Summer fashions for all white affairs

With summer fast approaching, the weight, coverage and colors of winter fashions are melting away making room for the brightness and vibrancy of summer colors.  As a perfect combination of all the colors white is busting back on the scene with the clean lines and fresh approach that can be worked into almost any wardrobe selection.  Although everyone dabbles with white, the idea of all white is equally loved and feared and can easily take a wrong turn with its attraction to stains and sheer challenges it presents.  With the Hamptons in Houston All White Party on deck for the weekend as the ultimate party for a purpose I decided to take a look at what fashion has in store for the color white this season. Ethereal: ABS Pleated Cami White naturally provides a play on common pictures of the heavens and with the flowy fabrics popular this season it is a great chance to play a heavenly creature.  Not only is the airiness great to beat the heat, it goes a long way to showcase your shape without clinging to your imperfections.  I adore the ABS Pleated Cami as it provides some fun movement and flair with hints of black to that define lines and give some structure to the ethereal look. Short and Sassy: Elizabeth and James Arizona Dress With your legs hiding all winter, it’s time for them to once again step into the spotlight.  I like short best when it’s paired with a more traditional profile to really give the legs center stage.  The Elizabeth and James Arizona Dress uses folds and an embroidered trim to add some visual intrigue.  With a focus on your cinching waist and glams galore the dress is a great way to welcome in the summer! Play on fabrics: Alexander McQueen Broderie Dress 1   Dressing in all white does not have to be monotone.  An easy way to change the look of an all-white outfit is through plays on fabrics and patterns.   As always Alexander McQueen does not fail on his edginess with this Paneled Broderie Anglaise Dress.  The solid pieces and wide belt provide structure and accentuate important lines along the waist and neck area to give an elongated look.  The fun plays of patterned panels provide the edge and make the look memorable. Peek a boo: Giamba Lace Smock Dress The heat and skin walk hand in hand, but there are ways you can have the best of both worlds with some additional coverage combined with a playful peep show of what lies beneath.  To meet such a need a love options to reveal as much or as little as you like.  The Giamba Lace Smock Dress is a great play as it screams summer with its floral lace with an empire waist, A-line cut that offers a range of appeal to flatter peoples shape.  It is topped with beaded appliqué to highlight the neck line and gives you the power to make it more conservative with a full slip or more daring without. Photos courtesy of Saks.com

Orange is the new black – What I wore

Orange DressThis year orange made a splash and ripped the runways.  For many the color orange is an acquired taste for their fashion palette so it is always great when designers use a color in a way that re-introduces the diverse looks a color can bring to a wider audience.  From bright tangerine to the burnt embers found in a sunset, the color orange can really make a statement in fashion.  Whether it is used playfully in more intricate design or used as the yin to the yang of more traditional patterns it is a great option to have in your arsenal.

IMG_0086For the final Art of Conversation of 2014 I wanted to wear something serious enough to give weight to our most serious topic of the year but also that popped visually for the taping of the show.  As Helmut Lang is known for its simplicity and play on classic structure and shape the designer seemed like a perfect place to start my search.  I pulled the serious notes from the shape of the dress.  The draping of the dress add some polish to the bowl neck and the fit was impeccable.  The vibrant orange color mingled boldness with class seamlessly.  As its not me to be all work and no play I paired the look with soft waves and some a fun printed Christian Louboutins.  All in all the outfit was moderator worthy but added enough zest that it really embodied my style and personality.  At the end of the day regardless of the occasion, isn’t that the point of fashion.

Beating the heat with fun summer attire

IMG_6713One thing is for certain for my summer travel to a festival, I am either going to face rain or heat or maybe both.  For Essence Festival I was happy to get the sun option but that of course means facing the challenge of dealing with heat.  Choosing how to dress when you know it’s going to be sweltering can feel like a lose-lose selection as you have to weight your style with how practical materials are in dealing with the heat.  Here are my tips for ensuring your style doesn’t melt away when dealing with the heat

Gone with the wind with Hats

IMG_6712I love the drama that is stirred up when you throw on a hat.  In my mind a wide brimmed hat instantly adds a little mystery and sophistication to almost any outfit.  To battle the hours of walking through the French Quarters I came prepared with two of my favorites.  Not only can the styles for hats be impeccable they offer some great sun protection for your face and can keep your head cool and protected.

 

 

Cotton is your friend

IMG_6706Choosing a material that breathes can provide some much needed ventilation to covered areas when you are outside for long periods of time.  Organic fabrics such as cotton are weaved to let a little more air through than some synthetic options.  I chose a cotton dress with a little spandex that offered some stretch for comfort, colors for interest and lining for absorption and support.   A great lined dress or shirt can go a long way with preventing the heat on your skin from seeping out and becoming the sweat on the outside of your clothes.  Even in choosing cotton for pieces like jeans you can get a little more comfort through the heat with breathable fabrics that can move with you thorough the day

Cover Ups Fun

IMG_6705Swimsuits can be a little scary, especially when you never know what to expect when hitting up the pool.  One of my all-time favorite cover ups reads “Gone with the Wind” all the way because of the open front but still allows you to have some coverage when wearing it over your swimsuit.  Cover-ups that are sheer with a print can also work well with the breeze as well as give your legs, stomach, and back some coverage from the sun.

