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Q&A: What Jeans Suit My Body Type?

In the past couple of weeks I have had a number of people emailing me for style tips, questions about trends and suggestions on where to shop for their particular body type and budget. I am encouraging all of you to send me your style questions, even pictures if you want, to help you in your hour of need!

Here is a question I received from one of my followers,”I carry most of my weight in the hip and thigh area and I am looking for a flattering pair of jeans. What would be my best fit/style?

The best fit for this person’s pear-shaped body would be a boot cut leg jean. Why? The slightly wider leg opening balances out this body type’s curvier hips and thighs, therefore creating a straighter visual line. Also, a dark wash should be your color of choice, as this is a pear’s best friend = slimming effect. This shape should avoid jeans that have flap pockets or heavy embellishments on the backside, and skinny jeans as this will draw attention to curvier hips and thighs.

BootcutJeans
From left to right: The Gap, Seven For All Mankind and Rock & Republic

Above, I have listed three pairs of jeans that take into consideration three different price points. The Gap US$69.50, 7 For all Mankind Jeans US$165, and Rock & Republic US$280.

Happy shopping!

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Food Fashion: Marni for Ladurée

Marni for LaduréeFirst it was Christian Louboutin, and now it is Marni, an Italian luxury brand, who has gone on to design macaroon boxes for the renowned French pâtisserie Ladurée. Consuelo Castiglioni, owner of Marni, designed these fashion statement boxes and ensured she incorporated the brand’s signature elements: polka dots and a gold flower.

Available as of December 1st, 2009 and for a limited-time only, you will have the choice between an 8 or 18 macaroon box that will contain these mouth-watering chocolate delights, each to be adorned with a gold leaf.

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Sometimes, Always, Never!

iStock_000002247028MediumAs we are seeing a lot of three-piece suits for men this fall, take note of some simple yet useful tips when buying this essential item in any man’s closet, and in particular the jacket.

First Things First: the Shoulders

To ensure a good fit, the jacket shoulder seams should slightly extend beyond your own shoulder to create a smooth line. It should never protrude beyond your own shoulder as this is an indication that the jacket is too big for you, and it should never end before your shoulder, a sign that it is too small.

A Good Fit Around the Collar, Back and Waist

Once you have determined the best fit for your shoulders, you now need to look at the collar and the back of the jacket, i.e. the area in between your shoulder blades. The collar should fit snugly on the shirt collar, with no gaps on the sides or back, and the back of jacket should be smooth with no wrinkles or pulling in sight. The buttons should lie flat on your stomach and waist when done up, again with no pulling or “house coat*” effect, meaning that you lose all shape and form.

If, however, you find yourself in a situation where the shoulders fit well but the back of the jacket shows small signs of pulling or if there is too much material around the waist, see if you can have the jacket let out a little to create a bit more space, or tailored to eliminate the extra material.

Length

Here is a trick to figure out your ideal jacket length: with your arms at your side, curl up your hand around the bottom of the jacket. If the jacket grazes your hand in this curled position, then this is a good length for you. If your hand does not “catch” anything, then you will need the long version of the jacket. Likewise, if when you curl your hand you find yourself scrunching the side of your jacket, then you will most likely need the short version. Bear in mind that jackets can be shortened, however up to one-inch only, otherwise the balance and proportion of the jacket will be off.

When it comes to sleeve length, you should ideally have 1/4 inch of your shirt extend beyond the jacket sleeve.

Bee-hind

Your jacket vents should lie flat (as in closed) with no pulling or wrinkling – this is a sign that your jacket is too small. And the vents should not fold over either – too much material, too big.

Buttons: Sometimes, Always, Never!

And most importantly, whether you are a two-button or three-button suit kind of guy, make sure you know the rules of the game when it comes to buttoning up your suit jacket. Here is a little trick: from the top down for a three-button jacket think “Sometimes, Always, Never” – that is the top button should sometimes be done up, the second always, and the last never. It drives me crazy when I see men with the third button done up, with the resulting effect being quite distracting as the jacket is flying open in the wrong spots!

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Shoe Size Over 40? Your Perfect Fit is Online

iStock_000007693735MediumFor you women out there who may have a hard time trying to find shoes beyond a size 40, here is a list of three online sites that specialize in larger sizes.

Les Grandes – Specializing in women’s footwear only, this site carries sizes 41 to 45. They have a good selection of flats, heels and boots (all the latest trends), ranging anywhere from €65 to €160. Les Grandes ships to everywhere in France including their four overseas departments, as well as to most European countries. And if the shoe does not fit, simply return them at no extra charge, although this only applies to those living in Metropolitan France.

