Commandments in Chic

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Michael Kors says to “always dress like the paparazzi is photographing you.”  Easily done when your uniform is black pants, a black tee, and black sunglasses (I’m looking at you Michael, my love).  For the rest of us, it takes a little more work to achieve a paparazzi worthy look on a daily basis.  However, there are some universal truths that can help us all look our best.  To help, I present to you the “Commandments in Chic.”

1. Thou Shalt Not Wear Leggings as Pants

Tights? Leggings? All the same. They’re not pants! Photo credit: http://www.stylefrizz.com

I get it.  Leggings are super easy.  I am a FAN of leggings.  I love them.  I do.  I wear them all the time!  But leggings are NOT pants.  Leggings make a great under layer for a long tunic or sweater dress or even a skirt.  But please, let’s stop wearing them as pants.  Please and thank you.

2. Thou Shalt Use a Tailor

The easiest, fastest way to look pulled together is to have your items tailored.  Clothes straight off the rack will not ever fit perfectly.  They aren’t designed to.  They are mass produced to fit millions and millions of people.  If you want your clothes to fit you perfectly invest the time in finding a good tailor.  I am not saying you should have your t-shirts from Target or J Crew tailored.  But your best pieces – your interview suit, favorite skirt, most flattering jeans – will look even better after a trip to a talented tailor.

3. Thou Shalt Take the Time to Discover Your Personal/Signature Style

My personal style always skews towards preppy.  Always has, always will.

My personal style always skews towards preppy. Always has, always will.

Here at YCS we have devoted an entire series to discovering your signature style.  That is how important this commandment is.  I am not one of those people who thinks “you’re either born with style or you aren’t.”  All of use have personal style – some of us choose to nurture it in the same way that people might nurture an athletic ability.  Take the time to figure out exactly what your personal/signature style – whatever it may be.  We’ll get you started.

Along those lines . . .

4. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Swagger

I have said before that “imitation is the highest form of flattery but swagger-jacking is obnoxious.”  Everyone’s personal style is just that, personal.  There is no point sitting around and envying another person’s personal style.  Figure out what yours is.  Then they’ll be coveting your swagger.  BTW – it’s perfectly acceptable to covet her shoe closet, bag collection, and vintage Dior suit.

5. Thou Shalt Have a “Go-To” Outfit on the Ready.  Or Three.

One of my go-to looks is this cream monochromatic look.  It instantly makes me feel sophisticated and confident.  This is perfect for a big meeting, networking session or even a quiet dinner date.

One of my go-to looks is this cream monochromatic look. It instantly makes me feel sophisticated and confident. This is perfect for a big meeting, networking session or even a quiet dinner date.

Without a doubt there will come a time when you need a fly, fantastic outfit at the very. last. minute.  You won’t have time to get a new outfit or even hem and haw in the closet for very long.  When those times come – whether it’s a last minute meeting, hot date, interview, or social engagement – you need to have your most flattering outfits ready to go.  Figure that out right now while you still have the time.

6. Thou Shalt Always Have a Fly Handbag

JB Martin Boston Bag, Poppy

One of my most fave bags is this JB Martin Boston Bag in poppy which has been featured several times on YCS.

It’s no secret that my fashion secret weapon is an expensive handbag.  A nice bag is one of the easiest ways to upgrade an outfit.  I’m not saying you have to always carry an expensive handbag.  What I am saying is that you should invest in a few really great handbags for your collection – whether Mossimo for Target or Hermes.  The right bag will pull together an outfit, add a bit of punch, or provide the perfect distraction when necessary.

7.  Love Thyself as seen in Thy Mirror

You know why people like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna can get away with wearing looks that are downright bizarre some (most) days?  Because they love their bodies, love themselves, and own the looks.  I could never personally pull off Kelly Osborne’s purple/grey hair or Ke$ha’s leotards and bodysuits but I think both of these girls look fantastic because they OWN it!  It’s clear that all the women mentioned above are confident in who they are.  And, confidence is the best accessory any of us can put on each morning.  So get in the mirror, look yourself in the eye and remind yourself that you’re beautiful, amazing, fabulous, and gosh darn it, people like you!  Repeat as often as necessary throughout the day.

8.  Thou Shalt Consider Hair and Make-up a Part of Thy Look

YCS Make-up Maven Torrey has you covered on the make-up front!

YCS Make-up Maven Torrey has you covered on the make-up front!

The best looks are those where your hair and make-up compliment the clothing.  How many times have you watched Fashion Police and heard Joan, Guiliana, Kelly or George declare that a starlet looks great but her hair is all wrong.  Think about your outfit from head to toe, not just neck to ankle.   Also, your manicure counts as a part of your look too.

