Friday, December 29, 2006

Chic Party Attire for MEN

Since She She Me is a women's fashion site, we sometimes forget that the men in our lives are wondering how to dress stylishly too!

Chic party attire for men would generally mean a suit, button down shirt and tie. I am assuming this is an evening event, which always calls for a suit. If the event is a little less formal, your guy could get away with a silk or lightweight cashmere sweater with the suit. Complete the look with trendier lace-up shoes (no slip ons or boots).

Less formal events would call for a blazer and khaki's or sportier trousers, with a nice dress shirt or turtleneck that isn't bulky under the blazer. Loafers or dress shoes to finish.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Chic Party Attire Defined

Hi She She, I received a party invitation and it was requested that we wear "chic attire". How, exactly, would you define that?

Dearest girl, chic attire is, of course, very chic. (Think satin and velvet, not gabardine and denim.) Chic party attire, therefore, would be a seriously festive party dress. This is the opportunity to break out that once in a lifetime gorgeous beyond belief girly girl party dress. No LBD's here please! I would go for something with a full skirt and flattering bodice; nothing too in your face sexpot, just demurely alluring. Another good choice would be a gown with a more flowing line; chiffon or silk, but again not too much skin. If you choose a halter style, remember that the bare back will be sexy enough, so make sure the halter is not too deep or too bare. Same goes with strapless; keep the cleavage under control. Remember that a suggestion of skin is much more sexy than nearly nekkid!

Perhaps you are not the party dress type? No matter, dearest girl, one of the hottest looks this year is the tuxedo! Go for a gorgous satin or brocade, paired with a seriously feminine blouse and hotter than hot skyscrapers and you are good to go! Party on!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Très Chic Tourist

Hello She She Me! I'm off for a weekend in London. And I'm super excited. But I have NO IDEA what to bring without packing my entire closet. We will be seeing two West End shows, a few museums and tons of shopping. Most importantly, I DON'T want to look like a tourist. Can you help??

Can I come too? I adore London! For the trekking to and fro, museums and shopping I have one word for you: FLATS! Save yourself the trauma of blisters and sore feet by investing in a couple of pair of very chic flats for everyday wear. NOT tennis shoes, nothing screams tourist like tennies! Opt for a pair of ballerinas in a sleek leather, and a more casual pair of skimmers. They can be paired with a variety of trousers, jeans or skirts for daytime wear.

Travel packing need not be as traumatic as one tends to imagine, especially if it is just for a long weekend. Keep it simple by keeping it neutral for basics: a pair of jeans (perhaps two), a pair of dress trousers, and a knee length skirt. A great LBD will give you a reason to go to a fab restaurant! A dressy blazer for the theatre (paired with either the dress trousers or the skirt) and a casual jacket for daytime. A cashmere sweater to wear with jeans or trousers, a dressier blouse for evening and a casual top for sightseeing.

Don't forget a chic yet roomy tote for carrying the day's shopping, and a dressier clutch or mini for evening. When I travel, I tend to leave the accessories at home, that way I have a legitimate reason to pick up gorgeous earrings, bracelets, necklaces and scarves as souvenirs of my trip!

How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist: NO tennis shoes, NO fanny packs, NO sweatshirts, NO track suits, NO giant tote bags. Now go make us proud!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What to Wear With Ankle Boots

Hello!! I was wondering what will best match with ankle boots? I recently got a pair of black ankle boots with a 2 inch neel. I'm not a short girl, and I was wondering what will look good with the ankle boot?

Phoebe Dearest Phoebe, you are right on trend with ankle boots, and they are much more versatile than you might first imagine! I, myself, am a serious ankle boot devotee. One of the season's hottest looks is a knee length skirt, opaque tights or leggings and ankle boots. Add a belted jacket or a wrap sweater and you are good to go! Ankle boots also look great with skinny jeans, because the hem of the jean can tuck right down inside the boot. Same with bootleg jeans or skinny dress trousers. Ankle boots also look fabulous with cropped trousers or even wide legged trousers. Another great option is a longer skirt, but not too long. Keep the hem at least three inches above the top of the boot, otherwise the skirt tends to get snagged on the boot top. Looks to stay away from with ankle boots: short skirts, bare legs, dressy dresses and socks that are visible above the top of the boot.

Stylin' in D.C.

Oh She She! I am in desperate need of your guidance. Next month I am moving to Washington DC for my dream job. My problem is two fold: 1. I need to find a briefcase/tote that will hold files, my purse and (the horror!) a pair of leggings to keep my legs warm during my commute. I am totally unwilling to sacrifice my office skirts for comfort this early in my career. 2) I have just realized that my work wardrobe is much too neutral and I would like to spice it up a little bit with some colorful shoes and accessories that are both age and office appropriate. (Should 22 year olds wear silk scarves?) I want to stand out without channeling Elle Woods. Please Help. Thanks a Million! Desperate to Wow DC

Darling girl, you have enough to worry about with starting a new job, let's get this little dilemma under control so you can concentrate on the truly important stuff. (Like finding out where the really cute boys hang out after work.) Problem number 1: chic and stylish tote/briefcase. Not a problem. There are so many great choices today that you no longer have to look like you stole your boyfriend's manly-man briefcase. I'd opt for one with a platform bottom, especially a footed platform to protect the leather. I have this gorgeous little number. Plenty of room inside for files, phone, PDA, and girly necessities. Plus it has the added benefit of a detachable shoulder strap.

