May 022013

2013-05-02-whitefashion

*From time to time, I receive articles to consider for publication on my blog. This one from stylist Christie Maruka was well-written and gave some clear tips about how to review white items in your closet during your spring cleaning efforts.

Wearing white all year long has become a new trend – especially in the hot summer months. You’ll want to take into consideration the weight of the fabric, when buying white pieces for all year long.

Here are a few tips to consider while shopping for white articles of clothing:

1. Does white work for you? It works for many women, but not everyone. If you have a great tan or naturally dark skin, it’s beautiful. Warm skin tones go well with white. If it washes you out, forget about it.

2. The hottest way to wear white this season is head-to-toe.
It can be really flattering if the proportions and the fit are just right. White jeans and a v-neck T-shirt or crisp button-down tailored shirt are great looks.

3. A crisp white pencil skirt with a classic white top can be fabulous. Be sure everything is slim but not tight. White can be unforgiving. As for jeans, make sure they are not cropped ,or they can make your legs look shorter. Pass on white skinny jeans unless your very slim.

4. An all-white look can be really great accessorized with one of summer’s uber-bright colors such as coral, turquoise or royal blue. A handbag, sandal or scarf in one of these shades can make white pop. A bright print top paired with white pants and blazer is beautiful. And don’t forget stripes with white, especially navy, black or white stripes.

5. The biggest mistake women make with white is what they wear underneath it. When wearing white, it’s critical to wear lingerie that is as close as possible to the color of your skin. Don’t wear white undies because every line will show. Don’t wear colored undies unless you are trying to make a statement.

6. When shopping for white clothes, opt for natural fibers, especially linen or cotton, which are beautiful in white. Avoid white satin or polyester.

7. Beware of cling when wearing white. White doesn’t take well to being too tight or showing bra or panty lines. Dresses that flow gently past the curves look best. Some flowing and billowing sundresses or flirty tops can be lovely in white as well, especially when paired with a narrow silhouette such as a skinny jean or leggings.

8. Avoid white for photos or TV.
While it may look lovely in person, it can, sadly, add pounds when worn on TV or captured in photos.

9. When buying something white, especially a dress or pants, it’s important to make sure it’s opaque or solid and not too see-through. Try holding the dress up so the light shines through it.

10. Invest in quality white pieces that you will have for a while. This is where you can feel good about spending a bit more..because quality white pieces hang nicely, wash well, and you can wear year after year.

Please check out: www.fashionfixnj.com for more information on Christie Maruka and The Fashion Fix. She is also on Twitter @ChristieMaruka.

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As you are editing your closet based on Christie’s tips:

KEEP OR SHOP FOR

  • well-made white linen or cotton clothing
  • flowing or billowing white sundresses
  • nude-colored underwear
  • white pencil skirt
  • coordinating pieces and accessories in bright colors or stripes

TOSS OR AVOID

  • any white unflattering to your skin tone
  • anything too see-through
  • anything too tight
  • white cropped jeans
  • white skinny jeans (unless you are super-slim)
  • white satin or polyester clothing

*I have no affiliation with Christie Maruka or The Fashion Fix.

Posted by anne Tagged with: , , , ,
Feb 122013

Never in a million years did I think I would ever get to see the fashion shows from New York Fashion Week live! And no, I am not special in this regard. Anyone can see them live online, streamed right to your computer for free!

I accidentally came across this discovery when I was watching the documentary, “The Tents” on Netflix. The documentary mentioned that now anyone can watch the fashion shows live online and that it has changed the nature of the fashion business. So I went Googling for the stream and came across the Mercedes-Benz fashion week website.

The Mercedes-Benz fashion week website is an interesting organizational study. There is a daily schedule of shows. You can sign up for a reminder or emails from your favorite designers. When it is time for a particular show, you just log on and wait for the show to start. There you are, front row!

Below are some of the interesting highlights from the shows.

Fashionably Late

The term “fashionably late” is justly deserved. None of the fashion shows start right on
time. For example, the official start time for Betsey Johnson’s show was 5:00 p.m. At 5:02 p.m., online viewers saw this.

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At 5:16, we get a message that the show will begin “momentarily” yet from the image we can see that no one is in their seats.

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At 5:21, the seats are starting to fill in.

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At 5:28, we are watching people take pictures with their fashionably-dressed iPhones. Note to self: if you are ever on a live stream, do your best to turn to the person next to you and start an actual conversation or at least look around at the scene with interest rather than staring constantly into your smart phone or, worst of all, be shown in the process of taking a self-photo. (It’s practically impossible to look cool while taking a self-photo.)

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Jada Pinkett-Smith admirably demonstrated how to be cool at a fashion show.  Look like you are enjoying yourself and chat with those around you!

Jada Pinkett-Smith admirably demonstrated how to be elegant at the Vera Wang show. Look like you are enjoying yourself and chat with those around you!

