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CategoryAll posts under‘Seasonal Style: Winter‘

Best Coats for YOUR Shape

I always say your coat IS your outfit so choose wisely.

For most people, the winter is long. And because of this, your outer layer becomes your most worn piece. It literally is your look for much of the day and because of this, you should truly love it. I know spring is coming, but let’s be real, you still need a coat. Beyond a great color or design, choosing a coat that best fits your shape is vital. We are all built differently (thank God) so be aware of your body and what  works. Buying a coat 2 sizes too big to fit your thickest sweater is NOT an option. You have been warned.

 

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I am a big fan of a cinched coat. Basically, anything that is fitted through the middle is my friend. As you can see, all three of these coats are completely different, but have similar silhouettes. Knowing what works on you means staying true to it while altering the variables. In most cases that means color, material and style. I own a LOT of coats so going beyond basic black is kind of my thing. The neutral coat above is my most conservative look and often gets mistaken for Burberry. It isn’t, it’s Laundry by Shelli Segal and I bought it at Nordstrom Rack. How you like me now?!?

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I am obsessed with both the coats above. I usually use the gold one to dress things up, it is amazing because it works for both day and nighttimes. I actually bought it for full price at a boutique in SoHo. I must really love it because I do not pay full price, ever. The mod style gray coat is from a sample store. It is by Walter and has been loved by me for well over 5 years. I honestly don’t get that much use out of it because the boat neck style with 3/4 length sleeves is difficult weather wise in New York City. But, when I do take her for a swing around town people swoon.

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Both of the coats above are great for almost any body type. Curvy or straight, your body will be snug as a bug in a rug when you put this style on. For curvier people, it accentuates your shape and highlights (or creates) a small waist. For straight women it creates the illusion of an hour glass shape. This style is also amazing because you can fit pieces that are a little bit heavier underneath and still create a streamlined silhouette once you cinch the belt.

wrap coat,  double-faced wool coat

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The ruler style coats above are for the straighter, taller women of this world. If you have strong hips or a very round bum, this coat is going to catch on them. It will lose the classic line and become bunched in all the ways you don’t want it to. I am a huge fan of the camel color duster coat. It is classic and elegant and literally goes with everything and every skin color. The royal blue double breasted coat is a fantastic option for someone wanting to try something different. Why is everyone’s coat always black? Be the pop of color in the sea of blackness and stand out.

duster coatdouble breasted coat

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A shorter coat is extremely flattering for more petite women. Additionally, with the temperature finally rising, this is a great option to stay comfortably warm without wearing a parka. I have always been obsessed with a big collar because it does double duty. It not only looks totally cool, it also allows you to leave your scarf at home. The less we have to carry (or lose) the better.

Love your shape, love your coat, love your style.

wool coat with fur collarbelted coat

HOW TO PACK FOR A “HOT” GETAWAY

I am a lucky girl. This is now the second winter in a row that I jaunted off to Miami for an “extended stay”. How you might ask? It is simple, my boss is awesome. And stylish and amazing and cool…. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my boss is me:) During this time I had visitors almost every weekend who all asked the same question, “what do I pack?” I realized this is a universal epidemic and as opposed to helping each individual friend, I would write a blog post and direct all of them (and you) to it. Simple instructions that will take the anxiety out of packing, teach you what to bring, how to actually assemble it in your suitcase and leave you not only wearing everything you brought, but feeling stylish and carefree. Folks, this is how you pack for a hot getaway.

 

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The art of packing is to understand that you do not need to bring the kitchen sink. Overpacking is actually what is causing your anxiety and your anxiety is causing you to overpack, it is a vicious cycle. We can stop it together. Let’s bring it back to the basics, literally. Every good outfit is based on foundation pieces, utilize this concept specifically when you are packing. If you make sure to include neutral basics, you can build an outfit differently every time using the same items. Examples of this for a warm trip are white jeans, a white blazer and a jean jacket. There is more on this at the end, don’t worry, I’ll give you the cheat sheet. As for preparing, lay everything you are thinking of taking out on a flat surface, a bed or the floor works. This way you can see everything and visually mix and match items. The goal is to be able to utilize most pieces in multiple ways. If most of your items do not have the ability to do this, remove them. Of course you can have a few stand out pieces that “make” each outfit and cannot be repeated, but not more then 25% of what is being packed.

