Thursday, May 31, 2012

What to Wear When You're Hosting a Party

For summer entertaining, I love the idea of a bright, printed dress to set the tone for your party.  I realize this is a lot of pattern seeing all of these dresses together, but individually they would look fantastic paired with a simple metallic thong sandal, fun earrings and possibly even a bangle or two.  As the hostess you are at the center of everything, and by donning a playful print you tell your guests that it is party time!  Additionally, a dress is perfect for the busy hostess because you can throw it on before the party and still look perfectly polished in minutes.  Keep it flowy and comfortable, so you can mix, mingle and make your way all around the party with ease.  

I would also recommend a more conservative style like the dresses shown, so you don't have to worry about anything popping out, peeking out, or unintentionally showing when you're reaching for bowls, dip, bags of charcoal etc.  Finally, don't wear a white or light colored dress to your summer party- I have six words: red wine, ranch dressing, greasy chips... none of which you want ending up on your dress.  Spills and stains are almost guaranteed, so stick with a pattern that will keep them a secret to everyone but you.

Almost all of these dresses are on sale at Macy's right now, so it's a perfect time to pick one up if you have an upcoming summer party you're planning for! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Completing the Look

A lot of women struggle with the problem of having a closet full of clothes and "nothing to wear."  It is a phenomenon that both irritates women and confounds the men in their lives.  How can you have so many clothes and nothing that works for your day?  Either because a) your clothes are not appropriate for your lifestyle or b) you didn't "complete the look."  

Here's how this happens: many women shop without planning.  They buy whatever item they find in stores that looks cute or catches their eye.  Then they bring it home, put it in their closet, and realize they can't wear it because they don't have a matching skirt, shoes, purse, jewelry etc. to go with that item.  It then sits in the closet adding to your collection of clothes that you don't wear!  So sad.

The answer to this problem is to make sure to compete the look every time you buy something new.  Forget that old rule that "everything you buy should go with at least 3 things in your closet."  It won't do you any good if your new top goes with your jeans, a skirt, and your black pants if you don't have a pair of shoes or bag that coordinates with any of those outfits (you have three almost outfits, but still "nothing to wear.") *Don't forget that you also need the appropriate undergarments to complete the look (for ideas see this post.) 

I have almost the exact same dress above (similar print, same style and designer) in my closet.  Here's how I'd complete the look for a dressy-casual day out.  Do this with just one piece in your own closet to start and I promise you'll be so happy the next time you wonder "what should I wear..." and there will be your complete, perfect, ready to go outfit!  

Casual daytime look:

Dress it up for evening:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Reader question:

My wedding is coming up in just a few weeks and I want to make sure I don't get any tan lines when I lay out.  Can you show some options for bandeau top bikinis?

You are smart to stick with bandeau-style bikinis before your wedding.  It can be VERY difficult to erase stubborn tan lines once they are there and you don't need one more thing to worry about on your big day! There are so many great options available this season.  The bandeau style is always popular, but is coming back bigger than ever thanks to the resurgence of retro swimsuits.  Victoria's Secret has many to chose from, and you can find good, inexpensive, basic suits at stores like Old Navy and Target as well.  Happy shopping - and sunning! (But remember: "Put your sunblock on because it's rays today, raisins tomorrow"!! -Fran Drescher, The Beautician and the Beast")

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poolside Perfection

If you're headed poolside this weekend, be sure to do it in style!  Remember, just because you're at the beach or pool, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice glamour.  Go beyond the basic towel and sarong and create a cute poolside look that will be perfect for when you're in the pool and when you're outside it!  Poolside parties rarely involve just swimming, so be prepared to look your best before and after swimming.  It's also nice to have actual clothes on so if you want to go somewhere after the pool party you don't necessarily have to go home and change.  Here's how I'd complete the look for the coverup featured in this post.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Date Night!

Casual Dinner at Lauriol Plaza

Reader question:

I signed up for a dating site and now I have a lot of first dates planned.  I need ideas for cute but not too dressy date looks.  Can you help?

When dressing for a date, especially a first date, you want to look for something that is comfortable, chic, and uniquely you!  Don't try be someone you're not on a first date- be yourself, but obviously a glam version;)   For summer, you can never go wrong with a breezy dress in a beautiful color that complements your complexion.  Keep the details simple (like a pretty sash at the waist pictured below), so your outfit doesn't distract your date from getting to know you.  The focus should be on you and your gorgeous face - and figure!  If you don't feel like wearing a dress, a cute pair of shorts and a fun top can be another great option.  

Remember to keep the overall look flirty but classy - leave a little something to the imagination!!  Also,  don't overdo it with the fashion forward trends- guys especially won't get this and they'll likely be confused or put off by your neon nails, towering platform stilettos, arm party or rainbow eyeshadow.  Here are some looks that are guaranteed to get rave reviews:

Drinks at the Georgetown Waterfront

Rooftop Dinner and Dancing on U Street

Coffee and Gelato at Boccato in Clarendon

Nats Game

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

High Heels for Beginners

Reader question:

I have a question for you: do you have any recommendations for women who don't typically wear heels, but want to start? Kind of like training heels? Casual with jeans or closed toes for work?

Ladies: For those of you that are afraid of high heels, let me tell you - WEDGES are your best friend.  Not only are they super fashionable this season, but they also provide the perfect support and height you'd want in "training heels" (love that expression by the way!!)  Try a lower wedge to start (1 - 2"), and then work your way up from there to something like this.  Sooner than you know it, you'll be saying "4" - oh no big deal!!" Then I'd graduate to a chunky stiletto heel.

Start with:

And work your way up to:
At work, wedges can be tricky, so I'd recommend the always chic kitten heel for starters.

Start with:

And work your way up to:

The key to mastering high heels is to practice around the house.  There's nothing more to it than that.  Also, keep an eye on the height of the arch.  Basically the higher the heel, the larger the platform on the sole you need to keep the shoe comfortable.  A 4" heel with a non-existent sole leads to pain and burning in the arch and ball of your foot- the kind of pain that has many women kicking off their shoes on the dance floor and swearing to "never wear heels again."  Do yourself a favor and keep the platform high if the heels are high- this way there is less pressure on the foot, and you're much more likely to be a happy camper in your heels!

This will be more uncomfortable:

This will be more comfortable:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Funday For the Creative Office

Looking for a glam way to start your week?  Crisp black and white in a chic belted silhouette is effortlessly cool and classic.  I love a pop of hot pink in the shoe to complete this look, but you could also opt for a black pump for a more conservative office.  A fresh color block clutch is a great way to brighten everything up and play into the color blocking trend.  Go forth and be fabulous- and Happy Monday!