Stylist Tip of Week

Archived 2006 & 2007 Stylist Tips of the Week

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Bracelets are the accessory du saison replacing last year's longtime necklace-monopoly. To make a fresh lil bracelet for yourself, find some old lapel pins or brooches and some luxurious ribbon. Velvet is my favorite.

Most of us have a handful of pins passed down from Mom or Grandmom from another era when brooches easily complimented a wardrobe. Now, not so much, but you can add these little jewels to your wrist making a chic bracelet with a dose of heritage.

Loop different combinations of ribbon two and a half times around your four fingers (your hand flat, as if you are being sworn-in). Cut the ribbon on the diagonal so it won't fray. Have someone loop the ribbon twice around your wrist and tie in a double knot. Then have that trusted friend carefully put the pin or brooch through each layer of the bracelet like a watch.

Now you have a unique, one-of-a-kind bracelet with history to boot. If you're scared of losing your brooch, a dab of Krazy Glue works wonders. Just don't ruin your Great Grandmother's Tiffany brooch!

Golden Girls

Part Grecian goddess, mostly Dancing Disco Queen, as I scoured London nightlife snaps, three golden girls appeared (perhaps cooler than the old ones). Call it geographic fashion synchronicity or scenester trending, but the gold band seems to be popping up all over the global style chart seemingly at once. These fresh lil British party girls are rocking the Bling harder than Kanye at a Lagerfeld show, and quite frankly, I love it.

Go ahead, snag their look, unless you're across the pond you won't be blamed for copycatting. Better yet put your own spin on this golden thread by braiding gilded ribbon with jersey knit strips a'la American Apparel braided belt. You don't want to give them eight more dollars anyways. Let's take a look at these dancing queens:

  • Golden Girl #1: She's going for the Grecian, multi-tiered gold ribbon. Very cute.
  • Golden Girl #2: Using a spare gold chain has the same effect but perhaps a bit edgier, more hip-hop. Super Fly.
  • Golden Girl #3: Brilliant! This is like futuristic Balenciaga action! Amazingly creative, she managed to weave a shiny band across her standard-issue hipster bangs only. So incredibly unexpected!

UVA & UVB Me (05/11/07)

Tanning season is right around the corner (or already here depending on your global warming situation). So before we venture into sunscreen application details, I am obliged to say the best way to prevent skin aging is sun abstinence and ample amounts of SPF 45 from head to toe.

Back to reality: you will most likely be frolicking at pool parties and working on a lil summer glow. So this week's Style Tip, in addition to all the sun prevention you already practice, is a reminder to cover up some key areas that often go forgotten. This whole dilemma arose when a dear friend (who shall remain unnamed) asked her dermatologist what that brown spot was on her hand. To her 23-year-old shock, he said (seemingly in slow motion), "That's an age-spot." Yeah.

Look for sunscreen products with "wide-spectrum" protection that will ward off both UVA & UVB rays. Not all sun protection covers both rays.

  1. Back of the Hands: Who needs tan hands anyways? Hands show your true-age so apply the white-stuff like frosting.
  2. Neck/Chest/Cleavage: Already sun-kissed from everyday tank-top exposure these areas are super sensitive and the crepe-paper look isn't worth the sun-time.
  3. Lips: Choose a lip balm or lipstick with an SPF, sun exposure here can cause pre-mature wrinkling and freckling.
  4. Face & Eyes: DON'T TAN YOUR FACE! Period. Slap on an intense SPF sunscreen (a non-comedogenic product won't clog pores). Apply especially around the eyes (a risky wrinkle zone). Try a daily face lotion like Jergens® natural glow FACE Daily Moisturizer SPF 20 to get your glow fix.

White Out (05/04/07)

Color is back with a vengeance and splashes of neon like vibrant corals, electric blues and acid yellows seem to be popping up like reality TV stars. The latest accessory to be blessed with a kaleidoscope of color? The sacred Mani/Pedi. The next time you hit the nail salon choose a vibrant hue to put a little spring in your step.

If you make a living at a real job and your dress code doesn't include tangerine fingertips, read on for my favorite nail color this season: White. Choose a crisp blue/white rather than a dingy yellow/white for a fantastic pop of contrast against sun-kissed skin! Unique, fun, sleek, versatile and still office-kosher the white Mani/Pedi is perf for spring! Have your nail technician apply three coats for a brilliant white. It will look clean and fresh with this season's sexy pin-up pumps.

Crystal Method (04/27/07)

I have to admit, flipping through Style Tips of yesteryear (2006), I wonder how I managed to skip forewarning CoutureCandy readers about one of this season's hottest trends: Gaudy Jewels. Whether the sparkly gems barnacled Gemma Ward's pretty little head on the Marc Jacobs spring runway or clung to the leggings of Viktor & Rolf's bedazzled gems, the gaudy jewel has popped up everywhere by now. Fake or real we could care less, it's the size that really matters this time!

Thankfully there is a cheap and authentic way to make your very own baubles. Who was it that scored the New York Plaza Hotel's original art deco room numbers and began creating fabulous vintage necklaces? I don't remember either but this week's tip runs right along the same vein.

This Style Tip requires a little equipment but we've all gone through a Martha Phase by now and have some needle-nose pliers and craft wire (24 gauge) covertly stashed away, now it's merely a matter of scoring some gorgeous old chandeliers jewels at your favorite flea market or bazaar.

Chandeliers conjure up images of baroque decadence, Parisian style or maybe a Great Gatsby soiree. The sparkly crystal baubles are perfect to McGyver into a gorgeous bauble befitting a necklace or handbag.

Using an old necklace that has lost its charm (pun noted) and is 24 inches or more in length, twist the wire through the chandelier gem and the jump-ring of the necklace, secure by pinching the wire end back on itself to avoid getting poked and keep the bauble secure. C'est Magnifique!

Bright Idea (04/20/07)

Since this week is Earth Week and nothing is more stylish than preserving the natural beauty of our planet, this week's tip strays from the usual with an emphasis on decreasing our carbon footprint. Here are some simple and many times more convenient ways to help reduce everyday carbon emissions.

  • Hate replacing dusty light bulbs? Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs cost a couple dollars more than the old-fashioned style (so 1879!) and last ten times longer! Plus they save an average $30.00 in electricity usage over their very long lifetime.
  • Go wireless and unplug! Leaving appliances (hairdryers, cell chargers etc,) plugged into the wall actually wastes from the circuit energy even if the item is turned off.
  • Bring a garment bag to the dry-cleaners. It looks chicer and saves you from those annoying, ugly plastic bags that fill up your trash and cost energy to manufacture. Dry-cleaning has a notorious reputation for using caustic chemicals; look for an eco-friendly establishment in your area. The dry cleaning industry is trending toward alternative ways to clean clothes.
  • Clean green. Earth-friendly products use all-natural cleaning agents which is safer for you, your family, and the earth. Make a conscience effort to de-program the usual gang of cleaning brands from the brain and choose all natural cleaning agents offered by companies like Seventh Generation. Natural cleaners will keep toxins away from your home, food and reduce fragrance allergies.

