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CategoryAll posts under‘Seasonal Style: Summer‘

“I Hate Everything I Own!” NO YOU DON’T.

I hate shopping because I inevitably buy the “wrong” pieces and spend WAY  too much money on things I don’t love.

I try to style fabulous outfits, but I always end up not quite liking what I put together. It’s my fun way of pissing myself off.

I cannot figure out how the hell to dress my body! I’m damned if I have big boobs and damned if I don’t. Should I mention my derriere? 

EVERYONE FEELS LIKE THIS, YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. OK, so you are special, but not in reference to feeling overwhelmed, aggravated and deflated when it comes to shopping and styling clothing for yourself. I want to help you. I want you to know you don’t suck and teach you how to overcome these feelings and how to actually be confident in your choices.

Shoot me an email back if this sounds like you. I want to know your pains, your issues the things that make you say, “I hate everything I own”. You probably don’t, you’re just having a moment and you are allowed to do that. But let’s get you back to reality and figure out why you think you “hate everything you own” and fix it.

EMAIL ME HERE!!!

The first step in conquering these feelings (aside from emailing me) is to make sure you have the right foundation items. It is a common phrase of mine to say, “you can’t build a house without a foundation, how could you possibly build a wardrobe without one?”. Once you own the right foundation items, you can essentially build any outfit with any other item in your wardrobe. These items are the glue that hold every outfit together. So, right here and now, let’s chat about what the top 10 foundation items are every gal should own. You get a glimpse into 5 pieces with this post and  5 more coming up in my next post…. I love to keep people wanting more!

 

 

nude patent leather pumps

Oh the nude patent leather pump, she is a beauty. She goes with EVERYTHING and makes your legs look a mile long. Yes, please. The key to a great nude pump is to make sure that the nude color matches your skin. Nude does not necessarily mean the color above. Pick a heel height that is actually realistic in your life, you don’t want to be hobbling around, that ain’t sexy. I prefer pointed toe because it screams vampy, sexy bitch. If you are a more sweet and feminine lady, go with round toe. You always want to tailor each foundation item to represent you and your style!

Patent Leather Pumps 

 

 

 Burgundy long cardigan

The long cardigan might be a surprise visitor on the foundation item list for many, but I swear, she is insanely useful. That’s what foundation items are all about! The ability to re-style it a billion ways without having anybody bat an eye that you are wearing the same freakin’ thing again. No one should even notice you are wearing it again if you do it right. Again, your choice of long cardigans is strictly up to you, your lifestyle and body type. I prefer oversized and fabulous, but most of my clients veer toward a sleek style that is neutral in color. Neutral does not necessarily have to be black or white, this cranberry color definitely falls under the neutral umbrella. The long cardi is great for casual weekend days with jeans or buttoned up with a sheath dress for work. She can go everywhere!

 Long Cardigan

 

 black cardigan

So yes, I love cardigans so much that there are 2 on this post. Well that isn’t exactly true, but they do serve very different purposes when styling and it is why I suggest that most clients have both options. I consider both cardigans, the long and waist length one category item. The longer option appears to be is a little more edgy and laid back while the shorter version seems a little more severe and buttoned-up. The truth is that a huge purpose of the shorter, waist-length cardigan is to define your waist, it works wonders! Most would consider the shorter cardigan part of their “work wardrobe”. Don’t. Wear it on the weekend with funky jewelry and dressy sneakers. Throw it on with a T and ripped jeans. Stop pigeon-holing your wardrobe!!! If you just stopped assigning your clothing a destination and specific audience you would have twice the amount of clothing. Head blown.

Cardigan 

 

 

nydj 

Dark slim straight ankle jeans are your new best friend. No seriously, this is literally the only pair of jeans you actually need to own. But I HATE skinny jeans, I look fat!!! No you don’t, you actually look way skinnier than those out-dated boot cut jeans that only out-dated people think look good. Throw them out, they are never coming back in style. You want to find a dark blue pair that is super fitted until just below your knee and hemmed at the ankle bone. This means you can wear them with flats or heels because the length does not affect your shoe choice. It also means that you can tuck them into high boots without having a baggy knee. That is not a look people. They are universally flattering and have the most styling potential like a foundation piece should!!!!!

