Stylewatch: Boho chic!

The sweet stylists at Modcloth.com flattered me by answering a topic-question I had suggested: What is Boho? Sure, most of us know Boho is a combination of Bohemian and hippie. But what else do we need to know if we want to emulate the perfect, yet seemingly effortless, style of stars such as the Olsen twins, Sienna Miller or Nicole Richie? Well, in Modcloth stylist’s own words, here it is:

 

bohoThis week’s fashion dictionary post is dedicated to a style term very close to my heart: Boho. If you’ve done any research on the trend, you’ll know that this term encompasses an entire fashion phenomenon.

bohochic1

Characterized by hippie-or-folk-inspired pieces mixed with a modern twist, Boho-chic (short for Bohemian), embodies easy-to-wear glamour. Peasant skirts, beaded accessories, slouchy tops and casual-yet-stylish shoes are reigning wardrobe staples in the essential Boho closet.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than Sienna Miller. Credited with popularizing the look almost single-handedly, her seemingly effortless outfits, tousled hair, and comfort-minded accessories are quintessential cornerstones of the trend. And it has certainly caught on – Kate Moss, Nicole Ritchie, and Mary-Kate Olsen are often seen sporting bohemian flair.

Want to get the look? Embroidered frocks, hobo bags, or a mixed set of bangles can be paired with almost any ensemble to add a touch of boho to your everyday style. Our Side Saddle PurseLa Pueblacita Blouse, and We Got the Bead Earrings can get you on the fast track to living the boho life (or at least styling for it) this Spring.

Thank you to Sabina for suggesting the topic. I hope this helped! Let me know if you have a fashion term you’d like brought to light. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping.

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Yay! How special am I?! 🙂 Thanks again, Modcloth team! I am honored.

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SHE’S THE ONE

michele obama

“If she were just brilliant and eloquent and accomplished, it would be enough. If she were just the mother of the two cutest children on planet Earth, it would be enough. And if she were just down-to-earth yet extraordinarily charismatic, that too would be enough. But on top of all that, the first lady of the United States of America has mad style.” Elle Magazine, April 2009

I am extremely pleased that Elle decided to cover Mrs. Obama’s style this month. Not that everyone’s not talking already, but it’s nice to hear eloquent opinions, once in a while, that really confirm just how awesome Michelle’s sense of fashion is! 

michele-obama

I mostly appreciate just how well put together Michelle always is and how flattering her outfits are. Elle pointed out that the First Lady’s outfits are also appropriate for the current state of our economy, as she wears pieces from chain stores such as J. Crew and White House | Black Market. As someone whose part-time job pays minimum wage, I wondered, “how is it cheap to pay $140 for a cardigan?” However, to put the $140 into perspective, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate’s wardrobe (who shall remain nameless on my blog so I don’t gag) budget was an estimated $150,000-plus. And to put the $150,000 into perspective…let’s just say Cindy McCain at some point during the campaign wore a single outfit that cost (are you seated?) twice as much. *_*

On a side note, I’m watching CBS news as I type and they have just announced that the First Lady has higher approval ratings than the President himself.  So, America, we’re having a hard time deciding which one of the two we love more? That’s okay, we have four years ahead to love them both and, if the planets line up correctly, another four following that. How good it is to have the Obamas in the White House! 

Obama Inauguration Home States Ball
michelle-obama

Bold Tuesdays

Birds of a feather

In today’s Bold Tuesdays, do you have what it takes to wear…feathers?

feather_girl

Yes, feathers. Feather-accessories, to be more specific, from mere plumage to peacock eye, are my latest obsession. So devoted I am to this “cult” that I can’t even pick one such accessory out…I want them ALL!

featherpeacock-eye
Left: a feather barrett that you clip to your hair (see photo above).

Right: Peacock feather earrings -so gracious, yet utterly sophisticated!

And below, one of my long-time loves: the peacock feather tights! I’ve been wanting these for months now, but they cost about $30 on Modcloth’s Web site and somehow that cost isn’t really justified to me. Then, again, can you ever put a price on what you love? 🙂

peacock-tights

All photos courtesy of modcloth.com

Stylewatch Mondays

I have to hold myself back and remember it is barely March, today it snowed (it was a mix of snow and sun, actually), and summer doesn’t officially start until June…or until late May. Otherwise, I’ll soon start blogging about bathingsuits.

