Tailor-made

A good tailor is a fashion essentialPhoto credit: Google images

A good tailor is a fashion essential
Photo credit: Google Images

I need to find a good tailor. There is a basic fashion truth: the right color and a good fit cannot be overlooked. Even a beautiful outfit will miss the mark if it doesn’t fit you properly. When you find a good tailor, one with skill and expertise, you will have found a fashion partner for life! For a reasonable fee, a tailor’s attention to detail will give life to almost-right pieces and add confidence. Watch things like: the length of arm sleeves on shirts and jackets, the length of trousers and slacks, and a well-defined shoulder and waistline. These elements are critical when it comes to a good fit and proper proportion. I notice that when we feel a little heavier, we tend to choose clothes one-size up from our regular size. This is a mistake because the clothing makes us look larger than we actually are. A fitted look is much more slimming.

I am off to find a good tailor. Do you have one in your arsenal?

What do you think?

Mom, I joined a harem!

My kind of harem!

Well, there are harems and then there are harems. Not-exactly-but-almost harem pants, mine are a gift to myself. Helmut Lang jersey black knit slacks are an homage to today’s relaxed whimsy and at the same time a treat to me, giving me extra leg room to breathe. Full, yet slim and lean and fitted with soft pockets, it pairs well with my Jason Wu for Target tee. It is an outfit that says, I look like I am not trying too hard.

In 1916 Coco Chanel rocked the fashion world by introducing jersey to her collection. Before that time, jersey had been used primarily for women’s undergarments. Chanel was really on to something. Jersey is soft and entirely comfortable on the skin; it is the perfect material for cooler days. I plan to wear these as often as possible.

Consider wearing jersey. Your mom will be happy it is not the other kind of harem!

What do you think?

Bring on the boots!

My two-tone leather/suede Rachel Comey boots, fall 2011
How I got them is another story!

We’re experiencing the first cool-snap; autumn is here and I found myself pulling out my booties. Although I miss the ease of finding a simple summer sandal in my closet, knowing that I own a pair of go-to boots is satisfying, too. And my boots of choice are the ankle booties. I love boots but they often feel claustrophobic and constricting. The answer for me is always … my casual booties. Easy on, easy off, lower-heeled booties are boots without the commitment. I wore mine without socks, but as the weather cools they work just as well with warm socks. Wear them with jeans, trousers, skirts, and even dresses or shorts with tights – they are versatile and low maintenance. And don’t forget to protect them! Invest in a leather/suede protector and you can transition to the next season with confidence.

What do you think?

Not your 80s shoulder pads!

As seen on QVC
Kathleen Kirkwood Padded Shoulder Cap Sleeve Cami with Lace

I think shoulder definition will play a big part in dressing for the fall; a small shift that will make a big difference in how our clothes fit and feel. Not your 80s shoulder pads that lifted up from the neck (or should I say lifted off?!) but rather a softer, fitted pad that gently sits flat and creates fullness and structure at the edge of the shoulder. Last night I tuned in to QVC just in time to see Kathleen Kirkwood highlighting her camisole design with built-in shoulder pads. I’m not sure that a cami is for me, but I loved what she said about the look; how a little lift is all you need to broaden your shoulders and at the same time give the illusion of a smaller waist. Definitely a confidence-builder. I bought my own pair of detachable shoulder pads before the summer season and now I am ready to wear them this fall. I think we could all use a little lift now and then.

What do you think?

Proportion

One of the basics of dressing that is often overlooked is the concept of proportion. Basic, because it’s all about the fit. Where something fits – how long or how short – is fundamental and can alter your entire look for better or worse. For example, a t-shirt is one of my favorite summer go to’s because it is entirely flattering. But even a fabulous tee fails to do its job if worn improperly. Too long and it wrinkles in the middle and will emphasize your stomach or worse, your rear end. Too short and it doesn’t cover enough. Additionally, the height of your shoes are monumental when it comes to proportion control and it’s worth the effort to see how your heels stabilize and literally ground your outfit.

I think it’s best to trust your instincts when it comes to proportion. Feel balanced and you probably are. And if something doesn’t feel right, give it another look.

What do you think?