 Denim

 

 Black ankle pants

Black ankle pants should have the same general fit as your new, awesome jeans. The only difference is they should be silhouette conscious (meaning I can tell you have a body under there) and not skin tight in the thighs. They should still be higher waisted and ankle length. Just as I have been promoting throughout this post, make them your own! My black ankle pants have a stretch waist, slight pleating and a tuxedo stripe down the leg. I don’t work in an office people, why would I dress like it? If you do, choose a more conservative style. Make your foundation pieces your own, it’s YOUR wardrobe.

Black Pant 

 

 

 

 

camisole

And to round out this post let’s focus on one of the most important things ALL of my clients own, neutral layering tank tops. Basically no one is ever really going to see these, but they can change the life of an outfit. I have one on almost every day. You really only need a black and white one, they are not meant to be a focal part of your look so you don’t want to draw attention to them by choosing bold colors. I prefer lycra ones because they act like a smoothing agent (not quite Spanx, but in that realm). They help if your shirt is too low, if your button from your pants is showing through your blouse, if your top is just a bit itchy, if your sweater is too hot to pair with a long sleeve shirt, and so on and so on and so on…. You get the idea.

Layering Top

Time to start your shopping engines ladies! You have the first 5 items on your list, 5 more to come. And remember, you are not along in your frustration, we all go through it. All you can do is breathe, remember you are awesome and EMAIL ME WITH QUESTIONS!!!!

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“I have gifted Amy’s styling services to my wife twice now. Both times, Amy has made me look like a hero.  She gets my wife out of her comfort zone, but also has great focus on frugality and practicality mixed with a bit of fun. Amy takes the approach that before you go out and simply spend money and add stuff to the wardrobe, you start first with what’s already in the closet. All those clothes with tags on them get repurposed. I can’t say enough about how the experience has been. Most importantly,. she gives my wife confidence in her choices, and as a bonus, I earn serious brownie points for giving such a unique gift.  I get “husband of the year” in the neighborhood with the moms. Amy is my secret weapon!”

-Mike (hero husband of the year)

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YOU CAN BE THE HERO BY SAVING THE FASHION DAY.

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HERE ARE SOME PHRASES YOU SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO:

I HAVE SOOO MUCH TO WEAR.

I HAVE SO MANY OUTFIT CHOICES STYLING JUST MY OWN CLOTHES.

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Be the hero.

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How to Style an Italian Getaway

Oh mi amor. Italy is one of my absolute favorite places on earth, so this summer when I traveled to Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, I had to do right by this very stylish European country. I planned on daily Instagrams so the stakes were high. Not to mention over-packing in so NOT my thing, so the challenge was on. LOTS of fab looks, one medium sized suitcase and sweaty weather. I love a good challenge. 

The key to great packing is to create outfits before-hand. You pull out the pieces you know you want to wear and create looks around them. The defining factors to packing include weather, activities and the amount of days you are traveling. You do not want to over-pack or bring “just in case items”. You will most likely not wear them and you will have a massive suitcase filled with things you won’t wear.  The worst mistake is too many shoes. They take up tons of space and make your suitcase super heavy. Choose a few neutral pairs that can be worn multiple ways before you even start making outfits and only style those options. STOP THE MADNESS.

 

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I have only been to Europe in the spring so I was totally unaware of how hot it would be in June. Thank God I brought enough to wear each piece once (this is definitely breaking my typical re-style rule), otherwise I would have been naked. I still kept my suitcase items to a minimum because summer makes for less clothing. It helped that I was with my friend who is the same size as me because we could borrow each other’s stuff. Note to self: Travel with friends who have the same style as you and wear the same size clothing. The Dolce & Gabanna inspired look is actually my friend’s Banana Republic dress with an Anthropologie head scarf and earrings. This is the first night of our trip and I was already stalking her suitcase…..

 

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This is my most liked Instagram post ever. I know I look cute and all, but I think the backdrop may have helped:) High atop the hills in Montepulciano,  I was busy sweating through my cute look while drinking a lot of vino. This two-tiered white skirt has been in my summer wardrobe for at least 10 years and was not only free, but also used to have a third tier. I took a scissor to this baby years ago and no one has ever noticed, I love some home-spun tailoring. The hat was a $10 sample sale find and really took this look to another fun level while also protecting my face from the sunny elements. The less I age the better.

