Archive for January, 2008

Q&A: What to Wear on a Date

Q: How should I dress during a date? How much should I reveal?

BR Monogram silk geo-print kimono-style dressby Vicky Zhou, fashion expert at Got a Crush?

A:  How you dress is critically important to making a great impression. You don’t want to send him the wrong signals about you by how you dress—or how you act, or your date may just think you are looking for something other than a significant other.  How to put your best foot forward every time?  Dress for yourself first and foremost.  Here’s what you need to know:
 
How Much to Reveal:
Women know men like to see a little skin, but how much is too much? You want to show enough to get his mind thinking about what is underneath. But suggesting and showing are two very different things.

How do you balance suggesting and showing off your assets?  Two examples: wear a crisp white button-down shirt by Ralph Lauren and leave the top couple of buttons open to hint at some cleavage. Or try a deep scoop neck top with three quarter sleeves.  The arm-thinning three quarter sleeves balance out the suggestive scoop neckline. 

Dress to reveal your strengths.  What’s your favorite part of your body?  Wear clothes that highlight that.  Are you in love with your long, long legs?  Wear a more revealing skirt to show them off.  Do you have an elegant swanlike neck?  Wear a statement necklace to draw attention to it.
 
What to Wear:
If you’re a dress kind of gal, you’re in luck.  Fashion’s fascination with dresses translates into a wide variety of styles for you to choose from.  For a day date, try a cotton sundress or a silk jersey wrap dress (extra points for bright colors or bold patterns), a statement accessory, and the appropriate outerwear.  For an evening date, venture into cocktail dress territory—or, if the occasion calls for it, slip on an evening gown.
 
What about pants—or is a skirt better?  Either can work, but when in doubt, go with a skirt. Skirts are, by nature, more feminine and their inherent sexiness can unleash your natural confidence.
 
If you’re feeling brave, try an above-the-knee length skirt with a sleeved top.  The more your reveal of your legs, the more you should cover up on top—and vice versa.   If you’re more comfortable with conservative skirts, go for an ankle-length skirt (not one that hits at mid-calf—that length is almost universally unflattering) dressed up with sexy heels.
 
As for footwear, high heels add extra shape to your legs—and they’re a real leg lengthener (especially in styles without an ankle strap).  But if you’re not comfortable in high heels, try a lower heel height or a thicker heel, both of which are easier to walk in.

Lastly, you come to the coat.  If it’s cooler outside, then a snug peacoat or three-quarter length coat is an attractive way to finish off your outfit.  If you’re blessed with warmer weather, then a simple shawl or button up sweater would do the trick nicely.

The next time you’re getting ready for a date, dress for the occasion (no evening gowns at Sunday brunch!), but more importantly, dress to make yourself happy so you’ll make the great impression that will get him asking for that next date.

Have a great tip about what to wear on a date?

  Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured:
BR Monogram Silk Geo Print Kimono Dress | $148 at Banana Republic.

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at questions at omiru dot com.

11 comments January 24th, 2008

Long Sleeve Chainlink Shirtdress

Long-sleeve chainlink shirtdress Like a Diane von Furstenberg shirtdress, but at a third of the price!

$128  at Banana Republic.

2 comments January 24th, 2008

Q&A: How to Wear a Headband

Q:  I was wondering if you had any good ideas about wearing headbands and some different types that are "in" right now.

Jelly Filigree Headwrapby Jessica Stockdale, Style and Beauty writer at Found4less.com

A: 
Headbands are stylish, easy to wear, and versatile. And the great news is that they’ve been re-embraced recently. No matter how long or short your hair is, there’s a headband out there that’s right for you. How do you know what kind of headband will work for you?  Here’s a good rule of thumb: the shorter your hair is, the thinner the band should probably be.

Headband Types:
Not only can you choose the color of your headband, but you can also choose patterns, materials and widths. A solid colored headband can look proper and polished if worn in a classic or neutral color that shows nicely against the color of your hair. Then again, a solid colored headband can also look trendy and fun if worn in a bright hot pink.

The patterns available on headbands are endless – you can find anything and everything from polka dots to pirate skulls. And you can find a headband in materials that fit any mood—from girly to glamincluding plastic, leather, and silk or velvet.

Ribbon Double HeadwrapSome headbands are nothing more than fabric pieces that you tie and adjust to your head. These headwraps aren’t scarves (but can sometimes resemble them), and they are made to be a specific width.

What’s hot right now?  The skinny headband is on the rise—probably to suit the ever-so-popular bob hairstyles.  But choose your headband to flatter your own hair and head. Any width can look nice.

