The Lookbook

Today, I was ready for June Gloom to be over. I was so glad to see a beautiful day dawning, so I instantly grabbed for my Century 21 $19.99 and yet-unworn purchase – a light blue tank with a asymmetrical front ruffle. Since I was office and not beach-bound, I threw on a tailored black blazer – collar up – and cinched it off with my new fave belt. I pulled out the wide-legged pants from my white suit and paired with strappy black heels. Accessories: an enamel bracelet, pearl earrings from my husband and a dainty moonstone necklace we found in Italy.
July 12 2010 Outfit

July 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . The Lookbook. 2 comments.

How To: Pick the Perfect Summer Sundress

Spending time in San Francisco this past weekend, on what was the most glorious day they’ve had all year, I was greeted by a bevy of beautiful sundresses, in every color and shape imagine. As I rush home to pull out my summertime shifts, I thought I’d cover some shapes that flatter our different figures.
 
Long for It. For those lovelies long in the torso, try the oh-so au courant blouson dresses. Either gathered or tied with a ribbon, the blouson dress will sit perfectly just above your hips.
  • Pick one with a bit of a flounce in the skirt to give your dress some flirt.
  • Avoid longer skirts that shorten the look of your legs.

Victoria's Secret Blouson Dress $29

Whittle Waist. To give some length to your look, short-waisted gals should go halter. The gathering at the neck gives you a long, lean look, plus shows off arresting arms.

  • Think A-line skirt to complete the body-skimming shape.
  • Add a belt or tie to help create a waist by cinching towards the hips
  • Avoid empire-waist dresses that shorten your torso even more.

Jane Norman halter dress $55

Strong in the shoulders? Go feminine without going too girly by kicking up your curves with a full skirt.

  • To help balance shoulders, select some cap sleeves.
  • Want to enhance the bustline? Ruching works wonderfully!
  • Avoid halter style dresses that make shoulders look even stronger.

Modcloth Cap Sleeve Dress $53

Want to downplay the decolletage? Try an interesting full-coverage shape, like a one-shoulder affair, that keeps the eye on the whole outfit.

  • Think tailored and full-supported.
  • Avoid any embellishment at the neckline.

Topshop One Shoulder Dress $90

Ladies with fuller shapes on bottom should look for two-toned dresses to help accentuate their top assets. Look for darker shades on bottom and bolder on top to balance your overall outfit, with cap or short sleeves.

  • Go for A-line, body-skimming shapes that fall at least to the knee
  • Add accessories or adornment at the neckline to bring the eye up
  • Avoid full skirts with pleating or gathers.

 

Taylor dress $158

Ladies with fuller shapes on top should invest in simple body-skimming shifts. Think sleeveless styles in solid colors, stopping above the knee to accentuate fab legs.

  • Go for a vee-neck shape to create length.
  • Create a waist at your narrowest point through cinching, belts or subtle gathering
  • Avoid trapeze dresses that add  unneeded volume on top.

Harvey Nichols dress $285

Where’s your favorite place to find the perfect sundress?

June 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . How To. 1 comment.

put2gether pick: let’s romp!

Looking for a fun option for the summer? Give the romper a whirl. Back in full force this summer, the updated romper looks great in bold colors with small prints. My favorite style features spaghetti straps (which keeps the overall look very light and playful), but there are options for everyone, from strapless to short sleeves.

 

Billabong romper ($34)

And it goes easily from day to night.

  • By day, pair with gladiator sandals, big oval shades, an oversized bag and a floppy straw hat
  • By night, throw on a tuxedo-style blazer, leather and cork heels, and a metallic clutch
  • Though I love statement jewelry with just about anything, I suggest layering a few delicate silver or gold necklaces to complement the lightness of the romper

Ready for a romp?

June 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . put2gether pick. Leave a comment.

Fashion Files: The Case of the Pricey Piece

Client: Me!

The Scene: Important Work Event

The Dilemma: How to get that outfit you want without gauging your wallet

Tell me if this has happened to you before.

You are shopping for an outfit for an upcoming event. It’s something important, so you really want to look and feel great. You are not quite sure what you are looking for, so you browse around for a while, stopping at your usual haunts as you search for that great look.

And then, after an exhaustive search, you finally find the piece. It’s perfect. And, of course, it’s pricey.

I just had the experience recently, when I was preparing for an important work event. I was looking for a professional, but stylish work look – something a little bit different, but still classic and comfortable. And I found it in a beautiful mixed media dress by Rachel Roy.

Rachel Roy Mixed Media Dress

I loved the chiffon top – tweed skirt combo, and could picture it paired perfectly with a tuxedo-style blazer and my black Calvin Klein platform pumps. But I could not justify the $500 price.

So what do you do? Don’t let that price tag prevent you from pulling in that piece – you just have to get creative. After some in-person and online sleuthing, I was able to find some great options that mirrored the look I was hoping to wear without withering away my bank account.

