Daytime Emmys: Style Loves and Hates

First off, I must begin by saying that I don’t watch daytime television, so with the exception of Susan Lucci, most of these folks are unknown to me. Of course, that doesn’t prevent me from having an opinion on what they opted to wear to the Emmys.

The ones I like:

Susan-Lucci Susan Lucci (Living proof that 62 can be gorgeous…and sexy.)

tyra1 Tyra Banks (Looking slinky!)

Jamie_Luner Jamie Luner (Brave, bold, beautiful color.)

Lori_Loughlin Lori Loughlin (Elegant dress. Dreadful hair.)

The ones that needed serious re-thinking:

Kate-Linder Kate Linder (A great imitation of a birthday cake.)

stacy_haiduk2 Stacy Haiduk (The cat. Cute. Really cute. So well thought out.)

Judith-Chapman Judith Chapman (I don’t even want to know if this has some sort of symbolism that I’m  missing.)

Wendy_Williams Wendy Williams (Yep. We can all see you.)

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I Like Bling

Don’t get me wrong–I love fine jewelry. My favorite pieces are a pair of simple diamond stud earrings and a single diamond pendant on a short, platinum chain–both gifts from my husband that were bestowed in white-beribboned blue boxes. But in spite of my love for the classic and beautiful, I can get pretty darned excited about busy, glitzy jewelry that turns a simple, elegant item of clothing into something very funky and fun.

Take, for example, this faux pearl and hermatite chain necklace by Aqua:

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I saw it in the jewelry department in Bloomingdale’s in Century City, and it stopped me in my tracks. It has so much going on that I barely knew where to look first. I lifted it off the display, discovering that it was surprisingly heavy. But when I clasped it around my neck, the weight disappeared and was replaced by utter love.

Bling. It definitely has its rightful place in the baby boomer’s wardrobe.

To Bra or Not to Bra

My friend Jan is not a big fan of bras–never has been, and probably never will be. Although she always wears one, she has consistent trouble finding ones that fit. Since we are both women of a certain age, I recently suggested that wearing a padded, strapless bra under her very cute collection of tank tops and camisoles might improve her profile. So she agreed to give it a try.

We headed to the lingerie department at Nordstrom, the best place on earth to get fitted for a bra. Jan, a very clever woman with a lightning quick wit, began by announcing to the fitter that she’s a 34-flat. The saleswoman, ever the professional, was not deterred. She presented bra after bra, but Jan was right: nothing fit. So we left.

A week later, we were at the mall with Jan’s 21-year-old daughter Sasha. Suddenly, Sasha pointed to a store called Justice and said, “I’ll bet you could find a bra in there, Mom.”

For those of you who are not familiar with the place, Justice is a preteen haven sub-named “Just for Girls Clothing.” We laughed, thinking Sasha was kidding, but she was dead serious.

As we entered the store, a salesperson announced that girls’ underpants were on a buy-4/get-2 special, and that’s when the giggling started. After that, it never really stopped.

While Jan waited in the dressing room, Sasha and I scoured the racks for appropriate bras. We eventually found a padded strapless bra and a padded convertible-strap bra, and both fit Jan perfectly. (Of course, this begs the question why manufacturers even make padded bras for kids, but I digress.)

Delighted with her new finds, Jan went  to pay for them. When she arrived at the counter, the salesgirl asked, “What’s the birth date of the child you’re buying these for?” Caught by surprise, Jan sputtered out the month and date of her own birthday. “And the year?” Completely undone at this point, Jan was unable to do the proper math in her head that would deliver a believable year of birth of her imaginary preteen daughter.

“1980,” she finally said, turning redder by the second.

I’m guessing that Justice salespeople ask this question to gather info for marketing purposes. I wonder how badly Jan’s 29-year-old “daughter” will skew their numbers.

Tailoring — The Secret to a Perfect Fit and More

I recently purchased a stunning Sarah Pacini linen sweater at a little boutique in New York. When I went to wear it the second time, I noticed two dime-sized holes on the bottom left of the sweater near the hem. I had no idea how they got there, but all the speculation in the world wasn’t going to solve the problem. Taking it back to the shop wasn’t an option, since I live 3,000 miles away. So I did what I always do when my wardrobe needs help: I called my tailor.

