The off the shoulder look is hot, hot, hot and will only become more popular as we head into summer. I love this look for tops and dresses – so feminine and carefree, right? Who wouldn’t love to wear one of these in hot weather?
Right, but probably only for women way younger than yours truly. I happen to think my shoulders are among my best features but I still think this look is often too bare for women of a certain age. It is, in my opinion, a look for those who still have dewy skin, not sun-damaged skin.
On the other hand, there are degrees of bareness with the off-the-shoulder style.
My bottom line is that everyone can take advantage of the cool “bare shoulder” trend and look gorgeous by following a few tips:
Stick to more conservative off the shoulder tops that bare only to the clavicle and expose the top of the shoulders; or
Choose off-the-shoulder styles that are elasticized so that you can adjust the top to show less; or
Look for beautiful halter tops or dresses that highlight the shoulders only.
Take a look at the following styles – perfect for any age and oh so cool in the warmer months!
If you follow our blog, then you’ve seen this skirt on me a number of times (here’s a similar color and similar style). And, from what people tell me, once you’ve seen this skirt, you will never forget it! I bought it on ASOS about two years ago; it was a mini-trend – scuba material, very large ruffle at the bottom of a pencil skirt. I was hooked. And it proved to be one of those wardrobe items I returned to again and again probably because I got so many compliments.
I hope you have items like this in your closet – bright, unusual, instantly noticeable – because they are so good for the soul! I mean, one can buy neutrals until “the cows come home”, but they’ll never give you the lift you get from one fabulous, outrageous dress or skirt.
Case in point: I had a wonderful Vivienne Tam midi tube dress until a few years ago. The fabric had a grid of Mao pictures – each one a spoof of the iconic Mao picture we’ve all seen (Mao with a bee on his nose, etc) How I loved that dress! It was very flattering and NEVER failed to get attention – especially from men. Better than any perfectly-cut black or navy designer dress!
First, I must get this out of the way: apparently the term “ghillies” is also used for “Renaissance Faire” shoes (ugh) AND the name of a certain kind of three-dimensional camo outfit for hunters! Now please put those images aside and concentrate on the ghillies that are so popular at the moment: pumps or flats that lace up and/or tie at or above the ankle. The term originally refers to soft flat dancing shoes. Here are a few particularly beautiful (and in all cases practically unwearable) examples:
Sigh. Luckily now flat ghillies abound and are available in all price points. Can you guess? I love, love, love them! The flat versions are becoming quite popular – both as flats and sandals. Some of you may say these are hard to wear unless your ankles and calves are perfect – or at least skinny – but I disagree. They actually make the ankle look slimmer. I would personally avoid any versions that lace up past the mid calf but that’s just a reflection of my personal bias. Take a look at the wonderful and affordable versions I’ve identified below – and start shopping for YOUR ghillies.
First of all, we are talking capes here – NOT ponchos or ruanas. For some reason they all seem to get lumped together, maybe because there is some degree of practical difficulty in wearing all of them. Back to CAPES though: a cape has an opening that fastens in the front and has slits on the seams for one’s arms. For me they represent a style challenge. They’re everywhere, people:
Evening dresses with build-in capes! Where are her arms??
Jumpsuits with attached capes! What an ordeal to go to the restroom!
Why, you might ask, do I find them so vexing? I’ll walk you through my pros and cons.
Warmer than no coat at all
Often made of lovely wintery fabrics
Reminiscent of fairy tale royalty or Red Riding Hood
Useful to wear over bulky jackets and sweaters
BARELY warmer than no coat at all
Make it hard to carry a handbag crossbody or even on your shoulder
Fashion for fashion’s sake – kinda like 6 inch heels
OK, OK I’m a curmudgeon. Capes just seem like impractical winter outerwear to me. I CAN see the point of ponchos and ruanas – both are typically more flexible and warmer than a cape design.
There COULD be a few cute capes around – and I’m quite sure not everyone agrees with my personal assessment…
Sigh. I am SO loving over-the-knee-boots. There, I’ve admitted it. Now let’s talk about OTK boots for women of a certain age (WOACA according to AllWays in Fashion). This is a tricky trend for us older fashionistas. Here’s why:
Most of us don’t wear skirts far enough above our knees to show that we are wearing OTK boots.