 

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The next key factor to packing is getting a lot in a little space. Roll, roll, roll. There is no better way to get a ton into your suitcase and NOT have it get wrinkled. You may need to steam out a few things, but in general, this is the best method to keep things looking good. Additionally, if you know a certain piece has the propensity to get wrinkled easily, leave it at home. You will most likely not feel like dealing with it and then you will be a crinkled mess, not a good look. Vacation is suppose to be easy, don’t add a household chore like ironing or steaming to every outfit you bring. Use your underwear and bathing suits for tight spaces like corners, to shove into shoes or keep a hat from getting squished. Put them not only in the hat, but around it as padding.

 

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Here is when we throw caution to wind and break the rules. When it comes to jewelry, you can pack as much as you like AS LONG as it will all fit in your travel jewelry organizer. Since you have been smart and packed all of the proper basics, your jewelry is not only your opportunity to make your look shine, but it can instantly change up that white T-shirt and jeans into 5 different outfits. Genius. And, the most brilliant part is that it really doesn’t take up any room in your suitcase. Make sure to include pieces that have lots of color and show off your fabulous personality. Don’t think too much about it, just pack what you love.

 

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Once you arrive I would definitely unpack if you can. It doesn’t take that much time and just like at home if you have an organized closet, you will able to see everything you brought and easily style new and fun ensembles. You do not need to pack specific outfits for each day (heck, things can change at the last second), but you should have an idea of general looks. If you have packed correctly (which you have because you followed my directions), you will have plenty of options for last minute changes. These are just a few easy and stylish looks I put together while I was in Miami. Above anything, you need to know your itinerary and the weather. For example, Miami is cold (think 60-80 degrees) in January and my friends all had their sundresses and sandals ready to go. They would have froze their cute, little tushes off. I helped them to actually believe what Google weather was saying and re-pack based on the reality of this.

 

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All of these outfits show the temperature range I was faced with, but also that you can look  ”hot” even when it is chilly. This requires more clothing, but lighter colors and fabrics. Don’t drape yourself in ALL super summer colors, you will look like a tourist. Remember when you are traveling some place warm in the winter (at least in the US), it is their winter too. Meaning, they are pulling out their fur, leather and anything black as well. They are not necessarily wearing as many layers as those of us in actual cold places, but they have their own version of seasons too and this is their time to rock that part of their closet.

miami day outfit

For daytime it is going to be much warmer, the sun is shining and the world is a warm weather wonderland. A few key basics to bring on your getaway include a fabulous coverup, flip flops (I prefer fancy gold ones to casual boring ones) and an amazing hat. Let’s be real people, a sunburn is so 1999 and if a stylish item can not only make me look like a fashion model but also protect my money maker, I’m in. SPF 30 not included. Don’t forget to also bring a few day dresses, they double as a great shopping look or as a cover up substitute.

Ella Moss one pieceViX caftanmetallic flip flopsmaxi dressfedoraIllesteva shades

How to Pack for Miami Winter

For nighttime, there might be a chill in the air so make sure to bring layers. Remember, the key to packing is to bring 75% neutrals and no more then 25% stand out items. I always make sure to have a white blazer when I travel to a warm place. It is so easy to style with everything from a great jumper to a cute dress to boyfriend jeans. It creates instant sophistication. You will also need a neutral (yet fun) smaller bag and a scarf. I love this particular bag because it will either add color to any neutral look or pick up the color from something you already have on. The scarf can do the same AND it doubles as your blanket on the plane. Yes, you read that right. I use my scarf as part of my outfit when I travel (because it keeps me warm and looking cute) then I wrap myself up in it once I am on the plane and take a nap. Wake me up when we hit the runway….. You are now officially ready for take off, please follow the exit signs to your next, fabulously stylish journey…..

Rag & Bone ripped boyfriend jeansElla Moss jumpsuitEileen Fisher blazerRag & Bone bomberRebecca Minkoff clutchPucci scarf

Why Hire a Fashion Stylist?

Stylists are NOT just for the rich and famous. I have been running my business for close to 15 years working with regular folk who either just don’t have time, need a (fashion) helping hand, or both. People always ask me who my clients are and the answer is simple: Ladies and gentleman (yes, guys have stylists) that understand the benefit of having an expert curate what they put on their body everyday. You have a hair dresser, you dream of an interior designer, you love a great make up artist, why not a fashion stylist? AND, how much does it cost to hire a professional?

