Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The LLB (little lace bolero) ...

While I usually don't go for disposable (also called fast clothing), I got this cute LLB from Amazon for less than $15 including shipping.

I work a lot, I mean like "workaholic" a lot. So, my wardrobe absolutely must be interchangeable for 90% of my occasions. I have recently picked up a little accessory that makes going from gloomy work attire to glamorous nightlife style possible. The Little Lace Bolero (LLB). I mean, you can get one in practically any color! It hides those "bye-bye" arms (you know, the flabby arms that keep waving goodbye even when your hand has stopped the wave) and it can take the night chill off your shoulders. The best part? One size usually fits all! Seen in the photo above is a simple gray Anne Klein work dress that just hours before my soiree was worn with a matching gray suit jacket. Add the LLB and voila, instant chic! So, when you are one of those unfortunate souls (like me) who has to work on New Years Eve, think about adding a LLB to your boring work clothes to spiff things up and ring in the new year in style!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whose gift is this anyway?

YES! Give the gift of gift certificates at Trousseau.
It always astounds me when men (or anyone for that matter) give lingerie as a gift. I mean, really slutty, tacky lingerie -- I do not mean PJs or sleeping gowns or nice matching undergarments. I like to pick out my own undergarments and surprise my significant other. I would venture to say that if you are dating a classy lady, she will not ask for lingerie wrapped up under the tree. So, if you have already gotten that red or green holiday-themed underwear with faux fur trim for the lady in your life, take it back now and get the girlfriend whatever she has been hinting she wants for the last six months.

Why on earth would you think a woman would want this crap as a gift? Women don't wear dental floss-like g-strings with pearls and sequins to bed (to SLEEP) or under jeans on a regular basis -- a woman wears it for all of 15 minutes to turn on their partner and then (if she is smart) she peels it off in a striptease for you. Let's put this into perspective, a guy (or gal) gets 4 days (5+ if you are involved with someone like Kim Kardashian who demands a "push present") a year to really make a difference to a woman and thus get incredible "cool points" (most often redeemable for sex, getting out of trouble, etc.) -- Christmas, your anniversary, her birthday and Valentines Day. Christmas gifts are meant to show the people you love how much you love them, not how much you want them to have sex with you. Unless a woman specifically asks you for the naughty holiday French maid costume complete with fishnets and feather duster, DO NOT BUY IT. Chances are if you showed it to her in a magazine, she laughed because it was funny for all of 10 seconds, NOT because she wants it for Christmas.

If your significant other buys you something like this (and you didn't ask for it -- why would you ask for something like this?!?!?) please believe me that he/she bought it for him/herself. Politely tell them that you think it will look great on them and to please go try it on. When the look of shock wears off their face, you can encourage them to venture on over to the jewelry store to get your REAL gift. I'm not a firm believer in demanding gifts for Christmas because the holiday really isn't about that but, if you HINT about a certain item you would like and your significant other doesn't get the hint or clearly ignores it, perhaps its time to deck the halls elsewhere.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Seeing RED ...

Today is #WearRedFriday in the United States so we #RememberEveryoneDeployed -- thus the acronym RED. Military (and oftentimes civilians) deploy to protect our freedoms in this country. I love our military members and their families! But silly me, I forgot to wear red today so I'm going to have to improvise! Therefore, I ate a RED velvet cupcake from #Sprinklescupcakes while mailing care packages in RED boxes to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. That's the way I #RememberEveryoneDeployed! How do you remember on this  #WearREDFriday, Dec. 11?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yes Virginia, there is holiday classiness ...

The holiday season (from Thanksgiving through Boxing Day, Dec. 26) is meant to be a time of good cheer, love, forgiveness, and acts of charity. No ladies, dating the local loser is not considered an act of charity. I tried that rationale in my 20s. Ladies, let's practice a little decorum, dress the way you want to be treated and leave the fantasy dress-up costumes for Halloween. Seriously,  leave the sexy "Elf on a Shelf", back on the shelf and send slutty Mrs. Santa packing back to the North pole. Have some class this holiday season. 

Contrary to popular belief, acting and dressing like a lady will not set women back decades in the equality movement. I wish someone had told me in my 20's that dressing like a hooker would get me treated like a hooker. But dressing like a stylish and fashionable lady will get me treated like a lady. Of course, I'm assuming the people we are hanging out with are ladies and gentlemen and not thugs, tramps and jerks. If you are frequently in the company of the aforementioned thugs, tramps and jerks, it really doesn't matter what you wear, you'll get treated like a thug, tramp and/or jerk (this begs a much more serious question -- why the hell are you hanging out with jerks?).

