March 5, 2014

Early Spring Fashion Challenge


[as seen in the February 2014 edition of SASSY Magazine]

New trends. For many of us, we see new looks in magazines or at the mall and think they are cute, but we never try them.  Getting stuck in a style rut (or comfortable with an outdated style) is very common, and very easy to remedy.
Challenge yourself to try one new thing this season. Step out of your box; embrace a revved up YOU this spring!  Here are some ways to challenge your style:
COLOR CHALLENGE
The ‘it’ color this season is Violet Tulip, a beautiful soft purple.  A common style-rut (especially coming off such a frigid winter) is the monochromatic (i.e. all black) wardrobe. One sure way to lift your spirits, change old habits and get instant style points is to infuse this spring tone into your winter basics. Sprinkle something violet into your look with a vibrant necklace. Maybe invest now in a violet blouse or summer sweater and layer those pieces with your winter basics. Want to be daring?  Violet tights and a leather skirt! 
Maybe you don’t look your best in this hue of purple?  Try something with more punch, like Dazzling Blue!  This very-wearable color is an attention getting
STATEMENT CHALLENGE
There are several trends this season that will make a big statement in your wardrobe.  Like winter, statement jackets fall into this category.  There are 2 for you to try this season; one is the boxy jacket, and the other is the bomber.
The boxy jackets on the runways are in a variety of colors and fabrics.  With this style, keep proportion in mind.  This jacket has a “swing”  unstructured nature to it, pair it with a pant or skirt that is slim and not free-flowing. 
An easy look to try: skinny jeans, shoe boots, tunic length t-shirt or blouse with your new statement boxy jacket. 
The other style is the bomber.  Not the bomber of days gone by; think chic colorful bombers.  This sporty look can take you from the boardroom to cocktails in an instant.  Juxtaposition is key when making this style look sophisticated.  The nature of this cut of jacket is casual.  Pair with pieces that are tailored or have a professional feel. 
An Easy Look to try: Your favorite stilettos, those trouser pants from a suit, a basic cami and a hip satin bomber. 
Before you invest in this season’s statement jackets, think of at least 3 different ways you can wear this piece.  Being stuck into wearing a statement piece one way is not a wise investment for your wardrobe. 

Simple considerations would be: Can I wear with jeans? Can I wear with a skirt? One new unique way to wear this piece?

ACCESSORY CHALLENGE
Adding accessories is the one thing that will take a very basic look to one that is va-va-voom! Using accessories in the right way is the difference between wearing an outfit and having style. So many of us busy women don’t stop and think about being accessorized. 
This spring, I would like to challenge you to wear at least 9 things every day that you can consider an accessory. These could be:
·        Necklace – try wearing more than one!
·        Rings – do you wear a right hand ring?
·        Bracelets – try layering some bangles with charm styles
·        Eye glasses
·        Bold pattern in your outfit
·        Unexpected shoe – maybe your leopard kitten heels are your new neutral shoe you wear with everything?

Spring is a time to renew. A time to be done with the old and welcome change. Take just a little time this spring to focus on you!

February 28, 2014

Dream Weddings...on a budget?

This morning I was on WNDU TV sharing information about the Little White Dress expo event in Mishawaka tomorrow.  This one of a kind event will feature fashion shows with wedding attire from Goodwill.  All of the vendors will offer tips on how to plan your dream wedding on a budget!

Here is a link to info on the event:  Little White Dress

Here are some other tips for saving your budget while planning your dream wedding:

 Before You Start
·        What parts of the wedding are important to you? Focus on those and find ways to save money on the rest.
·        Hire A wedding planner.  Professionals can save you money because of the relationships and business they already give to vendors.  They also have years of creativity planning weddings and can offer alternatives to save you money that you might never have thought of.
Invitations
·        There are hundreds of great, professional and classy options to print at home.  This can save a ton of money.
·        Guest List = omit kids. If the number of co-workers you have seems to be significant, eliminate all work relationships.  Keep the numbers down for your wedding party as well: Fewer attendants means less money spent on bouquets, boutonnieres, presents, and transportation.
Attire
·        Your Dress: Plan on reselling your dress, look for a vintage beauty from a consignment shop or thrift store. Buy a dress from a thrift store and have it custom tailored into something perfect for you.
·        Your Shoes: Buy shoes that you'll wear again after the wedding -- something you likely won't do with white heels. Make your shoes the “something blue”, or coordinate your stilettos with the color theme of your wedding party.
·        Men can wear a nice suit and avoid renting a tux.
Flowers
·        Use what is in season, and the same flower throughout the event.  Choose a flower that is large (you won’t have to buy as many)
·        Cutting out the middleman by calling on a grower will allow you to source flowers for.   Look for farms or related associations; for example if you want gerbera daisies, google search and call the American gerbera daisies Society and ask for a local grower. 
The Wedding Event
·        An officiant can add to your bottom line by hundreds of dollars. Have a friend become your officiant. Universal Life Church (ulchq.com) and Esoteric Interfaith Church (northern way.org) are two organizations that "ordain" laypeople so they can officiate weddings, which most of the 50 states will recognize. Be sure to check the laws in the state you will be getting married to be sure this meets with local criteria.
·        Schedule the wedding in off-peak times. You might be able to save 20-30% by scheduling your wedding in non-wedding-peak months.  Have to be on a Saturday?  For a destination wedding, every day feels like a Saturday!  Or consider a Sunday afternoon or Friday night.
·        Location, Location, Location!  Look at non-traditional settings; barns, a beautiful back yard, a park.
Reception
·        Time of the day of your wedding can save a ton of money.  Time your wedding around a meal time.  Then you can just serve refreshments as opposed to a full meal.
·        Theme: maybe a Tea party kind of feel. Simple, elegant and much less expensive
·        Alcohol can drive up the price of a reception like nothing else.  Only offer Signature cocktails rather than open bar.
·        Cake: one small beautiful cake and cut sheet cake for guests. Eliminate cake all together and serve donughts (tiered on a cake plate)
Photographer
·        Look for a photography club and invite them to shoot the wedding
·        See if your photographer will offer a CD with the photos rather than a book or prints
·        Disposable cameras for guests might get the best pictures to capture memories

