Eye Candy for Fashionistas

Presidential inaugurations are a bit like the Oscars in that it is an opportunity for those participants to show off their very best attire. Last Friday was exceptional considering the cast of ladies in the spotlight.

Left:  Melania Trump  Far right:  Karen Pence
Left: Melania Trump Far right: Karen Pence

Melania Trump, new First Lady, was a professional model before she married Donald Trump. What a training ground to learn what looks best on you and to know how to show off what you’re wearing to the best advantage!   Ivanka Trump is not only an accomplished businesswoman but she has her own shoe line and a business-wear for women clothing line. Donald Jr. is married to a former model and Eric’s wife is a business executive. Tiffany Trump, the youngest of the Trump women, chose a younger look that worked well for her.   All of these ladies created beautiful images of being appropriate for the occasion and looking fabulous.  Of course, they have the advantage of having attended many important events and a budget for doing it right.

Jackie's classic elegance style an Melania's
Jackie’s classic elegance style an Melania’s

Not since Jackie Kennedy, have we had a First Lady who captured the country with her elegance and superb sense of style. Melania worked with her designer in the creation of her ball gown for the inauguration. Jackie took ideas from European designers and worked with Oleg Cassini, an American designer, to create a similar look for her so there could be no criticism for not choosing an American designer.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of the burgundy coat and dress ensemble was excellent. She set the president of choosing a little known designer. Melania followed suit with the choice of Herve Pierre to make the gown for her inauguration ball and other little-known designers for several of her other outfits. The sky blue cashmere dress and jacket, which she wore for the inauguration ceremony, was by Ralph Lauren. Lauren also designs for Hillary Clinton. We are getting a better sense of Melania’s style. She chose an elegant look, simple, yet with beautiful design details.  

Inaugural ballgown by Herve Pierre
Inaugural ballgown by Herve Pierre

Karen Pence’s black princess coat over a simple dress was perfect. The princess coat with a flaired skirt creates a nice waist definition while black boots complete a one-color look adding visual height. Her dress showing at the neck adds an interesting detail and draws your eye to her face.

I’m sure the next four years will provide a banquet for the senses as we watch this classy lady take her role as First Lady and have cameo appearances of other ladies in the family.

Turn Up the Volume

 

 

It may be comfortable but is not flattring!
It may be comfortable but is not flattering!

If you are a little weary of skinny jeans and slim, tailored slacks, you will welcome the volume look. Designers, always searching for the “outside the box” look, not to mention designs to entice you to buy new clothes, have jumped on the volume bandwagon.

The volume look is tricky to wear and have it be flattering. Many people choose over-sized clothing to try to hide extra pounds or to be “comfortable”.  In truth, oversized clothes usually make you look sloppy and heavier than you are.

Let’s look at some examples of how to wear this look with aplomb!

Without one portion of the look fitting closely to the body, it visually adds pounds and looks unkempt. This full black skirt and loose white top is a perfect example. The full skirt would work with a fitted top and I would prefer it worn with heels to add height. This would be especially good for a triangle build.

Could make a fun statement for the right build.
Could make a fun statement for the right build.

The white shift dress would hide the lack of waist definition for a rectangle build. It will be best worn by a tall, slender person with long legs and a slender build. The splashes of color giving a vertical detail adds visual height. I would shorten the hem slightly to show more of those long legs.

Carolina Herrera designed this black and white jumpsuit. This is a bit of a departure from her traditionally refined creations. The wide stripes draw attention to width but the closely fit top helps with balance. This, too, would work nicely on someone with a small waist with wider hips.

Add some drama!
Add some drama!

There is no way you could make a quiet entrance with this dramatic black and white and you would have to have a strong personality to pull it off. Another thing I noticed, is that all the pants with this look appear to touch the floor. From a practical point of view, the bottom would get soiled in one wearing and would be impossible to clean. To wear them much shorter would ruin the look.

The volume look is not one of my favorites. It will be flattering for very few people but if you are one of them, have some fun with a new addition to your spring/summer look!

Images from Saks

Warm Up with Yak

 

 

Yaks at home in the Himalayas
Yaks at home in the Himalayas

With temperatures hovering around freezing in the daytime and dropping to the teens at night, my focus is keeping toasty warm. Who would have thought that the humble Yak could come to the rescue!

Yaks are natives of Tibet and are essential to the nomadic herdsmen. They are in between the size of a goat and a cow with all of the sure-footed ability of mountain goats. Their coats are designed to protect them from the bitter cold of the Himalayan winters making the discovery of using their soft wool under coat for clothing an ideal solution to keep people warm.

Yak blend by Vince (at Saks)
Yak blend by Vince (Saks)

Sportswear designer Kora has discovered yak wool is warmer than merino wool. It is more breathable, odor resistant, and transports water vapor most effectively—perfect for underwear and winter sports clothing.   Outdoor Retailers founder, Michael Klinwort, discovered the advantage of using Yak while on a winter excursion to the Himalayan region. He supports the local herdsmen in exchange for them providing him with wool.   Yak shed their wool each spring and the locals collect it to be used for clothing. Sounds perfect to me!

0400092038509-fir-84b9a6ecSeveral designers are using Yak wool in their sweater collections. Some use blends with cashmere or other wools. Yaks are dark in coloring so most of the garments you will find are darker. Some of the lighter colors are blended with other wools.

The only down side is that Yak is generally more expensive than woolen garments but then, so is cashmere!

Shoes Take the Spotlight in 2017

 

Let's go dancing!
Let’s go dancing!

Our grandmothers would be aghast seeing today’s shoes! If you have ever gone through old pictures and broken out in gales of laughter seeing the styles from the flapper era and before, you can understand why. Long gone are the days when anyone in the “grandma” category wore only a lace-up oxford with a sturdy 2” heel. Times have changed and women have become passionate about their shoes!

Combat Boot
Combat Boot

When my daughter was about 20 she used her last dime to buy a pair of black pumps with uniquely designed high heels – a very fashion forward concept at that time. When she called me to tell me that her car had been stolen, she was far more upset that the shoes were in the back seat than the loss of her car! Fortunately, the car was retrieved a few days later and more importantly, the shoes remained safely in the back seat.

Ready for a long walk?
Ready for a long walk?

Manolo, Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo lead the way to awaken client’s lust for new, off the charts designs, accompanied by matching price tags. By 2017, there are dozens of designers joining the trio.

This needs just the right dress.
This needs just the right dress.

This is great news for retailers. Clothing manufacturers have struggled for several years to make a profit but the popularity of designer purses helped fill the gap. Shoes have now replaced purses as the favorite added accessory. I appreciate many of these artful creations on other people but I still don’t get combat boots! If having one or more pair of these designs on your bucket list, go for it.Extreme business Just remember that you need to be able to wear them (how could they be comfortable?) and whatever you wear with them, must be subtle and allow the shoe to take center stage!