Bottom line, feel free to party hearty this holiday season but keep it classy!  If your skirt is too short to dance in without seeing your jingle bell undies or you have to pull up your blouse to cover cleavage at a holiday dinner table, you are tacky. And trust me, Santa Claus is watching! Speaking of classy, next week I will give you my opinion on tacky, themed lingerie as Christmas presents. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tie one on this month!

Happy National Tie Month (#NationalTieMonth)!

As a woman, I don't normally wear a traditional neck tie like you would see a man wear with a suit. I didn't say I never wore one, I said I usually don't. I prefer to button up my collar and toss in a little glitz with a choker necklace or a scarf.

What's your alternative to a traditional necktie?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Why you should follow fashion bloggers ...

Just a blast from the past on this #ThrowbackThursday
Well, it's not that far back into the past, it's from the May/June issue of Fairfax Woman Magazine
Just some sage advice (in my humble opinion) on why you should follow fashion bloggers and what they can offer.Read it HERE (page 42)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tea for two (or more) ...

Linda Suter Events puts on a great tea party! Complete with Mrs. DC America and classy women dressed in hats!Even the event location was classy! The Tea Cart in Berryville, VA.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#REDFriday, Remember Everyone Deployed!

I have a lot of military friends. Some of them have deployed, some are currently deployed and some have deployed so many times they don't know if they are coming or going. I have vowed to wear RED (an acronym for Remember Everyone Deployed) every Friday until the actual "Wear RED Day" Dec. 11. I encourage you to pull out all the lovely hues of red from your closet and join me each Friday. If you really want to help our deployed troops (and civilians, who also deploy), you can send care packages via www.anyairman.com.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Scary times in the office ...

I view Halloween as a time when I can dress up in costumes of people or things I want to be. Now seriously, who ACTUALLY wants to be a zombie? First of all, you think your body odor is bad after a workout at the gym, there ain't enough Axe or Old Spice in the world to cover up zombie stench so good luck getting a date as a zombie. But dressing up as a hippy 70s chic (above) in an office environment is sensible and fun. A few things not to wear for Halloween in an office setting:
  • Anything that takes up your cubicle space and someone else's (e.g. a hoop skirt from a Victorian era dress, a wide brimmed hat)
  • Gloves or long nails -- These are difficult to type or work in and believe it or not, you are still required to get work done on Halloween (if its a work day)
  • Anything that would scare children if you work in an environment that sees children -- Believe it or not, some children see no enjoyment in being scared (speaking of that, some adults see no joy in it either, me included)
  • Going with less -- No, it is not appropriate to go barefooted as Tarzan or wear a bikini top as a mermaid.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Purple haze ...

I'm not a big fan of purple. I'm not sure why but I just never really liked it. However, here is a mix of all sorts of purples -- royal purple, lilac, lavender, pink-purple, purple gray. I'm not saying I am now a huge fan of purple but I do like this outfit with the mixture of purples. I seriously doubt I'd ever own a dress or suit in all one color of purple but the blending of purples really works for me.
Skirt by Roman
Blouse by Ann Taylor
Hat by SJB Millinery

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tea time ...

The days are getting chillier and gloomier with less sunshine. So it's perfect time to throw a tea party! I know what you might be thinking, "tea time is for old ladies with white gloves and pristine manners." Well you are partially correct. Tea time is a time for good manners (they must not always be pristine, just decent) but it is not an activity confined to any particular generation. Tea time is for everyone! As the weather gets colder, its a perfect time to host a tea party. Why? Seriously, if you need a reason to get together with your friends for a good chin wag and a hot cup of tea then I feel really sorry for you (more so for your friends). But here are a few reasons you can use to cajole your girlfriends out of their almost-winter hibernation:
1) It's fun to learn more about different teas (Lipton, Tetley and Stash are not the only brands out there). A great place to start your tea education is Dominion Tea, a company that hails from a long line of tea exporters.