A glimpse of fashion royalty!  Grace Coddington's signature red hair seen in the crowd at Vera Wang!

A glimpse of fashion royalty! Grace Coddington’s signature red hair seen in the crowd at Vera Wang!

At 5:36 they start rolling up the carpet to start the show.

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A Show and a Performance

Fortunately, these shows are definitely worth the wait! Wow! They are not just fashion shows but also performance art pieces that make a statement about how the designer envisions the clothes should be worn.

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Betsy Johnson’s “BJ kicks A” show began with models in bright outfits talking on their cell phones. After about 20 or so models came out, the models took their places on exercise mats on the runway, then “coach” Betsey Johnson came out and led them in exercises!

Coach Betsey!

Coach Betsey!

Yes, actual exercises like push-ups and sit-ups! You had to be a really good model to make this trick work. How do you exercise in designer clothes? Very carefully so as not to sweat in them, I imagine!

Supermodel took on a whole new meaning at the Betsey Johnson show.  These models had to look good while exercising.

Supermodel took on a whole new meaning at the Betsey Johnson show. These models had to look good while exercising.

Then the show was all over just 10 minutes later! Betsey Johnson came out and turned her signature cartwheel, then fell right into the splits.

At Marc Jacobs’ show, the models wore very sleek and modern clothes with almost no frills to them at all. Dresses and skirts were knee-length. The silhouettes were simple and streamlined. The colors were primarily gray with other tones like muted reds and blues thrown in.

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Hair was a big factor in this show. The female models had long, big, teased, curly hair. Makeup emphasized dark red lips and pale skin. The male models had hair that was thick, long and tousled or mohawked on top but shaved close at the nape of the neck. It’s a great look but this is a style that is going to be hard for most men to pull off as an abundance of hair on top of the head becomes a rare commodity with age.

The menswear in this show was really well done. The general style was a tailored top (such as a form-fitting sweater or jacket) with a more relaxed, flowing pant. The pant length was either flood (about mid-calf) worn with a chunky sneaker or boot or extra-long, pooling around the mid-part of the shoe. Menswear is all about subtlety and Marc Jacobs’ rebellion against formal pants was shown in his choice of hem, leaving the rest of the line very classic.

The young models all looked depressed and robotic as they walked the runway. Strangely, this seemed to work with the vibe of the show. It was almost as though the clothes and the show was designed for younger people who are struggling to take on the responsibilities of life. Marc Jacobs seemed to say, “Yes, you are being asked to take on the responsibilities of your parents and grandparents but you are going to do so in your own way. It’s OK to be serious sometimes.”

Like the Betsey Johnson show, this show didn’t last very long, about 11 minutes! At the very end, Marc Jacobs made a super-quick appearance, just poking his head out from behind the backdrop, then disappearing right back behind it. The in-fashion crowd seemed to know that this was all they were going to get and they dispersed immediately after.

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This morning was the Vera Wang show. The theme of this show seemed to be “one part shapeless.” In each beige and grey outfit, Vera Wang made one aspect of the outfit not conform in any way to the body. There were huge balloon sleeves, extra folds to widen the hips (you would have to be a 34” hip supermodel to wear this!), peplum, pregnancy-like drapes at the stomach, hoop-like hems on coats and skirts, and armholes slit to the hips. While you may think these looks are completely unwearable, there was one look that I thought really worked. Wang paired oversized capes and jackets that built up the wearer’s shoulders on top with slim miniskirts on the bottom. On the right person, this top-heavy look was fun, fashionable and gave a look of strength.

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Vera Wang also showed some interesting black and metallic prints. Like Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang also went with tousled, wavy/curly hair, pale skin and dark plum/red lips for her models.

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At the end of the show, also like Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang just barely peeked out from behind the stage to acknowledge the applause and the crowd immediately disbanded.

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We are having a ball watching these shows! What a treat! They continue until Valentine’s Day if you are interested in logging on yourself!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my fashionable mom today!

P.P.S. I have no affiliation with any fashion designer or Mercedes-Benz fashion week.

Posted by anne Tagged with: , , ,
May 252012

"Group of people, in swimsuits, standing on beach(?), Washington, D.C. area" (between 1915 - 1930). National Photo Company Collection. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

While here in Virginia we are practically in monsoon season with all of the rain we have been getting, summer is on its way!  Time to turn over the closets and dress to impress.  Last year, we saw white, nude, tangerine, lace, colorblock and animal prints as big summer trends.

What does British Vogue have to say about Spring/Summer 2012 fashion trends?   Read here for their official designer picks.

More importantly, however, what does Ruly Ruth have to say?  Read on and see examples of these fashion trends from Amazon!

**Please note that when it comes to fashion there are many opinions out there.  I included all of the items below because I think they are fashionable.  As you can see, Ruth and I do not always agree.