Caring for Your Swimwear (04/13/07)

This week's style tip comes from the sister team, Lisa Letarte Cabrinha and Michele Letarte Ross, of Letarte Swimwear (hailing from Maui so they know their stuff). We all know the enemy of any fabulous suit is stretching, fading and the dreaded saggy bum; caused by elastic break down. Lisa has compiled some clever tips from her experience living in tropical paradise (le sigh) for extending the life of your ultra-cute suit.

  • Washing: Wash by hand with Forever New (included in our Stylist Essentials Kit), gently pull the liner away from the suit to release sand while the suit is submerged.
  • Never leave your suit where the elastic can break down like in the sun, hot car or dryer.
  • Extend the life of your suit by rinsing/soaking in fresh water after a dip in the pool or spa. A soak in the sink will keep chlorine from breaking down elastic.
  • Don't leave suits in the sun where they can lose their vibrant color.
  • Avoid sitting on rough surfaces like rock or rough cement that will cause the bottom of the suit to pill.

Freaky Streaks (04/06/07)

We've covered the glorious effects of self-tanner in previous style tips, but we've uncovered two new tips to add to your spray-tan routine and quite frankly they are simply genius! So before you debut a streaky spray tan at the first pool party of the year, read up on our latest tip-breakthroughs in fake tan technology. Nothing is more embarrassing than an unsightly drip of fake tan semi-permanently tattooed on an unsuspecting ankle! Finally, we have found a quick fix that erases those streaky stripes. Simply apply Nair to the horrid drip and wipe off immediately. The streak should be gone!

Self-tanning has its problem areas, feet, hands, knees, elbows and the ultra-annoying wrist area. The next time you need to dodge these orange magnets, apply a moisturizing lotion to each problem area and blend in well. Now carefully apply a fake-tanner as usual. The lotion will prevent the skin from soaking up too much tanner and keep streaks and spots at bay!

Dressing-down to Dress-up (03/30/07)

It seems the underlying mantra of today's fashion is "Don't look as if you tried" or more succinctly, "Effortless". Like a Juergen Teller portrait (think gritty Marc Jacobs ad), except the new "effortless" isn't in the vein of Audrey or Jackie O, no, not immaculately put-together, nails manicured, hat placed just-so. This time around it's what I call the "Breakfast Club Look" (having nothing to do with the film, but looking more like an L.A. starlet nursing a hangover with a gigantic latte complete with Aviator frames and IT Bag).

It seems tousled, unruly hair, vestiges of last night's makeup and a boyfriend's favorite shirt is the freshest ensemble about town. Where exactly am I going with this? Oddly, to eveningwear--the fine art of dressing up to look as if you never even dreamed of dressing up for said-occasion. One of my favorite tricks among fashionista event-goers is plucking the most white-tie worthy gown from the closet and rocking the sparkly frock like a silly piece of dirty laundry!

It's all about dressing down your dressiest piece. Pair an ultra-casual shoe with a cocktail dress (Converse, work boots or dare I say cowboy boots?) is an enchanting paradigm. Cinch the silk gown with a worn leather belt. Top your crown with a vintage hat that's seen better days. Layer an old concert tee under a strappy dress. Of course, there's always the no-fail pairing popularized by thousands of runway models-turned-NY-scenesters: The fitted leather bomber jacket.

Whatever your approach, dressing-down to dress-up takes a bit of creativity but a lot less time, how effortless!

Fashion Update: Color is Back! (03/24/07)

Color has been popping up everywhere and in the most unexpected places: neon pouts, bright bubble dresses and funky sunglasses. It seems the backlash from 2006's monochromatic-edict is more like a Tidal Wave of Wham!-esque color. Part early 90's neon (remember Rollerblades?), part 80's glam, plus a dash of influence from the ultra-fresh Nordic regions (Swedish culture run amuck a'la The Knife) and of course a swelling tide of Mod palettes, courtesy of the British fashion revival, has set the stage for a color explosion.

There are three key ways to ways to rock the hues but pretty much anything goes.

  1. The Kaleidoscope - For the bravest of fashion freaks, pile on every bright color you own and act like clashing your color is the coolest shiz since Tab and Velcro.
  2. The Brushstroke - Wear one huge dose of color against a subdued canvas. Try layering a poppy red tunic over slate grey leggings and monochrome platform shoes. Let the color be your accessory and leave the jewelry at home. Perfect for making a bold evening statement.
  3. The Experiment - Pepper your ordinary ensemble with exhilarating dashes of color. Choose neon green shades, a tangerine lipstick, cerulean blue eyeliner or a brilliant bag. Add with confidence and let fun guide the way!

Like A Prayer (03/16/07)

Most often, a single nuance makes or breaks a complete ensemble. Last year's trends heralded a revolution of experimentation by crowning form, volume and silhouette as the sun of the fashion solar system, perhaps replacing texture, color, and material as the integral forces by which style is spun. Tearing a page from the Haute Couture Salons of Paris circa early 1900's (Balenciaga), playing with shape has become the moda addiction of fashionistas's everywhere.

Among the overcrowded menu of fashion's favorite volume tricks including Trapeze dresses, balloon skirts and gigantically tall platform shoes, was a diamond among gems; the Bishop Sleeve (and its many interpretations). This genius design element adds a certain air of elegance that is worth every penny of a well-made blouse or coat.

The bishop sleeve by definition is gathered at the top and wider at the cuff, hence its religious namesake. We love the instant style quotient and effortless wear-ability. Look for fun sleeve shapes like Puff or Dolemans to play with. They work with every woman's figure and look so rich. Try going the extra mile by layering the Bishop Sleeve under a short-sleeved shrug or capelet for extra contours.

So remember to embrace change, play with form and keep your eye open for the right sleeve!

A Spot of Plaid 03/09/07

Let's check our fashion timer shall we? Plaid plastered all over Fall 2006 Ready To Wear runways? Should be arriving to street style near you...right about…now.

Yes, the stripey stuff was seen jaunting down the catwalk of designers Sonia Rykiel, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen (perennial plaid junkie) and Bottega Veneta to name a few. Although, this traditional pattern can be tricky (I'm fighting off visions of Bob Vila in couture) perhaps the beautiful challenge of plaid lies within its overt masculinity. Ergo, if you can pull off plaid, with only tousled hair and a fabulous bag, you have earned your fashion plate status.

This time around the plaid fad is not the predictable nod to prep school, jaunt through the Scottish countryside or even Grunge revival ala Kurt Cobain. No, this time there's more focus on the overall silhouette, and who looks best in their boyfriend's flannel.

