Fall Shoes: What’s in Store?

Posted on August 24, 2011 by admin

Chewing Gum by Kobi Levi

I have been looking at new fall shoe styles and am happy to tell you: There are many choices. Unlike past seasons where trendy styles were about all that was offered, you can find most anything that fits with your wardrobe.

Prada at Saks

Trendy: Prada, is on the cutting edge of style as one might anticipate. Their fall pumps feature heavy, stylized heels with platforms. Though fun and trendy, they are very heavy looking. If you want your feet to be the main attraction, this is the way to do it!

Lise Jacobsen at Arthur Beren

Boots: Boots have enjoyed a prime spot in shoe fashion for several years now. This year, boots, in general, have a more utilitarian look. There are lumberjack boots, mud boots, riding boots, cowboy boots and wedge-soled boots. Add ankle boots to the mix along the ever present UGGs. With few exceptions, these styles read casual and appear bulky. They won’t work with a skirt or dress. Clearly, boots will not be as big an item in the dressier category.

Prevata at Arthur Beren

Ballet Flats: Every store features ballet flats in a wide variety of styles and colors. These are not only comfortable to wear but practical for many occasions. Ballet flats can be worn with pants, skirts, dresses and even some evening ensembles. I just purchased a pair of Cole Haan that features the Nike Air sole. They cute and stylish as well as comfortable for walking.

Van Eli at Marmi

Pumps: There are far fewer super-high heels this fall. I, for one, am most appreciative of moving past this trend. Most pumps are shown with rounded toes but Stuart Weitzman and Van Eli can be depended upon to feature some pointed toes each season. This year, you can find both mid and high heels with pointed toes. Don’t get excited about being able to pull out that favorite pair of pointed toed heels you have from a few years ago, however. These toes have a much shorter point. A pointed toe is slimming and helps give a long leg line. As a rule they are a more flattering look for most women but a must if you have a narrow foot and smaller bone structure. The lady with larger bone structure and wider feet will probably achieve better balance with a less delicate appearing shoe so the new sturdier heels with rounded toes can be very flattering.

Van Eli at Marmi

Driving Moccs: Driving moccs make a great addition for the fall lineup in varied styles and colors. They work for most any casual occasion offering a classy look with comfort.

Amalfi

Lace-ups: For those of you who need flat shoes with comfort and good support, this is your season! There are a variety of great styles out there from which to choose. These will always be more casual but it is such a pleasure to have practical shoes be fashionable. Of course, the lace-up is not limited to flats. You can find them in heels, wedges and boots.

Prada at Saks

I find that Cole Haan store, located in Phipps Plaza, offers a good selection of styles with the Nike Air comfort sole and they are reasonably priced. I also like Sesto Meucci and Amalfi. Van Eli has a wide range of styles from casual to very dressy. Marmi in Lenox Square has a wide range of styles; moderate price range and they carry narrow widths as well as a few wide widths. Stuart Weitzman in Lenox, although more pricy, has a nice selection as well. Saks carries Prada and some of the more cutting edge styles. I also check Arthur Beren in San Francisco who does a huge Internet business. They have a huge selection, including narrow widths, limited selection in wide widths and men’s shoes. And just for giggles, we added “Chewing gum” Kobi Levi, an Israeli designer! You can find more of his creations through Google.

There’s a shoe for everyone this season. Your biggest problem will be narrowing your choices down to what works with your budget!

I’m welcoming fall with several workshop/speaking presentations. If you are a member of a business or social group looking for a speaker or a workshop, give me a call. Let’s see if one of our presentations might be just what you’re looking for. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or call me at 404-428-2527.

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Bow Ties are In

Bow Ties are In!

Posted on August 17, 2011 by admin

Well, I’m not sure they have ever really been “in” or “out” but for a group of Atlanta men, they are definitely IN. I recently met Jay Austin, founder of Jay Austin Bow Ties and the Bow Tie Club in Atlanta.

Jay, a bow tie wearer for many years, received so many comments on his ties that he and his wife, Jennifer, decided to start their business. Jennifer custom makes each tie so that one is assured of top quality lining and workmanship. No clip-ons here. Each new tie wearer is given instructions on how to properly hand tie his new creation.