But until we can throw in our towel and hit the beach, there are still quite a few styles we can take in this Spring. In fact, the transition from Winter to Spring is one of my favorites in terms of fashion. We are starting to show some skin, just not a lot, mostly bare legs. I think Spring is for bare legs and gorgeous locks, if you ask me. 🙂

When it comes to bare legs, 3 items are very hot right now: the empire-waist dress, the paper-bag-waist skirt or dress, and skirts or dresses with ruffles!

The Empire Waist Dress

Urban Outfitters Spring 2009

Urban Outfitters Spring 2009

Just for the heck of it, I posted this photo (far left) of a less conventional empire waist. It looks like a long t-shirt, doesn’t it? Well, that’s why I like it. 🙂

Here’s a more traditional look for the empire waist:

empire waist

The Empire Waist is, basically, that hi-cut right below your breasts and above your normal waist line.

Ups: Definitely a feminine cut. Also, if you’re too skinny and want to add volume to your body, this will definitely do it.

Downs: I wouldn’t necesarily call it a “hot” look. Also, if you are looking for a dress to slim you down, this won’t do it…it kind of has the pregnant-look to it.

The Paper-Bag Waist Dress

The Spring Chickadee Dress by Mink Pink. Featured on modcloth.com.

The Spring Chickadee Dress by Mink Pink.

If this dress isn’t a cutie patootie, I don’t know what is. 🙂 I love the paper-bag waist style so much because it follows the hi-waist trend in a less conventional way. Plus, until not long ago, for years we were infatuated with low-rise everything. Now, as we are left with those items, sometimes don’t you want to do just this>>>>>>

>>scrunch-up your old low-waist skirts and tie them around your high waist just like you would tie a paper pag? Ha! Gotta love it.

Ruffles Winter, Ruffles Spring, Ruffles-Ruffles Everything!

ruffles

<<<Hey, so, ruffles have been popular since winter, huh? Well, if you’ve come to love them, you are in for a treat: they will still be popular into the late Spring and early Summer! Ruffle collars, ruffle dresses, ruffle scarfs, ruffle sleeves…aaaaghh! But ruffles are cute, so we put up with them anyway 🙂

Here is the ultimate challenge: combining these different styles!…For example: wearing an empire-waist dress that’s also got ruffles…or wearing a paper-bag waist skirt/dress with ruffled shoes. 

Ok, I’m joking.


Sandals: coming soon to a sunny location near you

I am more ready for summer than you can imagine! I’m especially ready to lose all these layers and sweaters and socks and tights etc. and make room for sheer fabrics and sandals! 

gladiator sandals

gladiator

Photo courtesy of Primark's Spring-Summer '09 collection.

Talk about sandals, I’ve noticed the gladiator style continues to be a favorite in this upcoming season and I am glad because, I have to admit, I haven’t had a chance to buy into it, and I regretted it by the end of last summer. I was fascinated with how the Olsen sisters wore the gladiator sandals but it wasn’t enough to convince me to own a pair.

I’m a slow-poke sometimes. 🙂 So between last summer and now, I’ve come to love this style. It’s a bit more masculine in a sense, but definitely sexy if you wear it right. Match them to a pair of very-short shorts, or a short dress or skirt, and let them show off your legs…as well as the strong woman within! Gladiator sandals make for a great casual summer look and since they come in all shapes and sizes, you’ll have plenty to choose from: high-heel, flats, high-rise, low-rise, leather or man-made material, plus an abundance of colors! While some are merely “gladiator-inspired” sandals with just a hint of the gladiator look, others will make you look like Brad Pitt’s comrade in the movie Troy. And every girl dreams of playing alongside (or with) Brad Pitt, right? 🙂 I know I do…

 I haven’t decided which type I am yet, but I’ve noticed an alternative look to the gladiator sandals and loved it. Check it out (below):

 

Photo courtesy of modcloth.com

Photo courtesy of modcloth.com

I know, I know…not THESE colors (although they’re not bad, just maybe too somber for summer?), but this STYLE. I haven’t been able to find a name for it yet. It’s as though they are *hugging* your ankles and keeping you warm on a breezy night on the beach. They cover you a bit, yet not completely, on a colder summer day while you’re trekking around town. I found them very chic! 