2) I would be remiss not to point out that a tea party is a perfect occasion to dress up. Put on that fancy Sunday dress and hat. Seen here is a fabulous green Jones New York dress found at a consignment shop and a SJB Millinery hat. No white gloves required as you can see nor does one need to poke their pinkie into the air. Just put your napkin in your lap, sip don't slurp and enjoy the tea party.
3) It's an opportunity to travel. There are several tea rooms in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area such as: The Tea Cart, Virginia; The Tea Cellar, Washington DC; and Dollies Tea Room, Maryland. Or use the TeaMap to locate tea rooms and cafes throughout the United States and United Kingdom.
4) Sometimes, tea parties are charitable fundraisers. The Duchess Tea being held in Berryville, Virginia, Nov. 8 will help the charity We Will Survive Cancer.
5) You can also learn about different cultures. Not everyone drinks tea the same way. In Turkey, they drink Cay (their word for tea) out of little handle-less cups. In Japan and other Asian countries, they have an elaborate ceremony dedicated to tea.
Japanese Tea Ceremony

A Turkish cay (tea) cup

So you see, there is a lot more to the fashion of tea than ladies in white gloves sipping the stuff with their pinkies in the air!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Seeing spots ...

What better way to make a splash than with dots!? A cute linen polka dotted mini-skirt with a simple cotton polka dotted shirt. Throw in some Cole Haan flats and you are ready to just walk out the door for any event! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fitness is fashion ...

Who says you can't have fun with your fitness clothing. I love these shirts from WorkItWear and FitGirlClothing on Etsy. Some of my other favorites:
  • Run like a mother ...
  • I run because I like beer
  • World's Okay-est runner
  • Hell and back: 26.2 miles
  • And she ran happily ever after ...
  • Never mess with a woman who runs 13.1 miles for fun
  • Will workout for cupcakes
  • Running keeps me busy until its acceptable to drink wine

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It's begining to look a lot like Autumn ...

And this is how we do Autumn! Brown flat boots, brown AG leggings, beige shirt, denim jacket and tan felt fur cloche hat. Guess what? I got all these items at consignment stores! You can dress well and fashionable while saving money. A few of my favorites are Just Like New in Vienna, VA, and Current Boutique in Old Town, VA.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Swapping style ...

Clothes swaps are the ultimate shopping experience. One coming up is the @SuitedForChange and @DCEcoWomen clothing swap Oct. 8. Here are my top 5 reasons you should host a clothing swap

1) Do you really need a reason to get together with other fashionable women and drink wine while playing dress up?
2) All left over clothes are donated to a great charity like Dress For Success or similar
3) You get to freshen up your wardrobe without spending a cent AND you are helping other women freshen up their wardrobes -- one woman's junk is another woman's treasure they say
4) It saves you a car trip to the Goodwill to donate clothes
5) It saves you the frustration of putting clothes on e-bay or Craigslist

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Taking our cue from Genovese sailors ...

I'm not a big fan of jeans (i.e. denim). Mainly because denim started off being part of a Genovese sailor's attire because it was so rugged -- read the history of denim here. Nowadays we don't need the ruggedness of denim for our everyday living like Genovese sailors did. However, I do like to see different fabrics in my shoes -- case in point, the denim, leather and cork of the shoes shown above. Obviously, the only thing to pair these heeled sandals with is a pair of jeans.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fashion can sometimes hurt ...

A clothes steamer burn. Hey it looks like the Eiffel Tower, that is Parisian and that is fashionable right?
People think that fashion is all glitzy runways, glamorous models and rich celebrities. The real truth behind fashion is that it is hard, sometimes painful, work. Models are constantly scrutinized for their looks, weight, actions, etc. Try doing this critiquing in a normal office environment and you would win a roundtrip ticket to the HR office for sensitivity training! But it is completely acceptable in the fashion world. Behind the scenes, barely-paid show organizers and designers' unpaid interns as well as a slew of volunteers are busy prepping clothes, props, accessories, backdrops, etc. for the show. Most of the time, they get through a show with only a few needle pricks from last minute hemming or blisters from ill-fitting shoes. But sometimes, they get worse injuries like deep cuts from opening boxes with box cutters,  burning their arm with a steamer, or knocked unconscious after being hit in the head with a flying stiletto. Just remember, when you attend fashion shows, what you see walking down the runway is not the whole picture. There are a lot of behind the scenes activities that go into making those clothes look fabulous. Respect!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fashion show no-no's ...