Going plaid in 2007:

  1. Wear one piece of plaid at a time.
  2. Look for a flirty feminine summer dress in plaid, the paradox of organic ruffles colliding with the powerful pattern is divine. We love the airy, casual look of Walter's checkered frocks.
  3. Or, look for a large, oversized plaid shirt (men's work wonders) and cinch with a fresh belt around the waist. Pair with leggings or jeans or nothing at all if the shirt is dress length.
  4. Layering can help tone down plaid. Let your plaid dress shirt poke out from under a chunky cardigan, or add a dash of plaid with a lightweight scarf.

Jet Set Fret (03/02/07)

Alas, the days of hopping on a flight with only your paper ticket and a smile is sadly a thing of the past. Now it seems losing your shoes and/or cuticle scissors to Helga-the-TSA-body-cavity-searcher is the very least sacrifice required to get out of Dodge. This year the situation got hairier when the government turned on cosmetics! Good thing CoutureCandy is here to sort out the carry-on conundrum with this week's style tip!

First, the ground rules based on U.S. restrictions*: All of your carry-on cosmetics must be packed in a one-quart clear plastic bag (translation: Ziploc and the TSA best friend forever). All gels, liquids, creams and yes, even solids must be three ounces or less. Egads!

What to stash in your clear bag:

  • Lip Balm and Lip Gloss: Unless you have some weird Donatella-sized lip-gloss this item should come in way under 3 oz.
  • Moisturizer: Find a travel size face moisturizer. This serves double duty for dry hands etc.
  • Face Cleansing Cloth: We recommend a moisturizing cleansing cloth, perfect for washing your face without dealing with the lavatory accordion door thingy.
  • Travel Deodorant: Your fellow passengers will thank you.
  • Eye Drops: Choose a lubricating eye drop that's close to natural tears. Products that "get the red out" can actually dry eyes more than when you started at takeoff. Most drops are available in individual .01 oz plastic droppers.
  • Eye Cream: conveniently already in a minute container.
  • Cream Blush: A natural hued cream blush (less than 3oz.) is perfect for adding some color to cheeks and lips plus, you don't need to bring a separate blush brush.
  • Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Better than using your finger and cuter too.
  • Dissolving Breath Strips: Enough said.

More Carry-On Necessities:

  • Inflatable Neck Pillow: Saves room and you can catch a wink without drooling on your co-pilot.
  • Earplugs: Worth their weight in gold when the situation arises. We like the kid-friendly ones, they come in bright easy-to-spot colors and they are softer and comfier than the grown-up version. Just don't wear them during take-off or landing.
  • Socks: keep your tootsies warm and avoid the whole Britney-bathroom-look.

So no matter your destination, keep you posh little clear bag on hand and leave Helga to pick on someone her own size! Oh and, FYI: gel-filled bras are kosher as long as you wear them onto the plane, your tax dollars hard at work.

*European travel restrictions are a bit more lax but only by a metric sneeze. Stick to the U.S. restrictions and you can fly anywhere.


Spring Cleaning (02/23/07)

This week's tip is an oldie but a goody! Spring-cleaning is just around the corner and it's nearly time to reevaluate the clothes cache. We know you've been hoarding apparel like its well.going out of style (horribly obvious puns today, my apologies), but before you start cleaning out the Fort Knox of fashion, get a head start with this weeks tip!

Simply turn all your hangers around in your closet. Put the hook on the opposite side of the bar (so its kind of awkward to take the hanger out.) Then as you wear your clothes place the hangers back as normal. A month from now, you will be able to clearly see which pieces you actually wore and which just took up valuable closet space!

So go ahead and donate the bedazzled flare leg jeans, and then treat yourself to a little CoutureCandy!

Going Loopy (02/16/07)

The chic loop of fabric effortlessly draped around the beautiful Theodora Richards seems so obvious yet daring all at once. A notch less stuffy than a scarf but a step above mainstream fashion, this elegant look is easy to steal!

Whatever you do, don't pay a dime for your fresh loop! Essentially it's a circle of fabric made of a thick band so it can pile up, framing the face with a nonchalant attitude. So the next time you're searching for that extra something that ties the ensemble together, turn your eye on an old sweater or tee. Select a top that has seen better days and give it a brand new life as an accessory (the bigger the top the longer the loop so maybe raid the BF's closet). Using scissors cut the garment across the bust under the arms. This creates a giant torso piece that becomes a loop! Don't worry about frayed edges, it looks more Bohemian. You'll love using a white tee for a fresh jersey accent for spring!

Your new loop is super-versatile, wrap it around the wrist or create a brilliant hoodie separate for when things get chilly outside. Just pull an edge of the loop over your head like a regular hood.

Game On (02/09/07)

Contrary to the norm of the flamboyant, somewhat impractical runway creations, designers showcased a realistic trend that included a surprisingly notable dose of sportswear for spring! Mixing luxurious pieces like cashmere scarves with a running pant or a more modern gladiator sandal (nylon instead of Chanel's omni-photographed leather) was just the fresh start spring fashionistas were searching for.

The look is easy to borrow and emphasizes one of the zero-decade's key fashion rules: Anything goes. No matter what you wear, choose something with a surprise. Perhaps completely inappropriate but sublimely well considered, juxtaposition is an essential element.

Playing with the sporty look is a snap! Try mixing in sportswear pieces with your everyday ensembles. In the same breath it's time to approach sportswear shopping with a new eye. Many name brand athletic companies have turned to top designers for a designer approach to sportswear; i.e. Yohji Yamamoto for Adidas and Norma Kamali for Everlast. So take notice of chic styles in athletic shoes, activewear and even cool accessories like a tennis bag. Mixing in sporty adds a dash of carefree cool and is extra comfy too!

Wide Leg Coming Through (02/02/07)

If the term “skinny pants” makes you feel anything but, fret not; this spring a fearlessly chic alternative to the circulation-less skinny pant arrived just in time to exhale!

Yes, surrounded by a glowing light and able to sit through an appetizer + entrée (egads!) the wide leg pant is quickly becoming a fashionista’s favorite skinny alternative. Designers like Ralph Lauren, Christian Lacroix, Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten all embraced the ultra-sophisticated wide-leg cut, and for good reason, a wide leg forgives every shape and creates a polished, linear silhouette. Look for an ultra wide-leg like Lotta Stensson’s Palazzo Pant. There’s no point in going halfway with this look, it requires a full pant to build a visual foundation for the rest of the ensemble. Pair with something light and feminine like a silk blouse or darted top. Finally, cinch up with an amazing belt. Now go eat some dessert, you look famished!

Hats Off... (01/26/07)

Few accessories are as powerfully striking as a well-considered hat. From MJ's Fedora to a breathtaking Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, a hat can transform its owner adding a confident nonchalance that can stop a room.

