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Word to the Wise

Happy New Year! Whats Your Word for 2017?

Central Park by Janet Ruttenberg. HOPE in a painting

 

2016 has come and gone and I’m back with the annual excercise of picking “One word that will change your life.” The idea comes from a book with the same title about how big New Year’s goals and resolutions are rarely kept. It suggests that instead we pick one word that becomes our philosophy of life for the year; that serves as our guide for the year. I love this as it bundles all our New Year’s resolutions into one word. We can apply that word to many aspects of our lives, depending on our mood.

My word for 2016 was Dream.  It was fitting for where I was in my life and career. My Dream, of traveling to Colombia to purchase items to sell on this blog, is slowly but surely coming together. Stay tuned for more on that project.

My word for 2017 is ‘HOPE” because in hoping we remain positive about our lives. We hope for happiness, success, good health, peace, prosperity; and the list goes on.

I think most people would agree that 2016 been a particularly stressful year. Between a tumultuous and less than civilized presidential election here in the US; increased acts of terrorism that have killed innocent people around the world; the unexpected deaths of well loved celebrities, it felt like the bad news kept on coming. What happens next is very uncertain and at times worrisome, so for me “HOPE” seems like a fitting word for 2017.

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

Barbara Kingsolver

 

I am HOPING for the best!

What’s your “WORD” for 2017?”

Three fashionable work looks for three work scenarios

No matter where you work, whether it’s in a creative field or a buttoned-up and conservative setting, you will have work events that require different levels of formality. Some are easy to figure out and others a bit more daunting. Whether you are having a work-at-your-desk-day, or are taking a client to dinner, you want fashionable work looks that are appropriate for the particular occasion.

With that in mind, here are three work events and three fashionable options that will help you sail through your day looking professional and sytlish.  And remember that whatever you wear also needs to feel comfortable so you can concentrate on the task at hand and not worry that it’s tugging and pulling in the wrong places. We’ve all had days when we’ve worn an outfit or shoes that are just not comfortable, and that can make for a very long day at the office! So, word to the wise, avoid overly form-fitting clothing or sky-high heels.

 

A Sit at your Desk and Work kind of Day

fashionable work looks banana-republic-flutter-sleeve-top-68

Banana Republic Flutter Sleeve top, $68

fashionable work looks, betabrand boot_cut___black_dress_pant_yoga_pants_30

Betabrand Yoga Pant, $78, In an array of colors: Super polished and comfortable

Fashionable work looks kate-spade-tone-tone-drop-earrings-68

Kate Spade two tone drop earrings, $68

Fashionable work looks - M kors-gloria-pumps-145

Michael by Michael Kors Pump, $145

Fashionable work looks massimo-dutti-babouches shoes-120

Massimo Dutti, Blue Suede Babouches, $120

 

The Client Meeting

     Fashionable work looks Canvas by-lands-end-bow-tie-dress-119

Canvas by Land’s End Bow Tie Dress, $119

Fashionable work looks -SJP pointed-toe-mary-jane-365

Sarah Jessica Parker mary jane, $365

Or

Fashionable work looks - j crew-combo-tweed-dress

J Crew Combo Tweed Dress, $168

 

Fashionable work looks -Vince paulette-dorsay-pumps

Vince Paulette d’Orsay pumps, $350

The Client Dinner

 

Fashionable work looks -halo-at Bloomingdales

Black Halo dress, $375 

Fashionable work looks merrichase-roxy-earrings-250

Merrichase Roxy Earrings, $250

 

Fashionable work looks SJP-velvet-shoe-350

Sarah Jessica Parker teal velvet shoe, $350

Fashionable work looks J-crew-dorsay-pumps-268

J Crew Elsie D’Orsay pump, 268

 

Or

Fashionable work looks alice_and_olivia_brandeemidlengthdress_fall_leopard_888819354220_product_01-1111388044

Alice & Olivia Brandee Dress, $395

Fashionable work looks via-spiga-carola-show-195

Via Spiga Carola pumps, $195

Fashionable work looks S-j-parker-t-strap-shoe-355

Sarah Jessica Parker T-Strap, $355

Stylish options to help you look you best in any scenario.

Back to the Ironing Board

Ironing image

As I begin to finally put away my winter clothing, to be replaced by the light cottons and linens of summer, ironing suddenly comes to mind.  Why? Because as I start revisiting the coming season’s clothing I know that the only way they will look fresh and stylish is if they go under a good old iron.

So what better time to share some helpful ironing tips to make the process go smoothly.  I know ironing does not make anyone’s top 10 list of fun activities.  But look at it this way, at least it’s one chore where you actually see the fruits of your labor; and it will make all the difference between looking fabulous and looking sloppy.