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On our day trip to Capri I had no idea what to expect. Swimming? Maybe. Shopping? Definitely.  Eating and drinking? Is that really a question? So my look had to conquer a lot of possible activities while still being fabulous (this is Capri after all). Turns out I did all three activities and my bathing suit disguised as a body suit was the perfect option. It also turns out that Capri is a tourist trap and looking fabulous was not necessary at all, but I’m Amy Salinger so looking fabulous is ALWAYS necessary.

 

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I’m pretty sure this dress is actually a cover up, at least the material would suggest that. Turns out I really don’t care, I wear cover-ups as dresses all the time. They are light-weight and cute so they work on days that I’m dying of heat (which is what was happening is this picture). It also usually means that they are less expensive then regular dresses so it is a win-win situation. I added in a bold gold earring and gladiator style cuff to really make this Italian look more Italian. I love a good theme.

 

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This jumper is basically a moo moo and I love it. We were having a 5 course meal at the villa in Tuscany we were staying at so having ample room to “grow” was definitely on the menu. This was the most random purchase from one of the biggest vintage stores I have ever seen. Everything was SO over-priced I was in shock. I found this piece (which was literally the only thing I could afford) and felt obliged to try it on. It was so ridiculous and NOT my typical style that I had to have it. It has turned into one of my favorite, cool pieces. Once I added in the oversized rope necklace from Anthropologie, I fell in love. It turned my moo moo into an actual outfit. It truly shows how the right accessory can change everything and how growing your collection is never a bad thing.

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This outfit made me feel like Sophia Loren and all things Italian. Not only did it encompass a huge trend of the moment (off-the-shoulder tops), but it was my, “I’m in the Amalfi Coast!!!!!” ensemble. Everybody needs one. If you follow my Instagram, you also know it was my, “I’m in the Hamptons!!!!!” top at one point too. Ah, the joys of re-styling.

 

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Another great sample sale purchase, this white eyelet jumper was perfect for our one night in Florence. That’s right folks, those are shorts with pockets, not a mini skirt. The nude wedges by Stuart Weitzman only assisted in elongating my legs, a goal every little lady always has. The key to their greatness is that they have a wide wedge that isn’t too high so you can actually walk in them. I hate high heels, so having something that is semi-functional for an entire evening is amazing. I will admit that our walking tour-de-force on the cobblestone streets of Florence put these shoes to the test….. Yes, my feet hurt by the end, boo.

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Something you learn very quickly in Italy is that shoes are one of their biggest sellers. They literally hand-make shoes on the street personally for you in real time. Crazy. Some years ago I was in the Hamptons and a woman walked by in these exact snake wrap around sandals, I fell in love. She let me know very gently that she had gotten them in Amalfi and you couldn’t get them anywhere else.  So what did I think? “Well then I have to go to Amalfi….”, and I did. I kept my eyes open the entire trip looking for these amazing shoes. And, lo and behold, they entered my stratosphere 10 minutes before I was suppose to board my boat to go back to the hotel. I barely tried one on before I threw my credit card at the guy and ran towards the boat. Like every great divine intervention, I know God wanted me to have them. Yes, I am serious.

 

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The fun thing about spying on someone else’s style (mine in this case), is that you can pick and choose what you like and apply it to your own look. I get styling ideas constantly from people around me, magazines, TV shoes, basically from everywhere. The key to this concept is understanding that you typically can’t or won’t copy an entire outfit from head to toe. Choose what works for your body type, lifestyle and budget. Above are some look-a-like examples from my Italian fashion show for you to pick from….

necklace, maxi dress,  skirt, jumpsuit, bracelet

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Yup, here are more fun options for you to emulate. The key to style is making it your own. Ask yourself, “What am I comfortable in, what makes me feel confident?”. There are two phrases that I hear constantly, “I could never pull that off” and “I would never put those things together, but somehow you made it work!”. First off, you shouldn’t be able to pull everything off! Every style is not for you, that’s what makes us individual, embrace it. Do what works for you and choose what makes you feel like a rock star. Secondly, play around! Most people do not come up with their most fashionable ideas immediately. It is a game, trying things is the only way you will ever know it it works. Now, off the the fashion races!!!

 off the shoulder top, hat, bathing suit, sandals, romper

 

 

Amy Hits The Red Carpet

I LOVE dressing up. My life consists of casual this and casual that, so being handed a reason to create a red carpet look is fine by me. Add in the ability to use a microphone and talk to people all night and I’m good to go. This is truly what heaven looks like in my twisted mind.