9. Thou Shalt Break the Rules

Some rules (not all) are meant to be broken.  Your handbag doesn’t always have to match your shoes.  It’s OK to mix stripes and polka dots.  You can absolutely wear gold and silver jewelry together.  Even navy and black can be worn together (not my personal fave, but whatever!).  Unless you’re dressing to meet the Queen of England or participating in something where you have to dress a certain way (like a ceremony or something) you can totally break fashion rules.  In fact, you’re supposed to break them!

10.  Thou Shalt Keep it All in Perspective

Listen, at the end of the day it’s just fashion.  I mean it’s FASHION (!!!!!!!) but it’s still just fashion.  Yes, I want every reader to look their best.  But more importantly, I want you to feel your best.  That’s the end game here.  What’s inside is most certainly more important than what’s outside.  So, if that means you have to bust out the sweats or your favorite (although super worn) college hoodie because they make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside then so be it!  The paparazzi will be there to snap you in all your fabulous glory tomorrow 🙂  But please, don’t wear those leggings as pants!

What Commandments in Chic would you like the add to the list?  You know what to do!

Your Chic is Showing,

With Love, Erika

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!!!!

Flashback Friday: Fashion Don’ts Turned Dos

I really enjoy my friend’s Chasing Joy blog because it documents one woman’s journey in finding the joy in the big and little things in life. Each Friday she hosts “Flashback Friday” where you can share previous posts you’ve written. I have to admit that sometimes I feel a bit vapid and vain posting about the joy in clothing, shopping, etc. Especially considering some of the other posts that are shared. I often wrestle with posting something more “meaningful” (hey, I know it doesn’t all start and end with fashion – though some days I wish it was that simple) and posting something that stays true to this blog.

But then, I come across something old that brings a smile, and dare I say joy, to my face. That’s what happened when I re-read today’s Flashback about breaking fashion rules. I have found that in fashion and, more importantly, in life I often experience joy when I break a rule or accomplish something that I was told I couldn’t do. So, let today’s post serve as a reminder to turn life’s, and fashion’s, don’ts into dos. Remember that sometimes you have to take a risk, go out on a limb, or break the rules to experience true freedom, success and joy.

With that, Happy Friday!!

Your Chic is Showing,

I recently read a fellow blogger’s post about her Top 10 Fashion Don’ts. And while some things are just plain inexcusable (#9 Wearing logos on your butt or #2 Crocs) there are some Don’ts that I think are Dos.

#10 Overdosing on Accessories
Why she says it’s a don’t: “Rings, a necklace, a bracelet, and earrings are overkill.”

Why I say it’s a do: Sometimes over accessorizing is intentional and looks really cool. Aside from the fact that it’s all the rage right now (hello layered necklaces, bangles up the wazoo, and stackable rings) it looks fantastic when done properly. There is nothing wrong with wearing rings, a necklace, bracelets and earrings. You just have to do it right.

white linen
Here’s how I do it:

Start with necklaces. Everything else will have to balance off them. One of my favorite things to do is pair different length pearl necklaces with a couple of cross necklaces of varying length. Cool but still funky. Because I have a lot of necklaces on, I usually go for a pearl stud earring. Diamond or silver studs work – but nothing bigger than a small hoop as it’ll be too much going on from the bust-line up. Next, pick out a couple rings. If you wear a chunky ring on one hand (my fave with this combo is a pearl and rhinestone ring) then wear a sleek sliver ring or stackable rings on the other hand. Finally add some bracelets. I usually opt for a mixture of pearl and rhinestone bracelets. It sounds like a lot but it works. Check out the photo above when I did this very thing at a White Linen Affair.

#5 Showing Too Much Skin
Why she says it’s a don’t: “If you want to wear a mini dress and show off your great legs, then don’t wear a low cut or back baring top. Pick one thing to showcase.”

Why I say it’s a do: Generally, I agree that you should not bear too much skin. A low cut top baring your stomach is a bit much. But, if done properly, I think it can work. One of my favorite examples is from a red carpet event. Here’s how you can make the look your own. Start with a pair of shorts. They shouldn’t be too long, but don’t wear booty shorts either. Mid-thigh should work perfectly. Pair and cute (but slightly revealing or low cute) camisole with them. Something with lace always looks good peeking through. Then, grab a blazer and button it. The blazer should come to your waist – so opt for shorter, not longer. And, when you button it, you should have some of your cleavage showing but not look too vampy. If you’re feeling too exposed switch for a slightly more modest top.You are exposing two parts of your body – your chest and your legs – and lots of skin but still keeping it classy.

