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The Pros and Cons of Technical Fabrics

Technical fabrics are designed for FUNCTION as opposed to aesthetics. They are composed of synthetic fibres that are engineered to improve performance, including polyester, spandex, Lycra, nylon, polypropylene, neoprene, Gore-Tex and bamboo. Bamboo is considered a synthetic fibre because of how it’s processed. Sometimes natural fibres like wool and cotton are blended with synthetic fibres to create technical fabrics that insulate better and combat odour.  Technical fabrics are used for apparel l...
Tags: Fashion, Gore Tex, Wicks, Fabrications, Cons of Technical Fabrics


50 Years

2020 has been difficult in unprecedented ways. The stress of the global pandemic is something we wake up to every morning and go to sleep with every night, day after day. It’s hard to stay positive and upbeat when there is much sadness, disappointment, and hardship in the world.  The only way out is through. For me, this means taking it one day at a time, and being extra grateful at the end of each day. I try to make the most of what we have, enjoy small pleasures, make a positive difference in ...
Tags: Fashion, Earth, Seattle, Sam, Greg, Individual Style


Belting a T-Shirt Dress

A T-shirt dress can fit like a long straight T-shirt. It’s unstructured, comfortable, easy to launder, and an uncomplicated throw-on-and-go. The unstructured and sack-like integrity of this silhouette makes it appealing. It hides the midsection and curve of the hips, and feels very breezy because it does not cling.  That said, the lack of structure can also put some people off. It might make you feel unattractive because it hides the narrowest part of the torso, making you feel wider than you w...
Tags: Fashion, How To Wear It


Weekly Roundup: High Summer Items

Some retailers are slowly but surely refreshing and replenishing their merchandise for high Summer. This gives me a little hope amidst the extremely tough situation faced by retailers and their employees.  Some of these items have been winners on my clients and our forum members, while others simply caught my eye. I have seen some of the items in person. Read the reviews, and browse the colour options. Some of the items are on sale. Ted Baker London Kethrin Crochet Hobo Bag: A non-scratchy casua...
Tags: Topshop, Fashion, Sharp, Calvin Klein, Lists, DKNY, London Kethrin Crochet Hobo, Madewell Knit Cami Dress, Miz Mooz Fallon, Donna Ricco, Maison Irem Black Tiger Tooth Tibi Necklace, Proenza Schouler Arizona PS EXQ NL, Hue Ultrasoft High Waist Capri Denim Leggings, Naot Verbena Sandal


Spotlight: Third Crown by Kirstin and Kofi Essel

Third Crown is a New York City based jewellery brand designed by wife and husband team, Kirstin and Kofi Essel. The couple combined their creative talents to launch a modern jewellery collection that they describe as gender-neutral, geometric, and everyday statement pieces.  The jewellery line is clean, architectural, chunky, yet refined, and available in an assortment of metals. The line was first produced in the heart of New York City, but has now moved to a factory out of state. Their concept...
Tags: Accessories, Fashion, New York City, Kirstin, Brand Spotlight, Kofi Essel


Outfit Formula: Easy Summer Dress

In the Northern hemisphere, Summer is here. That means relaxing into what we wear with an emphasis on casual, lightweight and breezy clothing that is very comfortable and not constrictive. If shorts aren’t your thing, there’s the option of wearing a simple and laid-back, throw-on-and-go dress. Here are some extremely easy casual dress outfits. 1. Handkerchief Swing This type of swing dress with asymmetrical pointy handkerchief hem is a stylish muumuu to my eye. You’ll find them in knits, woven...
Tags: Fashion, Formulas


Link Love: Shopping and the New Normal

Depending on where you live, we’re seeing brick-and-mortar stores slowly starting to reopen. Fashion news outlets have been trying to predict how this new phase of shopping and using beauty services is going to look: Here’s The Kit’s take on what will happen to fitting rooms. The future of the beauty tester. Allure suspects we’re going to have to say goodbye to in-store sampling. The Huffington Post looks at how nail salons will be different when they reopen amid the pandemic. The Guardian’s Je...
Tags: Fashion, Huffington Post, Alison, Angie, Jess Cartner Morley, Jorja, Link Love, La Belle Demimondaine, Jaileen, Alyssa Beltempo, Debbie Roes, Unfrumped, Suntiger