February 18, 2014

RELEASE THE DRAB WINTER WARDROBE


[from the January edition of SASSY magazine]


Seems like this time every year, we work really hard at pushing through to spring.  Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe its from being exhausted from all the holiday cheer, or perhaps the truth is that the holiday cheer ended up in our midsection.  Fear not – we are ALL feeling the same way.   

Most winter wardrobes are havens for all things black and grey.  We bundle ourselves up from head to toe to stay warm…and all that bundling doesn’t do much for our silhouettes!  With the new year comes new trends and new colors. Although the weather isn’t quite spring-ish yet, bring some life into a drab winter wardrobe with some key spring pieces.  The best way to do that now is with jackets! 

Cropped Jackets
Shorter jackets will be a big trend this Spring.  When adding this silhouette into your wardrobe, be sure that you balance the boxy-feeling of this jacket with form fitting pieces underneath. Many cropped jackets have a very glam Chanel feel; wear this style in an unexpected way: jeans and a white t-shirt, and layer with gobs of jewelry. Instant chic!

Make sure the length of the jacket is flattering to your body shape.  Rule of thumb is the shorter the jacket, the more flattering to the hip area. Remember, where the jacket hits your torso that is where all the attention will be in your outfit.  In other words, make sure THAT is where you WANT people to be looking! 

Bomber Jackets
This style will be a big trend this Spring. Think “grown up baseball jacket”…or “flight jacket meets a bolt of silk fabric”.  A sophisticated fabric takes this sporty cut to a whole new level of cool.  Love this look with a slouchy trouser and a sky-high stiletto. Keep the layers you wear with the bomber monochromatic.  Let the bomber be THE statement of your look.   

My favorite take is a feminine flirty dress (think ruffles and lace) with a rugged leather bomber. 

Car Coats
Car coats.  You know, the very lady like over coat that hits at your knee.  The trend will be a swing coat with no collar.  If you are petite, this might not be the best look for you.  Car coats can be a bit overwhelming for a slight frame.  

The length of this style coat should be the same length of your skirts and dresses.  For most, the most flattering length will be mid-knee.  

ONE THING TO INVEST IN FOR SPRING
A crisp White Blouse.  All the design houses are showing this key wardrobe staple as a fundamental layering piece to a ton of looks this spring.  To be honest, if you don’t have a good white blouse in your closet already, it’s about time to get one!

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
This spring, there will be a lot of fun styles introduced.  I am excited to see the take on these trends at local stores!  Some things to keep an eye out for include:

·        Fringe – not just a little fringe, but 10-12” flapper style fringe!
·        Hi-Low skirts…new take on the hi-low dresses and skirts that were so popular last year.  The new take on this trend is with the hi-low on the side (not front to back).
·        Micro pleats – tiny pleating in skirts, pants and blouses.
·        Shine - the shine all the top designers are talking about is lame`. Now…for those that are products of the 80’s, yes THAT fabric!  It will be interesting to see how it is translated into a more modern look!  


January 6, 2014

Question: Outfit for a night out

Hello
I need to buy an outfit for a night out, (not for a club)
so many ideas in my head, not much to to think about it though..
so what would you recommend for a girl who can fit a models' size: dress, high heels, clutch and a statement necklace. I want to look stylish, dressed in good quality brands. I'd love to hear some suggestions from you (brands, styles..)
Thanks in advance ;)
-Nina

ANSWER:
Hi Nina,
Thanks for the question.  I suggest you check out Keaton Row.  They are a group of stylists that can put together looks for you...and you can shop directly from the site.

Hope this helps!
-Kathy

December 11, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas

      Did you miss the segment this morning on WNDU?  Maybe you saw it and are wondering where to buy some of the ideas I shared for holiday gift giving.  Well...drum roll please...here is the list of where to buy! 