Head to Toe Prints

The general theme of Summer 2012 fashion is prints.  Whether mismatched or uniform, wild patterns from head to toe are the big trend.  Wear one print as a blouse and another for pants.  Silky or shiny fabrics seem to dominate.  While it might seem an intimidating task to select two patterns that don’t clash, patterns have the great benefit of camouflaging a number of body flaws.

Nicole Miller Women's Print 3/4 Sleeve Print Dress at amazon.com

Ruly Ruth says: “Okay–I love Nicole Miller–but this dress looks sci-fi to me–something out of my son’s avatar-based video games.”

Sakkas Flower and Leaves Print Satin Pleated V-Neck Halter Handkerchief Hem Maxi at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I LOVE THIS DRESS–AND THE PRICE–fabulous print, gorgeous cut–it’s beautiful!”

Donna Morgan Women's Scoop Neck Sleeveless Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “This is spring and summer’s little black dress recreated—it’s classic and yet in a very updated print scheme. Love it!”

Maternal America Maternal America Women's Maternity Boarder Print Mini Front Tie Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Not in love with this—odd color combos to start with–I’d love to see if the V-neck halter handkerchief dress could also work for early maternity. But I HATE this one! Boring! I do like the idea of the pattern at the bottom of the dress–the floral is a mish-mash of color and undefined–which is very opposite the rigid pattern at the bottom of the dress. I’d like to see the flowers either more defined or the whole thing recreated in an even more impressionistic pattern styling.”


Statement Trousers

Printed pants are the trend in a variety of patterns, the wilder the better.  This is going to be a tough look to pull off correctly because the bottoms can look an awful lot like pajama pants.  For best results, go more formal/dressy in your choice of shoe and top.  Love Maegan recently showed a great example of how she would style an outfit with statement pants.

Ruly Ruth says: “I think the concept is very creative—-but as Anne mentioned again–totally pajama like!”

Apple Bottoms All Over Print Long Pants

Ruly Ruth says: “I think the detailed cut/style of the pants pulls these more toward a beautiful, wearable pant. Love the color, cut, fit, style–gorgeous!”

Rachel Pally Women's Printed Wide Leg Trousers at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I think in high-fashion circles these would be a huge hit. For everyday wear. the circle pattern is a bit over the top for me…but I’m not a lover of pure tangerine either–I think only tan people can wear it–and if you do have a medium or darker skin tone–go for it! They will pop hugely!”

Mogulinterior Womens Boho Trousers at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I can’t even believe someone would pay $27.50 for these—they look like a craft project gone wrong!! HATE these–too many prints, too mis-matched…yuck! And then they throw in beads and cuffed bottoms–to save it???!!! Throw it away!!”

the grace eboutique summer skirt pants flare wrap beach trouser at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “GORGEOUS!!! Beautiful color schemes—classic–could go to a casual business meeting, to church, to lunch–gorgeous, elegant! Screams summer/spring to me—love them! And for $22.50–I think I need to personally invest!!”


African-inspired animal prints

Leopard, zebra, jaguar . . . more prints from nature.  Not just a hint of it but a LOT of print in flowing dresses, pants, etc.

Ruly Ruth says: “When I was in 9th grade, I made a really cool leopard-print dress….it was a rounded neck with long straight arms and came 2″ above the knee. I think I wore it with leggings–let’s just say it would be a huge hit and very classical now!”

Allegra K Women Elastic Waist Leopard Pattern Leisure Chiffon Pants at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “.I LOVE THESE….in XS. I’m not sure someone who would wear a Large or XL would rock these—I think a little of this pattern goes a long way–not sure we need yards and yards of this showing….and I notice they are only selling it in XS…how convenient!”

Jessica Simpson Women's Leopard V Neck Beaded Halter Dress at amazon.com

Ruly Ruth says: “Jessica Simpson would wear this, and some young women….most of us–not so much! I think honestly the fact the print is on a shiny fabric turns me off–make it more of a muted velvet and darker tones–we may have something then! But I love the cut of the dress itself…”

Michael Kors Black Cotton Jaguar Print Sleeveless Sheath Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Michael–I’m a HUGE FAN!! HUGE!!! But–this dress falls flat. You’re trying to get women like me to wear that around–not going to happen….love the cut of the dress–again–fabulous!!! But the print overlay—nah!! Not so much!”

Anne Klein Women's Lion Print Blouse at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Lion print???!!! Looks like paint splotches. NEXT!”

50’s Inspired Plaid and Gingham Sundresses

In a style Vogue calls “Retro Americana,” plaid and gingham sundresses that recall the 1950’s are a big trend, worn with cat-eye sunglasses of course!


Ruly Ruth says: “You know what cracks me up about this come-back era–is that it’s all about young hipsters wearing this stuff! And the look fabulous–and our roller derby girls of course!! If you have a teenager, very appropriate!”