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Does your closet look something like the one below? Most people have some level of mess going on in the deep, dark parts of their closet. Marie Kondo has created an organization craze that is really just based on one simple idea, if you don’t LOVE it, get rid of it. I have preached this for many years and apparently should have written a book about it so I could be rich and famous. Damn. Your closet should bring you joy. You should walk in and hear angels singing, not screeching babies. The idea is to actually WEAR everything you own and know where it is located. I am the knowledgable heavy hand that encourages you to purge and organizes things in a logical way.

messy closet without stylist

First step, the closet consultation. Do you dream of walking into a paradise of organization AND having someone make a shopping list specific to your wardrobe needs? I can make that happen!! This paritcular closet is a great representation of what you should aspire to. It focuses on things being organized by style, then material and finally, by color. This is the most intelligent way to catalogue your clothing because it is also the way you will style yourself…. By style, then material and finally by color! No one wakes up saying, “I feel like purple today”. I work with my clients to think in this format so getting dressed in the morning is not a dreaded activity.

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Next up, shopping. NEVER have to do this by yourself again. Why? Because I do it for you. This is where the huge time element comes into play. A lot of my clients don’t want to spend their free time shopping, never mind trying to find specific items. They often tell me they come home deflated, feeling like they lost the battle, ending up with things they don’t love, won’t wear and spent WAY too much. Working with me= this never happening again! I pull the clothing, based on the shopping list I created, before the client even gets to the store so it is all waiting in the dressing room. Yes, I do love a department store because everything is under one roof, but I mix in discount designer shopping (without them) and throw in a little on-line stuff for fun.

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What do I buy you might ask? Well here are some basic foundation items that almost ALL of my female clients own no matter what their size, profession or socio-economic background. These Loeffler Randall booties are an amazing basic shoe. They will pretty much go with everything and are comfortable, the most important variable. Obviously they are little pricey, but shoes are something I always suggest people splurge on. The Frame skinny jeans seem scary to a lot of people. Believe it or not, skinny IS for everyone. You can style them differently based on your body shape. If you are wider in the bum, add a longer shirt and tall boots. Super skinny gals can wear them with flats. The Helmut Lang blazer is basic and simple. Look for a single breasted style that hits at the waist or just below. You want this blazer to go with everything from dresses to jeans. The Whistles leather jacket is an investment piece. A black leather bomber is a fantastic item because you can layer it in almost any fashion situation. With a cocktail dress or jeans, this thing is worth it.  The Ted Baker dress is your base item to build off of. A black sheath can be styled and re-styled over and over and over….. Top it all of with this Rebecca Minkoff tote and your look will be complete. You really only need ONE good carry-all that literally carries all you have. Make sure the color is neutral and there are plenty of pockets so you are not searching for things.

Hire a Personal Stylist?

Now for what I like to call the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae of your outfit, accessories. This is the time to have fun, not put too much thought into it and really just find things that speak to you. Show off your personality and build a collection that will bring joy to future generations of yours. You already own the foundation clothing items, you literally cannot screw up accessories because you will always have something to pair them with. Gold or silver is your own preference. I LOVE this House of Harlow ring and DVF earrings. Simple and funky all at the same time. The bangle set is a must, it will literally blend in with all of your jewelry making it a foundation piece in the accessory world.  The pendant necklace and Vince clutch are good examples of adding a pop of color. You can make your outfit sing just by adding one of these items. Finally, the nude pump is made for every lady. It elongates your legs AND goes with everything. Who doesn’t love that?

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The finale of this whole shabang is the styling session. I have cleaned out your closet, organized your wardrobe, shopped till we dropped and now it is time to put it all together. This people is the fun part. The entire experience builds on itself meaning, you can’t get to step 2 without accomplishing step 1. People always ask if they can cheat and the answer is yes, but it won’t be the best, most useful experience ever. I need to know what is in your closet before I can create a shopping list. I need to buy the right items for your wardrobe before I can properly style everything or there will be “holes.” You get the idea.

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I put together looks and photograph them so you literally never have to wonder what to put on again. I have been told this is what heaven looks like. You wake up, scroll through your pictures and pick out what you want to wear. I tell clients to pick an outfit based on 3 things: What is the weather, who is your audience and how do you feel that day? I usually put together up to 60 looks in one styling session so you should have plenty to choose from.

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Now I feel I have finally answered the question “Why hire a fashion stylist?”. You  have experts for everything else in your life, what you wear defines who you are whether you like it or not. You are your own brand and people are making a judgement about you within the first 7 seconds of meeting you. How much does all this cost? Stylists charge all different ways, hourly, a day rate, commission, etc. They can start around $50 per hour and run upwards of $800 per hour. Remember, you get what you pay for. If they are seasoned experts, they are going to cost more! The most important element of hiring a personal stylist is to not only like their styling, but also to like them. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, get ready for some fashion fun with your new fashion best friend!

