Sunday, June 30, 2013

"The Heat"!

There's a new movie out with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock that takes buddy-cop movies to a new high.  I am planning to go to the matinee next week to enjoy laughing at these two wonderfully funny women.

One of the scenes in the previews is where Sandra's character is shown in the ladies bathroom with her pants down but displaying a pair of Spanx. Melissa's character asks what they are and Sandra tells her that they're Spanx and they hold things in. Melissa asks, "Why? What's going to come busting out?"

If you're like me, you know exactly what will come busting out....more you!


Spanx were invented by Sara Blakely who took a pair of control top pantyhose and cut the legs off so she could "hold things in." When she shared the information with girlfriends, they all wanted them, too.  A million dollar business was born!  And then she created a cheaper version that is sold at Target Stores, called Assets (too funny, right?) and made even more money.  Soon enough she came up with body shapers, long line camisoles and long legged control tops for under slacks.  The woman is a genius and deserves every penny she earns because they actually work!


I believe Oprah kicked off the Spanx craze by talking about them on her daily talk show.  Suddenly other celebrities bragged about how wonderful they are for the red carpet's critical views.

Remember your mother's girdle?  They were painful, hot, and frequently caused yeast infections. Many even had zippers!  And those stocking straps were painful to sit on!


But Spanx and Assets (as well as other brands) breathe and are lightweight, while restricting those jiggles and bumps we hate to own.

I recommend you get a large enough size that your blood can circulate and your skin doesn't pucker, but still holds you in.  In these days of not wearing hosiery with dresses, suits or blended slacks, these items are a blessing. 

I have found them at Stein Mart, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillards and sometimes at Ross.  They come in nude, white and black so you can buy the colors that won't show under your light colored clothes.

Just don't wear them to the movie theatre to see "The Heat" cause you really want to be able to have a great unrestricted belly laugh - several times!  And take a girlfriend - you can laugh together!

Until next week, I remain...

Stylistically yours,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer time.... and the dress code is TOO easy

I'm doing temp work in a beautiful office these past two weeks, greeting visitors and answering phones.  My temporary job is downtown, where I park in a public garage, walk along a busy downtown street and see a lot of people coming and going to work.  It has been fun and everyone in the office has been very friendly and kind. 

While I'm downtown, I must say how surprised I am to see what some women think is still appropriate to wear to work - even if it is summer.

Like flip flops!  I am not just talking about leather ones, I'm talking about rubber ones that you can buy at any drugstore.  Remember when those were beach shoes or shower shoes?  But they still are not appropriate for any work environment unless you're a life guard.  And many ladies must not look down at their toes or heels.  Pedicures are not expensive and, at worst, can be done at home.  I love my Old Navy flip flops as well as anyone else but never, ever for an office environment.   Remember the big flap when a group of young women wore them to the White House to meet the President?  (Sigh!)  Just say no and wear a pretty sandal with well groomed feet. 

And baggy capri pants!  And worse, un-ironed!  These pants make you look baggy, saggy and sad. There are so many places you can go (Bealls, Ross, Old Navy, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Target) and not spend a lot of money to get attractive fitted capris.  Then you look crisp, thinner and that you care about how you look and how the world sees you. And please take a few minutes to run a hot iron over them!

Sweat shirts!  Yes it is summer time when it is hot and steamy but some ladies get cold from the air conditioning (wait until menopause, ladies!) and they slip on sweat shirts.  Lordy, Lordy...everyone knows that those are workout wear, not office wear.  When stores sell such cute cardigans, jackets and wraps, why, oh why would you wear a sweat?


There are a few ladies who dress really adorably wearing attractive ensembles, cute light jewelry and summery prints and shoes. It shows that not a lot of effort is required to look stylish while it is hot out.

One of the reasons I like to temp is to find new work environments, meet new people and earn some "shoe money."  It is also a great chance for me to dress up, fix my hair and put on a little make up (which I don't do daily when I'm home, gardening, walking in the 90 degree heat with my dog or doing laundry). 

So just look at all the women you see when you're out and about; learn from the ones who look "put together" while looking calm and cool; and smile kindly at those who are dressed very casually or sloppy.  Perhaps their mirrors are broken or they just had to rush out. It can't be cost because I can show that it doesn't cost much to dress well.  It just takes patience and discrimination.  And a good mirror.


My tenure at this temp job ends on Tuesday.  Then I go back to my home life and wait to find out where next I might choose to temp.  In the meantime, I'm going shopping for summer wear.Slim cropped print pants!Striped scoop topPolka dot tie-waist shirtdress

As the Beach Boys sang about a female one long ago summer ......
I, I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air


Wouldn't you love to inspire someone to say that about you?

Until next Sunday,
I remain stylistically yours,


Sunday, June 16, 2013

A backward glance

How often, before you head out to work or on an errand, do you look at yourself from behind?