Here is another similar model. 

Summer just can’t get here soon enough!!!

Networking: for the business whore in you

Okay, I thought, if this is what it takes…I’ll do it!

So armed with my speakeasy Slacks, a funk-tastic paisley-patterned black and white shirt, high heels, Jackie-Kennedy inspired coat to top it all off, and my soft and cozy purple scarf as the icing on the cake…

…I headed there.

I had no idea what to expect and zero expectations for that matter. I was nervous, no doubt about that, but I kept thinking…desperate times, call for desperate measures. I’m not selling my soul, I’m just trying to make a living. And someday, when my dream will come true, I’ll know it will have all been worth it…

networking

Tight asses. Wine glasses. Pretentious Hors D’ouvres. And chatter. Lots of chatter. No, this isn’t your parents’ dull cocktail party. Instead, Welcome to your new “work”: the netWORKing meeting! 

Nowadays, as a business professional or owner of a small to middle-sized business, you don’t exist unless you belong to one of these groups: Networking Meetings…Networking Parties…BNI (Business Network International) groups…yada yada yada…mostly the same content, different packaging. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself, contract new business, or learn about other professionals in your community, you attend a networking meeting. What you hope to get out of it is, well, word-of-mouth advertising for yourself or your business, publicity, free referrals, marketing tips, improved public speaking skills and much more. 

These meetings have become increasingly popular also among Americans who have recently lost their jobs, mostly due to the recent turn of events in our economy. You’re thinking “support group”? Well, you’re sort of right. But consider that about 4.4 million (that’s like the entire population of Ireland, New Zealand or Costa Rica!) Americans were fired between now and December 2007 and you are on your way to understanding why people who attend such meetings are not minorities anymore–they are part of the latest trend! Moreover, as the downturn continues to deepen without an end in sight, they become a vast majority. 

This is what I knew before I attended one of these. So how did I end up at a networking meeting? Well, along with several jobs I have, I’m also a video producer. That is my business: I make you video real good 🙂 weddings, promotional videos, music videos, PSAs (public service announcements), documentaries, live recordings, interviews, news packages–you name it, I make it. A photographer I’ve been working with invited me to a networking meeting, saying it would be a good opportunity to meet potential clients. My business has been getting better and better ever since I started, with bigger and bigger contracts coming my way. But since you can’t take anything for granted these days AND because I want to ensure a constant flow of clients, I decided to give it a try.

So there I was, walking in with my above-mentioned outfit, into a room full of adults. At merely 23 years-old, I’m no adult, just a cutie-patootie, but I can fake it. I can hold a glass of wine and chatter meaninglessly, too, you just wait and see! Inside, I find lots of jolly people. But, to my surprise, no one is wearing buttoned-up shirts or ties. The women are wearing colorful, sexy dresses, they are giggling and flirting. Guys got their game on, playing the all-powerful jocks who seduce chicks. Did I misunderstand the invitation? Is this like a hook-up game? What kind of “networking” are we doing, eh?

Hmm. I get uncomfortable — and I am not one to get easily uncomfortable. I’m wondering, is there much to any of these conversations? These people seem…well, drunk. As a recent college student, believe me, I know drunk when I see it :-). Ahhh, silly adults! What’s next…break-out the peer-pong table? Okay, let’s check this out…

I make my way through the crowd, holding a glass of wine just to show I’m “one of them.” I start shaking hands. “Hi, I’m Sabina! Yeah, that’s Sabina, no “r”, not “SabRina.” Hahaha…that’s okay, I get that a lot…’Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,’ eh? Well, it’s easy to remember my name that way. Oh, I’m a video producer. Yeah. How about you?” Uninteresting responses follow. With some people I click instantly, others…I just skip quickly and keep moving along. 