Of course, differing styles of hats are perpetually sliding in and out of vogue. A few years back, the Paperboy Hat looked smashing atop her Madgesty and husband Guy Ritchie. Remember the J-Lo floppy hat that made the summer of 2002 so shady? Well this year there are some amazing hat choices to be made. So take a peek and choose your weapon of choice.

The Scooter Cap: My personal favorite for this year, sparked by Marc Jacobs Spring collection, the Scooter Cap is a nod to 1960's mod with a neat, clean and demure shape. Marc barnacled his caps in gaudy jewels but a no-fuss version is just as fresh.

The Panama Hat: Your boyfriend will probably steal it. Everyone looks rich in a Panama Hat, perfect for the beach or vacay, its wide brim keeps sun and paparazzi at bay.

The Pork Pie Hat: Bad name, cool look. Think jazz musician, a short hat with a flat top and relatively small brim adds a dash of scenester; recently spotted on the Chanel runway.

The Slouchy Knit Cap: Still cool until it's too hot.

The Fedora: A perennial stylish move, the Fedora is unexplainably chic. As long as Timberlake keeps bringing Sexy back, we'll let the fedora stay.

Winter Denial (01/19/07)

Brrrrrr! It's freezing outside! And inside! This cold snap is turning totally depressers just when we were ready to break out the new spring ensembles! There is only one thing to do, declare winter over just to salvage fellow fashionista sanity, thereby ending the black and grey doldrums of our winter wardrobe palette!

We need a serious color intervention! Let's lighten color choices and spirits at the same time by sneaking it in wherever possible. Even if your favorite coat and boots are black, you can perk them up with bright accessories. Try tucking magenta sheers into black boots or layering a marigold scarf to frame the face. Jewelry in bright shades add instant cheer factor (Zoloft for cold weather clothes?). Spring forward with a white handbag and act like you are totally ahead of the game. If anyone asks, sigh dramatically and exclaim, "I simply can't take one more day of winter!".

So grab your fake tanner, put some fresh flowers in the vase and enter into complete winter-denial. If all else fails we have emergency rose-colored glasses on standby.

Back to Basics (01/12/07)

With Spring-cleaning on the horizon and a new year begun, the wardrobe is ready for a fresh start! Begin with a clean slate of amazing basics that will last all year long and make getting dressed as seamless as a pair of Spanx!

Remember to keep basics in monotone colors, after all we are launching from the 06 stage of black, white, grey and red and these shades will keep everything super versatile. Save fun color for more dramatic pieces like dresses, tops, etc. Here's the list:

  • Two long tanks (black and white each) --The long tank is the essential layering piece, it smoothes the silhouette when a shirt or blouse falls too short or is too sheer to work on its own. Layer with the tank for an evening out and then wear it home, no one will know the difference! A must!
  • A simple ballet flat - It runs to the store, looks smart in the meeting, and has lunch with your best friend. The easy ballet flat works every time and lengthens the leg while looking effortlessly chic. Black is ideal but a rich leather in any shade will work wonders as well.
  • Footless black leggings - Slimming and still in fashion, buy two $15 dollar black leggings and count them as the cheapest pants you will ever buy. Footless are great for the warmer months ahead and show off blingy sandals like no other. Plus they only come in three sizes so one can have her cake and eat it too.
  • Gold Bangles, thick ones - Elegant chunky bracelets are the perfect way to finish off a 2007 ensemble.
  • The Tote - Spend $20 or spend $2,000, whether your tote is Gucci cruise wear or a flea market find, a large tote is perfect for well, toting all of the warmer season's paraphernalia. Toss in your favorite page-turner, mail, bottle of water or whatever. Come June you can replace with more fun items like a swimsuit and sunblock!

Bright-Eyed and Bushy Browed (01/05/07)

Browsing the close-ups of Spring 2007 one notices a subtle trend among the beauteous fresh model faces. Designers are opting for a thicker brow; natural yet tamed, strong yet distinctly sophisticated. The brows of 2007 are less fuss, more Warrior-Princess.

Growing out brows sounds easy enough, just sit back and let them grow right? Well, if you have been obsessively plucking and waxing since the barely-brow-nineties it's much easier said than done. Tweezing is a tough habit to break but thankfully letting your tweezers go has its rewards (like more time, less pain).

What should stay and what should fly away? When getting a wax, ask to have the "extra ones" taken off or just get a brow "clean-up". The brow should look natural but without strays. Next, hide your tweezers unless a total maverick sprouts up. Lastly, keep your newly natural brows sleek with a bit of brow gel. Clear brow gels are classic and look totally chic for an evening out. Gels with a touch shimmer are perfectly fresh for daytime.

What will you do with all this extra brow-plucking time? Learn a new language? Embark on a steamy love tryst? Pen your memoir? Rewind and replay Anderson Cooper 360 in Tivo? We thought so.

We're Gonna Party Like it's 1925 (12/29/06)

Style inspiration can come from anywhere, this New Year's Eve we suggest tearing a page from the decade that always partied like it was going out of style! Professional partiers Paris and Nicole have nothing on the roaring twenties!

The details: American nightclubs first hit the scene after WWI and adding to the glitzy Art Deco architecture was plenty of homemade gin, secret entrances, mob money and fast flapper fashion. Tres Scandal!

Borrow some flapper flair by adding a bejeweled headband or some sleek feathers to your hair. Long necklaces look effortless dancing the night away, especially a strand of pearls. Plus the look lends itself to 2007 complete with long stockings, androgynous panache and of course the ultra-blunt bob that was spotted everywhere, 2006.

Cabin Fever (12/22/06)

Old Man Winter is cramping your style. You're paler than a polar bear, inventing frostbite-free workouts is getting exhausting (hand-mixing the sugar cookies?), and the dry air means you could use your elbows to file your fingernails (if you could only reach!) And now its time for your holiday party close-up? We need winter intervention STAT.

Here's a Midwinter's checklist of beauty maintenance that will have you ready for a picture with Santa faster than you can say "Event Photographer".

  1. Start in the shower by exfoliating with a moisturizing body wash, an oil-based sugar scrub will work wonders as well. Concentrate on rough areas like elbows and feet.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to lightly exfoliate chapped lips in the shower.
  3. Apply a lip balm or Vaseline over chapped lips. Sparingly apply a moisturizing fake-tan* daily face lotion. Blend carefully into the neck for a fresh glow.
  4. Lightly towel-off and mix a body moisturizer with a daily fake-tan* enhancing lotion for photo-ready legs. The daily tan lotion doesn't provide enough moisture so adding moisturizer will boost hydration. Remember to wash hands after using any fake-tan formula so you don't get Oompa-Loompa mitts otherwise known as Lohands.
  5. Use a deep conditioning hand and foot cream. Then get yourself to the salon for a mani-pedi. Don't forget about toes just because they have been tucked away in fabulous ankle boots for months! A matte black is still the chicest nail color of the season and it looks so rich holding a glass of champagne. Cheers!

