Friday, January 05, 2007

Men: Appropriate for Every Occasion

As a man, it must be difficult to know exactly how to dress for each situation. Although it is impossible to know exactly what to wear, there are some little tips and tricks that you can follow that will help you to wear the right thing at the right time. One surefire way to get guidance is to ask what type of dress the occasion calls for, and either the invitation or the host will have that information ready for you.

Casual: Let's say the event is a lunch at a casual eatery with a few friends. Firstly, you can identify a casual eatery because while someone bring you your food, you won't be expected to be dressed to the nines. Something above Denny's but below the fancy places. This one couldn't be easier, right? Well, maybe. Logo t-shirts and your broken in jeans are out. Pick a nice pair of jeans or khakis and a nice shirt, preferably a polo or button-down. That may seem dressy to you more casual types, but a good general rule is to shoot higher rather than lower. If you underdress you'll look sloppy. If you overdress you'll still look good, albeit better than everyone else. But hey, that's a good thing.

Semi-Formal: Now it's time to start stepping it up. A good example of this might be an evening of dinner and dancing on the town, or a holiday party. A nice pair of slacks is a must! Khakis won't do it anymore, unless you're going for the khaki-navy blazer combo, but quite frankly that look is as old as The Love Boat, and deserved to be left there. Pair your trousers with a crisp, clean button down and, if you feel the occasion calls for it, a tie. I'd say on these occasions it's okay to leave the jacket at home, but again, be the judge of the situation for yourself. Also, it's easier to take something off than put it on, so if you're not sure, bring it with you. You can always leave it in the car.

Formal: This is a more special occasion, like the rehearsal dinner before a wedding, or seeing the philharmonic. Now the jacket and tie are requirements. And just because I didn't say so before, if you're wearing nice slacks or a suit (as would be perfect for this occasion), make sure your shoes are just as dressy as the rest of your outfit. Nothing ruins a look like incongruency.

Black Tie: You've graduated to a fancy black tie event, eh? You'll need to rent a tux. Think the prom, or a night wedding. There are tons of great tuxedo options nowadays, so you won't look like every other penguin in the room, unless you want to, of course. Fortunately for you, black tie events are usually well-marked as such. I've never seen an invitation to a black-tie event that didn't explicitly state "black tie," so this one is easy for you!

Now get out there and show your date your dressing expertise!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inspiration station

Where do you get your biggest fashion inspirations?

Mine are usually found in movies (The Holiday is a recent one--loved Cameron Diaz's jewelry) and the occasional magazine (usually Lucky or Glamour).

Where do you find yours?

-The internet?
-Classic or modern movies?
-The catwalks at Fashion Week in NY or Paris?
-A favorite store?
-A specific designer or actress or fashionista in your life?
-Historical costumes?
-Your grandmother's or mom's closet?
-Your particular city?

Give your answer in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Product Review: Victoria's Secret Body Butter

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of body butters. My signature scent for the past 3-4 years has been Victoria's Secret Lovespell, so when I made a trip to stock up recently I was delighted to see they'd expanded their product base to include body butter. What a treat!

The first thing I noticed about this particular butter was that it had the texture of buttercream frosting. It's surprisingly light and airy for a body butter. It's not greasy, but it kept my skin from itching, which is a feat during these winter months.

I like this product much better than the Boots body butter I reviewed previously. At $10 per tub, you'll love it too!

By the way: Our brand spanking new layout is courtesy of Sparkle Designs, run by the fabulous KT. Be sure to check out her work--she's fabulous!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fashionista Resolutions

A new year means a fresh start. Here are five resolutions a Fashionista should not only make, but keep.

Resolution #1: Kick a vice to the curb.

Before you hang your head in shame, remember that we all have them. Bad habits range from smoking to excessive tanning, over-eating to a sedentary lifestyle, and even abusive relationships to self-deprecation. It's not going to be easy to eliminate a vice, but a little hard work and determination can lead to good health and a better quality of life.

Resolution #2: Get organized.

How much easier would life be if your day-to-day tasks were managed properly? Getting organized isn't an unattainable feat. Start with a fresh dayplanner or electronic scheduling device of your choosing, and learn to manage your time wisely. In your home, practice the mantra "everything has its place." Instead of devoting thirty minutes to find your car keys (which were slung aside as soon as you walked in the door the night before), your time could be spent on more productive endeavors, like painting your nails or plucking your eyebrows.

Resolution #3: Carpe diem.

Life is short. No duh. Why are still resting on our laurels when we could be traveling the world, writing a bestselling book, learning to cook fine French food, or changing careers? Resolve to become an expert at something this year, and don't forget to try at least one new thing.

Resolution #4: Make a contribution.

The world and its people need your help. Feed a family, plant a tree, tutor a child, save the whales--or, it can be as simple as offering to walk an elderly woman across a busy street. Do it soon and do it often.

Resolution #5: Overhaul your attitude.

Nobody likes a sourpuss. Leave the bad attitude in 2006 and adopt some manners. It's surprising how a little politeness infused into your relationships, workplace, and everyday interactions can increase a positive outlook on life.

The practice of making New Year's resolutions is nothing new, yet keeping them is an old problem. Find someone to keep you accountable and reward yourself for a job well done. Most of all, don't give up. If March rolls around and you are still hanging on to the 20 pounds you swore you'd lose, start over. It's never too late. By 2008, you will find yourself with a powerful arsenal of healthy habits of which you can be proud.

What are your own resolutions?

Photos courtesy of BBC and FreeFoto.