 

Not only did I have a fabulous LBD waiting to be worn in my closet, but I got to borrow diamonds, lots and lots of diamonds. Um, yes please. I found this perfect Nicole Miller dress at Lord & Taylor (the best place for cocktail dress shopping) and I had to have it. I had no particular reason to own it at that time, but there is always a need to possess the perfect little black dress. It is the, “Oh shit, I have something to go to and I have nothing to wear!” dress, but now you do. She waited patiently for about 6 months to be worn, she wanted to make a big splash for her initial outing. She got her wish.

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Did I mention that whole borrowing diamonds thing??? Oh yea, I definitely did. What girl doesn’t dream of going to a custom jewelry designer’s home and riffling through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of accessories? The answer is NO GIRL. Those types of moments are what drive me and allow me to continue to live in what feels like a fantasy world sometimes. I landed on these mase style earrings and not one, but two pave diamond swirl rings. I decided to wear them both on one finger to really punch it up. It made holding the microphone look SO much more fashionable. Thank you Rebecca Koven for making my jewelry dreams come true!!!

 

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Accessories expert Michael O’Connor (@stylingspy) and I tag teamed the red carpet at the Women’s Jewelry Association Awards. I always love working with someone who is quick on their feet, witty and funny. Then we can be awesome together:) The key to any good red carpet interviewer’s look is to be fashionable without overshadowing the interviewee. I’m going to toot our horns and say that Michael and I hit the nail on the head in that department.  Simple and chic.

 

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This was seriously the most comfortable dress I have ever worn. It is a thicker stretch material with ruching making it oh so comfy and sexy at the same time! The only problem was a slight wardrobe malfunction at the beginning of the night that involved a hole in the seam of my dress at the top of my bum. I don’t think butt crack is a look these days unfortunately. Luckily one of the nominees had a safety pin so I was back in full form in no time. Note to self: Remember your stylist kit  of tricks next time so this doesn’t happen again!!!

 

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There is nothing like a good ridiculous selfie. My beautiful and stylish friend Monica of Elias World Media put this whole shindig of a red carpet together. I joke that she is who I want to be when I grow up even though we are the same age:) She is possibly one of the only people that could top my energy making our times together hilarious. The fact that we work together only makes it that much better.

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Unfortunately literally everything I had on for the red carpet is not available to you anymore!!! With that said, above is the best look-a-like outfit you could get. Since my jewels are one of a kind diamond pieces, they were really an option, but these costume pieces definitely capture the essence of the look. Throw on a LBD and a pair of thin, strappy black heels and you are good to go. This simple, yet sexy ensemble is pretty much the perfect look for almost anyone going to almost any cocktail event. Consider it your sexy uniform…..

cocktail ring, earrings, snakeskin clutch, sandals, black dress

A Twist On Wedding Attire

Why does everyone think that you are suppose to wear a basic cocktail dress to a wedding? There are SO many ways to not be creative in your style choices….. I’m going to teach you that anything from a pant suit to re-styling a bridesmaid dress to wearing the dress from your brother’s bar-mitzvah (from 1994) are all options. Inexpensive and fabulous options.

I’m SO bored with basic. When it comes to wedding (guest) season, everyone buys a couple dresses and moves on. This typically equals TOO much money and you only wear each dress 1-2 times. What a complete waste! What if you could own something you love and re-style it multiple ways so no one even recognized it? What if you could work with what you own to create something amazing and memorable without spending any extra moolah? What if you could wear that bridesmaid dress your friend made you buy to another event without having it look like a bridesmaid dress? So many ifs, so much re-styling!!! I love cheap and chic. Ready for your re-style???

 

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I love this dress. I got seriously lucky that this was a bridesmaid dress because let’s be real, they can be truly ugly sometimes. A bridesmaid dress re-style is all about the accessories. Typically brides gift you the accessories they would like you to wear so you don’t have much choice. But when you wear it again, the sky is the limit! Try and play with theme whenever you are going to a formal event. This doesn’t mean you should wear a costume, it just means that you should promote what the dress is already “saying”. This dress is saying, “I’m a fabulous flapper!”. So I went with vintage-inspired jewelry and a sparkly clutch. Art deco it up baby!