It's no secret I was at NY Fashion Week this weekend and happy to be so. But as much as I pride myself on my etiquette, I was appalled at some of the fashion show no-no's I encountered at some of the shows. I think every person should attend at least one fashion show in their life. Of course I'm not saying you have to go to the IMG Mercedes-Benz premiere shows (notably because these are closed to the public as they are for industry people only) but there are lots of fashion organizers who sell reasonably priced tickets to attend emerging designers shows. Regardless of the fashion show, here are some simple (if not obvious) rules about attending:

  • Arrive early -- unless you are Anna Wintor of Vogue fame, you are not the most important person in the room and not entitled to be tardy
  • Dress appropriately -- I know its NYFW but don't try to outdo the designer's clothing or dress in something so outlandish that it takes two extra seats in the front row to accommodate your hat and shoulder epaulets. On the same note, if the event website says "cocktail" do not arrive in jeans and a T-shirt.
  • Eat something before you go -- Unless you bought the VIP tickets for $3000 a seat, you won't be getting to nosh on the champagne and canapes after the show. 
  • Go to the restroom before the show begins -- this is why you arrive early. Fashion show seating is usually in one long row (about 2-6 rows on each side of the runway) made up of anywhere between 15-40 seats long depending on how long the runway is. It is NOT cool to be seated in the middle of the row (and no, you can't ask for special seating) and ask everyone to excuse you while you interrupt the show to do your business. Unless you are truly sick, do not get up. 
  • Turn your cell phone off/vibrate -- Don't be one of those people who checks their phone or talks during the show. Some shows will let you take phone photos but some don't. Check with the registration person or the ushers when they show you to your seat.

  • Take up the seat next to you with your purse, hat, etc. -- you paid for ONE seat, only use that one seat.
  • Wear a huge hat/clothes -- Remember that people are likely sitting behind you and photographers are trying to get different angles of the runway. Its difficult to see the runway when you have to go around a person wearing a big hat or outlandish clothing.
  • Bring food/beverages -- this isn't an office meeting where you bring your coffee and donut into the briefing with you. Eat before you attend unless you purchase beverages at the show (some shows allow for cash bar drinks to be taken to your seat).  
  • Get up during the show -- as said before, unless you are sick, do not get up during the show. That is rude. But if you do need to get up (it better be a really good reason), leave and don't try to re-seat yourself when you feel better. Sometimes the ushers will let you stand in the back, sometimes they won't but that is a chance you'll have to take.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Another mutton-to-lamb dream ...

William Wilde
I know, I know, this is a mutton-to-lamb dress (i.e. a dress that should really be worn by a 20 year old and not a 40 year old). But just because I'm 40-ish doesn't mean I can't look and ooh and ahh over it! This fabulous creation is from William Wilde based out of London. It's made of rubber and is incredible! William Wilde will be showing his new rubber collection at #NYFW Saturday at the High Line Hotel so don't miss it. Or visit www.oxfordfashionstudios.com to see other fabulous designers who will participate in #NYFW Saturday.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Move over Gucci, Prada, Tom & Coco ...

Cornelia Turcu
Tessa Paaymans
I love fashion shows.  I love the clothes (even though most of them are so stupendously expensive I would NEVER own them even if I could afford them -- even I have a fashion comfort zone). I love the feeling of cool-kid-ness as I sit in the front row and ooh and ahh over someone's idea of fashion (we all have our own ideas, some are a bit more down to earth than others). And, I love seeing what the famous designers like Chanel, Tom Ford, Gucci, Prada, etc. pull out of their fashion bag of tricks each season. But I especially love emerging designers. You know, the ones who are just now getting into the biz or are fresh out of design school with big dreams and even bigger ideas?! I love them because they haven't been jaded by the business or crushed by the big fashion houses. I love them becuase they still see the value in quality clothes made with quality materials for a quality price and not relying on selling items because of name recognition. That is why I am so excited to be attending New York Fashion Week's Off Schedule Shows where I will see Cornelia Turcu (Moldavia) and Tessa Paaymans (New Zealand). Want to sit next to me? Get your tickets here: www.oxfordfashionstudio.com/tickets

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Veiled elegance ...

Some days when your make up is just not working out according to plans or your cheeks have lost that youthful glow, I find its great to wear a fabulous hat with a veil. Not only do you turn heads by simply wearing a hat in today's bare-headed society but you look mysterious and elegant because your face is shrouded with tiny net. And who doesn't want to look mysterious and elegant some times? This hat is from SJB Millinery, who will be showing its line at New York Fashion Week Sept. 12 at the High Line Hotel.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The spice of life!