Triple Optic Oversized Vintage Inspired Super & Bold Retro Designer Cat Eye Sunglasses at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Love these! I have huge issue with designer sunglasses that they are not always UVA/UVB and polarized–which is the best combo to protect your eyes–but for stylishness–A+! Even to a business meeting at an al fresco lunch–go for it!”

Britt Ryan womens gingham strapless tied bow cutout dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Cute idea—bordering on lingerie. Wouldn’t wear it out—but a very young girl in her young 20s would look great in a beach environment at lunch in this!”

Gap Tiered Madras Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “ditto–see comments above.

Esprit Madras Women's Vintage Halter Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I hate this print–and not in love with the dress either. Looks like leftover Xmas material repurposed into a dress!!!!”

Beach-themed Prints

What better way to celebrate beach season than with prints inspired by the sea, including seashells and seahorses.  If you aren’t up for the prints, there is also a wonderful selection of jewelry in this theme that is classic and fun for summer.


Ruly Ruth says: “These are all the rage–whether it’s high-end jewelry right now or knock-off cheapies—this is very popular. It reminds me of stuff to be worn in Hawaii….not sure I’d really wear it to be honest!”

Hawaiian Sea Shell Necklace at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Cute! Teenagers…..precious, cute. That’s all!”

Sterling Silver Conch Shell Pendant at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “it’s okay….looks bulky and chunky. No elegance really….”

Your Eyes Lie The Seahorse Ring at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Love the concept–not this exact enactment of it–but the concept is good! I do own a ring in a similar shape–fyi–it’s terribly uncomfortable to wear!”

Roxy Juniors Coral Reef Tube Top at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Perfect for juniors for summer! Rock it young ladies!”

Carve Designs Women's Del Mar Full Piece Swimsuit at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I like this—a lot!! Great classic and yet modern swimsuit top–the top bra part is fabulous! The print is good…”

Lilly Pulitzer Women's Duffy Shirt at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “This is a women’s cowboy shirt gone wrong!!! Come on Lilly—I love your stuff–this ain’t your best by a long shot!!”

Bianca Nygård Petite Seashells Print Jersey Knotted Waist Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “The dress style is classic–the knotted waist and the jersey fabric is so forgiving and great with so many figures–the print–I didn’t read it was supposed to be seashells–thought it was jellyfish–not good! Don’t wear jellyfish…not hot!”

A Statement Piece in White

After all those prints, classic white is, as always, a trend for summer.  This year Vogue indicates there are two extremes: “crisp” and minimalist and more romantic and embellished pieces with cutwork and lace.

Ruly Ruth says: “I think white is a very tough, not classic color to pull off. I think medium and darker than that toned people look best in white–it pops more. And white is hard because it is often see-through…not a good thing at all!”

La Redoute Plus Size Sleeveless Sheath at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I love the cut of this dress—buy it in black!”

Mango Women's Two Layered Cotton Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “This one looks beautiful– I’d be tempted by this–but note the length–with a toddler–either put on white leggings or don’t buy it!”

Lucca Couture The Devin Dress at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “I love this!!!! It’s almost a tan–the cut is fabulous–I’d be tempted to try it–and it looks like it’s double-layered to the thighs–a good thing!

Anna-Kaci Knit Top at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: “Perfect layer over camisoles–all the rage right now–gorgeous–I’d pair it with denim shorts, skirt or jeans! pretty!!”

As you can see, fashion elicits strong reactions. It takes courage to wear a trend and this summer’s prints definitely require courage. Before you quickly dismiss these trends as not your style, take a moment to think about how you might challenge yourself to incorporate something like this into your look. Do you have something in your closet you could dust off and try? It is so easy to find inexpensive pieces to purchase as well. It’s certainly more interesting to see someone attempting a fashionable look rather than the same old shorts and tees or tank tops. I have challenged myself and purchased some new trend-oriented pieces. While I will probably never be a fashion plate, I am curious to see how people will react to them (or if they will even notice at all!)

What do you think of this summer’s fashion trends? If you had to pick just one of the above pieces to wear this summer, which would you choose? Please share in the comments.

Posted by anne Tagged with: ,
Oct 272011

All this month, we have been trying to identify the items in our closets that never seem to go out of style or that we simply enjoy wearing year after year.  While the clothes may not be that exciting they probably form the bulk of what is in most people’s closets.  But what if you want to look fresh and trendy?  What could you add in to your wardrobe from this year’s fashion collections?

For this fall’s guide, we look to Vogue first, who says that some of the major trends for fall include “winter lace,” “the long green dress,” “graphic prints,” bright color block designs and even a “utility” trend which includes “refined, smartly tailored updates on the sweatsuit.”

But, the real question is what does Ruly Ruth think about these trends?  Read on for her analysis.

Winter Lace

BCBGMAXAZRIA Women's Fae Boat Neck Lace Top at amazon.com.

Lace for winter? Vogue says yes. You might need to wear a jacket over these chilly pieces but they certainly add a lot of unexpected style and glamour to a cold winter day. 

