The Emergency Kit

DSCN0456.JPGThe modern woman is out and about. She needs to be able to turn her look around at the drop of a hat without making her bag unfit for carrying. Whether it’s a skirt that needs hemming or a two minute turn around for an impromptu date. This bag of tricks is sure to save you from a numerous amount of unsightly scenarios.

Hair thing: Make it something eye catching. I am partial to brass hair combs, which you don’t see too often, but a tortoise shell alligator clip is another great option.

Lipstick: Something that can double as blush make’s it more utilitarian. (Creme color also works great for this).

Mascara: The mini versions you get as promotions from department stores is the perfect size to toss in your bag and not break the bank when you need to replace it (Every three months).

Concealer: This could be a foundation stick, compact foundation, whatever it is you use to touch up. I was once in a bathroom and pondered the question, ‘is it still concealer if you use it all over my face?’ The answer, is yes.

Meds: Hidden in a mint container, whatever your ailment, it can be housed in something bit more discreet than the container it came in (extra points for chic pill boxes).

Mirror: Because you never know.

Floss: See above. The mini pictured above is what I get from the dentist when I go for my cleaning.

Jewelry: For when you are feeling a bit blah and need jazzing up. I find rings or bracelets travel the best.

Sewing kit and safety pins: Hotels often give simple kits when you stay there. You don’t need more than a dark and light thread and one needle, you aren’t making a dress after all.

The Sweatshirt

DSCN0455.JPGCan a sweatshirt be stylish? Absolutely. The options of how to wear this piece are endless. Wear it to work with a pair of tailored slacks and pumps, wear it on the weekend with cut off shorts and strappy sandals. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want this comfy classic to come off classy instead of trashy.

It’s got to fit
You can wear it slightly over sized, but not much, as soon as it starts looking too oversized you start looking sloppy.

Keep it simple
No hood, no logos, no zipper, nothing. Just a simple pull over sweatshirt.

Color
Black is your best bet. If that isn’t your thing, just keep it neutral.

The Red Heel

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Dorthy was on to something with those red shoes. The show stopper of my wardrobe is my pair of red power heels. I get stopped in the street by strangers so often it’s not even weird anymore. If a bootie and a peep toe pump had a baby. That is this shoe. Maybe it is loved for its uniqueness, but I think it’s because they are red. I own it’s sister in black and she gets some love but it doesn’t even come close to the attention the red pair get.

Return to Simplicity

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In a world where everyone is trying to be noticed or trendy. I find myself wanting more and more to slink into the shadows. Instead of wearing several shades or pink or patterned everything. I prefer to wear simple pieces, but it isn’t that simple(ironic really). You need to pick well edited pieces. If all you’re wearing is a couple items and a piece of jewelry. It needs to be the right combination. Look for things that are well made or have an interesting detail to them. By doing this, you’ll be what everyone is looking at, in a good way.

Sleepwear 101

DSCN0340.JPGWe spend so much time sleeping, but do we really consider what we are donning before we drift off? It might not seem like a big deal, but elevating your sleepwear game can also do the same to your confidence. A matching pair of silk pajamas is going to make you feel way better than those mismatched tattered ones.

My personal favorite. They come in a range of colors and patterns. As well as a variety of price points. This is by far the sexiest option, but don’t save it for a date night, sometimes wearing one of these when you’re home alone and having a personal dance party is all you need to put yourself in a great mood.

Matching set
The matching set is not nearly as popular as it once was, but it’s still a classic and still around. This option is most elegant choice. Get them monogrammed if you want to take it up a notch. Silk or cotton, you can’t go wrong.

Separates
There is an episode of scandal where Olivia Pope wears a Donna Karan sweater and La Perla silk pajama pants and it changed my mind about separates from that moment on. If youre going to go this route, the over sized t shirt and mens boxers pairing just won’t do. Make a more luxe decision and elevate your choices.

Texture

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I am all about a monochromatic look. Head to toe navy, gray, white (or my favorite – black) is such an elegant look. You are guaranteed to turn heads. The question – how do you you keep it from looking to simple? The answer – textures. Pair a silk top, leather skirt and lace booties and you instantly upgrade your look.

Elegance: A Beginner’s Guide

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Elegance is a dying art. In the world of fast food and fast fashion, to slow down and take the time to do anything is quickly becoming extinct. Elegance can be broken down into three parts: Personality. Perception. Presentation.

Personality
You need to be likable. Know your audience, this can mean many things. Your reputation should send the message that at a bar you would order wine, not PBR. (Even if you like PBR – see perception)

Perception
You need to have your act together. Even if you are a mess on the inside, no one should know that. You might not be good at everything, but never advertise that, just do in public the things you excel in. (see presentation) This can include everything from your choice of dinner location to your etiquette at work. Always be aware.