Bon Prix -  The shoe section of this site is quite extensive, as they not only carry women’s footwear, but also men’s and children’s footwear. For women, sizes range from 36 to 45 (even 46 and 47 for some shoes), and all their trendy styles are priced at less than €70. Bon Prix allows you to customize their site to your local language, as they cater to 21 European countries. Just look for the drop down menu on the bottom right-hand side of the site.

La Chassure et Les Femmes – is an online directory of “Big and Tall” footwear sites on the net. Here you will find 14 different sites outlining what each one has to offer, as well as deals to watch for. Some of the referring sites are geared towards men’s clothing and footwear, so if you have a tall man in your life, this could be a good starting point.

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Finding Your Ultimate Dress

Do you ever imagine yourself in that beautiful dress you saw in a magazine or hanging in a storefront window? Well, I did. After a three-week dress-shopping blitz, which included marathon-like walking, countless boutiques and several let-downs, I found my ultimate dress. If you do not want to find yourself in a similar situation, here is my advice to you: before jumping into this affair, do a little research beforehand, as it will most likely lead you in the right direction. Here is a list to help you get started.

Occasion

Is the tone of your event casual, semi-formal or formal? Knowing this in advance will not only save you shopping time, but will also save you from looking out of place. For instance, if you are attending a beach wedding go for something that is light and airy, rather than a long gown with 3-inch heels.

Wearability

Will you ever wear this dress again? If you are a one-time-dress-person, then please skip this section. For all you other women out there, ask yourselves where you could wear this dress again and if it can be dressed up or down with the help of accessories.

Cut/Shape

Classic (can it be worn for more than one season?) or trendy (will it look “outdated” next season?). Are you looking to accentuate or conceal certain areas? Ruffles are a good way to add volume to small chested women, while empire waists help conceal a fuller mid-section.

Color

Which colors are more flattering on you, which ones make you feel more comfortable? Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? If so, why not consider creating a high contrast look by choosing lighter or deeper hues depending on your skin tone: lighter skin tones should think of choosing darker color, while darker skin tones should look to choose lighter colors.

Investment

Consider how much you are willing to invest, which will in turn allow you to know which brands typically fall in your price range.

This is just a small list of things to consider when buying a dress for your special occasion. If you need more help, feel free to get in touch with me.

Here is to hoping that these tips will help you find your ultimate dress and that no one else will be wearing the same one!

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Fall 2009’s Hottest Hue: Purple

Without a doubt, purple is this season’s hottest color, and I love it! You are seeing it everywhere in its varying tints and shades, from mauve to plum to violet. And it comes in all forms: dresses, skirts, shoes, purses, jewelry and the list goes on! For you fashion-forward people who can not live without it, or for those of you who simply want to add one key or accent piece, here are some tips on how to wear purple and how to incorporate it into your existing wardrobe.

Who Can Wear It

Tints and Shades of PurpleIf you are wondering whether or not you can wear this color, the simple answer is yes. Anyone can wear purple, it just depends on your skin tone and what kind of image you want to project. By definition, violet (i.e. purple) is a cool color. Therefore, people whose overall features (skin, eyes and hair) are defined as cool or have a combination of both warm and cool features, can easily wear this color in its varying tints and shades. As a general rule, try to avoid the lighter and light violets, as you will looked washed out. On the other hand, people who are defined as having warmer features (i.e darker eyes, hair and skin) should stick to light, medium and dark violets but try to avoid the darker violets, as the overall look will be somewhat drastic.

How to Incorporate It

If Cream-coat-finalpurple is not your favorite but are willing to try it out, why not consider incorporating it as an accent piece? Accessories are an easy way of introducing this color, and for that sake any color, into your wardrobe. Start off small with a scarf, shawl, or gloves. It’s a minimum investment on your part, so if you decide you do not like purple and prefer to stick to your tried, tested and true color(s), then you will not have any major regrets.

If you are a little more daring  and have a soft spot for purple, then there are plenty of items you can choose from this season. From shoes to tops to dresses, the choice is endless.

What to Wear with It

Cardigan-finalPurple can be worn with a variety of colors, including brown, black, grey, and white. Feeling bold? Why not pair purple with yellow, red, orange, or green accessories. For a ultra sophisticated daytime look, think about wearing a pencil skirt with a crisp white shirt, a long cardigan and add a splash of color with an olive-colored purse.

So, there you have it, Fall 2009’s hottest hue! Hope you will enjoy it as much as I will.

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