Ruly Ruth says:

I LOVE THIS TOP! Needs a camisole under it for sure—looks great!! Can be worn everywhere–from casual day at work to playgroups to night out. I’m such an all- or mostly cotton gal I want to know if this is “itchy” on though!!

Graphic prints

Missoni for Target Sweater Skirt at amazon.com.

The sell-out trend this fall has been the Missoni for Target collection. 

Ruly Ruth says: I totally get this zig-zag print is hot! I hate the skirt–too casual and not a place to accent for most people with a bright pattern—could use the hoodie as a one-off piece and not worn too often–same with the shoes. They’re definitely memorable–but not for every day! They would get tiresome quickly.

Missoni for Target Tunic Hoodie at amazon.com.

Women's Missoni for Target® Zig-Zag Ballet Shoe Flats at amazon.com.

Shimmer fabrics

bebe Dolman Sleeve Lurex Sweater Dress at amazon.com.

Glimmers of silver and gold are hot for fall. One particularly striking trend is a variation of this summer’s head-to-toe nude look where you wear a khaki or beige pant with a gold shimmery top. 

Ruly Ruth says: I used to wear almost this exact dress in the late ’80s! Glad it’s back–the skinnier you are the beter it looks–back then I was 112 pounds and 5’8″–it popped! For skinny people…sorry to say! (which is NOT me right now) I don’t think even regular-sized people should wear a shimmer dress or fabrics….for models only.     If it were a wrap–like I like a touch of shimmer in regular fabrics–that would be more wearable for everyone!

Bright Colorblock Combinations

Vivace Crystal Chain Removable White Bib Racer Back Top Aqua at amazon.com.

Fila Women's Pleated Supplex Jacket at amazon.com.

The bright look, echoing the 1980′s, is still a trending look–layering on colors of hot pink, bright blue, etc. 

Ruly Ruth says: I love the concept–not really thrilled about any of these specific offerings. I think with black bottoms it would be easier to translate for all body types.A longer hoodie in a bright color over a cute basic white or black t-shirt or tank top would be an easier way to rock this!

Utility Jacket

Vince Camuto Women's Utility Jacket at amazon.com.

The utility jacket, which appears to be a jacket with cargo pockets on the outside, is a trend for fall. 

Ruly Ruth says: We should all buy this! I’d like mine in a darker tan or even black—but I love this jacket concept–it’s asymetrical–chunky–love it!! Everyone could wear this.

Chic Sweatsuits

Diesel Women's Fohpa Snap Front Sweatshirt at amazon.com.

The most surprising trend this fall is the tailored sweatsuit look where humble sweatpants and sweatshirts take a designer turn. 

Ruly Ruth says: This is part of the trend I go with the pajama jeans—UGH!! I think the bad economy is making us use inexpensive fabrics in very fashionable ways. I’m sure they’re soft and comfy and have great cuts—but I prefer my sweat materials to be in super cute sweat-type exercise styles…not high-fashion. Done with this–wouldn’t buy any of it!! And by the way–the black jacket in sweat material will most likely not wash and dry and wear well for long! Those snaps will eat it up!!

David Lerner Women's Cassie Cardigan Sweatshirt at amazon.com.

David Lerner Women's Rollup Cargo Sweatpants at amazon.com.

Long green dress

PacificPlex Strapless Taffeta Beaded Formal Gown at amazon.com.

For formal occasions, the trend for winter is a long, dress billowing in green silk or taffeta fabric. 

Ruly Ruth says: THIS IS GORGEOUS! And it would look so great on so many body types—LOVE IT!!!  Great find!! And the price is so right–hoping this will be for some proms this year—esp. with a beautiful bolero wrap!

The 1970′s

Another trend that Vogue did not focus too heavily on but that we are hearing a lot about in the general media is the 1970′s trend. Specifically, high-waisted bell-bottom pants with skinny belts, tie blouses, maxi dresses, middle parts, big disco hair and braids. (The most beautiful braids I have seen recently have been at the blog of designer Gina Michele who also gives excellent instructions.)

HALSTON HERITAGE Women's Removable Tie Blouse at amazon.com.

Ruly Ruth says: High waisted pants are only good on women with flat or skinny stomachs. Their wearability is very limited in that way. When you do have the body type for that–they look amazing and polished and elegant. The tie blouse is a classic–it reminds me of the late 50s and 60s but this pattern of polkadots reminds me of the 70s. I think it’s gorgeous and it’s gorgeous on everyone!!

Ruly Ruth’s Fall Fashion Picks

What does Ruly Ruth want in her closet?

2b by bebe 2b Faux Fur Collar Cardigan at amazon.com.

I would love this!! I think it’s a staple piece, it’s casual–but classy enough to be worn to a casual office–I love it!

BB Dakota BB Dakota The Garrett Faux Fur Vest in Light Camel Beige at amazon.com.