Packing for Thanksgiving


The holidays are upon us and that means lots of travel. This can overwhelmingly painful for many since the joy of packing is right up there with moving. The experience is just on a much smaller scale, but it still stings if you can’t get it right.

It does not have to be brain surgery, you just need to realize you DO NOT need to bring the kitchen sink. Thanksgiving may be somewhat of a fashion show to most, but nothing more than a carry is needed for 5 days of travel. I am very serious about this:)

Let’s take it step by step. Shall we begin with the suitcase? A compact, cute, rolling carry on is your best bet. Stay away from black when it comes to any suitcase. Let this Diane Von Furstenberg $90 piece pop against everybody else’s boring black. You will never lose your patterned, bright option again! This duffel style is also slightly smaller then your average carry on, but is extremely expandable and has many pockets to store things separately.

Since I am only allowing one suitcase per person, it is time to learn how to make the most of your small space. Roll it up. This method can easily double the amount that you get in your suitcase. It also saves you from wrinkled clothing!! Think about that, there are no folds so there are no creases when you take everything out. You will be able to stuff things in corners and spaces you never thought were useful. Do not waste any opportunity! Use your shoes to put socks and underwear in. Every space should be utilized.

Just in case you do come across a wrinkle or two, owning a mini steamer/iron is necessary. For $30 you can instantly look like everything just came from the dry cleaners. If you don’t have time to pick one of these babies up, you can hang your wrinkled clothes in the bathroom with you when you shower. The steam helps to loosen up the creases, but nothing works like the portable steamer will…..

The other quick items that you should keep on hand are a sewing kit, double sided tape and a tide stick. Each of these can be a life saver when a wardrobe malfunction hits. The sewing kit will tighten up that loose button, the double sided tape will fix a ripped hem or possible low cleavage situation and the tide stick will get out the gravy. Three items that will save the day.

Now let’s talk clothing. What do you actually roll up in your cute suitcase? Packing for a trip is all about great foundation pieces with a few pop items. Accessories are your friend and will change up the look and feel of every piece you bring. Start simple, think basic. This is a great example, a black dress will be useful from day to evening. We are not after skin tight clothing, after all, this holiday is all about eating! Empire waist or silhouette skimming styles are your best options. Empire is fitted just below your bust leaving your tummy the chance to expand. Silhouette skimming styles are comfortable, do not look like a potato sack and still leave room for LOTS of turkey.

Tights are a quick way to change up your black dress for different activities you may be attending. Bring a few pairs, you may not wear all of them, but these are reasonable options that can be stuffed into your suitcase anywhere. Choose patterns for extra funky and solids for simplicity.

For even more casual days during your holiday, plan on having 1 pair of jeans. Yes, I said one. A basic skinny style is all you are going to need if you follow all of my packing rules. They should be darker in color so they can go from day to night, lots of versatility. The skinny style is easily tucked in the boots you will also be bringing. More on that later… In addition to your jeans, choose 2 sweaters, one thinner and one super cozy and thick. The thicker one will be what you travel in. You always want to wear your bulkier items during travel leaving more room for other clothing in your suitcase.

The other choice for a bottom half is black leggings. This means that all of your layering pieces have to be slightly longer to cover your bum. If your leggings are thinner, add a pair of tights under them. You know you packed them!

Megan Fox may look a bit sloppy, but she has her foundation pieces in order. Make sure to pack lots of different T shirts, tanks and long sleeve T’s. These are the perfect backdrop for everything else you have brought!

Just like this picture and all before it, you better bring your best boots. You can bring up to 2 pairs. You are wearing one pair while you travel so you will pack the other one. People get crazy with shoes and keep throwing them in, but this is your worst enemy! They add weight and take up too much room. Aside from 2 pairs of boots, you may want to grab a pair of heels just for the dressier activities, but no more. Stop the shoe insanity!

Last up to really complete your holiday packing is accessories. These are what is going to make every foundation piece you have brought really become an outfit. Do not think that I have told you to pack super boring items! I have told you to pack super simple items that can styled fabulously different!!! Here come tons of scarves, hats and jewelry. You can really stuff as much as you want into your suitcase so this is where you have options when you get there. You never know how you are going to feel each day and maybe you want to switch it up at the last second, let your accessories do the switching. Buy a great traveling jewelry organizer that can be filled to the brim. Think everything. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings…. Scarves are also fun and can be stuffed into your shoes right along with your underwear and socks. Have fun with this category!

