V is for Vintage

Vintage clothes are like fine wine, they improve with age. These garments were beautiful then and remain so now. Even when there’s no “retro-inspired” version being shown on the runways, vintage still looks fresh, beautiful, even luxurious. Current fashion often samples looks from the past. (When I worked at Loft in 2000, we sampled embellishments from the middle ages and styles from the 1950’s and 60’s.) So vintage clothing remains stylish and fashionable for many, many years and will continue to do so. And vintage is quality. Many vintage fabrics are no longer manufactured. To reduce the cost of materials and production, many design and construction techniques are no longer … Read more…

R is for Rules: The 5 Pieces Rule

Fashion ought to be fun and ought not have too many rules. At the same time, considering that we only wear 10 to 20% of our wardrobes, we do waste a lot of money buying clothes. A few rules can make shopping less stressful and dressing more fun. Most women like new clothes. Even if we buy from thrift and consignment shops or trade with friends, clothing that is new to us makes us happy. And most of us either: Avoid shopping until we have an event or realize our clothing is falling apart. OR Shop and buy all the time, have a closet stuffed with clothes, but still feel … Read more…

P is for Personal Uniform

It’s the morning after a late night and… A text announces an early morning meeting and… Yet another day will be spent in court (or some similar setting) and… Suddenly, it’s time to bring your fashion A game. A personal uniform is always useful. But for those occasions when time or energy are lacking, a personal uniform is a necessity. These are not personal uniforms: They’re prescribed. A personal uniform consists of a few (about 12) pieces chosen from an existing wardrobe that 1) look good, 2) work together, and 3) are ready to pop on with a minimum of fuss. My Spring/Summer personal uniform contains twelve pieces. I like … Read more…

H is for How Big Should My Wardrobe Be?

“I have nothing to wear!” Many of us feel that way and many of us decide to go shopping. So we have overstuffed closets and bureaus. But most of us only wear 10 to 20% of the clothes we own. Our closets may be neat or cluttered but most of us own more clothing than we actually wear. Even so, “I have nothing to wear” is a common complaint. Our unworn clothing often doesn’t fit. It’s either too small, too big, or just off. Or we wear something once and decide, it’s not as great as it was in the shop. It’s too fancy, too casual, too nous ne savons … Read more…

A is for Avant Garde for Evening

Just a soupçon of avant garde can elevate an evening wear wardrobe. I know very few women who would wear this Vivienne Westwood gown: But it could easily be the inspiration for a perfect, year-round evening skirt that could be worn with a variety of tops: Make it tea length to go from afternoon wedding to grand evening with a change of tops, shoes, and accessories. As a dress, this Alexander Mulqueen haute couture design may seem a bit over the top: But take a closer look at the top: A top spangled with gold would go to work under a suit jacket and then elevate a simple skirt or … Read more…

I Can’t Afford That! Finding Affordable Quality

Babajaan’s off-white Panama oversized straw hat with horsehair band costs a whopping $415! That’s super pricey for most women. Many women I know would look at the price tag and walk away. But this hat is worth a really, really close look. Look at the materials. Look at the shape. Look at the quality. Look at the design. Really study it. Then study it again. While studying it, imagine that hat on your head. Imagine the outfits you would wear it with. Totally ignore the price. Just ask yourself, Would be Babajaan’s hat work for me? And then… Next time you see a similar hat at a friend’s house, ask … Read more…