#1 Wearing Clothes that you are not Comfortable In
Why she says it’s a don’t: “If you are not comfortable, everyone will notice.”

Why I say it’s a do: If you don’t try something that is out of your comfort zone, how can you ever expect to know if you look completely FAB in the latest trend or style? Let’s be clear, I don’t condone wearing something that is too tight or too revealing if you’re going to be tugging, covering and wiggling all day long. What I do condone is wearing something that you normally wouldn’t pick out. For example, for a long time, I wouldn’t wear sleeveless clothing. I’m not a fan of my arms. But one day, I bit the bullet and just went for it. And got compliments on my top. I wasn’t comfortable with it at first, but eventually, it grew on me. Now, my wardrobe is equally arm bearing and arm covering. As you can see above, I like to rock a completely sleeveless look from time to time, too! The same goes for girls who aren’t fans of their legs. Try a skirt – something easy, knee length or tea length. I bet if you pair it with a fab pair of shoes, the compliments will come pouring in. Sometimes you have to step out of your fashion comfort zone to come up with something truly fabulous!

So, readers, what is your favorite fashion don’t that’s really a do? And what will always be a don’t in your book? Weigh in Below!

Signed,
Always a “Do” Barbie!

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I recently read a fellow bloggers post about her Top 10 Fashion Don’ts. And while some things are just plain inexcusable (#9 Wearing logos on your butt or #2 Crocs) there are some Don’ts that I think are Dos.

 

#10 Overdosing on Accessories

Why she says it’s a don’t: “Rings, a necklace, a bracelet, and earrings are overkill.”

 

Why I say it’s a do: Sometimes over accessorizing is intentional and looks really cool. Aside from the fact that it’s all the rage right now (hello layered necklaces, bangles up the wazoo, and stackable rings) it looks fantastic when done properly. There is nothing wrong with wearing rings, a necklace, bracelets and earrings. You just have to do it right.

 

Here’s how I do it:

 

Start with necklaces. Everything else will have to balance off them. One of my favorite things to do is pair different length pearl necklaces with a couple of cross necklaces of varying length. Cool but still funky. Because I have a lot of necklaces on, I usually go for a pearl stud earring. Diamond or silver studs work – but nothing bigger than a small hoop as it’ll be too much going on from the bust-line up. Next, pick out a couple rings. If you wear a chunky ring on one hand (my fave with this combo is a pearl and rhinestone ring) then wear a sleek sliver ring or stackable rings on the other hand. Finally add some bracelets. I usually opt for a mixture of pearl and rhinestone bracelets. It sounds like a lot but it works. Check out the society pages for proof, when I did this very thing at the White Linen Affair.

 

#5 Showing Too Much Skin

Why she says it’s a don’t: “If you want to wear a mini dress and show off your great legs, then don’t wear a low cut or back baring top. Pick one thing to showcase.”

 

Why I say it’s a do: Generally, I agree that you should bear too much skin. A low cut top baring your stomach is a bit much. But, if done properly, I think it can work. One of my favorite examples is from a red carpet event. Here’s how you can make the look your own. Start with a pair of shorts. They shouldn’t be too long, but don’t wear booty shorts either. Mid-thigh should work perfectly. Pair and cute (but slightly revealing or low cut) camisole with them. Something with lace always looks good peeking through. Then, grab a blazer and button it. The blazer should come to your waist – so opt for shorter, not longer. And, when you button it, you should have some of your cleavage showing but not look like a complete whore. You are exposing two parts of your body – your breasts and your legs – and lots of skin but still keeping it classy.

 

#1 Wearing Clothes that you are not Comfortable In

Why she says it’s a don’t: “If you are not comfortable, everyone will notice.”

 

Why I say it’s a do: If you don’t try something that is out of your comfort zone, how can you ever expect to know if you look completely FAB in the latest trend or style? I don’t condone wearing something that is too, tight or too revealing if you’re going to be tugging, covering and wiggling all day long. What I do condone is wearing something that you normally wouldn’t pick out. For example, for a long time, I wouldn’t wear sleeveless clothing. I’m not a fan of my arms. But one day, I bit the bullet and just went for it. And got compliments on my top. I wasn’t comfortable with it at first, but eventually, it grew on me. The same goes for girls who aren’t fans of their legs. Try a skirt – something easy, knee length or tea length. I bet if you pair it with a fab pair of shoes, the compliments will come pouring in. Sometimes you have to step out of your fashion comfort zone to come up with something truly fabulous!

 

So, readers, what is your favorite fashion don’t that’s really a do? And what will always be a don’t in your book?

 

Weigh in Below!

 

Signed,

Always a “Do” Barbie!