Passing Items On in Excellent Condition

It used to be the norm to keep wardrobe items until they were too worn to wear. For one thing, it’s financially responsible. We’re respecting the investment of time and resources in the items we purchase. And it’s satisfying to reduce the cost per wear and get the most out of our fashion buck. For another, it is ecologically responsible. We’re considering the longevity of the planet. The more sustainable our wardrobes are, the better. These days the trade-off can be different. Most of the items ...
Tags: Fashion, Wardrobe Planning, Dress for Success Seattle


Boho Vibes in Summer

I’ve noticed that as the weather warms up, my clients with an otherwise un-bohemian style, are more than happy to add a boho integrity to their look. There is something about the vibe that lends itself well to Summer dressing. It’s all fabulous: Unstructured comfort, cotton, silk, rayon and linen-rich fabrications, fun colours and patterns, earth tones, flounces, tassels, flowing and tiered silhouettes, florals, paisleys, embroderies, ruffles, peplums, crochet, distressed brown leather, kaftans,...
Tags: Fashion, Karl Lagerfeld, Southern California, Individual Style


Cheerfully Casual and Colourful in Sydney

Sydney-based Kim-Marie documents her outfits on her blog Kimba Likes and Instagram account with the same name. Kim-Marie’s style is casual and cheerful with quirky and arty touches. She loves colour, has a penchant for conversational prints and pattern mixing, and sports a fab red ‘do that is an integral part of her style. Pastels mixed with brights makes for a fab Summery look. Kim-Marie is wearing a dropped-waist pinafore dress with eclectic geometric print. The midi dress has fun side-entry...
Tags: Fashion, Instagram, Sydney, Angie, Anne Marie, Outfit Bloggers, Kim Marie, Kimba Likes


Spotlight: Nude Barre by Erin Carpenter

Erin Carpenter is an American model, actress, and dancer who was extremely frustrated when it came to purchasing proper undergarments for her entertainment career. It was especially hard for Carpenter to find hosiery that matched her skin tone. She spent a lot of time and money dying and spray painting tights and shoes for castings and performances because most brands did not produce the right shade of nude to create a great colour match. Carpenter shared these frustrations with her peers. The l...
Tags: Fashion, Carpenter, Barre, Brand Spotlight, Erin Carpenter, Knicks Dancers


Fashion News Roundup: June 2020

New initiatives to address systemic racism within the fashion industry, the best sunscreens of 2020, and other style news that made headlines this month. Long Tall Sally, the world’s top clothing brand for tall women, is closing. Gap reports a $932 million loss after closing 90% of its global stores during the COVID-19 shutdown. Aurora James, founder of sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, started the 15% pledge campaign after the murder of George Floyd. Goal is to call on major retai...
Tags: Fashion, News, Emma Watson, Alexander Mcqueen, Harper, Bazaar, Tutankhamun, Sally, Honore, POC, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Vellies, Aurora James, Samira Nasr, Leandra Medine Cohen, Gucci Balenciaga Saint Laurent Bottega Veneta


Outfit Formula: Simple, Timeless Casual Shorts

Team Shorts reigned supreme in our poll a couple of weeks ago, especially Team Ultra Casual Shorts. Today’s set of outfit ideas is for those who like to keep it very simple and super relaxed over the Summer. The looks have a high longevity factor so you can wear them year after year.  The outfits showcase neutrals, but feel free to choose any colour palette. It seems odd to wear heels with the outfits because of the extra relaxed integrity. That said, a wedged espadrille might work. If you’re af...
Tags: Fashion, Bob, Bermuda, Semi, Formulas


When Sleeveless Armholes are Too Wide or Low

Many of my clients and friends wear sleeveless tops and dresses, but all too often the armholes hang too low and wide for their preferences. This is especially true with unstructured sleeveless tops and dresses that are breezy in hot and humid weather.  Here and some solutions to this particular fit problem. 1. Add A Breezy Sleeved Layer Adding layers like lightweight gauzy cardigans and shrugs, or very lightweight Summer jackets in cottons, silk, rayon and linens will hide too wide and low s...
Tags: Fashion, Fit, Dresses, Low, Boden, Tops, How To Wear It