*If you are still scared of fake-tan formulas, take another look. If you tried them in the 90's with frightening results, rest-assured the formulas have been greatly improved since the Days of Orange. The new formulas have a much better color and you can use a daily tanning lotion that slightly darkens skin a bit each day so there's no mess or drips. A daily face tanner in the winter is absolutely essential and works wonders for men as well (if you can get it on him).

Legs for Days (12/15/06)

Want to make your legs look super long for seasons to come? It's as easy as matching your tights to your shoe color! The continual line of color makes your foot disappear into one lean leg. A slate grey platform with a matching nylon looks so fresh under a glittery shift, or perhaps a nude stocking with a clear Lucite pump?

If you can't be bothered to run around the hosiery department with wedges and fabric swatches in hand remember that black always matches black. For the ultimate lean look, wear slimming black tights with a black pair of tall platforms.

Don't be bashful to the legging; no matter your age or shape, a stocking adds polish to wardrobe pieces like a long short or dress. Plus they slip right into this season's hottest boots, adding height and drama (the kind you want).

Here's a quick way to add some bling to a blasé pair of ballet flats! (12/08/06)

If you have a rather plain pair of fabric flats and you want to dress them up for an evening out (or want to make them look really expensive) you can easily add some sparkle with this week's Style Tip.

  1. Take an old brooch (not your great, great grandmother's, maybe a consignment find) and pin it to the toe of your flat. Make sure your feet aren't inside the shoe! You can rock one or two different ones if you choose.
  2. If you really can't stand the brooch asymmetry, you can add some gaudy clip-on earrings instead. Simply find some cast-away eighties costume jewels and clip them to the edge of the shoe above the toe. They match and look "totally outrageous!" I mean, uh "absolutely sublime".
  3. Choose some deliciously textured ribbon like a yummy velvet or silk at least an inch wide. Make a pretty bow and affix with a gold safety pin or vintage earrings. If the ribbon has wire, the bow can be shaped however you like; blooming like a soft peony or flat and sleek.
  4. C'est magnifique! A sparkly pair of demure flats!

Space Cadet (12/01/06)

The no-fuss winter palette of black, navy, grey and white is getting a bit yawny don't you think? How about playing with texture and color by adding a glimmer of metallic to your 2006 (just in time) repertoire? This season, the shiny stuff can go way beyond your New Year's Eve micro-dress.

The look is "Jackie O Tours the Moon" (appropriate if you put the 60's in a blender); high Glamour meets silver streaks of futuristic texture. Exciting dashes of super-shiny, high-gloss metallic can be added to any winter look with the help of a well-placed accessory manifested in silk, sequin, lamé, patent leather, or even costume jewels. An unexpected pop of shimmer is so chic weather you fall in love with a glittery clutch, shimmery leggings or a silver mini.

Go forth and conquer my fashionistas, the sky is barely the limit of your celestial safari!

Playing the Part (11/24/06)

Marcia Brady never looked so good, or at least her hair hasn't. It seems the straight and narrow 70's throwback coif sported by the Olsen twins and actress-turned-fashion-muse Chloe Sevigny has finally hit the runway again. Designers have taken note or absorbed the paparazzi-dodging locks of some of Hollywood's biggest trendsetters and sent their models a'tromping in straight locks.

Linear, sleek, clean and long describe both the new hairstyle of the moment and this season's freshest fashion trends, perhaps the reason long locks and exclamation point silhouettes look so delectable together. Not to mention, after the layers-amuck-1990's, a blunt cut is surprisingly refreshing.

The Spring 2007 collections of Chloe, Derek Lam, Thakoon, Luella and others included the ultra-simple part. Somewhat aloof, a bit introspective, definitely cool and naturally beautiful, a straight part adds a bit of come-as-you-are attitude a'la Kurt Cobain. Whichever decade you choose to represent, from the 70's to Grunge, the straight part is as easy as drawing the line.

Wrap It Up (11/17/06)

With layering de riguer this year, it seems like it takes eons to get dressed! For the layered look in a snap, grab a favorite scarf, wrap or shawl at the last minute. A well-placed scarf will add a dash of length, color, texture or dimension to your ensemble.

Looping a soft scarf around the neck will frame your face with color. We love Elizabeth Gillet's Alma Scarf available in Garnet or Silver. The silk chiffon feels amazing and adds a certain refinement. A pashmina works wonders as well; choose a corresponding blue, green or brown to make eyes sparkle.

A big substantial wrap adds piles of layers while looking runway-worthy. Try Elizabeth's Gillet's Black Percy Shawl. It's a versatile cozy wrap with an elegant ruffle edge, finished with a touch of velvet. Black is back with a vengeance this season and it goes with everything!

Remember a nice scarf will last practically forever. Investing in a quality piece now will add to your wardrobe for years to come.

In the Closet (11/10/06)

As the temperature dips and store displays turn a mélange of red and green ( already?!) There's no denying that Old Man Winter is fast approaching and sadly he doesn't look a thing like George Clooney. Yes, it's time to store that white eyelet skirt and donate the hip-hugger Medallion Belt to a better cause; of which we are not certain.

If your closet needs a makeover worse than Britney Spears, this week's Style Tip has easy closet guidelines to help organize, store and protect your wardrobe for years to come.

  • Start with new hangers (or old ones if they are functional and match). Matching all your hangers gives your closet an instant facelift. Also choose a hanger that will hold onto clothes, I like hangers with a shoulder-notch so tanks and dresses don't slip. Always remember, to yell, "NO wire Hangers!!" dramatically if you find one.
  • Donate any clothing you haven't worn in a year, unless it's couture. Never throw away couture; your heirs will thank you.
  • Having a trusted friend's opinion will make sorting fun and fast. She can tell you to toss that Seafoam bridesmaid dress while you are still talking about the reception.
  • Make a pile for repairs, check your shoes too, they might need new heels.
  • Divide your clothes into either "summer and spring" or "fall and winter" and store the off-season in a safe place (duh).
  • Arrange clothes so you can see everything while it is hanging. To do this, start hanging sleeveless tops and tanks first, short-sleeves behind them, then long-sleeves, blouses, tunics, dresses, and suits. Jackets and coats can go behind suits because they are bulky and easy to see. Within those categories organize by color from lightest to darkest. Voila! Everything is visible and easy to access!

