Monday, February 29, 2016

Gloves: A #LeapDay fashion tradition ...

Lavabre Cadet is one of the oldest couture glove makers in the world.

Causse Gantier is fabulous glove maker!
Happy Leap Day everyone! Yes, its that day (which only comes around every four years) where ladies can propose to men instead of the other way around. You've got the ring, you're dressed to impress your (hopefully) soon-to-be fiancé, and you've popped the question. He said yes, yay! Now on with the wedding planning (which is another blog altogether).

But what if he said no? Since this tradition of women being able to propose to men on #LeapDay has been in existence for hundreds of years, you better believe there are some consequences to deal with if a man says no. Something about Hell having no fury like a woman scorned. Legend has it that if a man refuses a marriage proposal on #LeapDay (also known as #BachelorsDay)  then he has to buy the spurned lady 12 pairs of gloves -- one for each month of the year -- so she could hide her shame (mainly her left-hand ring finger). During the middle ages, there were apparently even laws that governed this tradition. So, if I see lots of ladies wearing gloves tomorrow, March 1, I'll show extra kindness toward them.

History lesson courtesy of

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dress the way you want to be treated ...

I'm sure what I am about to say will offend some people and I'm sure it will do nothing to change their minds but here goes. My mother's best fashion advice to me was to "dress the way you want to be treated." We live in a society today that dresses more for comfort than for respect. To me, dressing well is not meant to be seen as me "keeping up with" the Jones' or the Kardashians or anyone else. It's not meant to show my wealth or good taste or to outdo anyone else. To me, dressing well means I want to portray a good image to our society, to respect those around me. Don't get me wrong, I am known to let comfortable clothes win out in the right circumstances (I don't work out in heels or wear a ball gown to the ballgame) but appropriate clothes at the appropriate time tells the world "I care about contributing to this society and its occupants." I recently traveled to Atlanta via airplane. Now, the airline industry has made traveling so laborious and downright unpleasant that I hate flying anywhere. Here is the typical sequence of traveling by air nowadays:
  • stand in line for 30 minutes just to use one of the kiosks to check in
  • stand in line again to drop off your bags
  • walk all the way around the airport to get to the security check in
  • stand in line 30-60 more minutes to go through security
  • remove every piece of metal from your body or risk pat down
  • gather all your possessions as well as re-dress yourself after security
  • wait again for the flight at a gate where there are not enough uncomfortable seats
  • take 30 minutes to board the plane because half the people before you don't know how to pack a carry on bag properly or don't want to check their bags (who can blame them -- it usually costs money and adds an extra half hour to the journey) and spend 15 minutes shoving it into a too small overhead bin until a flight attendant demands they check it
  • finally sit in your assigned seat and find your seat mate is not the standard 18.5 inches wide (the width of most airline seats between armrests) and takes up half your space
  • flight time in cramped uncomfortable seats for anywhere between an hour and a day
  • de-board the plane only to have to walk another mile to the baggage claim (no seats while you wait)
And that is why no one wants to dress up to travel anymore! Wearing heels in those long lines is excruciating and wearing anything of value just begs your seatmate (which for me is usually a crying toddler) to spill red juice all over it.  But to wear PJs or work out clothes to travel in? Oh Hell no!!! Come on, have more respect for yourself and others than that. Find a nice but comfortable dress like the one in the photo above and pair it with some simple accessories. I wore this ensemble to and from my Atlanta destination (yes, you can wear an outfit more than once) and got so many compliments. Plus, I was treated better by not only the airline and TSA staff (most of which have seen plenty of horribly dressed people in their lifetimes) but by passengers too.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The only 7 words you want to hear today ...

The #AbFab Movie is coming July 1st ... 

That's right. The Absolutely Fabulous Movie, starring Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders, will be released July 1 according to the BBC. And before you go correcting my grammar, to the cult that is #AbFab, #AbFab is only one word -- sometimes, its the most important word of the day! 