Some days you just have to spice up the wardrobe a bit. Today was one of those days. Black fishnets with a red chiffon skirt and white button down blouse and black pumps. Classically sexy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Historic elegance ...

I like consignment store shopping and often find the neatest things amongst others cast offs. This weekend, I was at a fabulous consignment shop in Virginia and found this Gobelins Art purse complete with purse cover for storing the purse when not in use. A little history on Gobelins so that you really appreciate the craftsmanship that has evolved into this purse (so cheaply priced at $89 and in mint condition). The Gobelins family were Parisian fabric dyers who established a factory in the 15th century. King Henry IV rented space in that factory for his Flemish tapestry makers so the Gobelins learned the art. The Gobelins factory still stands today and throughout its 500+ years has produced works of arts that hang in the world's most noted art galleries and historical places. Of course this purse is not from the Gobelins factory but a replica by one of the leading reproduction houses in France. All this grand history for such a tiny handbag!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quote of the day ...

I don't normally share memes and never on my blog. But today, the meme above popped into my Facebook feed and it absolutely forced me to break my "never share" rule. Thanks to www.ceoglam.com for the quote and the reminder that words like pretty, beautiful, handsome, etc., describe a person's looks but the word elegant describes a person's way of being, their way of pulling themselves together, their way of behaving. Pretty=physical; elegant=behavioral.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Shoes with real soul ...

These fair trade shoes from Oliberte have real soul! No seriously! Not only can you feel good about buying them (they are made in Africa to a small company where the workers are paid a living wage) but they have a small map of the Africa terrain on the souls. Fun and fashionable, huh?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Unique, elegant accoutrements ...

Artisan Confections http://artisanconfections.com/
I like style in practically everything I wear, am and do -- from the clothes on my back to the places I visit to the food I eat. When I found these stylish, fashionable chocolates at Artisan Confections in Merrifield, Virginia, I fell in love. Like the old saying goes, good (and I'll add, fashionable) things often come in small packages! So what a better stylish and elegant accoutrement to your wardrobe than these tiny masterpieces in chocolate. I'm pretty sure I have a blouse in that exact striped pattern as the chocolate on the bottom right corner of the box :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not mutton, but not lamb either ...

My sister loves to remind me that I'm no lamb and that I need to dress my mutton age. Well, there are certain places where that mutton-dress ain't going to cut it. A rock concert is one! Pair a maxi skirt with a sexy bustier and some leather and chain jewelry for that definitely-not-mutton-but-not-exactly-lamb look. Another of my family's favorite quotes: "bear the bottom or bear the top, bear them both and you look like a slut." So this outfit covers the bottom completely while giving a little va va va voom to the top.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fair fashion ...

I'm not naive or ignorant, well, I try not to be. But, I was watching a documentary the other night (www.truecostmovie.com) and am amazed at what I don't know about the fashion industry. I'm also a little ashamed of myself. I'm not going to spoil it for you (you really should watch the movie) but I will give you a synopsis: The Western world is not treating other countries who make 90% of our clothes very nicely in my opinion. So, I visited the movie's site and read up on our fashion industry. Needless to say I'm embarassed and will be ordering and buying clothes (when at all feasible) from people who care about people and not profit. Don't get me wrong, it's alright to care about profit but people (in my book) will always come first. What was my first Fair Trade Fashion purchase? A great pair of shoes from Oliberte! https://www.oliberte.com/shoes/amboa/rustic-brown-pullup/

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fashion DASH ...

What a fantastic way to use fashion to help those in need. Last night I was privileged to be at the Walk For me Charity Fashion Show at the Carnegie Library and saw some fabulous designers, models and celebrities coming together to help a worthy cause -- domestic violence. The Jolie Agency partnered with various fashion talent to put on a fashion show that not only raised awareness for DASH, a DC domestic violence shelter, but raised funds to help DASH operations.
One of my favorite dresses from the show!

Fabulous model, Sharice, looked gorgeous in this glamorous gown!

For more information on the show visit the website at: www.walkforme.com or watch a segment on Fox about DASH at:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Home sweet home. Or not ...

Home should be a place of comfort, love, peace and acceptance. But to some, home is a battlefield of domestic violence. Please join me at the Walk For Me fashion show Aug. 2 at the Carnegie Library in DC. Portions of the proceeds will help domestic violence victims. And an added bonus, you can get some style tips from local designers!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A stylish vacation ...