Color Choices

IMG_6711In the heat, white is right.  White goes a long way to deflect sunlight from reaching your skin, while darker colors like black absorb heat.  Its summer time thus making it prime time to rock your white before style rules start to apply so enjoy yourself.  Not only does white look fresh and fun for the summer, it is a great way to stay a little cooler and in 90 degree weather every little bit helps.

New Rules for Suit Success

New Suit StyleNavy and gray suits are the standard for professional attire.  Although the look may be perfect for interviewing for a new job or making power moves at the one you have, the look can get a bit monotonous and fail to showcase some of the personal appeal that can be translated through fashion.  A standard suit is not always the best fit for the more relaxed and personal nature of some businesses today.  For me I favor some pants and jacket options that give a similar feel of a suit but with the comfort and style needed to let me work hard and show my own style when doing it.  New suit options combine fun and funky embellishments and relaxed and comfortable fabrics to break the standard of what to and what not to wear.  The variations in these rules are especially valid in hot and humid climates like summer time in Houston.  Dressing up in a full suit can be the equivalent of jumping in a sauna with even a short walk outside.  When combining the concerns for climate and comfort finding alternatives to traditional suiting rules become a necessity.

One of my favorites is this BCBG jacket with flower cutouts and pants.  The cutouts and crop of the jacket give it more of a poncho look and by using an accent color for the base shirt you can lengthen the look of your torso and add a splash of color.  The pants provide some stretch so they can provide more comfort fit.  The comfort is crucial as sitting in a stuffy suit can make a long day of work seem twice as long.  By choosing materials that move and breathe can give back the comfort needed to tackle the chair affair throughout the day.

Ultimate versatility with the Convertible Jumpsuit

Convertible Jumpsuit with back tieIt is not rare for me to have the face the challenge of finding one outfit to provide a good fit for multiple occasions all on one day.  Many outfits have tried but few offer the endless possibilities than one of my favorite pieces, the convertible jumpsuit.  As the jumpsuit provides the comfort of pants with the look of a dress and the options to take the look from conservative to va-va voom sexy few others pieces can even hold a candle to the style options.

First and foremost on days where events are lined up back to back there is nothing that can give you an energy boost more than really being comfortable in what you are wearing.  The loose fit of the pants give a great fit for almost any size.  The wide legged pants spread to give the look of a maxi skirt or dress so you can be sure to be appropriate even in the most conservative situations.  The rest of the options go to the styling of the top and when it comes to that the sky is the limit.

Convertible Jumpsuit cut outsThe versatility of the jumper comes in the long straps that can be wrapped, tied, twisted and bowed in combination after combination to fit your occasion.  I have taken these options to do a full bodied wrap when at work to a back tie for a “business in the front, party in the back” look to a one shoulder tie for a little drama.  Most recently I wore the back in a wrap which gave a high tie of the straps for an open back look and moved on later to a new event and new look with wrapping to give the look of cutouts in the front and back.  Depending on the ties you can offer more or less support where you need it and even use the tie to give some cinching at the waist for a more sculpted look.  With this option the sky is really the limit and you can let your imagination run wild on ways the convertible jumpsuit can showcase your style while highlighting your best assets regardless of the event.

 

 

 

Adding some drama with a one shoulder shirt

One Shoulder ShirtSome clothes work to prove that less skin can indeed be sexier.  One shoulder shirts work to add a sexy addition to an outfit while keeping the entire look elegant and classy.  These shirts do a great job at this double duty approach because the cut allows for a peak of some extra skin while still giving a fit that is comfortable and otherwise conservative.  As opposed to some other skin sneak peaks like cut outs or short hemlines, the asymmetrical look of a one shoulder shirt can give an outfit visual direction that focuses on beauty and minimizes some problem areas.  By cutting away material at the top of the shirt you can refocus the look to the neck and face area.  This really lets you shine in the outfit instead of the outfit shining on you.  Additionally highlighting your shoulder lines really emphasizes one of the shape that defines the smooth and delicate lines that define a woman’s outline.  This emphasis pulls a double duty as attention is also moved away from the bottom of the shirt that may showcase more of a woman’s problem areas towards her waistline and even hips.  By adding a belt to cinch at the waist you easily promote the angles of wide to narrow giving an accentuated look of a narrow waistline.  If nothing else the single shoulder shirt adds a little something different that can add a unique twist to a look that takes it from the tame to something a little more special.

 

 

Rethink work wear with the Gucci silk dress

Gucci draped dressWhen you think of professional attire, comfort is not at the top of the list for expectations.  As a lot of companies shift to allowing more business casual apparel in the office, however, the question becomes can you have both a look that is professional, comfortable and perhaps a little sexy?  The new collection from Gucci successfully tackled this challenge in their Brown Silk Button down dress. The dress is an automatic winner because it gives great balance because of the superb choices in shape and fabric.  By choosing silk the fit of the the dress is very accommodating to almost any shape.  The silhouette is defined to flatter (or create) a waist thanks to the belt that chinches everything in.  Silk is a beautiful material and the sheen and flowly nature of the fabric gives it a formal quality even with the dress having a very basic shape.  In choosing a darker color you add to the professional look of the dress but you still have the softness and comfort that silk is known for.  Finally you can play with the level of sexiness you want to add with the button down front closure to the dress.  Undue a couple of buttons to add a flash of leg or cleavage once work is done.  Great work Gucci in proving you can indeed have it all!

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