Weekly Roundup: Summery Items

Some of these items have been winners on forum members and clients, who have kept me up-to-date with their recent purchases. Many have great reviews, and some simply caught my eye. Browse the colour options, and catch items on sale if you can. Boden Mini Octavia Drawstring Bag: A beautifully made trendy classic that comes in black and red. Smaller than the usual bucket bag so you can't jam too much into it. That's a good thing. SWEATY BETTY Ace Racerback Midi Dress: A very easy and super breezy ...
Tags: Fashion, London, Best, Lists, Dena, Boden, Ratti, Veronica Beard, Boden Elodie Jersey Wrap Top, Karen Kane Tie Dye Burnout Top, Sporty Luxe Vince Paneled Bell, Anna Beck, PAIGE Sage Midi Tank Dress


Stylish Up Top for Zoom

As the world slowly and cautiously reopens amidst the novel Coronavirus pandemic, many are still working from home, and some may work from home permanently. The new normal means countless digital Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime meetings in front of computer and phone screens with colleagues, clientele, students, services, and whoever else.  During these digital meetings, you’re visible from the waist up, which might mean taking extra care with dressing and grooming that part of your outfit. T...
Tags: Fashion, Facetime, Greg, Business Casual, Career Wear


Spotlight: Paskho by Patrick Robinson

Paskho is a sustainable athleisure and travel clothing brand that was founded by Patrick Robinson, who has designed for Giorgio Armani, Anna Klein, Perry Ellis, Paco Rabanne, and the Gap. After seeing that the blue dye from denim factories was contaminating rivers and affecting wildlife, Robinson was committed to change. Paskho — which means “passion” in Greek — was founded out of a “return to fundamentals”, “doing more with less”, and inspiring others “to repurpose rather than add to the piles ...
Tags: Fashion, Greg, Robinson, Patrick Robinson, Eco Fashion, Brand Spotlight, Giorgio Armani Anna Klein Perry Ellis Paco Rabanne


Happy Father’s Day

2020 has been a tough and intense year for most of us. One very stressful part for Greg and I is our concern for my Dad in the Netherlands, and his father in South Africa. Both men are elderly with complicated medical situations that make them particularly vulnerable. I know we share this situation with many others. It’s tricky to say the least, and I’m sure that everyone is doing the best that they can. Despite my own stress for my dear Papa, he’s not stressed at all! He turns 88 this year, and...
Tags: Fashion, South Africa, Netherlands, Administrivia, Greg


Link Love: Face Masks Challenges & Solutions

Many of us are wearing face masks daily, and that comes with its own set of challenges and inventive solutions: Angie recently wrote about facial masks and foggy specs. As the weather heats up, some face masks can start to feel uncomfortable, so StyleCaster rounded up 10 breathable face masks to get us through a hot Summer. Face masks can trigger skin issues, here are some tips to avoid skin irritation. Some people find that a mask’s ear straps can cause pain and irritation, these clever ear gu...
Tags: Fashion, Michael Kors, Angie, Link Love, Tracy Reese, Sies Marjan, Kibbe, Runcarla, Nuancedream, Minaminu, Vanessa Friedman Suntiger


Sleeve Lengths and Figure Flattering Priorities

Whether it’s intuitive or deliberate, most of us have a set of figure flattering priorities. These are super specific outfit proportions that we adhere to because they make us feel confident, attractive and comfortable. This is where the PERSONAL in personal style becomes all important, because figure flattering priorities differ between people, and your own priorities may change over time. Over the years, many of my clients, friends and family members have expressed extremely specific preferenc...
Tags: Fashion, Fit, Cap, Body Type, How To Wear It


Fab Finds: Easy Dresses, Totes, Tops and Shoes

My clients and our forum members have been sharing some of their great finds recently, and I’m passing along their recommendations to you. They’ve seen the items in person, fitted them on, felt the fabrics, and done the road test, which counts for a lot. I’ve only seen some of the items, but I’m vouching for the rest too. Browse the colour options and be sure to read the reviews for some other points of view. 1. T-Shirt Dresses A T-shirt dress can come in handy because it’s comfortable to wear...
Tags: Fashion, Debbie, Wallace, Scholl, Fab Find


Team Shorter or Longer Dress (or Skirt)

My recent dress capsule edit started a conversation in the comments section and our forum about the preferences for the lengths of hemlines. You bat for Team Shorter if you like to wear skirts and dresses at lengths above the knee-cap. You bat for Team Longer if you prefer to wear skirts and dresses on or below the knee-cap. Unless there is a professional or personal dress code to adhere to, there is no right or wrong length. What counts are your sartorial preferences and figure flattering prior...
Tags: Fashion, Team X Team Y


