Friday, May 26, 2006

Filching French Fashion

Readers, I missed you and this site, but the vacation was nice. I didn't stop thinking about ideas for new posts though!

Want to add some French flair to your wardrobe? Here are some fashions I observed while in France. I wouldn't be surprised if they made their way over here in a few years time. To be ahead of the fashion curve, start incorporating them now!

Silk scarf, $12.99
Scarves I have never seen so many scarves all in one place. There are several varieties: A long, cotton, ethnic scarf, and also the classic 100% silk. Don't be afraid to go bold and add some color and pizazz to your outfits!

Big hats I didn't observe too many women wearing these (besides my cousin's wedding of course), but they're all over the stores a la My Fair Lady. OK, maybe they aren't that extreme, but they're classy and unique. Wear with caution, maybe for a swank barbecue or a chic cruise.

Pedro Garcia, about $340

Flat, pointy-toed shoes
These were popping up everywhere-with jeans, with skirts, with slacks, with any outfit imaginable. It's not a fashion I would have previously consider, but it makes sense: the French use a lot of public transportation and therefore walk far more than we do in the States. They need comfy shoes, but they also don't want to compromise style.

Good perfume Bathing jokes aside (yes, they really DON'T wash their hair every day), French women are very into smelling pretty and feminine. Nearly every woman who passed me on the streets smelled of good perfume. A personalized scent is a must for every fashionista. It's your aura, the thing others come to associate with your presence. My favorite? J'Adore by Dior, available at Sephora.

By the Way: We're all busy and tired, so we're taking an extra long holiday. We'll be back on Wednesday or sometime around there. Have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

All things White

With Memorial Day fast approaching, a parade of white is about to embark upon summer. And rightfully so, because white is the season's hottest "it" color!

Photo courtesy of
Dress by Moschino

Guidelines for wearing white:

Choose tailored pieces: Supposedly, there is a myth about the color white--you can only wear it, without looking like a cow, if you are size 2. So not true! Just make sure your clothing fits. Select items that flatter your body shape and are not overly bulky.

Experiment with attitude: White can be dressed up or dressed down easily. Today you can be the au naturel, girl-next-door in a breezy sundress, and tommorrow you can become a white-hot, man-eater in a sharply tailored suit.

Hide your skivvies: What's worse than VPL (visible panty line)? The panty peek. No one wants to see your pantalones and white clothing is notorious for breaking this fashion law. Because white undergarments appear loud and proud under white clothing, wear undergarments in a flesh color that closely matches your skin tone. I made this discovery by accident in college and my life hasn't been the same since!

Seperate your whites: Mom was right, afterall. To keep your white frocks sparkling, doublecheck and make sure that red pair of pants isn't stowing away in your laundry load! There's nothing worse than a dingy, wanna-be white...

Always be prepared: I'm the girl that drops food on her at every meal, inevitably when I'm wearing a new white shirt. Yep, that's me. As a result, I've learned to arm myself with appropriate stain-fighting weapons. Shout Wipes Plus and a Tide Pen are a gal's best friend!

Just say no to scuffs: Obviously, black asphalt and grass stains are waiting to taint your pristine white heels, so make an extra effort to pick up your feet when you walk. It sounds elementary, my Dear Watson, but you'd be surprised at how much you actually shuffle your feet in laziness when you walk.

Signal the beginning of your summer with clean, pretty and classic whites!

All photos are hyperlinked to online vendors

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Suspending reality for a moment...

Jennifer writes Las F with the following question: "Hi, I bought suspenders as a fun, original accessory but what should I wear them with? (Before you tear the whole idea apart, I’m incredibly bored of my jeans and t-shirt uniform and want to stand out in a good way). Thank you."

Well, we've talked a little about how to stand out before, but honestly, suspenders never even crossed my mind.

Maybe it's because I associate suspenders with a rather large man at my childhood church who wore them, not for reasons of fashion, but simply to keep his pants up. We all rooted for those suspenders to win their fight against gravity. Or the dozens of faded suspenders passed on to my husband after his grandfather (God bless his soul, I loved that man, suspenders and all) passed away. Or maybe because suspenders make me think of this:

But hey, if you're going to wear suspenders, you might as well do it right. Normally I would suggest keeping the rest of your outfit low-key, but suspenders are considered pretty zany, so you might as well have fun with the rest of your outfit, too.

Keep the colors fairly "safe" (matching, not too many prints) to avoid looking like a circus clown. You can wear them with slacks or jeans, but I'd avoid a skirt (unless it's of the more kicky mini-skirt variety) or capris. Over a t-shirt will work just fine.

