Thursday, October 13, 2011

sheer genius

We are in that unique little niche of fall here in Seattle, before the wind & rain blow us sideways and the puffy coats and Hunter boots come out again.  Its nice enough to show off a little of the fall fashion without being bundle to the hilt, and the sheer trend is perfect for right now.
Last spring I purchased a sheer peach blouse from H&M and then layered a black tank underneath it which had a Chanel feel to it--I wanted to skip the tank and just wear a black bra....but something told me I was a bit too old to pull this off--sometimes I can push the envelope but in the case I think it would just push me back.
Since the blouse is very prominent this season, it is a good idea to refresh your layering tanks--I like the jersey style ones that have a longer fit to them--you can find them everywhere in many price points and can even get them as shaper if you have the need for that.  I like just the basic ones--get a couple of black, white & grey basics--I wear them whether you can see them or not with almost everything.
The sheer maxi skirt that debuted this spring is still a great look into fall, and at Paris Fashion Week lingerie inspired skirts, dresses, shorts and tops were prominent for Spring/Summer 2012.  Some of these skirts come with a built in shorts which is brilliant. Today I have my black Woolford opaque leggings underneath my sheer maxi skirt and then a black Theory sweater dress that hits mid thigh over the top of the skirt.  I threw on my black leather motorcycle jacket, ballet flats and a bright scarf and am good to go.
Transparent clothing is a classy & cool trend that works as long as you show a little and leave the rest to the imagination.  Come on, show me what you've got.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

for the love of leather

I think the mere mention of leather clothing scares some people.  Its must conjure up pictures of motorcycles, rock bands, Grease, Billy Idol....I am not sure.  I happen to love it...the idea is to wear one key piece and let that make a statement or have leather details incorporated into your outfit.  There are lots of choices out there for adding leather to your wardrobe--here are some of my favorites:
Yes, yes, I know I have mentioned last years find from my NYC trip--my Elizabeth and James leather shorts--not too short, with pleats & pockets, I have worn them in all seasons.  Twelve8Twelve has a similar pair and I have since then seen leather shorts everywhere from H&M to Neiman Marcus.  The key is not too short and not too tight.  And yes, you can wear them.  Add opaque tights, and a silky tie neck blouse or a casual tee.
Last year I found the most fantastic Woolly Minded Leather Trim Cardigan  at the Barneys sale--the perfect grandpa sweater with a twist.  And Elizabeth and James have added leather sleeves and details to tops and jackets that are so amazing--these mixed material designs are one of my favorite fall looks. Burberry has leather details on many of their coats this season, this amazing collection of leather sleeved outerwear is definitely destined to be another classic. Love.  If you want to make less of an investment, go for the Neiman Marcus Leather Sleeved Tweed Jacket for a perfect little piece to update your wardrobe.  Add some attitude and you are good to go.
If shorts are not really in your comfort zone, a lovely leather skirt is always an option--H&M leather pencil skirt has a high waist and a just above the knee fit that is modern and classic at the same time.  I am also going to say that the leather and pleather leggings I have seen out there are great--as with the skirt, be picky about the feel and look of the leather or faux leather--and as always but especially with this piece, fit matters just as much.  You can afford the look of a classy leather pant or legging, you cannot afford to be seen in anything shiny and/or patent leather.  I saw a woman in previously mentioned such pants downtown last week and, well, I have no words.  Except for don't do it.
Fall is such a fun time to discover new trends and figure out what works with what you have already in your closet.  Maybe you own a tassle necklace, a skinny belt for putting around a sweater, or cool headband in leather already--you can search out a new piece or use what you have in a new way to embrace one of the coolest trends out there.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

initially yours

My friend Kacy, who is from the East Coast, and I were discussing why it is that the peeps in that part love to put their initials on everything?  Luggage, towels, handbags, shirts, sweaters.  I guess it could be pegged as a preppy style, (anyone who was around in the 80's has to have had a monogrammed sweater in pink or green, and if it wasn't monogrammed, it was Lacoste.)  Kacy explained it as "an East Coast thing" but one look at her new West Avenue gold monogram necklace  and I decided it needed to be a Lisa thing as well.
For those of you who don't know, the three initial monogram rules go as such: first name initial is on the left, middle name initial is on the right, and your last name initial is in the center. Max and Chloe is a great website for finding your specific style in monogrammed jewelry.  The classic three initial script is beautiful but I also love the Lisa Stewart Large Monogrammed Teardrop Necklace with a single initial.  I think this type of thing would be a lovely gift for a special friend.
If you want to make it personal in a subtle way, go for the Danielle Stevens Bracelet or try a more modern vibe with this awesome Serenity Cuff, also by Lisa Stewart.  West Avenue, who are the makers of Kacy's beautiful necklace, also make script monograms rings as well, but what caught my eye was the Melissa Joy Manning Alphabet rings--they curve into a single letter which would be fantastic stacked to make your initials, or those of your children or a loved one.
Remember when Carrie (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) from Sex & The City wore a "Carrie" necklace as her  signature piece with all of her fabulous ensembles?  Jane Basch Jewelry has a half dozen styles of name plate necklaces if you want to emulate the look.  This designer has had quite a bit of press, and the site is devoted to monogrammed jewelry of all types--and although not all of it is my style, I love the (cheesy name alert) Leather & Lace monogrammed bracelet.  A little more rock and roll then prom queen.
You know how things come back around eventually when it comes to fashion, but there is always a little bit of a twist on it?  I think that personalized jewelry is a classic look that you can add to your collection no matter what your personal style.  I was lucky enough to inherit a lovely charm bracelet that was my great grandmother's in the late 1800's.  It has delicate round flat charms with initials, dates & words that hang off a single gold wire.  This lovely piece is timeless & personal--just like the perfect piece of jewelry should be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