I  suggest you buy:

  • A small ironing Board (a large one if you have room to spare)
  • An iron: Here are some Consumer Report recommendations: The Best Steam Irons
  • A cloth to use when ironing wool as it becomes shiny when directly exposed to the hot iron
  • I also recommend you check out this website for excellent ironing tips and lessons, Once you learn a few tricks, you may actually enjoy it! Creative Homewares: How to Iron Clothes

And remember, the most beautiful, fashionable and expensive outfit will not flatter you if it’s wrinkled. And the bargain basement purchase will look much better if it’s ironed. A win-win situation!

A Word to the Wise from Coco Chanel:

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the home without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that is the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be pretty as possible for destiny.”

Happy New Year! What’s your ‘WORD’ for 2016?

Road less travelled

“Above all, never stop dreaming. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” (Paulo Coelho)

A couple of years ago I saw a segment on the Today show called “One word that will change your life,” based on a book with the same title about how big New Year’s goals and resolutions are rarely kept. It suggested that, instead, we pick one word that becomes our philosophy of life for the year: that serves as our guide for the year.

I love this idea as it bundles all your New Year’s resolutions into one tight word. You can apply that word to many aspects of your life, depending on your mood.

My word for 2016 is ‘DREAM” because in our dreams lie are greatest aspirations and goals. Though we often push our dreams aside: because the timing seems wrong, the challenge too daunting, the fear of failure too strong, I have decided that for 2016 I will work to make my dreams a reality. Wish me luck!

“The Road Less Travelled” by Robert Frost seems fitting for my 2016 Dreams.

 

The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverge in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both,

And be one traveler, long I stood,

And look down one as long I could,

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for the passing there,

Had worn them nearly about the same,

And both that morning equally lay,

In leaves no step had trodden black,

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads onto way,

I doubted I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh,

Somewhere ages and ages hence,

Two roads diverge in a wood and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost 1874 -1963

Nature’s Contradiction

Some amusing food for thought while I was walking in Central Park on this snowy Sunday.

In winter, trees shed their leaves and expose everything, while humans cover up and expose nothing.

In summer, trees cover up with leaves and expose nothing, while humans shed their clothing and expose everything!

 

 

P1010399

 WINTER: Nature fully naked

photographed-by-serge-balkin-vogue-august-1946c2a0

WINTER: Human fully dressed

 

garden-pictures-of-gardens-japanese-garden-garden-collections-of-natural-beauty-of-garden-houses-945x709

 SUMMER: Nature fully dressed

Daria summmerSUMMER: Human Fully naked

Walgreens buys BOOTS and C Wonder to close its doors

hello and goodbye

 

Just a short post on one piece of great news and another piece of sad news.

The great news: BOOTS, the British purveyor of fabulous, effective and affordable beauty products will be coming to the US soon via Walgreens, which has recently purchased the brand.  This is, indeed, very exciting.

The bad news: C Wonder will be closing its stores and planes to become a wholesale brand. The company, founded in 2011 by Chris Burch, ex-husband of Tory Burch, became the purveyor of affordable and fun preppy clothing and gifts. The venture did lead to lots of tension between the ex-spouses because it was very similar in style to Tory’s line, but much more affordable.  Regardless of the drama behind the brand, I will miss it greatly. Every time I walked into the stores they were bustling and people were actually buying, instead of just browsing. This just shows how fickle and tough the retail business is. Personally, I am sad because over the years I purchased several items – clothing, accessories, and home decor which were very well priced and still holding up very nicely. But who knows, maybe C Wonder will show up at Bloomingdale’s next year!

 

The prevalence of bulky clothing

As I peruse both sale and non sale clothing at my favorite stores, I am amazed at the amount of pieces that look uncomfortable and unwearable because of the fabrics used. This is especially the case with higher-end brands that can afford to use thicker fabrics, like heavy wools and cashmeres, or acrylics and polyesters.

I have no issue with people wearing heavy clothing. After all, the beauty of fashion is that we are free to wear whatever we want, no matter how strange, crazy or impractial it may be. The issue for me is comfort and overheating.  What happens when you arrive at your indoor destination wearing a massively thick cashmere sweater, or a dress made of heavy industrial polyester that you know does not breath? The prospect of overheating as you get on with your day, whether you are at work or socializing, is not pleasant. And then to make matters worse who wants clothing that will add unnecessary bulk (as Fran Dresher once said)?

Here are just a few of the many examples of bulky looks that make even the model look heavy and overheated.

 

heavy 7

Heavy 6

Heavy 5

 

Heavy 2

Heavy 9

Heavy 3

 

Heavy 1

 

 

Before you buy something thick and bulky, think about how it will make you’ll feel indoors!