Spotlight: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese is an American fashion designer and entrepreneur. I’ve seen her gorgeous designs in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Anthropolgie and Neiman Marcus, and fitted them on clients on many a shopping trip. Her memorable New York Fashion Week shows were diverse, inclusive, colourful, pretty, dramatic, and I liked the Modern Retro integrity of her designs. I fondly remember the Tracy Reese pink dress and poppy dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore at the Democratic National Convention and “The...
Tags: Fashion, New York, Michelle Obama, Detroit, Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, Flint Michigan, New York Fashion Week, Reese, Tracy Reese, Eco Fashion, Brand Spotlight, Tracey Reese, Nordstrom Bloomingdales Anthropolgie, NYFW Little, Tracy Reece


Outfit Formula: Casually Neutral Three-Piece

After last week’s hectically bright, patterned, and dressier outfit formula, it’s on to something neutral, relaxed and casual. These looks have a third piece — a jacket — because even when it’s hot outside, it’s handy to cover up in air conditioning, by the water, or when there’s a crisp chill in the air in the morning or evening. And in some casual office settings, you might want a jacket when you go into a meeting. Make sure you like the outfit without the topper too. These toppers are for the...
Tags: Fashion, Grey, Formulas, Birkies


Fab Finds: RipSkirt Hawaii Wrap Skirt

Forum member Janet found this great wrap skirt. It’s very casual and suited to relaxed settings. The opaque quick-dry fabric is lightweight, drapes well, launders like a dream, does not cling and does not crease. It comes in several solid colours and also summery patterns. It works on a range of body types because you can adjust the position and size of the waistband to fit comfortably over your curves. The silhouette is streamlined, but not tight. You can stride comfortably without feeling cons...
Tags: Fashion, Janet, Fab Find, RipSkirt Hawaii Wrap Skirt


Facial Masks and Foggy Specs

For the last couple of months I’ve been wearing a facial mask whenever I’m outside the safety of our home — a very unexpected addition to my daily outfit. It’s taken a while to figure out the most comfortable fit, but I have some good options. The biggest challenge has been preventing my eyewear from fogging up, and I still don’t have a flop-proof solution despite trying every tip I’ve read. I’m down to three types of masks that work well. A disposable mask, a shaped mask, and the Karen Kane mas...
Tags: Accessories, Fashion, Seattle, Karen Kane, Karen Kane Washable Masks, Team Matchy Matchy


Horizontal Striped Tops: Yay or Nay

Horizontal striped tees, knitted tops, and pullovers are a Modern Classic, although there are also trendy and fashion-forward versions to choose from every season. Fits vary from body-con and tailored, to fluid and oversized. There is a range of stripes, which can be broad or narrow, loud or subtle, tonal or high contrast, and neutral or non-neutral. Fabrics are usually knitted, although the occasional woven is available too. The collection below shows some good examples. Although most of my cl...
Tags: Fashion, Patterns


Horizontal Striped Tops: Yea or Nay

Horizontal striped tees, knitted tops, and pullovers are a Modern Classic, although there are also trendy and fashion-forward versions to choose from every season. Fits vary from body-con and tailored, to fluid and oversized. There is a range of stripes, which can be broad or narrow, loud or subtle, tonal or high contrast, and neutral or non-neutral. Fabrics are usually knitted, although the occasional woven is available too. The collection below shows some good examples. Although most of my cl...
Tags: Fashion, Patterns


Dressing Up a T-Shirt Dress

A new outfit from Kristine Thompson of TrendyCurvy, whom we introduced to YLF in March 2017. Kristine uses a duster sweater and cognac accessories and footwear to jazz up a simple T-shirt dress. Our blogger is wearing a black midi T-shirt dress with scoop neckline and short sleeves. The light grey cashmere sweater with its three-quarter sleeves and textural blocked pattern works great as a lightweight duster-style coat, and provides elegant drama. The warm-toned cognac accessories pop against th...
Tags: Fashion, Kristine, Outfit Bloggers, Kristine Thompson


Team Shorter or Longer Dress and Skirt

My recent dress capsule edit started a conversation in the comments section and our forum about the preferences for the lengths of hemlines. You bat for Team Shorter if you like to wear skirts and dresses at lengths above the knee-cap. You bat for Team Longer if you prefer to wear skirts and dresses on or below the knee-cap. Unless there is a professional or personal dress code to adhere to, there is no right or wrong length. What counts are your sartorial preferences and figure flattering prior...
Tags: Fashion, Team X Team Y