Suit Yourself

When your work is feeling stale during the summer months and you’d rather book a vacation than book a new client, the one thing you can switch up is your wardrobe!

Let's refresh, shall we?

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(Harpersbazaar.com)

suits2

(Rosie Thomas of The Londoner)

A full suit may appear to be a funky outfit choice. But don't knock it till you try it. Summer suits are acutely effortless! Patterned suits in particular speak more to the summer season with their whimsical, playful style. There are so many ravishing designs from floral to geometric. I honestly love 'em simply because they're easy to wear. Just throw on a white t-shirt, and some pumps, and you’re set. If you are feeling bold and your workplace is pretty lax on the dress code, try a short suit; if you are feeling incredibly daring try out Rose Thomas’s, (from The Londoner blog), look: she pulls it off buttoned up and sans shirt.

When my eyes get crossed from paging through patterned suits, I relieve them of the deluge of ornamentation and pull up a pic of Blake Lively in her chili pepper red suit and breezy ponytail. If you fear a patterned suit is not in your future, fear not, there are plenty of stunning monochrome suits. Besides, with a solid suit, you can accentuate with a witty graphic tee or a delicately embroidered blouse.

suits3

(Blake lively, stylebistro.com)

While some suits can be an expensive purchase, you’ll find yourself coming back eager to wear them again and again. Suits have the convenience and ease of a casual romper: they are statement pieces and they speak for themselves, accessories are usually optional with this outfit, and they are great for formal occasions and informal events (ditch the jacket and sling it over your shoulder!).

Power of the Parasol

ladygaga-parasol2

(Lady Gaga, Flynet)

Catherine, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, visits the Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery in Singapore

KATE MIDDLETON

parasol2

(Leslie Kirchoff for Vogue)

After a friend attended a New Orleans wedding, she raved not about the crazy heat or the fun music, the Mardi Gras parades or the delectable food, but rather the umbrella that the bride had held at the wedding. In New Orleans, newlyweds use an umbrella to lead their guests from the ceremony to the reception, the bride carries the custom-made sunshade, while the guests follow waving crisp white handkerchiefs.

In China, umbrellas act as protection and shield from harm, in one Chinese myth, a loving wife fashions a parasol to keep her husband’s food from getting wet as he walks.

 

parasol3

(MaluMalu Swartjes, TheStylishConfessions)

parasol1

(STEPHANIE WILLIAMS, GREENWEDDINGSHOES.COM)

It is a shame that parasols are rarely used in the U.S. When we see someone pop open an umbrella, we become worried that a sudden downpour will materialize. However, especially in the summer, a cute parasol could be used to complete an outfit as well as keep you cool.

The unlikely accessory is extremely practical and could also provide a whole new avenue for fashion. Designers could whip up stunning conversation pieces that would have similar effects as the revered fascinators in England, or hats at the Kentucky Derby. Having said that, not everyone might desire a cumbersome and over-the-top parasol like Lady Gaga’s, so a simple polka dot or classy stripe would suffice. Instead of the generic clear bubble shaped umbrellas, people could use them to pick up an accent color in their outfit or to display a funky pattern that may be too tricky to be pulled off in dress or skirt form. So instead of saving parasols for a rainy day, why not pull them out while the sun is still out?

Check out these other stars and their exquisite accessories!

duchessofcornwallparasol

(Duchess of Cornwall, getty images)

 annehathway-parasol(Anne Hathaway, J. Garcia/Startraksphoto.com)

Sources:

http://www.neworleanscvb.com/weddingsite/new-orleans-wedding-umbrellaandhankerchief.html

http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/137Kaleidoscope56.html

How to Dress Your Dude: Tie Edition

tie-mainimage1Haven't you ever wanted to dress your dude? Would he let you if you offered? Or, are you forced to sneak in a few styling tweaks without him realizing what you're up to? Although Father's Day has come and gone, June 21st isn't the only chance to makeover your man. I think it's always "fitting" (pardon the pun) to celebrate our gentlemen with a few style tips, so let's keep the surprises coming and ease him into a makeover that he will love, but won't see coming.

Since he probably leans on you to straighten his tie, and he relies on you for two thumbs up when he asks “How do I look?,” why not spruce up his workwear and treat him to the latest in new neckwear?

tie-jcrew

(JCrew.com)

If your guy craves a pattern to jazz up his business attire, click right on over to JCrew’s website. Their Floral Batik tie comes in a great teal and navy color to highlight his spirited end of summer style.

bowtie-bluedonegal

(Davidhartnyc.com)

davidhartspring

The Blue Donegal Bowtie has a casual and cool look that your man will regret undoing at the end of the day. From David Hart’s collection, this piece would pair beautifully with anything from a cool gray button up to a seersucker suit.

knittie

(Nordstrom.com)

chrislowell-tie

(Chris lowell in a hunter green knit tie)

Knit ties remind me of back in the day when men wore school boy glasses and high top fades.

A little less summery but still a tie that he’ll keep at the front of his drawer, is the skinny knit tie. This style has been current for a little while, but I don't doubt that it will continue to be the trendy alternative for this coming Fall and Winter. Check out Nordstrom’s for a plethora of colors in this style.

threeties

(hickorees.com)

This last tie has a subtle polka dot print that appears more checkered than crazy spotted. From Hickoree’s The Hill-Side, you can input your style  aesthetic by choosing the end shape of his tie. They offer a square end and two different triangle cuts. Personally, I love the sharp definite square end. It's perfectly severe and handsomely clear-cut, but I'll leave that decision to you, because a love triangle (you, your man, and his tie) doesn't sound bad either!

