Archive for July, 2008

What to Wear to Work: Business Formal for Petites

The key to finding flattering business formal clothes for petites is to choose pieces that elongate your silhouette.  You want to look as tall as you can, especially in a business setting, and you can do this by making your legs look as long as possible.  

Jackets with a Low Stance
Ann Taylor Wool Pinstripe Suit
Petite Wool Pinstripe Jacket ($99.99) and Petite Audrey Wool Pinstripe Pants ($79.99) at Ann Taylor

The notch lapel is classic, and the low stance (the point where the two sides of the jacket cross in front) creates a nice vertical line that makes you look taller.  Single button closures are best for creating this vertical line.

Simple Fitted Tops
Cotton Ruffle Front Top
Cotton Ruffle Front Top | $58 at Ann Taylor

When you’re petite, fitted garments tend to look better than oversized ones.  We’re loving this cotton voile ruffle top.  The delicate cotton voile fabric is lightweight (great for summer), and it complements the decidedly feminine ruffle and pintuck details.

Fluid, Drapey Fabrics

Petite Silk Sleeveless Shell
Petite Silk Sleeveless Shell | $29.99 (sale) at Ann Taylor

Add some shine to your wardrobe with a silk shell.  Fluid, drapey fabrics look great on petites, and in small doses, they complement business formal outfits.  Add a scarf for extra sophistication.

Wide Leg Trousers

Petite Martin Cuffed Wide Leg Pant
Petite Martin Cuffed Wide Leg Pant | $89 at Banana Republic

This wide leg pant is a great counterbalance to a fitted top, and the fact that it sits just below the natural waist helps to visually elongate your legs.

High Waisted Skirts
High Waisted Pencil Skirt
High Waisted Pencil Skirt | $89 at Banana Republic

High waisted skirts and pants make your legs look as long as possible–and in turn make you look as tall as possible.  If you don’t like thin, tailored skirts, you can also try (nearly universally flattering) a-line skirts.  How long should your skirt be?  Knee length skirts are not only the most flattering, but they’re also safe for work.

Shift Dresses
Belted Textured Dress
Belted Textured Dress | $150 at Banana Republic

Shift dresses are as slimming as they are work appropriate.  They’re
fitted without being too revealing, and they elongate your figure, especially when they feature a knee-length skirt.

Finish off your business formal outfit with medium height shoes (you’re petite, and you’re not fooling anyone with sky high heels, so just be comfortable), a reasonably sized work bag (no gigantic bags for you, since they’ll overwhelm you), and minimal accessories (since you don’t want to clutter your clean outfit).

Have a great tip about business formal for petites?  Share it with us in the comments!

10 comments July 10th, 2008

Star USA John Varvatos Longsleeve Linen Cardigan

Star USA John Varvatos Longsleeve Linen Cardigan

by John Liu

Guys, this isn’t your grandpa’s cardigan. The texture and toggle closures keeps things modern, and it’s light enough to wear on a summer night. It’s a great color and cut too.

$298  at Bluebee.

3 comments July 10th, 2008

How to Choose the Right Sunglasses for Your Face

by John Liu

Everybody loves sunglasses. Here’s a primer on how to find the right pair for you:

To find the right sunglasses for you, start with the shape of your face.  Everyone’s face is unique, but there are a few general shapes into which faces can be categorized.  The basic idea is to get a pair of sunglasses that balances out your face shape; that is, a pair that exemplifies the opposite of your face shape.  Moreover, the edges of the glasses should “frame” your face exactly.  If the outer edge of the lens’ frame is wider or narrower than your face, the glasses don’t fit.  Oh, and always make sure you try on the pair in person before buying them.

Round Face
Jack Spade Chad Sunglasses
Jack Spade Chad Sunglasses | $275 at Marqsmen 

If you have full cheeks and a curved jawline, get a pair that contrasts this roundness.  To balance out your face, you’ll want a pair of sunglasses in a boxier shape.  For best results, make sure the edges of the sunglasses are rounded, not pointy or sharp. I love this pair by Jack Spade.

Oval Face
Oliver Goldsmith Mistinguett Sunglasses
Oliver Goldsmith Mistinguett Sunglasses | $290 (approx) at Adam Simmonds

If your face is long and lean (think Adrian Brody), you’ll want sunglasses that make your face appear wider.  A lot of people will say an oval shaped face will look good with any pair of sunglasses, but in my opinion, the ones that widen the face look the very best.  Look for lenses that are basically wide rectangles, like this pair by Oliver Goldsmith.

Triangular Face
Prada Aviator Sunglasses
Prada Aviator Sunglasses | $275 at Saks Fifth Avenue 

If you have a broad forehead and a narrower chin, you’ll want a pair that complements that shape.  That means you want a pair that are wider at the top and narrower at the bottom.  Aviators are ideal here.  I like this sleek pair by Prada.

Bonus Sunglasses Style Tips:
(1) The best sunglasses offer both UVA and UVB protection and are polarized.  Polarized sunglasses also distort natural colors the least.  If you spend a lot of time on the water, these features are a must; the sunlight reflecting off the water is poison for your eyes.

(2) Often, like with the classic Wayfarer (probably the most timeless pair out there), you can put in regular lenses and wear your sunglasses as a stylish pair of regular glasses.  Go to your optometrist for more information.

Ray Ban Wayfarer
Ray Ban Wayfarer | $110 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Have a great tip about how to choose the right pair of sunglasses?  Share it with us in the comments!