LOVE this too! Vests are hot and perfect for those in-between temps–esp. with gorgeous turtlenecks underneath.

Coral Bay Misses Coral Bay Solid Long Sleeve Turtleneck Top at amazon.com.

I think this is a stealing price for an all-cotton turtleneck! (I love black!)

Columbia Women Greenway T IV Turtleneck at amazon.com.

or this one in gray.

Things2Die4 Camouflage Studded Rhinestone Buckle Purse at amazon.com.

Camo’s HOT right now–just look at the Camo-print diapers Huggies now has! This bag is fabulous–love the blinged-out camo print!

Calvin Klein Women's Knit Maxi Skirt at amazon.com.

Maxi skirts are STILL haute….already own one–should probably wear it more–but it is fabulous!!

Overall, I have to say, the fall collection is extremely wearable. There are very few pieces that aren’t wearable right off the runway–and that is extremely unusual in my book!

Happy Fall everyone!

-Ruly Ruth

P.S. on 2010 Trends

In the spirit of streamlining your closet . . . reflecting back on last fall’s fashion trends, which ones have held up over time?

The leopard print booties, the feathered items, and the Halloween colored makeup may look a little dated this year. The boot cut pants are right on trend and the other items aren’t really in or out. Some, like the capes and simple, streamlined pieces, might be tucked away for future when these trends inevitably come back around.

What do you think of Fall 2011 fashion trends? Which ones will you be wearing this year? Please share in the comments.

Posted by anne Tagged with: , , ,
Apr 082011

To give you a brief respite from the seriousness of this month’s theme on retirement planning, we bring in Ruly Ruth to the rescue.

It was so much fun last fall discussing fall fashion trends with Ruly Ruth that I thought we would do it again for Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion.  As usual, our inspiration comes from Vogue’s style guides.  Based on Vogue’s guidance, we then take a look at affordable versions of the major trends available at amazon.com.

So what’s in style for spring/summer 2011?

White

White, a classic spring and summer color, is back.  Vogue emphasizes that the new whites are simple with modern, clean lines.  They are worn with almost no accessories except for a nude-toned belt and shoes.

A white shirtdress with simple belt, great for the office or at-home.

Ruly Ruth says:

“LOVE THIS! SUPER SUPER chic and classic and conservative and stylish. Love it!”

A classic white jacket, great for the office or for Sunday brunch.

Ruly Ruth says:

“This being linen and cotton will wrinkle like crazy. That aside–fantastic piece! Ellen Degeneres wears a version of this–usually Dolce & Gabbana–in a silk or something….with a blouse under it. Fantastic piece!!”

A classic white sheath-style dress with modern lines.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I think if it were longer it would be perfect for any woman!! With this particular length the under-35 set only, please!!! And watch it at work–definitely not an east-coast piece for work!! But white dresses can wash some women out…tread carefully!”

Simple, flat-front, boot cut trousers. Again, would work for the office or for casual wear.

Ruly Ruth says:

FANTASTIQUE!! I have a girlfriend who owns over 100 pairs of black slacks–she lives in them–these in black would be a lovely addition to hers–or any of our–collections!! Love it! White can be hard esp. if see-through–no VPLs please! (visual panty lines!!)

Nude

It’s hot so you might as well look naked if you can’t be naked! Nude is coming back as another classic summer color. It’s a great color because it is universally flattering. Just choose a shade close to your own skin tone. Vogue says head-to-toe nude outfits, complete with nude shoes are in.

A very simple cotton tank at a great price!

Ruly Ruth says:

“Classic, perfect for work or a luncheon.”

A long, cotton skirt in an easy-to-wear color.

Ruly Ruth says:

The great thing about these skirts is that they are flattering on almost any figure!!! With a white top, can’t go wrong–and I’d love to see a big floppy hat at lunch with it and heels!!

Simple, strappy, heeled sandal, looks almost invisible on.

Ruly Ruth says:
“Classically beautiful for a daytime event, or possible early cocktail party. Thinking summer formal event!”

A sexy pump with small toe cut-out that you can probably still get away with at the office.

Ruly Ruth says:

“The peep-toe is hot! And the color doesn’t get more classic than that. PERFECT for work!!! Easy way to be extremely fashionable and can show up to a client meeting in these and look respectable. I also like the price for the quality!”

Bright Colorblock Colors

Vogue says this season’s big trend is lots of bright color, especially jewel tones of blue, purple, orange and red worn together in colorblocked patterns.

A simple dress with bold hues of blue accented by black.

Ruly Ruth says:
“Peacock colors are hot right now–and the style is very chic and ‘in’! Very very wearable.”

Tangerine

We saw last fall that orange makeup was in and this spring/summer the trend continues into the clothes. Vogue says spicy orange dresses, blouses and skirts are hot this summer.