Presentation
This applies to two different things, how you do things and how you look. When someone looks at you they shouldn’t imagine that you are the type of woman who drinks until you get sick and have sex with any man willing. You want to be considered the prize. How you dress effects that image. You don’t need to spend a lot to be elegant, but knowing how to invest in your wardrobe is definitely a good place to start.

Wardrobe Basics

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Keeping in mind the article on Investing in your wardrobe, now we look at the bones of every woman’s wardrobe. This isn’t everything you should own, but the building blocks. Add or subtract as you see fit.

1. Black Cocktail Dress: This is something that you can pull out for every holiday party, wedding, date, whether last minute or planned out.
2. Wrap Dress: The most flattering dress ever. This is a great dress to incorporate a print or a color, but basic black or navy are also great options.
3. Black Blazer: Ideally this is the same material as the pencil skirt and the dress pants. That way you can wear it as a suit.
4. Black Pencil Skirt: Great for going out or work, just make sure it’s long enough.
5. Black Dress Pants: Even if you aren’t into wearing pants, it’s always great to have the one pair in your closet, if anything for especially rainy days.
6. White Dress Shirt: A classic. Enough said.
7. Sweater: Crew neck or v-neck. Cashmere or cotton. Have at least one in your closet. A neutral color is the most versatile, but this is a great place to add color.
8. T-shirts: Don’t spend too much, but don’t buy Hanes undershirts.
9. Dark Wash Jeans: The most flattering and the dressiest while still being casual. Buy the cut that is most flattering to your body shape. A Bootcut is always a nice option. If you do this, have one pair for flats and one for heels. Not one for both.
10. Leather Jacket: If there is only one piece you can invest in on this list, make it this. It will last you forever and look better with age.
11. Nude Pumps: Especially if you are into color, these will be the best shoe option to not distract from your colors and patterns.
12. Black Pumps: A classic and a must have.
13. Tennis Shoes: Great for errand running and weekends.
14. Trench Coat: Even if you live in a hotter climate, a trench coat is always a necessity.
Even if it’s just for a midnight rendezvous wearing nothing but lingerie.
15. Everyday Bag: Pick something big enough for your life and in a color you love.

Investing in your Wardrobe

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You don’t need to spend a ton of money on your clothes, it’s more about learning what to look for. You can locate amazing finds anywhere as long as you follow these guidelines.

Quality
Whether you’re at Target or Neiman Marcus, ask yourself: can you see through it? Do the seams match up? Does it have a lining? If it looks cheap (even if it costs a lot) it isn’t going to last.

Color
Especially if you are shopping for a more affordable option here, rich neutrals are a safer bet than bright colors. Black, navy, burgundy, tan, these are a few examples of colors that look good from the $20 sweater to the $200 option.

Logos
None. Ever. Period. You will make yourself look cheap, even if you are in head to toe Chanel. Labeling yourself is going to look bad and give away how much you’ve spent. If you always wear pieces that look nice and don’t have a logo on them, people won’t know focus on what it is and how much it was, just the quality of your look.

Material
Faux materials don’t last. If you can’t afford a cashmere sweater, a cashmere blend still will do the job. There are real leather shoe options in all sorts of price points. Cotton is another great option for clothing.

Lingerie 101

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We wear it every day, but how much thought are you really putting into it? A good set of lingerie is the foundation for your look. If they don’t fit well, you’re outfit won’t either. Your lingerie should make you feel good. It is surprising how a pretty set of bra and panties can really put a spring in your step. Even if you’re the only one who sees it, it’s still worth the investment.

Price Point
The first question you have to ask yourself is how much do you want to spend? With lingerie the sky really is the limit. You can spend some serious cash on this stuff. So pick how much you can live with spending.

Care
Keep in mind the maintenance of the items. Silk and lace really should be hand washed only. If you put them in the dryer the lace deteriorating. If you only want to wash your delicates in the washer, get something durable that will hold up. You should never use the dryer. It ruins everything.

Function
Especially true for your everyday sets, find things that do what you need them to. Do you want to push up? Minimize? If you wear a lot of deep v-neck tops, a bralette might be the best way to go if your aren’t especially large chested. It also makes shopping easier because you can sort by the features you are looking for, otherwise it’s rather overwhelming!

Occassion
Where do you want to wear this? Is it saved for date nights and special occasions only? You can get something a little bit more dramatic. If you are looking for quality pieces for every day, you will want to find something that works under your clothing and makes you look good.