How to Wear a Headband: Three Easy Ways
The easiest way to wear a headband is to just slide it on - it’s even simpler than programming a TiVo! But if you’re short on time and want a different look, you can mix up this simple look by changing your part, or wearing the headband with no part.

My newest favorite way to wear a headband is to pull the top half of my hair up and back into a clip. (I usually leave some shorter layers out to frame my face, using pomade to help define the pieces.) Then I put a headband on. For thinner headbands, wear as is. But the thicker the band is, or for a more dramatic look, I suggest putting your hair up so that it has some height (a light and quick application of both holding gel and hairspray will help) and then putting the headband on so that it’s very low and angled a bit forward.

Satin Feather HeadbandWearing a ponytail doesn’t mean you can’t wear a headband. The ponytail can sit low at the nape of your neck or anchored to the side so that you can pull your hair over your shoulder. And while medium ponytails are okay, a high ponytail looks really great when paired with a headband. That velvet headband you wore the other day when your hair was down will look totally different when you change your hairstyle. Style tip?  Instead of a ponytail, try a bun. Many stylish celebrities, like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson have walked the red carpet with their hair in a high bun, accented by a thin black headband.

Comfort tip: Look for wide plastic headbands that are lined on the inside with fabric.  The fabric lining will make them more comfortable to wear and reduce the chance of headache.

Have a great tip about where to buy chic headbands–or how to wear them?
   Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured, from top:
Jelly Filigree Headwrap | $12 at Urban Outfitters, Ribbon Double Headwrap shown in Pine | $10 at Urban Outfitters, and Satin Feather Headband | $4.80 at Forever 21.

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at questions at omiru dot com.

15 comments January 22nd, 2008

Five Year Diary

Five Year Diary

Start journaling your life today. No matter what day of the year it is, you can just flip to the date and start writing.

Added bonus? It’s the Twitter of diaries.  You only have a few lines of space per day–the intimidation of the Blank Page isn’t a factor here.

$24.95  at Barnes & Noble.

2 comments January 22nd, 2008

You Said: Faded Light Blue Denim is Out!

Omiru Poll Result: Light Blue Denim is Out


H81 Straight Leg Jean

We asked: Is Light Blue Denim In or Out?

You said:  Out, with an overwhelming 83% of the vote!

Style tip?  If you’re going to wear light blue denim, do it right: wear it with white.  A crisp–or silky–white top classes up the faded denim look in a flash.

Next question: Bright Yellow: is it too sunny for winter’s rainy days, or is it just right?  Cast your
vote on the sidebar!

Pictured:  H81 Straight Leg Jean | $29 at Forever 21.

4 comments January 21st, 2008

LOST Silver Stamped Cuff Bracelet

Lost Silver Stamped Cuff Bracelet
Can’t wait till the LOST season premiere on the 31st?  Show your pride with this silver cuff bracelet, stamped with the infamous number series from the show. 

$55  at Etsy.

2 comments January 21st, 2008

And…we’re back!

Dear Omiru Readers,

It’s been a long (and sleepless) couple of days, but I’m pleased to announce that we’re back up and running. 

What happened?
Our web hosting provider, Open Source Host, dropped our account without any advance warning on Wednesday afternoon.  Yup, that’s right.  No warning emails, no courtesy notices. Open Source Host claimed "high CPU usage," but they weren’t able to identify the source of the issue.   They were, however, very insistent that our account should stay shut down! Six phone calls, three support tickets, and no answers.

With no info to go on, we set out in search of a new hosting provider.  We’re now with HostMonster, and we’ve spent the last day and a half doing data migration and fixing bugs to bring the site back up.  We’re not all the way there yet–as you can see, we’re having some character issue problems, but we’re working on a fix for that as well.

Thanks for all of your support, your emails, and your offers to help.  We love you guys, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more fun fashion finds and style info in the months and years to come!

See you soon,
Trisha and the Omiru Team

Update: Just fixed the character encoding issue.  Time for sleep! (2:16am - 1/20/08)

2 comments January 19th, 2008

Q&A: What to Wear to a Casual No-Tie Wedding

Q:  I am getting married in April on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. My fiance and I are trying desperately to have a very casual wedding. Ties will not be allowed. My fiance will be wearing one of the new J Crew bridal dresses, which are nice because while they are full-on bridal dresses, aren’t as crazy formal or elaborate as typical wedding dresses.  What should I wear?