After an hour of loud chatter, the event organizer asks us to put our business card in a bowl for a drawing. There’s about 50 of us in the room. I win, of course (I’ve won every drawing I entered since the beginning of 2009). The prize is a bag advertising a marketing company, filled with a wine bottle (shocking!), two cute martini glasses, some bubbler (?), and pop-rocks. Handy dandy! Dorel and I drank the whole bottle that night. Thanks, Rosetti Marketing! 🙂 Then random business cards get drawn from the bowl. If you get picked, you introduce yourself and your business to the group, and you tell SPECIFICALLY what you are looking for.

Fast forward this past week–my second time attending. I also introduced someone new to the group–an actor/model who has worked with me and the photographer I just mentioned. And I earned his business right at that meeting! He hired me to make his resume DVD. Cha-ching! 🙂 By now, I also knew to leave the slacks at home and wear a dress. I don’t flirt, thank you (I’m a married woman, remember?), but I don’t have to. I smile, look good, and talk a lot, so people come to me. Some remembered my name from last meeting and now weren’t strangers anymore. We could discuss about our respective businesses in a meaningful way and figure out how we can help each other. I got away many ideas and I also implanted ideas in others, suggesting to them how “a video on your Web site could really enhance and benefit your business; it’s an effective way of making your business personal to potential clients and it’s cheaper than advertising; plus, ANY reputable business has at least one video on their Web site — it’s the biggest thing since…well, photos!” 🙂 

I’m also meeting with a chick I met there for coffee next week. I got Jessica’s attention with my shoes:), which she loved and then started talking to me about herself. She works for Paychex and basically does payroll and taxes for small businesses. Most importantly, she’s going to give me lists of everyone in town who just opened a business. She stays on top of all that and has many connections to help her find out about new businesses. I’m mostly interested in up-scale restaurants — I want to make them some badass action movie-clips of how their chefs prepare their signature dishes “behind the scenes.” This is a big hit on restaurants’ Web sites.

A drinking group with a business problem? Perhaps. Nobody said these networking meetings are perfect. But all I know is that business doesn’t come to you…not these days. You have to go out of your way and find it. If you stay at home, nobody will hear about you. Internet is great advertising, but in-person meetings are the bread-and-butter of any contract signing. So until I’m as famous as Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell or Tyra Banks, I will continue to attend BNIs and, basically, sell myself 🙂

Drop-crotch pants?

Okay, so this isn’t any new trend, apparently, but I …just found out about it! I hear it’s been pretty popular in Europe for a while now, and even more popular in Britain (shocking!). 

dropcrotch

Courtesy of Bare Magazine

If you haven’t already done so, meet…the drop-crotch pants. This might seem like a masculine style, but plenty of girls sport this on the streets and some of them wear it quite well. I, for one, am happy to hear about this style because, being a size 00 / 24 / Xxs in pants, most pants that I find out there tend to fit me like the “drop-crotch” style. I mostly don’t mind it and, if I really like the pants, I 

will buy them and just overlook the fact that they don’t fit perfectly. I wear them with attitude and that’s all that matters 🙂 

135572_l_730d3b772b0ff57b33d33e5e227f9ad9

BY VAGABONDNYC.COM V., 28 YEAR OLD STYLIST/VINTAGE BOUTIQUE PROPIETOR FROM NEW YORK

Some people went really crazy with this style, but for the most part, I think it’s pretty badass, albeit very alternative. Do you have a pair?

 

 

Still more to come on Mod Love (TV announcer voice): Frances posts pictures of her own wardrobe and style, along with her latest finds in the local stores! Stay tuned 🙂 Plus, summer is fast approaching: is your wardrobe hype enough to cause a heat-wave? 🙂

Stylewatch Mondays: the Oscars!

While I was getting ready to write this post about the 2009 Oscar Awards Ceremony, I thought to myself, “nothing really stood out this year.” Most dresses were bland and blended in the setting. And we go downhill as we move towards hair-styles. Where was the glamour? The glitz? Good or bad, at least give me something to talk about?? 🙂

As it turns out, many share my opinion. I googled “Oscars 2009 fashion” and ran across spanking fresh articles that portray it bluntly as…disappointing. 
Still, after watching the Awards Ceremony meticulously, I can name one dress in particular that stood out to me: Marisa Tomei’s Versace dress.
 To be honest, I didn’t even know who Marisa Tomei is until I saw this dress. 🙂 