party on

Party season is almost here--personally I think "back to school" means back to the social calendar...people are in town again after summer travel and well, its time.  While I am all for an impromptu gathering, I also love the planning of a party almost as much as having it, starting with the invitation.  And intimate dinner or large holiday gathering, the way you invite your guests is important.
Invitations set the tone for what kind of shindig you are planning, the occasion, style and size.  Evite has long been the favorite among party planners--you can design your own invite, customizing it to make it personal, download email addresses from your address book, and track who received the invite, when they viewed it and their reply.  And its free.  There are other electronic invitation websites similar to Evite--I used Pingg one year for my son's birthday and it was easy to download a photo of the birthday boy and customize it.  But I still was looking for something a little different than Evite.  Something with a little more panache.
Paperless Post is correspondence with class.  The invitations are lovely with a ton of choices for every type of festivity, plus awesome graphics and easy to use design tools.  The feature I loved the best is that it is interactive--the invitation has the look of traditional card stock & moves with a click, the envelope turning and the invitation sliding out for viewing.  Clicking the next arrow leads you to a response card and you are done.
One of the best features as a hostess or host is that you can track what happens to your invitation after you send it.  Paperless Post notifies the host as each invite is sent & opened, and most importantly if it was undeliverable.  Rather than just sitting looking like it was an unopened invitation like other websites, Paperless Post undeliverable section alerts you to any problems.  And saves you from possible social mishaps later.  Other tools include setting up an automatic reminder to guests, creating spreadsheets, tracking replies, printing lists or sending messages.
All this classy stuff comes with a small cost, although when you sign up to use the site you get 25 free "stamps"--one stamp mails one invite, and 10 "coins" which you can use to add premium designs, logos etc.  Adding say, 30 stamps is a mere $5.00 --still much cheaper than a traditional paper invite.
I adore the look of Paperless Post and well, you don't have to ask me twice to look for an occasion for having a party.  I believe that there are definitely certain times when no less than a paper invitation will do, however I like being old fashioned about correspondence from time to time. Still, I am still certain that the statement you make will be a stylish one with a Paperless Post invite.  Super easy.  Now the hard part...what to wear.... :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

lighten up

A trip to the makeup counter can be a very intimidating trip for some women.  I find it slightly overwhelming and annoying, but am drawn like a moth to a flame, since I happen to love makeup.  (If you don't believe me, one look of any photo of me from the 1980's should convince you.)  In NYC, walking through the cosmetic section of any major department store is taking your life in your own hands, the reps for the lines are so aggressive--its a total lions den.  Can you say commission?
I happen to think I have recovered from my 80's problem and have a fairly deft hand now, but the sheer mass of products available is unbelievable, plus any sales rep of a line is certain that their products will be life changing for you.  Anyway, I am up for anything that makes me look and feel better, so that is why I became fascinated with a concealer/highlighter product by Yves Saint Laurent called Touche Eclat.  Nearly every magazine I opened featured it some way, and I decided finally I must investigate.
YSL's product has been the darling of makeup artists for some time and is considered the gold standard for both concealing and highlighting the eye area.  At the makeup counter the YSL rep sat me down and matched my skin tone, then showed me the importance of applying the product correctly.  It is shaped like a little gold pen with a clicker on one end and a brush on the other.  A few clicks gets the product going and she swept it in a V on the side of each eye, all the way underneath to the inside corner and above the outer part of my eyebrow.  The key is to "pat" the product into your skin, not rub or sweep it, otherwise it will not conceal properly.  This "complexion highlighter" as it is advertised, made my skin glow and gave it lightness at the same time --I have to say I LOVED it.  Youthful glow? I am in. Wow!
I can be a big skeptic when it comes to all this anti aging product pushing--I really think that how you look is based on part genes and part healthy living, water drinking and sleep.  Nothing can replace being good to your body, after all.  The price tag, at $40, is a bit steep, but my friend at the makeup counter said it lasts about four months, so doing the math, that works for me.  And seeing that chick in the mirror with the glowing skin, that works too.