Having encountered many women while out and about, I'm guessing none of us do it on a regular basis.  "Why bother to do that?" you might ask.  Here's a couple of good reasons:

  • Bumps and bulges and sags...oh, my!  As I write this, I am very aware that the sleeveless tee shirt that I'm wear is showcasing back fat, bra bulge and muffin top.  But I am NOT going out among people looking like this, it's just for Sunday house errands.  Several months ago, on vacation in Savannah with my sister, I put on a gray Old Navy long sleeved clingy tee. And as soon as I did, my sister (family will tell you the truth whether you want it or not!) said "That shirt does nothing for you."  It showed every bulge and bump and she was right.  A long line bra or cami would have been the right underwear to avoid that horrible look.  As you're out and about, look at what other women are wearing this hot summer season and see what I mean.
  • Shirt tags....I have offered to tuck in more tags at the back of the necks of women who I'm positive do NOT want the public to know what size they are wearing.  Just reach up and check before you leave the house to make sure the tag is flat and tucked in.  (I often cut mine off).
  • Skirt vents...the kick pleat in the back of dresses and skirts are usually sewed flat with a big thread X to keep the vents closed and prevent wrinkling or tearing before you buy them.  I am forever stopping women and telling them that their vent is still sewed closed and offering to help them open the vent to ease their walking.  One woman I stopped at a downtown tourist park had the vent to her cute denim jacket sewed closed still.  Once we opened it, she was amazed at how much better it felt to wear.  I have a beautiful red dress I had bought at Ross and wore twice before I noticed the vent was closed all this time - boy, did I feel dumb!
  • Shoe most of us, you slip on your shoes and go.  But looking at them from behind will show you how the heels of your shoes are wearing down or not.  For safety and fashion sake, check that out.
  • Pocket bulge, butt creases and zipper pulls...slacks and skirts must shrink overnight because you'll put on a favorite one and find that it doesn't fit like it used to.  Check out from behind how the pockets are.  Do they still lay flat like they're supposed to?  Does the skirt cup your butt or flow appropriately across your posterior?  Is your seam or zipper pulling so that one good sneeze will cause a major fabric explosion?  Is the crease in the back tucking into your butt crease?

  • And while you're at it, look at the back of your head!  You'd be surprised how many of us work really hard at fixing our hair, styling and fussing, only to ignore how the back looks.  Just a glance will show you what the people behind you are looking at.
Every woman needs a good full length mirror and a large enough handheld mirror (go to Big Lots or Dollar Store) so she can see herself before she heads out into the world.

As the wonderful actress Patty Duke said:  I have a picture of myself in my mind as I walk around every day, until I look in the mirror-and then I'm stunned.   I like to think her quote means that she is stunned by how lovely she really is!  And I hope you feel the same way about yourself every day. 

Until next week, I remain....

Stylistically yours,


Sunday, June 9, 2013

"I have nothing to wear!"

Dressing for special occasions can be a nightmare.  Suddenly, you've got a wedding to attend, a formal dinner celebration, an anniversary party or an office event and the typical female lament ensues..."I've got nothing to wear!!"

My philosophy has always been to have several special occasion outfits in your closet "just in case." 
Buy them when you find them so you are ready and have a couple of options to choose from.  You know what happens if you don't, don't you?  You go to the stores, catalogs, online sites and look and search and can't find anything that makes you feel how you want to feel for that event.  So you keep looking, getting frustrated, then you are forced to make compromises. Finally, at deadline, with exhaustion and close to tears, you simply settle.  You buy that thing to wear that doesn't make you feel like you wanted, it doesn't make you feel special, pretty or glamorous.  And once you wear it, you know that you will never, ever wear it again.  Kinda like those ugly bridesmaids gowns you had to wear to make the bride the prettiest girl in the room.

Grab your purse and shop around.  You don't have to go to expensive stores either.  Just go out periodically and look around.  It helps to have a plan.  I recommend that you start out with separates.  Buy a gorgeous brocade, sequined, chiffon, silk, lace or sparkly skirt or pants. 

It helps to look for a jacket, cardigan or shawl that offsets the bottom piece to formalize the outfit and ward off a chill.


 Next find a couple of tops to wear with them.  Remember when Sharon Stone wore a black Gap tee shirt with a formal skirt?  She tilted the fashion world  by wearing cheaper and plainer with glitz. And got rave reviews from fashion critics.

And keep in mind that a plain crisp white shirt (like Carolina Herrera wears) looks wonderful with many pieces. 


Of course,  you can never go wrong with a little black dress, like Holly Golightly.  Or red, or pink or other colors that look great on you (know what colors flatter or ask friends). 

Accessories can dress up your formal attire, if you'd like.  But you don't really need to - sometimes it is just clutter.  There is elegance in simplicity.  Carry yourself with confidence and...
You can have several pairs of shoes ready (nude, black, red, silver) and I would carry a pair of black flats on standby for the event (there are those fold-up shoes in little bags that you can tuck into a purse).  A few various handbags in your closet also give you options (clutches, small evening bags, tiny shoulder bags, or minaudieres)
If you buy and keep a couple of these special items, you're ready to go at any time.  And you know exactly how you'll feel and look for any special occasion. You're good to go and you will most definitely wear those pieces again and again knowing you do, indeed,  have several things in your closet to wear. 
Until next week, I remain,
Stylistically yours,