I recently went on vacation (which is why I haven't blogged in two weeks). While on vacation surrounded by the beautiful lakes of Minnesota, I realized you really can be stylish while traveling -- yes, even in the airport.

Airlines have made flying so frustrating that I can understand why people just want to jump out of bed and travel in their jammies. But I strongly encourage you to think twice about that for three reasons:

1) People will stare (in a good way) -- While wearing this cute Betsey Johnson cotton dress (photo) to and from my Minnesota vacation (yes, it's alright to wear the same thing twice) I got a total of 8 compliments. While most of the other women at the airport sported shorts, jeans, tank tops, leggings, yoga pants, t-shirts, and pajamas, I dressed and looked like a lady. And I got treated like a lady!
2)  Be comfortable but be a lady -- Loose fitting, light-fabric (think cotton, linen, silk) dresses pack well  (roll them instead of folding them) and wear well. Collapsible ballet flats take up very little space in a carry-on bag. A pair of cotton white capri pants go with anything and can be dressed up (if going to a nice dinner) or played down (walk on the beach) much easier than shorts.  A bright, sleeveless silk shirt will always look classier than a jersey knit tank top.
3) Don't let the airlines win -- If we start to let ourselves go (fashion wise) because the airlines have made air travel so difficult (smaller seats, smaller bathrooms, no luxuries at all), then we are now the proverbial fashion lemming who let's them think they dictate our lives because they dictate our travel. Don't let them win your style game!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stunning in silver ...

I love silver as an accessory color. It looks much better on my skin tone than gold. So, when I saw a co-worker with these beautiful metallic silver nails, I just had to go out and try the new look out for myself! I'm not a big fan of nails painted with symbols and designs but this shiny nail color really does give you the glitzy, glamorous and yet very stylish look without being faddish or gaudy. Love it!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The American Dream ...

A great Suzanne beret with ribbon work and a fabulous hat box!
The American Dream is different for everyone. For me, the American Dream is five things really:
1) To have a great family who is happy, healthy and comfortable. I have all that now although when I was younger we weren't so comfortable (money wise) but we were healthy and happy, so 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
2) To have a nice home. I have this now and I appreciate my humble abode (it's not a mc mansion but its not a hovel either)
3) To have great friends and people who care about me.
4) To have a great job that I love that ensures I can pay the bills and still be able to have nice things. 
5) To have nice things! I don't need a lot of nice and/or expensive things, just a few. But my American Dream does not ensure I can just spend my hard earned cash willy-nilly. No, my American Dream ensures that I save some money so I can really appreciate my nice things once I've bought the,. I mean, who really appreciates things they haven't worked for? I saved money to buy my American Dream hat (a Suzanne Couture Hat, photo above) and I absolutely appreciate it more!

What is your American Dream this Fourth of July?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Travel like you mean it!

Traveling is tough but when you dress the part, you can fit in anywhere. This is New York City, Summer of 2015. Blue and grey jersey cowl blouse, blue denim Nine West hat and London Jeans. You can't see them but a great vintage cream and brown Hermes canvas make-up bag (used as a purse) and cream colored loafers! This is a a stylish tourist, not a trashy tourist. All her bits and bobs are covered, there are no jiggly parts sticking out of her shorts, no muffin top peaking over trouser edges and no big bags that take up a prime real estate seat on a crowded NYC bus. Now that is seasoned style!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Don't be the Ugly American ...

