comfortable heel height (no higher than 3 inches; platforms or stacked heels can sometimes go as high as 3 1/2 inches and still be very comfortable) and stay away from extremely pointed toes. This sophisticated leather pump by Via Spiga is a comfortable height, has a bow and tassel on the vamp and a padded footbed for comfort, as well as a raised heel wrap, which is great for extended wear (shoes will not dig into the back of your foot!) This croc-inspired leather pump is a classic. The chunkier heel is great for stability and comfort, especially when on your feet for extended lengths of time. Another option is this chic pump by Ralph Lauren, with stacked heel. Very polished and professional looking. This tailored pump by Via Spiga has a buckle detail and topstitching. The gently tapered toe and stacked heel are great for comfort.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Red Hot Lips

Hi She She! I am a twirty girl also and am looking to have red lips this fall! I have medium skin tone with brown hair and eyes. I love NARS lipstick. DO you have a shade to recommend that would be flattering? Also, do you recommend skinny jeans for curvier girls? What brands? Thanks!! Katherine

Red is the shade for fall, from sweaters and accessories to luscious lips. One thing to watch out for while wearing red is the tone behind the color. Reds with a brown tone should only be worn if you have an incredibly white smile - perfect for the girl who is faithful with her Crest White Strips! My favorite is Tarte Lipstick in Shiraz. I love the way it goes on and stays on. I also swear by Tarte Dual Gloss (and it has the added bonus of two different shades!) I like to dab just a bit on top of my regular shade of lipstick whenever I want a little bit of shine or sparkle. My absolute fave is Rhett & Scarlett (love the glitter gold!)

I also love NARS Satin Rouge d'Enfer, a quintessential red with deep berry tone. The satin lipstick glides on and has great staying power. And I positively adore Chanel Rouge Hydrabase in Champagne Red. It contains Vitamin E and chamomile to soothe and protect the lips, and it won't smudge or fade. I may not ever be able to afford Couture Chanel, but I can certainly pamper myself with her lipstick!

As for skinny jeans for curvier girls, I have found a couple of brands that really do flatter a curvier shape. Seven for all Mankind has jeans that cater to the shapely girl, as do True Religion, Salt Works Denim and Joe's Jeans Chelsea. I also love Joe's Jeans Honey (which is specifcally cut for a girl with a great booty.) A couple of hints for pulling off the skinny jeans look: a) balance the skinny jeans with a blousy top or tunic; b) a belted tunic or sweater dress over skinny jeans can help camouflage heavy thighs; c) tuck your skinny jeans into boots if you have thick calves; and d) give the illusion of longer legs by wearing heels (also, a pointy toe flat works).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Winter Wonderland Wear

Hey! I’m having some trouble buying a winter coat. I’m in my mid 20s and work in an office in a cold and snowy climate. It needs to be very warm, stylish, high quality and practical. I want something wool, with classic but modern tailoring, that will give the allusion of a smaller waist. It needs to be on significant sale, under $200, and ideally, not plain black or white. I’m bored with ordinary pea coats. I’m perfectly happy to keep my eye on things that might go on sale before the snow flies. Any suggestions? Former LA Girl Out of Her Depth

Hi there girly! I feel your pain. When one is accustomed to the lovely SoCal weather it is a bit difficult to adjust to eyelash-freezing bitter cold! Well darling girl, Lady Luck is smiling on you today because I just got a hot tip from Shop Girl on some fabulous winter coats. This gorgeous lambswool and cashmere coat by Via Spiga is to die for! The grommet details at the waist are very slimming. It is a bit more than your price range, but the quality is top notch and it would definitely be an investment. Another option is this big button coat, made of super warm wool, but cut narrower through the waist for a more fitted style. The big buttons are great for gloved or mittened fingers on cold days. It comes in fabulous colors too! This gorgeous powder blue wool and cashmere blend trench coat with removable belt around waist is fully lined and has a warm sweater knit collar. And finally, this wonderful wool blend military style coat by Kenneth Cole Reaction is warm, stylish, a rich gorgeous color and right down your price alley! Stay warm and stay happy!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Chic Shower Style

Hi She She Me!