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Here is a better look at the accessories and my layering piece. These earrings are from a flea market and are clip-on. Not my favorite style, but with the correct padding I can make them last for a night without too much pain. The bag is hard shelled and from Aldo. This type of bag is SO in right now. It played up the sparkle of the dress and made the entire look “on-trend” even though it was vintage inspired. As for my layering piece, this black tuxedo blazer was VERY intentional. Why does everyone go for a pashmina? It typically ruins the overall look of your dress. Find an option that goes with your dress and creates an ensemble. Every element matters! From nail color to your shoes, think about the ENTIRE outfit. 

 

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This outfit was so much fun to put together! It was actually for an engagement party with the dress code, “daytime cocktail”. What is that??? No one else knew either, but as a stylist it was important for me to pretend like I understood what they were saying:) This is what I came up with from my own closet. I bought absolutely nothing. I made up a tuxedo-like ensemble that included pieces that didn’t match and a crop top. My goal was to be slightly formal with a playful twist. When you get invites with odd dress codes, first decide what you would like to project. What theme is your look going to have? Then start with one piece and build the look out from there. For this outfit I went to may black tuxedo blazer first. The rest of the ensemble came together piece by piece…..

 

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To me it is always important to try and put personal touches on my look or at least good conversation pieces. I created this lapel piece by pairing a pearl broach with a hat pin and 3 charms together.  The charms are from my Nana and are childhood pictures of my brother and I. I LOVE this idea. Try and find cool things lurking in your jewelry box that mean something to you and actually wear them! People were talking to me about the pictures all day and it was so much fun. The bag was an interesting and personal addition too, it is from a vintage shop in Rome and is literally being held together by tape. I will wear it until it officially dies.

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This dress is the best comeback story of my fashion life. This is slightly bragadocious, but if you read this blog you know sometimes I do that. I am 35 years old in this picture attending a wedding for two of my friends from college. Several years before this my mom made me clean out my closet at my childhood home and we came across this dress. I designed it and had it made for my brother’s bar-mitzvah in 1994. I still love it. I only made one slight design alteration to get it out of the 90′s, but other then that this baby was ready for wear. So, 20 years later I re-styled it for this wedding and proceeded to tell anyone who would listen the story of the dress. Don’t rule out “old” dresses, there may still be life in them after all!!!!

 

wedding

 

This is the story of the home-made hat. I know creating items from scratch is not on everyone’s list, but that isn’t the point. The true point of this hat is to show how far you can go with making your look FUN. Don’t rule out interesting and funky twists, including wearing a hat to your friend’s wedding! Truth be told, I had not one, but two European weddings this particular summer so wearing a hat is a must. I looked into buying hats, but the coolest ones were SO expensive. So I took a trip to a craft store…. This entire look started with peacock feathers. As I mentioned before, some of the best looks start with finding one item and building from there. Your dress should not always be the start of your outfit.

 

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Now how could I do a twist on wedding attire without including a twist on bridal-wear? This is my lovely friend Sarah and her husband Adam. This was a second reception in NYC for those that couldn’t make it to their original wedding in Berlin. It was a perfect excuse for a clear departure from a poofy gown. She chose a classic yet trendy silk swing dress from Ted Baker with lace on the bodice. But the real punch was the blue silk shoes with rhinestone detail from Badgley Mischka. Take a guess who suggested them to her? Duh, me. The hemline of this calf-length dress was screaming for them!!! The best part is that she can actually wear both the dress and the shoes (separately) again.

 

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Off all of these looks, I think the twist on a tuxedo is the best option for anyone, anywhere. It can go to all different types of weddings, from daytime to black tie. The most fabulous (and economical) part about it is that each of these pieces can be worn with tons of other things. These are all great staple items that can be re-styled over and over again. And if you think that pants aren’t fancy enough for a wedding, think again. I always get WAY more compliments when I pull out pants then when I wear a dress. It is something that women seem to be trained to be afraid of. There is always a touch of jealousy that I “went there” for a formal event and they didn’t. No more jealousy, do it, you are definitely that cool.

Gold Sandals, Tuxedo Jacket, Skinny Tuxedo Pants, Clutch, Cocktail Ring