I attended one of the monthly Bow Tie Club meetings recently and met the most fascinating group of people. (Yes, ladies were welcome and no, I did not have to wear a bow tie!) Most were businessmen but there were also a few big surprises. One gentleman I spoke with was career army, having had two tours of duty in Iraq. After he told me that, I could see how he would look pretty formidable with his husky build when in fatigues but he was the antithesis in his taupe suit, pink shirt with white collar and cuffs and matching pink bow tie. He told me that he had had the shirt made while in Korea so I knew he had chosen the color himself. That told me he is really a gentle, romantic soul, which he confirmed. How fun to see a bow tie bring out the essence of who one is.

Another businessman I met had inherited many beautiful ties from his grandfather. Since they were not all in style now, he said he periodically chooses one to take in for Jennifer to remake into a bow tie. How fun is that?

Jay and Jennifer have a passion for helping homeless families so they donate 12% of their gross to Nicholas House. If you or someone in your life would like to have a change of image, I encourage you to get in touch with Jay and see if a bow tie might be the answer. Their web site is www.jayaustinbowties.com.

Need some help in how to put your total look together? That’s what we do at Style With Aplomb. Contact us at Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527 for a complementary telephone consultation.

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Power Dressing: Ladies in Politics

Posted on August 11, 2011 by admin

I just read a fascinating book, Power Dressing by Robb Young. It covers women in politics, both past and present, around the globe. I had never seen a number of the women and knew very little about others. I want to share with you some of those I thought were the more interesting.

Of course there were those one would expect. Michelle Obama is commended for her habit of selecting unknown designers and helping them launch their careers. Sarah Palin was quoted as choosing Patagonia and North Face as her favorite designers. Hillary Clinton was pictured with six of the thirteen different hairstyles she wore while first lady. Just an aside, I do wish she would revisit some of them. Of course, we know the lovely Carla Bruni Sarkozy, first lady of France and Rania Al Abdullah, Queen Consort of Jordan. We also remember the classic style of Margaret Thatcher. Giorgio Armani praised Condoleezza Rice as having set the standard for others to follow in her choice of “quiet sophistication and elegance over showmanship”.

Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom brings a youthful charm to her position. She chooses not to wear suits but skillfully combines designer items with less expensive tops from Zara or H&M to show a fresh stylish presence. “She never looks like a politician’s wife,” states Lucy Yeomans, editor of Harper’s Bazaar UK while Christian Louboutin was quoted as saying, “She will definitely end up on the list of the most stylish first ladies.” Truly a breath of fresh air for England!

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is known for her boring pantsuits. They all have black slacks with varying shades of jackets, each exactly the same style. Her German designer Bettina Schoenbach’s brand motto is “Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.” Author Young commented that her style (or lack thereof) may be a political asset. The dull outfits for which she has become famous demonstrate her consistency and prudence, qualities valued in German politics. Karl Lagerfeld summed it up this way; “She should perhaps wear a little less color and find someone who can tailor better trousers for her.” It is obvious that this head of state has much more important things on which to focus that fashion!

Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon, is probably the most flamboyant first lady in the world. “Known as Africa’s most glamorous first lady, she looks like a lioness. She could carry a few cubs in that mane anyway.” Booth Moore, Fashion Critic for the Los Angeles Times. Biya has a wardrobe to make any socialite wife jealous. One observer stated that she had never seen her wear the same dress twice. Not necessarily a positive image for the first lady of a very poor country. Couple her dramatic appearance with her larger than life personality, Biya manages to dominate any gathering of first ladies.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina could very well be the fashionista wife of a wealthy businessman instead of president. She is confident in how she expresses her beauty, keeping her thick hair long and wearing heavy makeup. She chooses local Argentenian designers along with famous names such as Armani and Gucci. Fernandez de Kirchner does not slavishly follow fashion trends but sticks with her sexy shirt-dresses with fuller skirts and brightly colored stilettos. Having been in politics since 1989, she decided to run for president in 2007 to succeed her husband who had brought the country back from the brink of financial ruin. Obviously, her provocative style does not take away from the confidence the electorate has in her.

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, consort and wife of the Emir of Qatar, is possibly the most glamorous first ladies in the Middle East. Anything but a retiring first lady, she is very involved in many civic projects at home and abroad. At home she wear the traditional black kaftans with her hair fully covered. However, when traveling, she chooses beautiful long dresses with a turban, pushed back to expose about an inch of hairline. Susan Sabet, chief editor of Middle Eastern fashion magazine, Pashion was quoted, “She has risen above the rest of the Middle Eastern style icons. The way she covers her hair with the turban, the beautiful couture gowns and, above all, the way she carries herself never fails to remind me of the eternally beautiful Grace Kelly.” 