An easy-to-wear strapless dress. Great for a hot summer night or even a cover-up at the pool.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I think this is a hard color for a lot of women to wear. Darker tones will shine in this!! The strapless dress idea is more for those with a) no breasts; b) those with boob jobs that stand alone–literally; but for most of us–it takes an effort and an amazing strapless bra to get into this. And I’d say more for the under 30 set.”

Lace

Ultra-feminine lace accents are in but with a modern twist. The lace is not frilly and has a cleaner line to it. It is worth looking at the Vogue photos here for inspiration. Hard to find a budget equivalent but the two below were as close as I could come.

Elegant, flowing, romantic off-white lace dress. Beautiful for a spring/summer wedding or date night.

Ruly Ruth says:

“The Victorian era is rebuilding, I see! Pretty dress. Classic, wearable to so many spring and summer events.”

A great lace accent piece without going overboard. Could be worn alone or under a jacket.

Ruly Ruth says:

The lace trim around the collar is very hot right now! And we get the double plus being in the classic nude/beige color range. Great work piece–very very classic.

Modern Craft

This season, accents of homespun crafts like macrame, weaving and crochet are in. As a knitter, I am completely in love with this trend.  If I were to invest in one fashion piece this season, it would be one of these.  The designer pieces are stunning and you need to see Vogue’s pictures.  There isn’t a budget equivalent but the following pieces evoke the trend.

A touch of crochet on a timeless summer sandal style.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I love it!! A gladiator sandal in macrame!! I live in a desert environment where flip-flops are everyday attire (we call it desert casual). These could be a staple! And anywhere for comfy cute sandals. Like them a lot!!”

Macrame accents on a gauzy white summer top.

Ruly Ruth says:

“LOVE the top—HATE THE ACCENT! It has to go. It’s incomplete, and looks like a craft project gone wrong. Macramed together and glued on—forget it! Skip this one!”

Gorgeous maxi gown in beautiful neutrals with crochet detail on the back and shoulders.

Ruly Ruth says:

“BEAUTIFUL!!! Those of us with boob issues will have to make or fit in our own bra contraption–but the back is HOT HOT HOT!!! Great piece!!”

Fun, heeled sandal with crochet accents and tassels.

Ruly Ruth says:
“The tassel hanging down–really?? Looks like a drapery is missing its tie-back! The macrame on the sandal/heel part is pretty, but almost craft-projecty. Not loving it. Would like the macrame with a more sophisticated tie-back please!! And a more expensive material for the weaving.”

Animal Motifs

Leopard prints, a trend in fall, are still around but Vogue says this time it is not just animal skin prints but whimsical pictures of animals like parrots, monkeys, giraffes and butterflies.

A figure-flattering boyshorts swimsuit with zebra print accent. Spice up the community pool.

Ruly Ruth says:
“I would soooo wear this!! It’s forgiving, great print, classic but fun and funky. Like it a lot!! And the price is right!!”

Combining both the jewel tone and animal-print trends, this bright blue gown with butterfly print hem adds a surprising twist.

Ruly Ruth says:

Belongs on a runway for sure! Fun summer dress—but only wear one time! That would get old seeing it over and over….like the detail on it though. You’d have to move or wear it on different coasts so people didn’t keep seeing you in it!

Adding a Greek twist to the animal print trend, a comfortable yet elegant dress with leopards in a bright color.

Ruly Ruth says:

“This, on the other hand, is a classic! It’s timeless, beautiful–loving it!! I could see that over and over forever! And it looks flowy–perfect perfect!!

A touch of butterfly for your summer sandals.

Ruly Ruth says:
“The price is right! We should all immediately buy a pair! Very, very pretty. Cute accent pieces. Love it–and would be great with the nude skirt, for example. That could be the pop of color with a white wrap blouse, a big white floppy hat, and these flats–love it!!”

Now we know that Vogue Recommends but what are people actually wearing?

Ballet Flats

Here in Fredericksburg, the only trend I am consistently seeing is a lot of black ballet flats, usually with pleating or some other detailing.

Works well with pants in particular. You need great legs to wear these with shorts or skirts.

Ruly Ruth says:

These are so last year but still ‘in’ you could say….I say working their way out slowly. But comfy, and better than blah shoes for a mom on the go, I will say that!!

What trends are you seeing where you are in California?

Ruly Ruth says:

People are LOVING my Roxy sandals with silver studs (from this amazing skate shop in town with the best buyer in the world Kool Threadz II). Other than that, we are getting ready for short-shorts on girls, cute cotton tees (NO BELLIES SHOWING PLEASE!), swimsuits and boy board shorts and printed tees for kids. It’s almost summer here, baby!!

Readers, what do you think of Vogue’s spring/summer fashion picks? What trends are hot where you are? Please share in the comments.