The finale to your holiday looks is going to be one fabulous medium sized neutral bag. This can mean anything to you! Pick a bag that is super versatile within your style and can be worn day to night. This Marc Jacobs bag is a perfect example of something that is sassy and realistic. It is your “one personal item”. You can stuff it to the brim on the way to your holiday, and they use it as a cute purse any where you go while you are there. It is expandable and yet flattens out just as easily when there is nothing in it. Wonderful.

I think you should be ready to go now. Packing is just a nightmare until you buckle down and do it following the above rules. You need to stop worrying what you didn’t bring and focus on what you are going to bring. With the right basics, you can build any look through accessories. And always remember, unless you are in the middle of no where, there is a store just around the corner…..

Glam for the Guggenheim

It is rare when you live somewhere that you take time out of your busy schedule to actually SEE your city. I live in one of the most culturally diverse towns on earth and I have only been to 2 museums in 6 years. Shameful. So when my friend Linda suggested we make our way uptown to pop into the Guggenheim, I was thrilled. Culture here I come.

The museum is located on the upper east side. If you know anything about anything (or watch Gossip Girl), you know that the UES is full of high class fashion. I love to play a new fashion part everyday, so this was a great opportunity for me to go over the top. When I met Linda her first reaction was, “Why are you so fancy?” Because I can be Linda, because I can be. Do I need a better reason? Neither do you, dress up because you want to!


I had no idea what I was walking into, which is kind of the way I like it. Surprises are fun. Apparently it was the first day of artist Maurizio Cattelan’s exhibit. It was seriously mind blowing. I am not a “museum” type of girl, but this was awesome. It is hard to tell from the picture what was going on, but let me do some quick explaining. Instead of hanging everything on the walls as Guggenheim exhibits are usually displayed, Cattelan said he would only show if everything was hung from the ceiling. As you circled up the winding ramp, every step gave you a different perspective and new pieces of art popped out at you. Cattelan had a fascination with mortality, so much of the art included actual dead animals, including several dead horses. Bizarre and totally cool. Completely worth the 18 bucks it cost to get in.

Now that we have the art out of the way, let’s get back to the fashion:) It may be difficult to fully re-create my museum chic look because I always shop at sample sales, consignment stores and designer discount, but here is my best try.

My gray coat was purchased several years ago at a fabulous sample sale store called Cadillac’s Castle in New York City. I don’t think I paid more then $100 bucks for it. Unfortunately, this Walter by Walter Baker coat is no longer available…. Anywhere. So here is a much more expensive option by Valentino. Totally an investment so you have to take that into account when spending $1000 on a coat. The key is to have it cinch at the waist, slightly flaring until it ends just above your knees. It is a great shape for almost any body type.

Next up, my awesome rabbit fur scarf by Adrienne Landau. Of course I purchased mine directly from the showroom during a sample sale, but it is not SO unoriginal that you can’t find a similar one. This option by Joseph is just over $100. The key to why I love my scarf so much is the slit in one side that allows you to put the other side through. You can pull it tight and keep yourself nice and warm or leave it loose for a stylish accessory. Rabbit is one of the least expensive furs and yet it looks super luxurious. Needless to say, this is the most affordable option.
I actually did find my exact sunglasses. I love them and they were the least pricey pair I looked at! That never happens. By Vince Camuto, this is the first year that his shoe line has extended into accessories and clothing. He even has a few pop up stores here in NYC. His new line features fun, trendy pieces that are really not that expensive. Take these big frame black sunglasses for example, they are only $55! That is great for a quality pair of sunnies. They are the perfect topper to any ensemble if you are going for the “rich and fabulous” look. We all need to be super fab every now and then….

And for the final piece…. Unfortunately there is no way you can find my awesome hand knit beret because it actually is hand knit…. By my mommy! Often times we bring our creative talents together. I design something and she actually makes it. This fun beret is a great example. I love the color and it adds a touch of fun to any look. Additionally, it is a good weight so I can wear it inside and outside. Fashion for every temperature. This example is a little more blue, but provides the same amount of fun. At $15 from Sears, you really can’t beat it.

So next time you have a reason to go a bit over the top, do it. Why not be the most fabulous person there? Why not wear all of those items that you would never put together? Have your friends ask you why you are so fancy and own it. You are fancy because you are fabulous and you can’t help it.