Sacred Wardrobe Staples (11/03/06)

Before we get dolled up for the holiday's festive bashes, it's important to note that anything goes this season especially when it comes to evening wear. Yes, fashion has gone Avant Garde combining and juxtaposing non-traditional pieces with sacred wardrobe staples. Don't be surprised if you spot Kirsten Dunst pairing her chic Proenza Schouler cocktail dress with a leather bomber jacket. Adding a bit of masculine Rock and Roll to Haute Couture is so fresh and combining textures like silk and leather are a feast for the eyes.

Rocker meets Couture, Targét meets Designer, sportswear meets evening wear, urban meets lace, cotton meets silk; the possibilities are endless! Like when Raquel Zimmerman paired white motorcycle gloves with a silver Rodarte shift or Kanye West wore a brilliant LRG skeleton hoody to Paris Fashion Week! Try mixing your own wardrobe, choosing from different genres like a deejay mixing sounds. This is a passport to let your best pieces shine and still feel comfortable in your favorite laidback digs.

Real world translation? How about combining your favorite pair of skinny jeans with your mates comfy t-shirt and a coveted heirloom necklace? Or pairing a sparkly sequin shrug with a cotton tank, bangles, and tennis shoes (More All-Stars, less New Balance). Anything goes so start digging out your most cherished pieces and layering them with your most lived-in threads for the freshest looks the season has to offer.

Maybe it's Vaseline (10/27/06)

Ever wonder how to get sultry long, dark lashes without the clumpy mess of mascara? Take a tip from your Grandmother's heyday with a dab of Vaseline. Sounds crazy but a little smidge of the shiny stuff will lengthen and condition lashes making for a sultry look and allover healthier lash.

If you can't let go of the black stuff, applying Vaseline to your lashes before bed makes lashes grow longer and thicker. Vaseline also helps conventional mascara glide on smoothly.

Here are some surprising tidbits about mascara:

Back in the day ladies went to impossible lengths (some things will never change) to steal the Hollywood glam-look of the silver screen. For mascara they combined soot or coal ash with Vaseline to achieve the dark de rigueur gazes of film stars, Pola Negri and Clara Bow. Inventor of Vaseline, Augustus Chesebrough (now that's a name) had a stylish sister named Mabel who used the McGyver-esque mascara trick. The two names soon combined to form what we know as Maybelline.

In The Buff (10/20/06)

Manicures are a love-hate relationship. Maybe it's because they start out so shiny and pristine and then at the slightest nick, their lacquered veil of immaculate fingertip glory is, POOF! Gone. We have all sworn them off at one time or another--only to find our fingers soaking in sudsy water a week later. Le sigh. Why can't your manicure last as long as your pedicure?

After many years of frustration I have come to a rather satisfying compromise; it's called the buff. For the price of a manicure, a buff includes trimming, filing, cleaning up pesky cuticles, and a super-slick finish. Using four different files, one finer than the next, nails are smoothed to a brilliant shine that will never nick or chip.

The buff looks clean, professional and well-kept with little maintenance. If you're always on-the-go, consider the buff and save the fussy manicure for a polish-worthy event!

Cold Feet (10/14/06)

So it's feeling a bit cooler outside and you still don't know what's going on past the hem of your skinny jeans. Face it, Cleopatra sandals won't work forever. It's time to resolve those shoe issues with a couple of helpful hints from the style gurus.

The conundrum began when denim manufacturers decided a jean that's too long can be hemmed but a jean that is too short won't be bought. My once jean-less tall friends are giddy with delight at this new lengthy phenomenon, while 5' sixers like me are heading to the tailor in droves. But doesn't that leg warmer-esque bunch of denim look kinda cool? Yes, it's true, Nicole Richie and other shorties have been striking chic poses in a slouch of denim at the ankle. Here's the answer: Have your skinny jeans hemmed in your tallest pair of heels. This way you won't be dragging around yards of fabric in you flats but your denim will still look fierce for a night out. Venn diagram what?

If the "skinny" in skinny jeans is still making you nervous, consider balancing out the hip region with a sexy boot. A delicious boot with a sexy heel will add height and lengthen legs. Slender denim will also tuck effortlessly into a riding boot for a super-comfortable combination. Also try a slouchy ankle boot for the same proportional effect.

Remember, layering is key this winter; try sporting soft knit socks in a sexy pump, or eighties it up with dancer accoutrements like legwarmers (they're baaack). Some looks to keep in mind while styling your feet: the ballerina, equestrian, and Studio 54 will keep your best foot forward.

Show Your Stripes (10/13/06)

Stripes are popping up in the most unexpected places. Borrowing from the French Marinière, understated stripes lend a snap of too cool for school to your basic black and white ensemble. Add a dash of laid-back stripe with stockings, a scarf or cap and then strike a moody pose for the kids at the café. Meow, meow kitty cat.

Click here to check out some fresh cashmere stripes by Lily Mcneal.

Eco-Boho (10/06/06)

What to do with you dozens of dusty passé Boho necklaces? Before you start whimpering about the bygone Zoe-era of Siena Millermania (eh, bag-lady chic was kinda horrifying retrospect), hold your trash bags because where there's a will there's a new way to wear. Yep, save the planet by looping those weighty beaded necklaces around the wrist for a brand-new bracelet. Perfect for this season's chunky, colorful accessory wave, the boho bracelet will look ultra-fresh with an arm-bearing ensemble.

Now we just need to recycle those furry Nordic boots... Le sigh.

Making the Cut (09/29/06)

It seems everywhere you look femme fatales are lopping off their long locks for the omni-chic bob. Fresher than a Parisian breeze, the mod-inspired curt cut is taking the runway and fashion pages by storm. Throwing caution to the wind (along with a bevy of styling products) the new cut shouts out "Carefree fresh and gorgeous without a spot of effort."

If you're suffering déjà vu, don't worry, the juvenile among us may not remember the shockingly short locks of the mod 60's but we can go back further to the roots (pun intended) of Bob-fabulosity.

Starting in the 20's a la' flappers, speakeasies and bathtub gin (sounds like fun) the shockingly short Parisian import was a sign of a truly liberated woman. The air of independence and carpe diem attitude is still effectual today and is why this sleek coif lives on as the essential cut. Ultra-modern and easy to wear, are you ready to make the cut?

Fake Lashes? (09/22/06)

If you thought fake eyelashes were only for Zsa Zsa Gabor, think again! From the pages of US weekly to the red carpet and even the goddess herself, Oprah, everyone is wearing them!

Duh, they make your eyes pop and add glamour and freshness to every face. The trick to fake lashes is actually the opposite---making them look real. Here are some tips for first-time fakers.