And if you want to add "flair," be my guest!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eau de Clueless

It’s a yearly, billion-dollar business, so why are we all still so clueless about fragrance? My personal history of fragrance has been built on the philosophy of, “I like what I like.” And while this philosophy is noble in that it caters to my every whim and desire, it doesn’t speak much for my educational level as far as really understanding the science of fragrance. In the interest of becoming a well-educated Fashionista, I did a bit of research on the subject of fragrance and I would like to share it with you.

Image courtesy of

Fragrances are grouped by four types, differing based on the percent of perfume oil by volume contained.

The first, and the most commonly labeled as less expensive, is eau de cologne. Eau de cologne contains only two to three percent of aromatic compounds, making them very light in nature. This also means you must use a considerable amount more than normal because they disappear sooner.

The second, eau de toilette contains anywhere from five to twenty percent aromatic compounds. This class boasts the best bang for your buck, offering enough fragrance concentration to stick around throughout the day, but are affordable for all.

The third class, eau de parfum, is comprised of ten to thirty percent aromatic compounds. Eau de parfum perfectly balances fragrance intensity with longevity, but tend to be a bit overpriced.

Lastly, perfume extract, containing twenty to forty percent aromatic compounds, is the most concentrated and most expensive fragrance class. Perfume extracts are often in the form of fragranced oils, and are packaged in very small bottles.

Fragrances are grouped into scent families, based on the notes that appear as they evaporate. Most fragrances are built on three levels of notes, many times combining scent families.

Floral: Dominated by the scent of one or more types of flowers, this classic fragrance family includes peony, rose, gardenia, lily, jasmine, lilac, lavender, freesia and orchid. The purity and strength of this family makes it everything but garden variety.

Woody: Rustic and charming, this fragrance family claims the scents of sandalwood, cedar, pine, tobacco, patchouli and amber. The Woody family reminisces of the great outdoors, summers spent at the lake and winters by a crackling-wood fire.

Fresh: Clean and vibrant, this fragrance family bursts with ripe fruits, tasty foods, fresh greens, and crisp waters. Fruits include lemon, grapefruit, apple, berry and mandarin orange, among other citrus fruits. Foody notes include ginger, sugar, and soft vanilla. Greens are green tea, cut grass, homegrown herbs, and a variety of plants and vines. Watery notes are beachy, cooling, air-inspired, iced and dewy. Fresh fragrances are fun and flirty, remaining natural and down-to-earth.

Orientals: Passion and royalty are found in this far-east fragrance family, holding scents of a multitude of spices, animal musk, exotic florals, and dark chocolate. A combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and saffron are paired with tender notes of musk, orchid and bitter chocolate to create a fragrance family exuding warmth, sensuality and sophistication.

Note levels include top notes, heart notes and base notes. Throughout the day, the application of a fragrance changes based on notes and as a result of personal body chemistry.

Top notes are noticed immediately upon application of the scent. While top notes evaporate quickly, they form the initial impression of the fragrance.

Heart notes emerge after top notes fade, and are comprised of the primary body of a fragrance. Heart notes provide a structure and backbone to the overall fragrance, yet are well-rounded in nature. Heart notes have the most staying power and can be detected for the duration of the fragrance application.

Base notes are the main theme of the perfume, typically classifying the scent into a particular fragrance family. Base notes can be detected especially well when the fragrance has time to combine with body chemistry, aided by body temperature.

Fragrances should be properly preserved and kept away from heat, light and oxygen to avoid deterioration. A vintage bottle of perfume will not smell the same as a new bottle of the same perfume due to the above factors. Fragrances packaged in spray bottles hold scent longer than those in topped-decanturs, because the fragrance is self-contained and oxygen-resistant.

Fashionista, pack a few fragrance tips in your arsenal and you will smell like roses in no time!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Halle Berry, Style Star

Now this woman knows her shape. She doesn’t hide her curves—she celebrates them. She looks hot in black leather and orange bikinis, and somehow looks pretty classy in both. She looks good with long hair, short hair and everything in between (I’m partial to this short, wavy cut she often sports).

Pretty much every man in the world wishes he were Adrien Brody for one brief, but exceedingly pleasant moment of his life:

Plus, she plays a kick-butt mutant in a movie all of us at Las F. are totally stoked about.

We may not always agree with her movie choices (admit it: you saw Catwoman), but there’s no denying she’s got style worth emulating.