Stylish Designs for the Curvy Woman

 

2015_Fall_Shoot_20150809_388_WP-300x365As articles appear describing the frustration of ladies searching for stylish larger sizes, an equal number of articles lament that designers are challenged in creating collections for larger sizes without customizing the clothing.   Proportions vary greatly in larger sizes. One person might need more room through the waist or shoulders while maintaining a smaller hip but another might have a defined waist and requiring extra room through the hips.

Last week, I met Catherine Scholze who was in town from Vermont, presenting her unique2015_Fall_Shoot_20150816_713_WP-300x365 women’s line bearing her name. Catherine, being a curvy woman, took the challenge of designing a line for the curvy woman by using herself as the beta test.  Her sizes range from 8 to 22.

2015_Fall_Shoot_20150816_824_WP-300x365The beauty of Catherine’s designs is that she sells tops and bottoms separately and has sample garments to try on in order to achieve a better fit. You won’t find a basic black palette here. She has chosen beautiful fabrics – prints and an array of colors – to help you look your stylish best.   Visit her web site at www.catherinescholze.com to learn more.

 

2015_Fall_Shoot_20150809_182_WP-300x365 The good news is that my friend Iris Gathing, president our AICI Atlanta chapter, is representing the line in Atlanta. Iris can also fit most any lady with the proper foundation piece. You can contact Iris at: iris@styledoesmatter.com to learn more.

 

 

Buying a trend? Give it an expiration date.

397749_EC250_1063_002_100_0000_Light-Princetown-crocodile-slipperAll designers hope to have that new hot item that everyone wants to own. One of the big winners this fall is Gucci’s leather, backless loafers lined with brown fur. For whatever reason, these shoes, priced at nearly $1000, flew off the shelves and now have a wait-list.

True, not many of us have a budget to even consider buying something so obviously trendy  but we are all faced with the dilemma of choosing that one-season item that will be great fun, add the right updated note, and not fall into the category of “What was I thinking?” This weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an excellent article with suggestions on choosing wisely.0400088296764_247x329

“Any time a designer hits the right balance and makes a piece that’s coveted by women globally, there’s a real emotional response,” said Roopal Patel, fashion director at Saks. The key is to find that “IT” item that you absolutely love, then get it early before it becomes ubiquitous.   Ms. Patel suggests moving away from it a bit after it has become really popular so you don’t find yourself in a room with several other ladies wearing the same item.   Bring it back at an unexpected moment where you are wearing it by yourself.

2153935_Light_PinkStylist Tabitha Simmons says she never gets rid of once-trendy pieces but she introduces them back into her wardrobe paired her way – never wearing what resembles a costume.   If you absolutely love a trendy piece, something about it speaks to you. The key is to choose items reflect your personal style. By combining a new trend with some of your existing pieces, you have updated your look without letting it “speak too loudly”.0400087472470_247x329

Another way to enjoy a new trendy item is to choose that one hot new item as the single accent for an existing basics look. One stylist to some of the movie stars, suggested choosing a trendy fringe bag to accent a basic button-up shirt with leather leggings and flats. How simple is that?

0400087622928_247x329Each season brings trends that are hits and ones that fade away as distant memories. When you decide to buy something that you know will only be “in” for a season, have an expiration date in mind. The article suggested March, 2016 for the Gucci loafers.   No doubt the fur will be tired and dirty by that time and you will be ready to say good-by. These may fall into the “What was I thinking?” category.

Great Fall Looks to Go Anywhere

 

In the flow with a vest.
In the flow with a vest.

Fall collections introduce some great looks that are actually practical. Theory is a well-known label with a reasonable price point. This season, their collection has a truly wearable updated look. Lisa Kulson was the designer for Theory back in the 1990’s when she introduced the perfect pair of all-flattering black pants. She left the company to launch her own label in 2001 but has now been called back as creative director.

Classic pantsuit in a new neutral shade.
Classic pantsuit in a new neutral shade.

Theory is rebranding their line, returning to their roots of practical and wearable garments. This is not to imply that anything is old and boring! Ms. Kulson defines the Theory look as “. .clothes for the busy woman who’s traveling, raising a family, has a career. Whatever their life entails, she doesn’t have time to feel like the clothes are wearing her.”      

Versatile look with lots of possibilities.
Versatile look with lots of possibilities.

I have selected some examples from the Saks website that can be interchanged many different ways. The color palette is basically neutral so complementary colors could be added in blouses, scarves, or different jackets. I love the cropped jacket. This jacket could be paired with pants, skirt or a dress. Perfect for travel.

Short, wear-everywhere jacket.
Short, wear-everywhere jacket.

Vests are huge this season, giving a great updated fashion look while adding a more finished look and providing a bit of warmth for cool fall days.

The poncho is just casual fun. What a great light wrap to wear with jeans for a ball game or casual dinner out. Several department stores carry Theory. Saks has the line on their basement level. You can visit their new shop at the Buckhead location at 3035 Peachtree Road.

Fun with a poncho.
Fun with a poncho.

It is really exciting to see collections that are versatile and practical that will provide wonderful core pieces to your fall wardrobe.

Enduring Brands: High Hopes for New Winners

 

 

Classic Birkin
Classic Birkin

Hermés – The most sought after handbag. The caché of owning a Berkin or Kelly handbag by Hermés is most women’s dream of having “made it”! Each was named for the celebrity whose name became synonymous with their favorite handbag.

Several years ago, I found a beautiful copy of the Kelly bag in a specialty shop in Florence, Italy. Instead of costing several thousands, it was a few hundred so I succumbed. That year while we were skiing in Vail, I was carrying the bag when we went to dinner. The hostess took one look at my bag, trying to be as subtle as possible, commented on what a beautiful bag I was carrying. I just smiled and thanked her while basking in the deception.   There is something about why these bags are the most sought after in the world.

New Octagone Hermés bag.
New Octagone Hermés bag.

Now, Hermés has just introduced the Octogone Bag in Epsom Calfskin, hoping it will become equally desired.   The Octagon has a bit more boyish styling, sporting a simple shape resembling a throat lozenge with a sporty striped woven strap. Previous new designs, though lovely, have not been able to match the allure of the Berkin or Kelly. With more casual attire becoming the norm worldwide, the Octagone might just become the new “It” bag!

Classic Chanel pump.
Classic Chanel pump.

Chanel – Classic tan low-heeled pumps with black contrast. These shoes have been copied by other shoe manufacturers for years. In an era where the higher the heel and the more unusual the shape seem to be the order of the day, Chanel reintroduces this classic with minor changes. The heel is slightly lower and a bit thicker and there is a sling back instead of being a classic pump. This shoe is not designed to be worn with the traditional Chanel tweed suit or with anything too delicate. It is recommended that one pair it with modern denim and oversized sweaters. The lower heel and sling back do indicate a more casual look but I think the shoes would work very well for the office. What could be better than shoes that look attractive and you can actually walk in them?

New sling back Chanel.
New sling back Chanel.

If past history is any indicator, you won’t miss out if these are over your budget or if you need a more specialized size. This new Chanel classic will most likely endure for a long time so you wait for copies to come out with wider choices of sizing at greatly reduced prices.