9 comments July 9th, 2008

Wool Duffle Bomber

Wool Duffle Bomber

Yeah, this makes us look seasonally dyslexic, but don’t you love this chic wool bomber? We’re digging the toggles and the foldover collar.

$119  at Topshop.

Add comment July 9th, 2008

Maternity Fashion 101: How to Be Chic While Pregnant

Q: I have to go buy my first maternity clothes this weekend. What advice can you give to keep me looking chic? Styles, colors, fabrics…

Maternity Smocked Yoke Button Front Shirtby Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Trying to be chic while pregnant can be challenging as your body changes, but the good news is that there are so many choices for chic maternity wear today.

For looks that are fresh and chic , I would choose natural fabrics such as cottons and silks.  Simple silhouettes are best–and my favorite looks tend to be in solid colors with few, if any, embellishments.

My philosophy is that when you’re pregnant, the simpler your style, the better you look.  Figure flattery is still important, but when you’re pregnant, you have the opportunity to show off your growing tummy (instead of trying to hide it).  So–embrace your body and showcase your belly with chic, simple styles like wrap tops, empire waist dresses, button-down tops, and wide leg pants.

Maternity Smocked Empire Waist DressKeep in mind that you will only need maternity clothes for about three to seven months [Updated 7/8/08] –so you don’t need to buy nine months worth of maternity wear.  Depending on the time of year and the climate in which you live, you may need to base your purchases on seasonality–and note that seasons will change during your pregnancy.  Regardless of where you live and time of year, you’ll need casual clothes for weekends, a number of work-appropriate separates if you’re working, one very good dress (I love Veronique Delachaux), and a comfortable everyday shoe. 

As you craft your maternity wardrobe, think also about whether you plan to have another child.  If you plan to be pregnant again, you may want to invest in better quality maternity clothes.  If, however, you don’t plan to have any other children, you don’t need to spend as much on maternity fashion.

Here’s a few maternity stores to check out:

Old Navy - $20-$40 for dresses
Ann Taylor Loft - $40-$70 for dresses
Gap - $50-$70 for dresses
Japanese Weekend - $70-$120 for dresses
A Pea in the Pod - $150+ for dresses

Good luck with this wonderful, happy time of life and best wishes for your new baby!

Pictured:
Maternity Smocked Yoke Button Front Shirt | $44 at Ann Taylor Loft and Maternity Smocked Empire Waist Dress | $24.50 at Old Navy.

Have a great tip about how to be chic while pregnant? Share it with us in the comments!

10 comments July 8th, 2008

Striped Pocket Tee

Striped Pocket Tee

by John Liu

What a T-shirt should be: casual, comfortable and fun. And, it’s cheap enough to buy in bulk.

$19.50  at Gap.

Add comment July 8th, 2008

You Said: Yes to Vests

Omiru Poll Results: Vests are In

Anabelle VestWe asked: Would you wear a Vest?

You said:  60% of you say Yes to Vests.

Style tip?  For men, vests are a great way to gain statesman-like style points.  For women, vests are one of our favorite pieces for the menswear-as-womenswear trend.  Our favorite way to wear the vest?  Wear it with a feminine piece, like a ruffled skirt.

Next question: Big shoulders were on display on the runway, along with other menswear-as-womenswear favorites (including the vest).  But what do you think?  Tell us, would you wear tops or jackets with big shoulders?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured:  Anabelle Vest | $17.80 at Forever 21.

6 comments July 7th, 2008

Modern Trenchcoat

Modern Trenchcoat

We’re all over brightly colored trenchcoats, and we’re digging the box pleats on this fresh take on the classic coat.

$59  at Twelve by Twelve.

Add comment July 7th, 2008

Figure Flattery Guide: What to Wear to Flatter a Large Bust

How do you best dress to flatter your bustline?  Elongate your upper body, both your torso and your neck, while subtly showing your curves.  You can help balance a large bustline by wearing wide trousers or skirts that flare at the hem.  To tastefully show off your curves while elongating your torso, look for open neck tops, soft styles that drape over your curves, and tops with subtle vertical lines.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your bustline:

Single Button BlazerJackets & Coats

Single breasted styles
Semifitted styles
Styles that button right under the bustline
Jackets without pocket detailing
Single breasted boxy jackets

The boxiness of this single breasted blazer adds to the tailored feel, while the low stance complements a large bust.
Pictured: Single Button Jacket | $42.99 (sale) at Gap

Slub Cotton Tunic TopTops
Styles that subtly reveal cleavage
Simple styles without much embellishment
Open-neck tops, such as v-necklines and scoop necklines, and sweetheart necklines.
Wrap styles
Long sleeves that flare below the elbow
Long, vertical, and narrow collars

This tunic features an open neckline, vertical detailing, and sleeves–all flattering for women with a large bust.
Pictured: Slub Cotton Tunic Top | $50 at J Crew.


Silk Wrap DressSkirts & Dresses
Semifitted styles with open necklines
Wrap dresses
Shirtdresses
Dropped waist dresses
Narrow skirts that flare at the hem

The open neckline subtly shows off your curves, while the silk drapes over your body.  The flared skirt helps to counterbalance your upper body.
Pictured: Silk Wrap Dress | $130 at Banana Republic.

27 comments July 3rd, 2008

Plaid Buttonfront Boyfriend Shirt

Plaid Buttonfront Boyfriend Shirt

We know that you’re not fans of high waisted pants, but a pair of white high waisted pants would look lovely with this plaid buttonfront shirt.

$38  at Urban Outfitters.

Add comment July 3rd, 2008

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