Some of the more colorful prominent ladies I did not include were the porn star, elected to Italy’s Parliament a while back who continued her acting career during her government service. Then there was Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines who gained world-wide recognition for her extravagance including 3000 pair of shoes. And we need to mention Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom who could have been a candidate any day on What’s Not to Wear.

What does your style say about you? If you would like to discover your “signature style”, call us. That’s what we do! Then we guide you to build your own wardrobe to reflect the real you. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527.

Are You Wearing the Right Undergarments?

Are You Wearing the Right Undergarments?

Posted on August 3, 2011 by admin

With temperatures soaring into the 90’s on a daily basis, it only follows that ladies are turning to cooler, summer attire. Although this is most appropriate, I am amazed at how many people don’t wear appropriate undergarments.

Last Sunday my husband and I attended the US Open Tennis Championship finals. I noted one lady who was impeccably dressed with black walking shorts, white sleeveless top, Chanel sunglasses and an attractive straw hat. Had we been judging who was the best-dressed spectator for the event, she would have won unanimously. There was only one very big problem. Her deep cut sleeveless top clearly exposed her bra straps. Despite the fact that the straps had cute little daisies on the top of each shoulder, it was still an exposed bra strap!

In the last few weeks, I have noted so many occasions where bra straps are clearly visible in sleeveless attire and often a regular bra will be worn with spaghetti straps. The bras that have clear plastic straps, designed to be “invisible” are even more offensive than regular straps showing. The only invisible straps are no straps showing at all! There is a reason they are called “undergarments”.

Lingerie faux pas are not limited to just bras. Visible panty lines, an exposed “T” of a thong and sheer skirts showing the wearer’s silhouette can all be seen on a trip to the mall. Appropriate lingerie for each of these is available and will make the difference between looking looking your best or missing the mark.

Bras: This is one of the most important undergarment purchases you can make. Statistics show that the majority of women are wearing bras that do not fit correctly. This is especially important for the ladies with fuller bosoms. Saks has an excellent staff of women who are trained to fit a bra correctly. Specialty lingerie shops usually have trained staff as well. Good strap support is very important for a larger bust. Although a strapless bra is a great solution for a variety of more exposed top, it will most likely not give enough support for the larger bust. There are many versions of racerback and convertible straps to be worn with deep-cut sleeves. I really like the T-shirt bra with a slightly molded cup which gives a smooth line. This is flattering for the many soft knits being worn today. There are also camisoles available with a built-in bra to wear under those sheer or semi-sheer tops. If you choose to wear a separate camisole, be careful that the two sets of straps are not obvious. 

Panties: Choosing the right panties or briefs has always been a challenge. You want comfort and coverage but you don’t want visible lines. Many people opt for the thong, which avoids panty lines on trousers. However, as I have noted in past blogs, the thong is not a good choice with knit dresses. Many times have I seen a light- weight knit dress glued to the buttocks of someone wearing a thong and no slip. When you sit, the dress will cling to your skin so that it molds to you when you stand up. Most embarrassing!

There are several other options to avoid a panty line in trousers. Pantyhose are a possible option. You can even cut them off just below the knee and get the seam-free line without having to show them on your feet. Several manufacturers make thigh-length panties or longer that will also give you a line-free look. If you like a little control, Spanx is a good choice. They come in different lengths and offer light support.

I think everyone needs a slip just as insurance. Many summer dresses of a cotton or linen-type fabric are not lined. One may not be able to see through it in the dressing room but out in the sun, your silhouette will be obvious. A slip is also a solution for the clinging knit dress.

Another undergarment you might want to consider is something to smooth the midriff. The resurgence of the slim fitting sheath dresses has also brought the problem of a few little rolls exposing themselves. Spanx also has a great line of garments to smooth through the mid section. These are available in most department store lingerie departments.

Enjoy the rest of summer, dressing with Aplomb!

Need some help shopping for the right undergarment? We would love to guide you in choosing the perfect items for your wardrobe and lifestyle. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or call at 404-428-2527.

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