      JBar luxury soaps. $6.95 each – All handmade soaps are created in small batches using the cold process method. Ingredients are all 100% food grade vegetable oils, organic butters and sustainable ingredients. The cold process method keeps the glycerin in the final product, and each of the bars of soap have residual oils and butters remaining making the soapy lather creamy and moisturizing, not drying of your natural oils..  In a word, AMAZING!  I am obsessed.  Find out more store locations online at jbarsoap.com






      Wine Book - everyone always brings wine ton dinner parties.  Don’t be like everyone else!  Love the idea of the Wine Guide.  Not only is this an interesting read, even if you don’t love wine.  It is a great conversation starter at parties. $12.95 Barnes and Noble

  Everything is custom these days, why not a phone cover?  I love this idea for teenagers or even for employees who have corporate phones. You can choose from templates or design your own.  Upload your company logo or your picture.  There are several websites that offer this product.  These designs I got from Vista Print.  The pricing ranges from about $15 - $30.  Lead time is about a week – so order now in time for the holidays.

      Family Holiday Cook Book.  I got this idea from one of my Facebook friends, and I think it is a GREAT idea. As I get older, I miss all those holiday dinners with my grandmother.  No one can figure out how she made potato salad or what she did to beets to make them good.  Fill a photo album with family recipes.  All of those little things that are holiday meal traditions in your family.  I love this for someone in their 20’s just starting out, maybe newly weds.  Honestly I would love something like this from my Mom as a family keepsake.  



          For the person that seems to focus all their attention on their pet…buy a gift for the pet!  All things from PetSmart or PetCo










  
      Everyone has a sports fanatic in the family.  That guy who believes the holidays are all about watching the game on TV?  These books are a great gift for someone like that: 100 Things A ColtsFan Should Know $15 each from Barnes and Noble




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      I like to give whole family gifts rather than to get one little thing to every member of the family.  This is a family game theme gift.  Board game, card games, something kids can play in the car. This is a great gift if you are staying with someone over the holidays as a house guest.   Games range from $7-8 up to about $30,








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Love the idea of a custom brick.  Perfect for someone starting a new chapter in their life, new homeowner.  These bricks can be customized to say anything you want: address, a saying, name, date. FromMichiana Brick and Building Supply – around $100

    

 
      Costume jewelry can be fine jewelry pieces that make a bold statement. These are from JR Fox. 




    Complete Personal Shopping Experience: Keaton Row.  This is a new website where you can create a profile, choose to work with a personal stylist and ask them to create looks for you in your own personal Look Book.  The things that are in these outfits are available for purchase.  The items are from stores stylists shop at like Top Shop, Nordstrom and more. I am a partner stylist on this website, and it is really a great thing. Get a gift card from Keaton Row!

   
·     
   Of-The-Month clubs.  Seems trite, but I love the idea of a gift that keeps on giving!  There are ‘of the month’ clubs for just about everything from beer to shoes and handbags. The best thing is that you can choose the level of gift you want to give: 3-months, 6-months or a year.  Most run in the range of $40-$50 a month.  Some to look into: Shoe Dazzle - you can get shoes, accessories or jewelry


      Or maybe a beer of the month club.  Great micro brews direct to your doorstep!





·        There are so many trendy sports programs out there now things to make you healthy.  This is a “best of the best” of all the newest, latest and greatest.  this is a great gift for anyone who is looking to turn over a new leaf in 2014.  Someone who has said they are committed to getting healthy.  Help them along the way with some great essentials!
    
      ADVOCARE - everything from Spark (a coffee replacement, and great energy boost), to CarbEase (something to help you break down the absorption of carbs), to the 24-Day Challenge that will detox your body and prepare it for serious weight-loss and exercise!  The best part of this company, is that you are hooked up with a health coach that will guide you and answer all of your questions.
 


     One of the greatest workouts out there now is the Insanity system.  Part of that 'Beachbody" package is the the T-25 workout.  I will tell you those workouts WORK!  This program will also hook you up with a coach to help you and encourage you.  My personal coach with this system is Shelley Bullock - and let me tell you, she is AMAZING at encouraging me, and getting me to exercise on days I really don't want to. Shelley can also hook you up with Shakeology - a great meal replacement. 

IT Works - I know, you think this is crazy...a wrap that allows you to loose inches in 30-minutes.  Well, I will tell you it is all the rage, and you might not loose a ton of inches, or weight in 30-minutes...but you will see increased muscle tone.  Once a week while you are on your fitness kick...or right before vacation. You'll love it!

     And what workout would be complete without some great workout gear?  Lululemon is THE workout gear to get. 

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Of course, you can go wrong with diamonds!  When all else fail, the perfect gift are diamond studs. 1 ct studs are something any woman would love to get!  Go to JR Fox, and they will help you.  give them what your budget is, and let them do the rest (even gift wrap!).