Posted by anne Tagged with: ,
Aug 252010

I have trouble keeping up with the latest fashion trends, perhaps because I live in Washington where the trend is not to follow any trends. In the last few years, trends have been harder for me to spot and any trends seem especially short-lived. Remember last fall when the 80’s came back for about a month? Leggings and big shoulder pads never really caught on here in Washington.

What is in style this fall? I turn to the fashion Bible, Vogue, for advice. Their fall issue just arrived boasting “726 pages of sumptuous fall fashion.” Fortunately, Vogue has created abbreviated style guides on its website for Fall 2010 ready-to-wear, accessories, and beauty, identifying major trends of the designer fall collections.

Wearing a trend can be difficult to carry off. You want to look sophisticated and current but still authentic to your own style. If you wear a trend in the wrong way you come across as silly, immature and uncool.

Based on the Vogue guidelines (and with apologies to Vogue), I selected the following items from Amazon representing the fall 2010 trends and asked our social adviser, Ruly Ruth, to give her opinion.

The 50’s

Vogue says that the polished style of the 1950’s is a trend for fall with formal dresses and hair.

Ruly Ruth says: Ooohhhh—love the 50′s throw-back; very tres chic with stars such as Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera who pull this type of look to modern times. Love the crazy pattern! The heels are to die for!

Clean and simple

Vogue says another fall trend is very simple, clean lines with almost no adornment.

Ruly Ruth says: All fashion right now seems to really be pulling from the past with a modern twist. This reminds me of the ’60s–clean lines, beautiful shape. Simple, elegant color. Need a great body or see Anne’s post on Spanx for this look!

Feathers

Vogue says feathers are a trend, as both an embellishment and as the major component of the piece, such as feather skirts and feather vests.

Ruly Ruth says: This might be my Marine Corps Ball gown this year—seriously! Love the fun detailing–the price is totally right, btw! And with the waist it has a lot of give for those of us that are more curvalicious and not on the 12-week Ball diet!

Velvet

Vogue says velvet is a key material for fall, from velvet evening gowns to jackets and suits.

Ruly Ruth says: I just picked up the fall Vogue fashion magazine in print–and it’s full of dusters and coats. This particular version is not my fave–but the length and the fit is good. Would love more of the brocaded muted tones I saw in the magazine rather than this particular one.

Capes

Vogue says long-drapey capes were common in the fall collections for both outerwear and as trendy jackets.

Ruly Ruth says: Again–the magazine is filled with capes! LOVE capes! Love it even more fitted than this particular item.

Boot-cut Pants

Vogue says boot-cut pants are back in style. I love this look and remember it from the late 90’s.

Ruly Ruth says: I think that it’s an extremely flattering look, and with the new materials it’s looking even better. Check out the latest in the jeans in this cut–and the new materials are light-weight and stretchy and beautiful–on any figure! LOVE THAT!

Long Skirts

Vogue says very long, ankle-length skirts are another trend for fall.

Ruly Ruth says: I already own this type of skirt. Love it! At almost 5’10″, it’s hard to find ankle-length skirts. But I love love love them!! And this one is so timeless! I’ve had mine for 9 years!

Funky Sweaters

Vogue says interesting knitted fabrics were frequent in the fall collections from exotic  sweaters to ornate bobbled leg warmers/shoe booties.

Ruly Ruth says: I have a gorgeous Irish knitted mid-thigh sweater my grandmother made over 12 years ago. I love love love it!! And I had mine the length to wear over leggings–so I’m thrilled that look is back!! I like mine better than this tank, though. The full sweater look.

Schoolgirl style outfits

Vogue says the schoolgirl look is also back for fall.  Ever since I started reading fashion magazines as a teenager I don’t recall a single fall when this hasn’t been a trend.

Ruly Ruth says: Juniors is right! And I remember this being in in junior high–my sis nailed it–always a hot school girl look–but only for a school girl! I think this is voided for moms. Seriously! But all of the cute jr. and sr. high girls–go for it! Love it! ROCK IT!

Orange makeup

Vogue says accents of bright orange were a trend in fall makeup, such as streaks of bright orange eye shadow below the browline and orange lipstick.

Ruly Ruth says: SO HOT! But truthfully better on the teens and 20′s set. High fashion—love it!

Gothic red-black lipstick

Vogue says black, blood-stained lips are a trend for fall 2010.

Ruly Ruth says: LOVE these bold colors! I’d argue it’s been a trend for a couple of years–I have about 4 tubes of an extremely similar color esp. the Victoria’s Secret version–but with more purple in it.

Leopard prints

Vogue says leopard prints are a trend for fall.  One particularly notable look is the short leopard print bootie that makes the wearer look like she has paws.

Ruly Ruth says: SO HOT!  If I were in an office or more urban setting I would so buy these–but in the desert with a 1 year old not going to be using them. Love them!!

What do you think of the above fashion trends?  What trends are you seeing for fall 2010?  Please share in the comments.

Posted by anne Tagged with: , ,
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