Hugo Wool Suit

A:  You should be as formal as your bride.  You said that her dress is a full bridal gown, but it isn’t a “crazy formal or elaborate” gown.  Does this mean the dress isn’t down to the floor?  The length of the dress instantly adds (or subtracts, in the case of a short dress) to the formality of the gown. 

If her dress is knee-length, try a blazer over a button-down shirt with wool trousers with dressier leather loafers.  Warning: I wouldn’t suggest pleated khakis and a navy blazer, unless you’re going for the country club look.  Instead, try a medium or dark gray blazer with a white shirt.  You’ll find that a crisp white shirt will really pop beneath that color blazer. 

If her dress is down to the floor, I would say go with a suit but no tie. The key to this look is the shirt collar.  Get a flimsy collar and it will fall down under your jacket lapel and look sloppy.  Keep the look sharp with a firm collar.  GQ explains how to pull off the look here.

In either case, you’ll be wearing a jacket over a button-down, so tuck in your shirt.

You said you want a “relaxed” suit, but I don’t think you mean that.  Relaxed is a term that describes a loose but not baggy fit.  It’s usually associated with jeans.  If that is what you mean, then I apologize.  In that case, try looking at American made suits.  The so called “sack suits” are usually boxier, looser cuts.  The jacket would follow your silhouette, the trouser will feature a wider leg, and so on. 

It’s up to you, but I personally favor a more slim-fitting suit, especially for a no-tie look.  Try some European designers.  I have a Paul Smith London suit and can personally vouch for its fit.
 
A big factor of formality with suits is color.  The darker the color, the more formal the suit.  I would agree with you and stick with a darker suit here.  Moreover, you’re not wearing a tie, which also makes your look less formal, but if you did, I would tell you to wear a skinny (but not TOO skinny) tie.  I would also tell you not to wear a belt.  A lot of people don’t wear belts nowadays, especially with the “shrunken” suit in fashion.  Going beltless is a sleeker look and tends to add an air of informality. The beltless look has become a fashionable look; GQ’s Style Guy (Glenn O’Brien) has written that he never wears belts with his suits. 

Whatever you do, just remember that sophisticated is clean, simple and tailored.  If your clothes are all of those things, you will shine whatever you wear.  Also, before you buy anything, know how things should fit. Certainly, the tailor will help you when if you get a suit, but you should also know yourself how things should fit.  I liken it to buying a car.  Sure, you can go to the dealer and trust everything they say (and if you go to a respectable dealership they probably are honest), but you still want to have prior knowledge.  I strongly recommend reading Details’ Men’s Style Manual.  It will give you a very good sense on what proper fit means and how to really look chic. 

Have a great tip about what to wear to a casual no-tie wedding?

  Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured:
Hugo Wool Suit | $795 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.

5 comments January 16th, 2008

Acorn Birdhouse

Acorn Birdhouse
A cozy home for your wren and warbler friends.

$38  at Anthropologie.

Add comment January 16th, 2008

Q&A: How to Balance Dress Codes and Figure Flattery

Q:  My job has just introduced a new business casual dress code: the necklines of all women’s shirts must be at the collar-bone or higher! I’ve always read that if you’re really busty you shouldn’t wear crew necks, but how do I balance that with this stupid dress code? And more than that wear does one even find camisoles/ non-knit shells with a neckline that high?

Silk Micro Dot Cap Sleeve Topby Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: 
It sounds like your company is being unreasonably strict in its dress policy, but perhaps "business casual" has been wrongly interpreted by some of your co-workers.  By deeming that womens’ blouses should have necklines to the collar bone, they are ruling out the risk of any visible cleavage. 

Unfortunately for you, the v-neck is by far the most flattering cut for a large bust.  Furthermore, to find shells or camisoles that reach the collar bone would be very difficult.  You could try crew neck light weight cotton t-shirts as the underpinning and then let the lines of v-neck blouses or sweaters work to your advantage.  However, this is still not a graceful, figure flattering look for you.

Some blouses the have a higher neck but a loose silhouette (like the example below), which would be pretty with a long, dark wide legged pant  for work (and jeans on the weekend). The key here is to balance the proportions of tops to bottoms to create an overall long line.  Finish off the outfit with big earrings or bracelets to help draw the eye away from the bust.

Long story short, you’ll have to submit to crewnecks and boatnecks to comply with company policy, but you can work within these guidelines to create moderately flattering looks.  Final style tip?  To look your best in these cuts, be sure to invest in very good bras.

Have a great tip about how to balance dress codes and figure flattery?

  Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured:
Silk Micro Dot Cap Sleeve Top | $68 at Banana Republic.

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.

6 comments January 15th, 2008

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