At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. you must remain quiet and respectful so all tourists can appreciate the monument and read the inscriptions and quotes. Even though her mouth is open, this tourist is silent and respectful.
I recently took some visiting friends into Washington D.C. to do the "touristy" thing. Since it's summer here in our nation's capitol' there are A LOT of tourists. Some are pleasant, some are not. Just by the way American tourists treat their own tourist attractions makes me wonder how they treat tourist attractions in other countries. Which prompts me to write this post on how NOT to be the Ugly American. The first "what not to do" is fashion related because if I saw one butt cheek hanging out of a pair of daisy duke shorts, I saw an army of them. Here are my top five bits of advice to Americans on how to NOT be an "Ugly American" tourist:
  1. Dress conservatively -- I Know I am not the only person who would much rather NOT see the 3 B's (buttocks, bosom, belly). Show some decorum people! Would you want some guy in a speedo walking around your precious American monument? Then why would you wear a tube top to the Arc de Triumph (which is just as sacred to the French as our Vietnam Memorial is to us Americans).
  2. Don't flaunt -- Trust me, the people in whatever city you visit are very much aware that you are from America. You do not have to wear a "God Bless Texas" or American flag T-shirt to proclaim your citizenship status.
  3. Carry a foreign language phrase book -- Even if your French accent is horrendous or your Spanish is pathetic carry a foreign language phrase book or dictionary because it shows that you are at least trying to communicate with the people in the country in which you are a GUEST.
  4. Research pays off -- Do a bit of research before you travel so you will know how to "fit in" (i.e. should you tip your servers, is it acceptable to haggle, is wearing red considered "slutty", etc.).
  5. Follow the rules -- We expect people from other countries to follow our rules (e.g. like the photo above) when they are visiting our country so why shouldn't we be expected to do the same? Don't litter, be noisy, smoke or do any other annoying things in a country where you are a GUEST.
Can you think of any other "Ugly American" things you've seen when touring other countries? Or even seen American tourists do in their own country?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The LBD for 40+ ladies ...

It's safe to say that most ladies in their 40s and older don't have the bodies they did when they were in their teens and 20s. There are a few exceptions, like my friend Samantha (you can find her on Facebook at Fit At Fifty Samantha) who have better bodies in their 40s and 50s than they did in their 20s. But for the most part, we 40+ women usually have a few more wobbly bits and saggy places as we age. Which means the Little Black Dress (LBD) ebbs and flows with our "seasoned" bodies. Hemlines get closer to the knees, sleeves get longer, and necklines stop plunging so much. The dress seen in this photo has a great gathered waistline , a hemline right above the knee and elbow-legnth sleeves. It's still sexy and form fitting but its such a great, versatile dress you can dress it up with diamonds for a cocktail party or dress it down (like above) with simple sandals and black bag for a nice family celebration. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

I got a brand new bag ...

I have a new favorite bag … Miche. Not only can I buy one or two purses in neutral colors like black or white but then I just snap a new cover on them (shown here in green and tan) and voila! I can match any outfit. And there are tons of Miche-like covers on Etsy that save me money too! This is fashion made easy. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quality women deserve quality friends ...

Quality clothes for quality women!
I know that National Best Friend Day was monday but I think we should extend it to cover the whole week. I recently had high tea with a group of ladies who think just like me -- quality over quantity. One of these women is a financial advisor and she taught me that quality women deserve quality things. Isn't it wonderful that "your vibe attracts your tribe"? It wasn't until a few years ago that I believed myself to be "quality" so before this time, I attracted not-such-high-quality friends. Now, not all my friends were in low places but I did attract some questionable people in my inner circle when I didn't respect myself in my 30s. I like myself so much better in my 40s because I recognized the quality in everything -- clothes, friends, food, etc. And I don't settle for anything less than the best quality in everything I do from my work and family life to my spending habits. A quality life deserves quality things in it like the gorgeous clothes and hats my high tea friends are wearing in the photo above. I buy fewer "things" because quality cost more than quantity. But because I have fewer things, I can appreciate them more. Its really difficult to appreciate cheap things isn't it? Cheap gets no respect. I am grateful for my quality things, I earned them. I now have a small group of quality friends so I have more time to appreciate them. These quality friends don't let me settle for anything less than the best. And do you know what? I'm of high quality so I deserve the best and you do too!

Monday, June 8, 2015

#BestFriendsDay ... thank your buddies for the little things

Best Friends, who could live without them? They are the ones who tell you when you need to watch what you eat, get a manicure or need a new pair of shoes. So, today, on National Best Friends Day, I want to thank my besties for the following:

  • Never letting me leave the house in sweats
  • Always reminding me that there are plenty of fish in the toilet (actually, that is my sister's saying for "there are plenty of guys out there")
  • Never allowing me to binge buy the latest fad (i.e. sparkly purple tube tops)
  • Always letting me bitch about my work, jerks, family, etc without taking it too seriously
  • Reminding me to take care of my skin so I still look 35 when I'm 60
  • Having my back and, when a boyfriend dumps me, I lose a job or any other horrible thing that happens to me, comforts me with manicures and window shopping
  • Reassuring me that my new hair cut looks good
  • Never letting me drunk dial an ex
  • Reminding me that I am a valuable woman 
  • Loving me for who I am, not what I can do for them or give them
So, what do you want to thank your best friend for today?