Christina Rose is absolutely the best at what she does. She created a seam all the way down the left side of the sweater, completely eliminating the holes. She then added a matching seam on the right side for balance. The result is that the two seams look as if they’re part of the original design, and there’s no sign of the holes. If it weren’t for her skill and creativity, that $300+ sweater would have been unwearable.

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Because it’s impossible to overstress the importance of having a great tailor in your pocket to perfect an item of clothing or make a repair, I’ve opted to post the following excerpt from Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies, which I co-wrote with stylist Sam Saboura.

Behind the Seams: TAILORING

Behind every great woman is a great tailor. Learning to select the right clothing for your body type makes you sensible, but getting it to fit properly is an art form. Once you master this important style lesson and develop an eye for the ultimate fit, you’ll unlock your potential to look your absolute best in whatever you wear.

The most stylish women in the world rely on the expertise of highly skilled tailors and seamstresses to customize their wardrobes. Part of having real style is knowing, at a glance, when an item of clothing can go one step further and be that much better. Wearing the “right clothes” is always secondary to having a meticulous fit, because without it, even the most spectacular outfit fades into mediocrity.

Tailoring helps to elevate your wardrobe—both the basics and the special pieces—to the next level. Its purpose is to improve the fit of an item—not completely re-make the basic style or cut.

I’ve talked a lot about proportion and how the right fit can correct almost any issue. Now I’ll show you how to look at your clothing in a strategic way so you begin to see how the slightest change in a hem or seam can affect the big picture. By the end of this chapter, you’ll be able to walk into a tailoring shop and know exactly what needs to be done to each piece of your clothing to make it outstanding. Once you understand the “how to” of altering your clothing correctly, you can work with your tailor to turn your store-bought clothing into couture.

YOU AND YOUR TAILOR

When purchasing a new item of clothing that requires altering, ask your salesperson if tailoring is included. Most of the time, there is a fee to have the work done in-house, but some high-end specialty stores—and even chain stores that you would never suspect—offer free alterations to their clients. A penny saved is a penny you can spend on something else, so always ask.

Based on your budget, you will need to decide the caliber of expert you are looking for. If you want a quick and inexpensive fix, try the tailor at your dry cleaner. I am often surprised and impressed by the speed and quality of the work at these shops.

If you have an item that is more important to you, step up to a mid-range tailor or seamstress. Odds are you will be paying more, so you should also expect more precision and attention to detail.

Lastly, if you have a vry special piece that you’ve spent some serious cash on, head straight to an exceptional tailor.  Hold on to your hat, though, because prices at these shops can be astronomical. I have often turned beet red at the cash register when faced with the total cost of some of my alterations.

Try a little experimenting with the tailors in your area. Start with alterations on just one piece, and check out the results. Over time, you’ll have your own little black book of qualified professionals in a variety of price ranges.

Whether you use the services of a lower-end or top-of-the-line tailor, always ask what the charge will be before you commission him or her to alter something for you. You’re the one who ultimately decides if it’s worth the price, so don’t hesitate to change your mind if the cost seems too high. After all, if it’s going to run you $450 to re-make a three-year-old $500 leather jacket, it makes more sense to buy a new one.

For more, visit amazon.com.

What I Wore at Woodstock

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In honor of the 40th anniversary of what was then and still remains an unparalleled event, I’m sharing my memories of what I wore at Woodstock. After all, it seems only right in a fashion blog. That extraordinary music may be a blur after four decades, but the clothes still shine brightly.

Saturday:

  • Landlubber red, white, and blue narrow-waled corduroy hip-hugger bellbottoms
  • navy blue long-sleeved shirt with a long, pointy collar

Sunday:

  • Landlubber hip-hugger bellbottom jeans, embroidered (by me) on the lower leg with flowers, hearts, and butterflies
  • bikini top

Amazing Anthropologie Sale

A few weeks ago,  I wrote a post that referenced these Cross-Front Crops from Anthropologie:

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I bought them at the original price of $98. They tend to run a little big, so I had to go down a size–always a joy. They’re truly fabulous pants, and I’ve worn them numerous times. Now they’re marked down to an absurdly low $19.95, which dazzles and delights me. Given their versatility, great fit, and the fact that they refuse to wrinkle, this deal warrants the purchase of a second pair. (Just ask my friend Heidi, who absolutely agrees with me and did precisely the same thing. I can always count on her to justify even my most extreme shopping rationalizations.)

And just for fun, check out this Ruffled Cowlneck Cardi, also from Anthro–a great summer-to-fall transitional sweater.

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