OK, so then OTK boots look great with skinny jeans. Many of us may wear skinny jeans but is that fact enough to justify purchasing a special pair of boots?
I worry that many of the retail website reviews of OTK boots talk about whether such boots fall down (like, you know, OTK socks!) or whether they are too tight for normal calves.
I’m not sure what’s left for WOACA or actually any typical woman over 25 years of age, but they are still SO cute.
It is hard for me to let go of a trend and thinking about how I can adapt it to my wardrobe. I’ve even ordered a few inexpensive pairs (and returned them all). This is, perhaps, a style I’ll leave to the young. But just in case here are some fairly reasonable versions of this fashion trend.
We know the holiday season is upon us when we start dreaming about velvet and velveteen. But these two are almost nothing alike. Velvet is “a closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick short pile on one side”. Of course, it is also the “soft downy skin that covers a deer’s antler while it is growing”. (Frankly the latter stirs my heart more than the former.) Velveteen on the other hand is really just an imitation usually made of cotton.
Unfortunately velvet and velveteen remind some people of Elvira/goth or Victorian steampunk. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Tell me you don’t think these looks are gorgeous, sumptuous and perfect for sparkly holiday gatherings.
Argh! It’s that time – to go on the hunt for a chic, but still very warm winter coat. Kate and I have different goals here. Let’s be clear: I already have many coats – each one serving a different temperature gradient….and my mood. I’m always looking ahead to the next style and the latest sale. Kate is considering replacing one out of her collection of coats – it’s always fun to add something new! She doesn’t need the heaviest coat, but she is looking for style and color.
My dream coat:
Yes I want to be Victoria Beckham.
Kim does have some great coats:
Kate’s dream coat:
Bright – check; 3/4 length – check:
Love these details!
But back to reality. Check out some more realistic choices below. My criteria: on sale or priced like it is on sale; full length preferably, a collar preferably. Kate’s criteria: Color or interesting details, probably 3/4 length, style.
Tweed is having a moment. Maybe it is because we are thinking autumn leaves, chilly days and football games.
There is no question that tweed is a quintessential fall/winter fabric and it does have a distinctive print of its own. Traditionally tweed is defined as a “coarsewoolclothinavarietyofweavesandcolors,eitherhand-spun andhandwoveninScotlandorreproduced,oftenbymachine,elsewhere”.
Tweed has had a certain pipe-smoking, traditional reputation, but it is coming back – part of the move back to beautifully fitted wide legged pants. Look at these gorgeous examples!
I’m trying very hard to pare down my wardrobe (more about that soon) but there are definitely a few things I want for fall and winter.
Red Pumps: I always want to have red suede heels for my winter wardrobe. One can only wear black, brown and navy for so long – a little vibrant color is a necessity! My search for red pumps used to be easy – high heels, a few trendy details and I was happy. Unfortunately I can no longer wear heels over 3″ — any shoes have to be comfortable on my older, bonier feet. Plus there is the issue of finding the RIGHT red, not too maroon nor too orange.
Then there is my search for an “interesting” but well-priced sweater, probably a pullover but could be a cardigan. There are so many sweaters around and they, by and large, are boring. I want something *interesting*! Let’s see – what would I call interesting? Maybe fringe but not hanging off the bottom of the sweater, a bright and interesting pattern, a highly unusual sweater that I’ll find on sale because nobody else wants it!
I have been fascinated with space-dyed apparel for a while now and I’ve been curious about what “space dyeing” really meant. It’s something I have associated with cotton casual wear, but that’s only one of many ways this yarn design is used.
Let’s start with a definition of “space dyeing” since you may not know much about it either! According to Fabric Link, it is “a term that defines the dyeing process in which multiple colors are applied along a length of yarn (usually a continuous filament strand) at intervals.” Yeah, real clear to me too! Think Anthropologie and Missoni – lots of space dyed clothes there!
No matter, it is the fashion dimension I’m interested in. I own space dyed exercise pants and a great Loft maxi skirt. Look at a few of these beautiful examples of space dyeing