I loved watching the AbFab series on BBC America around the turn of the century (the 2000's that is). And loved it even more when they gave us a few more episodes in 2012 after a decade hiatus. Now, after four years, we get the #AbFabMovie! Of course, this got me to thinking. While the ladies of AbFab are absolutely fabulous (and funny) to watch, we really don't want to mimic their styles today do we? Let me explain:
Patsy (Joanna Lumley, 69) always wore Chanel suits and her hair in a french twist with too much lipstick and heels. I don't remember an episode without her dressed this way. Do you really want to stay in a style rut the rest of your life like Patsy? There is something to be said about sticking with the classics but everyone needs a little updated style boost now and then, right? Joanna's off screen "normal" style is very classic but updated as you can see in this photo right. Thank goodness she doesn't adhere to her character's stagnant fashion sense! 

Eddy (Jennifer Saunders, 57), on the other hand, is always chasing the latest fashion trend, never satisfied with what she has. Of course, there is merit to wanting to be up-to-date and fashion concious but Eddy takes it a bit too far all the time. Contrary to her crazy #AbFab character Eddy, Jennifer is very elegantly style (most often in darker colors though) yet still trendy as seen in this photo left. 

So, what I am saying is that we should all strive to be a style maven who is one part consistent Patsy, one part trendsetting Eddy, one part classic Joanna and one part elegant Jennifer. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

DIY Valentines Day ...

I'm old enough to know that I can't always depend on a significant other (SO) to buy me a #HappyValentinesDay gift every February 14. So, I usually just buy myself something. This way, it's just a bonus if the SO gets me something. This year, I'm giving something away for this romantic holiday. My lovely blog readers will get the chance to win this funny but insightful book by logging onto my #Amazongiveaway. I mean, who doesn't love fashion and style coming from one of the most romantic cities on earth (Paris of course)? And if you don't win the book in my #Amazongiveaways go ahead, buy it for yourself, you deserve it! Just think, a Valentines gift that didn't die like flowers, make you fat  like candy or that you didn't have to sacrifice sleep for like "appreciation sex"! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale ...

Yes, I was one of those who got out and battled the madness that was the Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale Saturday (Feb. 6). It was a bit crazy but relatively well organized and definitely well attended. I will say that for a girl of size 12, you need to get there early (it started at 9 a.m.) to get anything in your size. By the time I got there at 11 a.m., the only things left were size 0-4. I did find a few things that caught my eye. The Kiki Lynn (yes, that is Kiki herself showing us her super cute shirt dress with handkerchief hem) checkered dress above is fantastic and does wonders for ALL figures! I bought it in a camel color though because I try to steer clear of patterns and stick to solids so its easier to mix and match ensembles. I know many of you say you would never pay "boutique" prices but this event was a perfect time to buy great clothes (many from local DC designers like Kiki) at reasonable prices. I got the @KikiLynnUSA dress for only $60! The only bad part about the sale, it only comes around once a year (usually in February) so you have to wait another 12 months!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The slob life ...

Now, don't expect me to share many things like this below because I like to write my own thoughts in this blog. But when I run across something that slaps me in the face with shame, I tend to pay attention. The recent article in The Telegraph (out of the UK) is a stark reminder that we might have evolved as a country to be the biggest superpower in the world, but Americans are still seen as slovenly when referring to fashionable appearance.

I have been known to slack in my appearance every now and then -- when I'm sick, in a hurry, in a bad mood, [insert any other reason here]. Just because I can offer an excuse doesn't mean its the right thing to do (i.e. to disrespect people and establishments because I am lazy or tired or whatever). Bottom line is my mom was right -- dress how you want to be treated.

Trust me, you need to read the article in private (not on a crowded train like I did during rush hour -- I scared a lot of people with how hard I laughed, out loud) and in its entirety. It's long but funny and totally worth it. Sadly, it speaks some truth to both American and British standards of today.

Kathy Burke and Harry Enfield as Waynetta and Wayne Slob.  Credit: BBC