What ‘s Your Motto for 2015?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Dear Readers!

2015 has arrived and like all new years it rekindles our desire to make changes in our lives.

Last year on New Year’s day, I wrote a post called “One word that will change your life,” based on a book with the same title that talks about how big New Year’s goals and resolutions are rarely kept.  It suggested that instead that we pick one word that becomes our philosophy of life for the year; that serves as our guide for the year.

I decided to try this exercise. I am here to report that I found it much less daunting and more doable and rewarding than having one specific goal like losing weight or finding a new job. Instead, the word you pick can apply to many aspects of your life. So you can use it for different things each day, depending on your mood.

My word for 2014 was COURAGE because I was embarking on a lot of change and needed to be strong and courageous.  The word was front and center in my daily actions, at work and at home; whether I was doing something new, or just challenging.  It became my motto for the year.

My word for 2015 is PERSEVERANCE: to stay the course and continue to jump over the obstacles that will surely come my way. Wish me luck!

 

keep-calm-and-persevere-2

 

What’s your word for 2015?

Style Wise Trend Foolish Newsletter Update

Inslee Haynes work

 

Illustration by Inslee Haynes

Dear Readers,

If occasionally you don’t receive the weekly newsletter on Fridays as you expect, there are two possible reasons:

1. I am busy with my real job and sadly had no time that week to be creative.

2. The newsletter application did not launch.  This 2nd issue is my biggest nightmare because it means dealing with technology, which is not my area of expertise.

I hope today’s newsletter goes out smoothly so you can read this message.  And in the future, if you don’t see the weekly newsletter, feel free to go directly into the website to check.

Simply type: WWW.StyleWiseTrendFoolish.com

Regards,
Cristina

Zara: Loved by Fashion Cognoscenti

Last Thursday as I was perusing the Style Section of the NY Times I came across an article that made me happy because, in my eyes, it’s a long time coming!

In Zara, Where Insiders Look for an Edge I learned that fashion insiders – magazine editors, stylists, bloggers – are increasingly taping into Zara for timely, decently priced approximations of the runways’s greatest hits. For the fashion cognoscenti to finally view Zara as a go-to brand is a bit of a shocker.  Afterall, those that live and breathe fashion are, understandibly, extremely label conscious and they view knock offs as an insult to a designer’s hard work.  Well, it sounds like fashion insiders are finally accepting that Zara does a great job of copying runway looks at wallet friendly prices. Because the bottom line is that 99% of the population cannot afford high fashion.

Let me be clear that I am the first to love designer clothing. I often walk around Barney’s and Bergdorf’s checking out my favorite brands like Prada, Chloe, Mark Jacobs, YSL, to name a few.  All those gorgeous pieces made of the the finest fabrics, beautifully cut and tailored.  But the prohibitive prices are enough to induce a major depression.  So the only choice is to walk away and wait until the item goes on sale.  But as we know, the markdowns are too often insignificant – 40% off for a $2000 dress still makes for an expensive dress.  So we wait a bit longer. And then, if the dress is marked down further, your size is gone!

I realize it makes some people angry that Zara knocks off designer looks, but I think we need to get over that.  If you look at many of the major brands, they are not exactly producing ‘Original’ pieces. They use the word ‘Inspired” to describe another designer’s influence on then.  Case in point, I just saw these Tory Burch shoes.  Pretty, yes. But do they remind you of another brand?? To me they look exactly like a Chanel flat. Inspired or Knockoffs?

Tory Burch Chanel flat

Tory Burch, ‘inspired’ by Chanel!

Zara Stripped dress $79.90

ZARA – $79.90

 

Zara white shift dress, $79.90

ZARA – $79.90

zara check dress

ZARA – $79.90

Zara Palm print dress

ZARA- $79.90

Zara black sandals with gold piping, $59.90

ZARA

Zara Sandals with tassles, $59.50

ZARA – $35.99

Zara Camel shoes 35.90

ZARA –  $35.99

Zara White Leather Shopper, $159

ZARA- $159

Zara blue shopper $49.90

ZARA – $49.90

Zara colorful shopping bag, $79

ZARA -$Zara yellow shopper, $79.70

ZARA -$79.90

Obviously, when we seek affordability we often give up quality.  When I check out the merchandize at ZARA, for the most part I am impressed by the fabrics used and the quality of work – for the price.   Yes, I do also come across a fair amount of cheap fabrics that don’t make the cut.  But if you Shop Smart you can find quality pieces that won’t become disposable fashion.  ZARA gives a large % of the population the opportunity to look fashionable.  I appreciate that!

Food for thought: Can any designer claim to be ORIGINAL?