5 Instances It’s Ok NOT To Wear Underwear

jennifer-lawrenceWhatever happened to charm school and debutant balls as a right of passage for girls and young ladies aged 8-16? Now they're practically extinct almost everywhere except Texas. They ended with my generation. Charm school taught ladies manners and etiquette such as how to get in and out of a car with their legs closed. Charm school could have saved Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan from a barrage of embarrassing press. This brings me to the 1st of several instances when it's ok not to wear underwear…

1. Commando Chic.

Let's face it, most undies are uncomfortable, which is why lots of ladies sneak into their man's comfy underwear whenever they get a chance. Or better yet, for an excuse to avoid wedgies, and annoying thongs, go commando-chic. Slip into a body slimming body-con dress and ditch those undies altogether! There's nothing more eye catching than catching the eye on panty lines carving into skin when you're trying to look chic and sexy. Imagine the disaster if Jennifer Lawrence exposed a thong under the gorgeous dress above. Don't interrupt the obvious - and allow an air of mystery to exist. Less really is more in this case.

But if you're bold enough to wear a dress like this, please be lady like enough to know how. Charm school taught me – when a lady gets out of a car, she must always keep her knees together - because there's never any excuse to flash. Just swing your knees together and your personal paparazzi will never get a shot! As a celebrity stylist I always make clients remove their underwear unless hidden Spanks are needed to suck em in. You'd be surprised how many commando-chic celebrity coochies walk the red carpet!

2. Under a Swimsuit

Unless you're trying it on in a dressing room – underwear should never be worn under a swimsuit. Oh, by the way, dressing rooms are one of a few places I do wear underwear for proper hygiene. I always wear it whenever I'm trying on clothes.

3. Under Skin Tight Dresses (think Herve Leger) Her-vay Lejay

There's nothing worse than watching a woman wearing a gorgeous tight fitting designer dress, turn around to reveal panty lines. Your panty lines should be your business. If you must, make sure they're invisible seams or Spanks instead. They have a crotch.

4. With Athletic Wear and Low Rise Jeans

Working out is stressful enough. Let your crotch breathe when you exercise and keep panty lines in the locker room. I've never been a supporter of young men wearing jeans sagging low enough to reveal their underwear. If you're a sexy lady who actually wants to be sexy, it's fine to wear low waisted jeans. Just don't accessorize them with your latest designer thong. And leave your butt crack in the bedroom. Which brings me to #5…

5. In the Bedroom

There's a time and place for everything. Keep your drawers on, but know when it's time to take 'em off. It's up to you to decide if you or your partner should remove them.

5 Lessons My 9-Year Old Son Taught Me About Men

stephany1_0945- Laughing NO TextAs we head into Father's Day, I wanted to reveal a little secret for all the fathers who are doing their best to be great Dads and great men.

I'm the single mother of a wonderful 9-year-old son. At 46, I've learned more about men from being his mother than I ever learned throughout decades of dating, marriage, divorce, engagement and breaking off an engagement. It's true.

We talk about everything under the sun. The authenticity with which his boyhood exhibits itself constantly keeps me on my toes as often as he keeps me laughing. I thought I knew everything, but by watching my son's perspective on life -- he doesn't hide anything -- I learn more about the male species.

In his innocence, he breaks it down better than 100 hours of Oprah can. For instance:

Mommy, why are your legs so hairy?

Lesson No. 1: Men like (Click to read full story on CNN.com)

5 Instances When It’s OK To Show Cleavage

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1. In the Bedroom

There is nothing sexier and more alluring than gorgeous lingerie with a little mystery. This is the ideal time to show cleavage. But don't reveal your gift until it's time to unwrap the package.

2. With a Second Date Dress

Unfortunately for the past 3 decades, ladies have rarely been taught how to seduce men with the subtle sexiness most of them crave. Less is more in this case, but less can be more in other cases. Whenever you reveal cleavage, there's a fine line between looking sexy, and looking slutty. If you want a 2nd date, show cleavage, but leave enough to the imagination to leave them begging to see more on the 3rd date.

3. Mystery Cleavage: A button down blouse on the 3rd date

Let's say you're getting ready to have cocktails with a guy you like enough to give him a 3rd date. Nothing's wrong with letting a bit of cleavage reveal itself – as if by accident. Stay buttoned up at work, then reveal mystery cleavage later on.

4. Whenever the Garment Calls For It

There's nothing un-sexier than low cut cleavage that's pinned too far up. For example, Diane Von Furstenberg's wrap dresses. Be careful not to pin the cleavage too high, or when in question, wear a camisole. If you're not daring enough to wear cleavage, then don't buy anything that requires cleavage. If the shoe fits wear it!

5. When The Designer Says 'Let The Girls loose!

Some tank tops, dresses and blouses are designed to show cleavage on purpose. On rare occasions they're meant to be worn with a camisole. Most of the time fabrics such as chiffon, organza or open cut lace are sheer, which means they were designed to show your boobage and your bra on purpose, like Kim Kardashian's alluring look above. I love a sexy demi-cut red lace bra peaking out from under a sheer black blouse. Mix up the unexpected.