Next, how to add a little pizazz to an otherwise vanilla wardrobe. Note above briefcase, in cherry red! Très chic and rates highly on the spice factor. Same goes for shoes. In D.C. you will most likely be wearing suits, right? With a neutral suit you can pair a blouse and shoes from coordinating colors in the spectrum. Here's a nifty little tool that can help you determine which colors work well together. For instance, pair a seafoam or teal blouse with a tan suit, then choose shoes in a deep shade of orange and a handbag in warm russet. Just keep the basic color tones the same. Cools with cools, warms with warms.

Also, yes dear girl, 22-year-olds can most certainly wear silk scarves! And they are so very versatile. Tie one around the handle of your handbag or work tote. Use one to cinch the waist of a jacket or blazer. Loop a colorful scarf around a low ponytail for instant chic (when you sleep in and don't have time to wash your hair!) Experiment with your style and find what feels right to you. One piece of advice: dress for the job you aspire to!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Age Appropriate Style

Help! I just turned 54 and do not know how to pull together an age appropriate style. I have been told by numerous people that I look 30 something and wish to retain that look. Any suggestions?? Thank you, Gale

You are the luckiest of lucky ladies Gale! Thanks your fabulous genes and make the most of your gorgeousness! One suggestion, if you don't subscribe to More, the magazine for women over 40, do is immediately! Fabulous articles and great style suggestions for staying chic through the onslaught of birthdays that come faster and faster each year.

A few suggestions, don't dress too trendy; leave the low rise trousers and sheer blouses on the rack. Instead, aim for sophisticated and chic. An updated version of the classic blazer paired with straight leg jeans or trousers. Or perhaps a wrap front cashmere sweater and knee length skirt paired with boots. Go for classic styles. Structured and semi structured jackets and blazers. Trousers in a straight or wide leg style and straight leg jeans in a mid rise are your best choice; they are classic, flattering and timeless. Chic and sophisticated dresses; take a pass on flounces and frou-frou.

When you are classic and timeless in your basic attire, you can then be a bit more bold in the accessory department. Make a statement with a chunky bracelet, a colorful scarf or a unique necklace. Cinch the waist of your blazer with a leather belt. Invest in a great pair of boots because they will add a touch of class to trousers, suits, and skirts. The most important thing is to show your confidence and enjoy your style and always remember: you're as young as you feel!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Business Formal Defined

Hi She She, I am soon attending a benefit for a large charitable foundation with my boss and another co-worker. The invitation says attire is “business formal.” This event is very upscale but not quite black tie, and the temps will most likely be in the lower teens, as I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am originally from the south (Tennessee) and am scared of freezing if I choose something sleeveless. Part of the event will be an indoor/outdoor tour of the mansion and grounds on which the event is held. Any suggestions for what to wear to such an occasion? All the Best, Indy Girl

Take your clues from the invitation. "Business formal" is not the same as semi formal. Business formal means nothing that would be inappropriate in a business setting. No plunging necklines, no halter styles or backless styles, no sleeveless, strapless or spaghetti strap gowns. If they wanted you to wear cocktail gowns, the invitation would have specified "semi-formal". Therefore, based on the invitation, you should wear a businesslike version of semi-formal fashion. I would suggest a feminine suit, or perhaps a velvet blazer paired with a dressier skirt. You can bump up the glam quotient of your blouse with something in a satin, silk or taffeta. Wear sheer hose and stay away from strappy sandals or heels that are too high. A sleek leather pump or even a slingback would work well. Keep the jewelry simple and chic, nothing with too much bling. Since the evening includes an outdoor tour, you should wear a warm dressy coat. Complete the ensemble with a pair of great leather gloves and a warm cashmere scarf.

Hostess Gifts

I will be attending mucho holiday parties thrown by many of my work colleagues. When is it appropriate to bring a hostess gift, and what do you suggest. Most of these parties are like wine and cheese, or a small gift exchange. I don’t want to show up empty handed if I should be bringing a gift. Please help!! Amanda

Dearest very popular girl,

While never obligatory, I feel that any time you are invited into someone's home for a party, dinner or any type of festive gathering it is appropriate to bring a hostess gift. It doesn't have to be expensive or spectacular (that would cause embarrassment to your host) but should convey your appreciation for being included.