  1. Look for natural/soft looking lashes. For darker skin tones choose black and for fair skin tones choose dark brown.
  2. Apply a light layer of mascara to your real lashes.
  3. If the lashes are too wide for your lids, trim them with a pair of scissors. If the lashes are too long, trim them by gingerly snipping into the lash, parallel with the lash, to achieve a natural feathering; don't cut them straight around the arc, this will make them look unnatural.
  4. Add a whisper thin line of glue to the fake lash edge and concentrate.
  5. Place the inner corner first just behind your natural lash, then work along your lash to apply the entire fake lash. Use tweezers if necessary.
  6. Ok, if it looks good by now, you can stop concentrating and start blending the fake lash into the real with either your fingers or a brow brush.
  7. Add mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

When you're done, the glue can be washed off with a touch of water and the lashes reused. Wear them for special occasions, Friday nights, or everyday! Just make sure to put them away in a clean dry place so they don't spook your boyfriend!

Feeling Warm and Fuzzy Outside (09/15/06)

Ah, sweaters, the cornerstone to any decent fall collection, but let's talk specifics.Specifically, Fall 2006 and a few distinct looks that make the season. A wise cashmere or wool investment will take you at least 6,000 miles this year. Ok I'm exaggerating, unless you commute via jet or something fun like that.

Anyways, the three C's to keep in mind for this season are as follows, The Collegiate, The Cardigan (oversized), and The Cable Knit.

For Collegiate, think 50's letterman jacket (remember when they used to be sweaters? Me neither, but they did.) Smart, sophisticated and in any delicious color you choose, The Collegiate will perk up a fresh dress shirt in no time flat and add a dash of vintage heir to any outfit.

The Oversized Cardigan is an essential autumnal/winter item. Slouchy and cool, you can literally steal this look from your brother or significant other. Cinch with a belt of your choosing and Mr. Rogers just got a whole lot cooler.

The Cable Knit tends to disappear and reappear throughout fashionhistory but this time its back with a vengeance in the biggest knitting ever seen (yep, bigger than the BIG eighties). Look for obscenely large cable knit motifs in ivory and grey. A subdued color will help keep the large knit looking chic.

Choose one or all three, but please layer, layer, layer and absolutely finish off with a belt and stay warm!

Tie Bow (09/07/06)

Borrowing from the runway just got a bit easier thanks to the genius musings of fashion's Godfather, Karl Lagerfeld. For 2007 Resort Wear, he sent his models clomping down the runway with a touch of demure satin ribbon tied at the crown.

This look is just too easy to borrow and perfectly fresh for the cooler months ahead! Simply purchase long lengths of whisper-thin satin ribbon in iridescent shades of pearl, pink, grey, or whichever color you fancy. Then tie a long floppy bow at the top of the head and leave plenty of ribbon for lengthy, Chanel-like tails.

If a bow in your hair is too sweet for your style, consider adding a touch of satin at the wrist, neck, handbag, or even to keep your things in order like letters and such. Can we say Haute Couture bookmark?

Red Red Wine (09/01/06)

Beauty has its interpretations, but this year even the smokiest of eyes can't dismiss the multiples of cherry red pouts paired with fresh faces tromping down the runway and into magazines. With all the classic sex appeal and glamour of an old Hollywood movie, the sultry red pout works every time.

Especially pert in autumn, a crimson grin will pull this season's rich colors from warm ensembles, highlighting delicious gem hues and especially reds and greens. A fresh face, a little mascara and plenty of crimson lip will keep gentlemen callers calling.

Here's a trick for keeping a bright smile, choose a blue-red as opposed to an orange-red. An orange-red will make teeth look yellower than they appear while a blue-red will keep teeth looking as fresh and clean. Hold a prospective color up to your grin to size-up the effect pre-purchase.

Pearly Whites (08/21/06)

When Vogue dedicates an entire article to one accessory---you'd better stock up. This fall, fashion is a kaleidoscope of influences, flavors and inspirations: the 80's rocker, the Napoleonic comeback, layered layers and even a dash of neo-Grunge, yet underlying all of this visual debauchery is a solid foundation of classic chic and stoic elegance.

Enter, Coco Chanel; goddess of all things fashionable. Christian Dior once said, "With a black pullover and ten rows of pearls, she revolutionized fashion." A pearl is all at once elegance, history, and the essence of what it means to be a woman; to take an ordinary grain of sand and transform it into a gem of luminescent wonder.

A favorite jewel of fashion icons Coco, Marilyn, Princess Di, Jackie O, Madonna and the like, a strand of pearls will go miles this season. Raid Mom's jewelry box, hunt for some costume strands, or treat yourself to an investment that will last a lifetime.

Layering different sizes and lengths is de rigueur, not to mention looping a strand around the wrist for an effortless dash of posh that's perfect for martini clinking! Combine your strands with other funky baubles and charms for an ultra-modern look this season.

Masters of Suspense (08/14/06)

Autumn is almost here and you know what that means… time for prep school inspiration to flood the pages of magazines everywhere; dashes of plaid layered with dress shirts and finished with the predictably re-invented penny loafer. Yet this year, amidst the annual schoolgirl ennui, a new contender for must-have accessory has emerged and its daringly masculine edge looks perfectly chic with the contemporary fashion vibe.

The wondrous fashion note of next season? The suspender. Yes, inexpensive and daring, the classic suspender will add a dash of color and form to your Autumnal wardrobe. Add them to some fabulous Johnson shorts or a corduroy skirt for a fresh take on femininity.

If you prefer to be more aloof than assertive, remember you can sport them either way, over the shoulder or loose at your side. Both look simply smashing!

Frigid Air Feels Fantastic (08/07/06)

Welcome to the hottest summer of our lives! Last week's tip helped cure shiny locks caused by sultry temperatures. This week we have another tip to beat the heat.

Your refrigerator isn't just for keeping the milk cold; you can use it to cool down your morning routine as well. Here are some items that feel fantastic fresh from the fridge:

  1. Body Lotion
  2. Face lotion
  3. Cucumber Slices or Spoons (for puffy eyes)
  4. Eye cream
  5. Toner

Contact lens wearers: It's perfectly safe (and actually more hygienic) to keep contact solution in the fridge. What a way to wake up tired eyes!

And for fashionistas who really think outside the cold box, here are some ideas that will probably scare the roommate:

  1. Socks - Pre-treadmill?
  2. Damp Washcloth - A'la your favorite spa, minus the tong-wielding attendant.
  3. Flip-Flops - Don't knock it till you try it.

So remember to take advantage of that giant rectangle of cold air sitting in the kitchen. Just don't get your eye cream mixed up with your ice cream.

Powder Room Power (07/31/06)

It can be difficult to stay cool, calm and collected when the temperature outside just keeps rising! Not to mention, the heat and humidity makes even the cleanest tresses look shiny by cocktail hour. So when your hair needs a matte finish and there's no time to rinse and repeat, take a tip from the Marie Antoinette and put some powder on that wig. Yes, along with "cucumber eyes", this tip sounds crazy but it works like a charm!