I'm off to a baby shower this weekend for a dear friend. Eek! I can hardly believe my friends are having babies. It's my first baby shower and am wondering what to wear. Any thoughts? It's still warm here and it will be at someone's home. Alas, the weather won't allow me to wear my new fall boots. :( Thanks! Whitney

Whitney, you lucky girl! A baby shower is indeed a very festive occasion, a party in fact; and a party is always an excuse to get all girlied up. While some girls may be OK with designer jeans, a crisp white blouse and a fabulous pair of heels, it is sometimes a bit intimidating for the mommy-to-be to see her skinny friends in all their skinny glory while she can barely see what color her pedicure is! This is her day, so I would opt for understated elegance: a chic sleeveless dress or perhaps a wrap dress, gorgeous slingbacks and girly accessories. Another great look is a party skirt, a vintage-style blouse, strappy sandals and feminine jewelry. You really can't go wrong with the garden party look at a baby or bridal shower. Best of luck to the new mom and have a fabulous time!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

To shrug or not to shrug?

Hi She she, I am a huge admirer & always refer to
with fashion dilemmas. My question is about shrug/bolero sweaters.
I know the ones that tie are out, but are the regular plain shrugs
totally over? I have not seen any in the new Fall collections.
Seeking your
advice, Blakely

Hi Blakely, While the shrug seems to have been relegated to the way-back of the closet, the good news is that the bolero is still strong for fall. Several of my favorite designers, Zac Posen, Alice Roi, BCBG Max Azria, Luella, Ellie Saab, Michael Kors to name a few, all featured boleros in their Fall 2006 runway lines. This season, however, the bolero has taken on the look and feel of a cropped jacket or swing jacket, and not necessarily a sweater. More loose and flowing, less fitted, in fabrics from cashmere and leather to wool and even fur.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Collegiate Chic

One of our darling co-eds asks:

Hey! I will be a freshman in college this Fall. I was wondering what essentials you would recommend to bring as far as clothing and accessories. Thanks!

Well, dear girl, one of the perks about heading off for college is dressing the part (and I don't mean oversize sweatshirts, baggy jeans and ratty tennies!) At a recent college reunion, I was encouraged to see that the better percentage of women on campus were not falling into the grunge trap that often accompanies a somewhat low-on-cash college lifestyle. It is possible to dress stylishly and appropriately on a student budget.

Suggested wardrobe basics:

Jeans, natch. This season it's all about the skinny jean - jeans that can be tucked into boots or worn with flats. However, not everyone is in love with skinny jeans, but that's OK! There are many denim options this season: flares are hot; as are straight leg styles. I would also pick up a pair or two of corduroys and khakis for a change from the ubiquitous denim.

Denim skirt. A must for college. Also, corduroy minis are hot. Don't let cool weather hold you back - pair those skirts with this season's must-have leggings and ankle boots.

Tee shirts. A given on any college campus. Luckily, there are so many darling tees out there that you will have no problem showing your own personal style. Sweaters make a much more fashionable statement than sweatshirts (save those for the football game). A denim jacket and a wool peacoat should carry you through the cold weather.

Plaid is also very of-the-moment. Skirts, jackets, vests and even totes! And speaking of totes, messenger bags make a great change from that basic backpack/bookbag. Here's one that is roomy enough for your laptop and a few books, and easy to sling over your shoulder!

Sweater dresses are a great item to have in your college wardrobe. They are so versatile! Worn with skinny jeans and platforms, leggings and boots, or even dressed up with opaque tights and killer heels (college life does include the occasional need to get dressed up!)

Most likely, you will be doing a great deal of walking to and from classes, library, dorm, etc. A good pair of flat boots will go far this fall. They can be work with jeans, skirts, even dresses. Also, ballerina flats are so much more stylish than tennis shoes or flip flops.

One final touch: the newsboy cap is a great solution to those bad-hair mornings (fondly remembering all those late-night "study" sessions). Remember, college is a great time to experiment with developing your own personal style. Best of luck!