If you choose to go the flower route, they should either be sent a day in advance (so the hostess can find a vase and display them or use them as a centerpiece) or the day after the party (everyone loves to see the florist's van!) Also, think elegant and excellent; it is better to give a small box of exotic chocolates than a ten pound box of drugstore candy. A beautiful candle, lovely picture frame or crystal candy dish also make great hostess gifts. Anything handmade, such as a jar of homemade preserves, a festive bag of spiced nuts or a hand painted ceramic plate always rate highly with your hosts and let them know that you were thinking of them and how special they are.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Legally Chic

I’m a law student and, over Christmas break, I will be attending my first round of law firm receptions (precursors to interviews and summer jobs). Law firms are notoriously conservative so there’s no way around wearing a suit but that doesn’t mean that I want to show up in a boxy manly ensemble! Can you recommend a brand of suit that has a feminine shape, is available in a petite size, and is youthful looking? Thank you! Jenny

Jenny darling, you are already one step ahead of your legal counterparts because you are thinking ahead. A stylish girl is a confident girl, and a confident girl is a girl who gets the best internships and job offers; ergo, an investment in stylish professional attire is an investment in your future. Try Ann Taylor for a great selection of professional suits with a feminine flair. This great tweed suit with contrasting trim has classic styling with just a little edge.

Another great way to soften the look of a suit is to cinch the waist with a belt or scarf . A leather belt can bump up a classic look, while a colorful scarf adds feminity. Either will allow you to put your own stamp on your style.

You can also put together a great look from stylish separates. Take a pass on the menswear styled blazers. Choose one with a foldover lapel , rounded neckline or even no lapel to move the focus to a more feminine realm. Keep the skirts at knee length for a professional look. (No Aly McBeal minis!) Pair tweeds, herringbones and pattern skirts with solid blazers and jackets. And vice versa!

And, of course, a feminine blouse will do wonders for a classic suit.

Monday, December 04, 2006

To Glove or Not To Glove

Dear She She, Hubby and I are attending a black tie wedding this December in Manhattan. To play it safe I've procured a black floor-length gown (more sheath than ball gown), but I'd like to snazz it up a bit. I thought of wearing opera-length black gloves, but are they totally out of style? I ask because none of the department stores seem to have them right now. I don't go to formal events all that much, especially in winter (which we don't really have in south Texas). What about shoes? Or wraps? I'd like to have some color somewhere in my ensemble. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks much, Tex

Dearest Tex,
You are certainly on the right track with a floor length sheath, a very elegant choice indeed. While opera length gloves would certainly be appropriate, and give your ensemble a very chic edge, I would suggest wearing them only during the ceremony itself. Gloves should not be worn when one is eating (yes, even nibbling!) Opera length gloves can be unbuttoned and folded back, tucking the empty finger portion back under the wrist, when one is holding a drink.

I would opt for a pair of gorgeous evening shoes in a comfortable height for dancing. Stay away from teetering heels; choose something you can move in, but still drop dead gorgeous. A metallic gold, silver or bronze will give a boost to the black dress.

As for accessories, a luxurious velvet or raw silk wrap in a deep jewel tone will tie the ensemble together. Keep the jewelry simple; an elegant necklace and classic earrings. Finish off your look with a chic evening bag that coordinates with either your wrap or your shoes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holiday Gifts for the Guy Who Has Everything

Dear She She Me, I love reading all of your fabulous insights into fashion and especially your holiday gift guides; however, I have someone to buy for that is not on your list. My best friend is a very stylish gay man, who has everything under the sun!!! He loves to shop for himself and also does great shopping for me! He recently had a birthday and I gave him new things for his new house, but I am at a loss for a Christmas gift. If you have any suggestions on what to get my favorite hunk, I would truly appreciate it. Thanks, and Happy Holidays!!!

Dearest Girl, isn't this always the big holiday dilemma, what to get the guy who already has everything? Including a fabulous (and fabulously stylish) friend like yourself! Your unique man deserves a unique gift that fits his interests and lifestyle. Is he into the arts? Tickets to a fabulous gallery opening, concert or play. Is he a foodie? While a glorious gourmet gift basket filled with all of his favorite goodies would probably be much appreciated, a gift certificate for a hands on cooking course would be even more fantastic!

For the music afficionado, these sound isolating earphones will make his morning commute or afternoon jog an absolute pleasure.

For the fitness buff, a gift certificate for kayaking, sailing or biking would be a very unique and fabulous idea!

Another popular gift with very stylish men are Molton Brown personal care products. He'll love the Recharge Black Pepper Body Wash . Or the Supershave Olibanum. The Men's New Age Traveler Kit is an especially good choice because it has a little bit of everything.

One of my favorite gifts to give my dearest friends is a photo calendar, filled with snaps of fabulous and fun times. Good friends, great parties, happy memories spanning the past year and special occasions (your birthday) highlighted.

Just remember, anything you give him that comes from your heart will be exactly what he wants and loves! A warm and loving friend is the best gift anyone could ever receive!