Use any boudoir powder that will work with your hair color i.e. baby powder, sheer face powder, or even a powdered bronzer. Baby powder works best for all hair types. Apply sparingly with a big fluffy brush to the top and roots of the shiniest bits of your hair and blend in well. Now your locks will look fresh and ready to party!

Nip Tuck (07/24/06)

Style Alert! Don't be afraid to update your posh wardrobe with a quick style switch. It's that time of the waistband-decade-cycle again. Yes, time to tuck in your blouses, dress shirts and tank tops. Please keep casual tees, tunics (duh) and anything longer and flowy outside of your fly. A sassy belt looks so fresh on a puff skirt and tucked-in dress shirt combo! So feign your best Katherine Hepburn and keep your waist prim and properly tucked.

Off The Chart (07/17/06)

Oh my goodness, with fashion turning on its head this year it's an exciting time to be a fashionista! Dramatic silhouettes are taking center stage, layering is going inside out and even platform shoes and mod mini dresses are making an encore. This flurry of fashion evolution might be a bit dizzying at times so here is a list of what to Ditch, Work and Get to maintain an ultra-modern and fresh look for this fall. Plus, with Boho deader than Disco, its definitely time to reevaluate the wardrobe!

Ditch It Work It Get It
Pointy Toed-Heels Ballet Flats Platforms or, for delicate piggies, a chunkier more substantial shape in the sole.
Wide-flare Jeans Leggings Skinny or tapered leg jeans. Still apprehensive? Try a straight leg or cigarette leg jean for a modern silhouette.
Layered Necklaces or Dainty Jewelry One big substantial necklace whose past life was layering. Masculine, gaudy accessories featuring lions, snakes or a touch of Amazon woman attitude.
Hip-Hugger Belts Any of last year's belts that can manage to make the trek up to the new waistline. If your old belts are too big, consider adding a hole; otherwise freeze dry for posterity. Belts worn at your true-waist or higher. Belts with staying power (literally) or pencil thin belts to add a dash of class.
Wrap-around sunglasses or sunglasses with no attitude. Aviators are still going strong with an upcoming boost by Tom Ford. Ridiculously over-sized Jackie O's and Nicole Ritchie's have staying power. Cat-eyed sunglasses or winged glasses. Think old Hollywood or 50's artists, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick.
Peasant Skirt: Waaay past the expiration date Dresses that can easily transform to the new waistline with the cinch of a belt. Shifts, baby doll dresses, shirt dresses and Mod Silhouettes
Small Purses Existing huge bags Heirloom details like ball clasp purses sans designer monogram.

So go forth and conquer this delectable amalgamation of new and old inspiration while this chart is still pertinent! And remember that confidence is the sexiest accessory... or was it a smile? Well, both will do the trick!

Oh Tunic Why Art Thou So Amazingly Stylish This Summer? (07/07/06)

If you are not in full tunic mode by now, you are missing out on one of the most versatile pieces of the summer. So here is a list to convince you of the various glories that is the summer tunic.

Top five reasons a tunic should become part of your midsummer's ensemble:

  1. Not just for Renaissance men, a tunic can go from beach cover-up, to errands, to drinks while still keeping a fresh style profile.
  2. Easy to accessorize with a belt, chunky gold necklace, fun bra or bikini top.
  3. Effortless chic.
  4. Keeps your arms and shoulders protected from the hole in the ozone layer.
  5. Lightweight and plenty of breathe-ability, it's cooler than Samuel L. Jackson sipping an iced latte.

Yes, tunic will be your new best friend. Check out all the beautiful tunics we have to offer at CoutureCandy. Can I say tunic one more time? Tunic!

Taking a Plunge (07/03/06)

What has more layers than a Rachel haircut? Onions with emotional baggage excluded, it's Fall fashion 2006. And although we are still sun worshipping and sipping our Blended-Mocha-Java-soy-whatevers, it's the apt fashionista who can manage to slip a fall preview during the current midsummer's dream.

Layers are soon to be everywhere and some staples of this layering charade can be rocked now while our tans are still real. Thin knits, tanks, camis and tunics with absolutely plunging necklines will be de rigueur come October. So why not whip out your Fiskars and start now.

Simply grab the nearest fabulous tank or lightweight knit (ribbed is the easiest to start with cause duh the lines are already there) and make a cut at least five inches long. Try it on and proceed to snip and shape your new plunging neckline to your preferences. Shy violets need not fear. Remember you are going to layer with this piece. For a prim fashion forward look, layer over a thin dress shirt or polo. For a cheekier look, layer over a bikini (water preferably in sight) or beautiful bra (Deejay preferably in sight). Now you're ahead for next season and remember to think inside out on layering. Turtlenecks under dresses, vests over jackets, camis over collared shirts you name it, layer it.

The Name Campaign (06/21/06)

Opening your heart and helping others is always in style! And with a brilliant idea from the Name Campaign, you can wear a token of your gracious gift to help spread the word.

The Name Campaign is a non-profit organization headed by wonder-woman-cum-philanthropist Cori Stern whose care blossomed into a beautiful campaign to further connect us all as one global tribe. Her selfless projects have been featured on the BBC, NPR, The Today Show, and The Oprah Winfrey Show (Note: The magic “O” name has been dropped).

The organization funds a rehabilitation clinic for the thousands of children in Northern Uganda who have been forced to become rebel soldiers for the Lord’s Resistance Army. Once kidnapped in the night from their homes children are forced to become murderers against their own people and often suffer other horrific crimes including rape, mutilation and murder.

Thousands of other children sleep in fear of this terrible army. Everyone should have the right to sleep in peace. Luckily, there are ambassadors of change working to help other members of our tribe. So let’s send them our support!

For a $10.00 or $100.00 donation you can choose either a standard issue, gold plated or platinum plated dog tag bearing the name of a Northern Ugandan child. By simply wearing this necklace, not only can you help the rehabilitation center, but you can spread the story of Northern Uganda to caring friends and family.

To learn more about this humanitarian crisis or make a donation without purchasing a necklace please click here.

Link to the Creative Visions website and purchase a dogtag:

In a Cinch (06/16/06)

Shout out to the ultra-cute Haley for this week’s style tip!

What to do with that pile of completely passé peasant skirts neatly folded away for an alternate decade? Some ideas popped through my brain…. Nightstand tablecloth? No. Extreme Swiffer attachment? Not a big fan. Empire waist dress with a fierce cinch belt? DISCO.

First exhume the skirt from the depths off your closet. Shake out to restore fluffy grandeur. Then hike that waistband up like a tube dress. At this point you will probably look ridiculous and start to doubt the teachings of the weekly style tip, but grasshopper there is one more integral element yet to be added. Finish off your re-invention with a favorite belt just under the bust. Faster than Nicole and AM break up again, you will have yourself a fresh summer dress!

-- Stylist Lauren Osterstock