I couldn’t find a similar mixed media dress – where the top and bottom feature different fabrics in one dress – so I went for separates. And I was thrilled to find some amazing options.

Starting with the tweed component, I found two great picks. On the higher end, I found an amazing Vivienne Westwood draped pencil skirt at $180. The fold in the front gave it an extra special touch that really set it apart from most flat-front pencil skirts.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Skirt

For all of you frugal fans, you will love that I also found a $49 option at Newport News. Their tweed version had black banding at the waist – nice touch – though there was fake flower attached to that banding. But nothing a pair of scissors can’t handle!

Newport News Tweed skirt

Next, onto the top. After skimming through pages and webpages of styles, I was able to find a great drape-front chiffon top from Vince at $135.  I liked how the neckline was a bit higher than on the Rachel Roy – higher necklines are better for my figure – and knew the light-weight fabric could be easily tucked into the tweed skirt without too much bulk at the waist.

Vince Drape Front Tank

I also found a lightweight – and lightly priced – option at J.Crew for $36.50, in the form of  a sweet tank with detail at the neckline. Though not chiffon, the detailing gave it the more professional look that I was hoping for.

JCrew Vintage Canvas Bow Tank

In the end, I was still pining away for the Rachel Roy dress, but I felt like I didn’t have to settle with my super new separates.

Was the client happy? I can definitively say “yes!” Another case closed!

Have a fashion caper that needs to be solved? Ask put2gether to put you together!

May 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fashion Files. 2 comments.

How to: Flatter Your Figure (Part II – Apple Shape)

In Part II of Flattering Your Figure, reader Barbara asked put2gether to discuss trimming tips for those with an apple shape. Our Apple friends tend to have great arms, legs and shoulders, paired with fuller mid-sections and busts, so like all figures, it’s all about making those great assets a focal point in your everyday dress.

When approaching tops, Apple Gals should accentuate their great bustline and minimize the focus on their waistline by keeping 4 F’s in mind – fit, fabric, flowing and fun.

  • Be Supportive. Before buying any new tops, get some support – from a great bra! Every woman – no matter what shape – should get a professional bra fitting to make sure you are wearing the right size. For the Apples, the right fit is extremely important because it provides the foundation for showcasing your decollatege through great necklines.
  • Go With the Flow. Next step when shopping – look for fabrics that flatter. For Apples, it’s all about fabrics that skim rather than cling. Look for fabrics that float over the body, like silks, cottons and light denims, and do not conform, like jersey.  If you like turtlenecks, throw them under a similar-colored blazer to slim your lines.
  • Straight and Narrow. Found your fabrics? Now let’s get to tailoring! Since you are going for body skimming to create a look that is slimming, avoid tailoring that looks tied up. Say no to ruching, which induces fabric stretch, and shapes like empire waists, which just accentuate the stomach area rather than skinny it. Instead you are looking for clean, straight lines in all tops. A great Apple option – a tunic! With their sturdy material, straight lines and a bit of length, the tunic is incredibly flattering on Apples.
  • Here’s the Scoop. Now it’s time to inject a little fun!  First, start with a great neckline. Apples have lots of choices – v-neck, boat neck, scoop – you name it. It’s all about drawing the eye upward. Or adding something fun at the neck or embellishment across the neckline also keeps the focus up.   “Attention to detail around the neck area elongates the neck,” writes Suze Yalof Schwartz of Glamour magazine.
  • It’s a Wrap. Another great top option is the wrap.  The plunging necklace and tie-off style help to create a waist in a very figure-flattering way. Again, remember to get a flowing versus form-fitting fabric and think solid colors or small patterns. And when you go for the wrap dress version, the length should be just above the knee to showcase your superior stems!

When approaching bottoms, Apples want to think about balance – using pieces to balance their shape through pants while using pieces to enhance their shape through skirts.

  • Flat is Where It’s At. Flat-front pants and skirts are a must for Apples. They provide a great base layer and help slim the overall look.  Remember to stay away from pants with pleating or definition at the waist – they will add extra bulk at the midline. Instead, opt for straight lines like your tops. Invest in a great pair of tailored black pants with wide cuffs – they make a great staple for Apples.
  • Waist Not, Want Not. When buying pants, go for a higher rise and a more generous cut. The cut will balance your overall shape and will provide a great focal point for the eye if you wear darker colors.    
  • Don’t Skirt the Issue. As I said before, our Apple friends have great legs, so get them out there! Flat front, A-line skirts are great on Apples. You’ll want to go for a mid-length, so just above the knee – any higher and you will begin to look top-heavy. Also, steer clear of really long skirts that cover up those legs – you will get the opposite effect in terms of proportion.   

And one more Apple tip: go for single color notes. A single color palette gives you the look of length versus width. So anchor your look in one color, but liven it up through a fun necklace or bold shoes.

What figure type would you like us to cover next?

April 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . How To. 3 comments.