Well, she played the single-mom stripper inThe Wrestler and she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance (the Oscar, however, went to Penelope Cruz).  
Back to the dress now. The cut is really sophisticated and I love how the many creases (or folds) twist along in various directions, yet manage to come together and look seamless! Simply stunning! It makes me think of a twister, actually. Marisa’s dress also embodies a very strong trend at this year’s oscars: that fishtail you may have noticed on other dresses, such as Beyonce’s (whose dress was terrible, by the way) and Vanessa Hudgens’. 
Marisa wore the white the best, in my opinion. (This is the best photo I could find of her dress, but the angle that would truly do her justice is exactly the opposite, where you could see all the fabulous twists!) Penelope Cruz’s vintage Balmain was also a hit, but her hair ruined it for me. Sarah Jessica Parker wasn’t bad in her Dior dress, but too bridal of a look. Angie looked good, but her look is getting really old: long locks, black dress–same old, same old. 
Anyway, this is all I’ve got. All that’s worth mentioning. Almost everyone’s hair disappointed me. I think simplicity is a great thing, but not at the Oscars…not when it comes to hair. It ended up translating into lazy, as far as I’m concerned. Either that, or…the recession has hit the stars, too, and they could no longer afford a hair-dresser. I could just see them twisting their locks in the bathroom with the hot iron. Yikes!
Best to end the note with Marisa Tomei’s dress. After all, she wins my style-watch category for the week 😉

Bold Tuesdays

 

This Spring, as you leave behind your winter blacks and whites,  don’t just welcome the sun with color, but do so with INTENSE color! As tempting as those pastel colors might be (lime-green, pale-pink, pale-yellow, etc.), you can have more:

Try some clear-cut Green, Blue, and Red! Add Yellow and everything in-between, so long as it is an intense, definite color!
Don’t just say, ‘hello, Spring!’ …Flaunt those primary colors like you mean it! 😉 

Happy Spring, everyone!
PS: These lovely outfits are courtesy of BB Dakota –I’m a huge fan of their collections!

Stylewatch Mondays!

 

Season must-have’s
First of all, *high-waist everything*(here’s a basic idea from American Apparel). Seriously. Donate or set aside your low-waist items of clothing and make room for high-waist skirts, pants, overalls, dresses, shorts, etc. Any of your old tops will work perfectly covered by ahigh-waist skirt or pair of pants. 

*On a budget?* Simply create the idea of “high-waist” by accessorizing with a belt tightened around the highest point of your waist, rather than around your hips. Or, wear a skirt that you already have in your wardrobe tightened around your high-waist, rather than your low-waist.

*Not for your body-type?* If you don’t think you have the body for high-waist skinny pants and also don’t want to look like chubby Jessica Simpson in them, you can never go wrong with a skirt. Skirts and dresses are good for all body-types.

Second of all, *vests* = the easiest and most fun way to accesorize and add character to an
otherwise-plain look. Vests are not only trendy right now, they can also make you look sophisticated easily, as if you actually spent time putting your wardrobe together. If you are worried about your budget and don’t want to spend a lot on being up-to-date with fashion, vests will get you there. For example, they go perfectly with skinny, high-waist jeans, a long top, and either flats or pumps.

Now, in no particular order:
*Pumps* Very fun shoes that add height to any petite silhouette (like me). I love pumps because they can be fun, serious or sexy, depending on how you choose to wear them.
*Scrunched skirts* If you’d like to try something fun this season, consider getting a high-waist skirt in its scrunched version. Sure, you’re thinking this isn’t the sexiest outfit. Sexy, maybe not. Feminine? Yes. Fun? Most definitely. It’s a nice, alternative office look, if nothing else.

*Belts* No explanation needed here. Any fashionista must have a belt by this point. Belts are good on dresses, skirts, pants, shirts, coats, sweaters, jackets, raincoats…you name it! They complement that high-waist look I just mentioned.
*On a budget?* Try using an old scarf or tie in place of a belt. If you have tops you are getting ready to throw away, consider cutting out a strip and using it in place of a belt.

*Scarves* Silk or wool, cotton or lycra, print or plain, scarves are a definite statement of who you are. Have fun picking one out and letting it show one or two of your true colors.