Friday, January 30, 2009

Shoe 'Nuff

Shoe Nuff

How often do you see an attractive woman or man only to look down and their shoes cause you to instantaneously mini-throw up? There is nothing (almost nothing) that can ruin an outfit more than bad shoes. By bad I mean, bent out shape, scraped on the toe, cheap looking, heels that have color peeling off…you get my drift. I am a major believer in the fact that shoes can set any outfit off if used correctly.

So the next time you get ready to put a "pair" on, here are some tips to keep in mind:

If when you walk either of your shoes make a sound that they shouldn't (i.e. a metal piece showing at the bottom of the heel where a tap is supposed to be), don't put them on. Wearing shoes, especially heels, which have no taps, can ruin your shoes. Take them to a shoe repair shop to have a new tap added. If you really love the shoe(s), it's worth the extra money, which in my experience has never been more than $15.

If the toes of your shoe(s) or the heel(s) no longer match the rest of the shoe, don't put them on. Either opt for some polish, or if it's a difficult color to match, again, visit your local shoe repair shop. It only takes a few minutes to slap some polish on those bad boys, and you'll feel like a million bucks and probably look like it as well.

For ladies, wearing shoes in the car often ruins the heels and scuffs up the toes, so keep a pair of ballet slippers or flats in your car to wear while driving. This will keep your shoes looking newer and stretch the time required for maintenance or trash (unfortunately).

Keep your shoes in (their) boxes or neatly lined up. Don't throw them on the closet floor and walk all over them! They can't treat you well if you don't treat them well. I would also recommend re-stuffing them each time you store them away to decrease the lines in the toe area. If you love your shoes, act like you love them.

And finally, a few tricks to keep in mind:

Add color. Play with your shoes, they can say a lot or a little about you. Add red, green, yellow (you name it!) shoes to an otherwise boring office "uniform" of black plants and a white button down. Adding colored shoes gives mundane outfits personality and a more tailored look.

Try to avoid purchasing cheap looking shoes in staple colors. A nice pair of black or brown shoes is always a fashion must and will never go out of style. Hence, this is well worth the investment. I'm not talking $300 investment, more like $60 Nine West investment. That will do just fine, lol.

Please, avoid the "mom" look at work of sneakers with work clothes. Invest in a cute pair of flats to wear during your commute. Rain boots or UGGs are cool too. Just no sneakers, lol. Never the sneakers!!!

Matching belt, shoes, bag is NOT a requirement. This look is okay, for say…BLACK, not red, not pink, not green. Please, just don't do it. Mix and match with your favorite pieces. Just don't get too crazy and emerge looking like Rainbow Brite.

And most importantly, have fun and don't be afraid to try new things!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What to underwear

Because what's underneath counts, ladies!

I mean really, how are you going to build an outfit, if the foundation is all screwed up? It's just like building a strong, sturdy building. The foundation has to be on point. Let me help you out.

SPANX!!! They are your friends! No really, they are. They smooth out all those lumps and bumps and if you are that type of girl that doesn't like to wear a thong, a spanx may be necessary to eliminate those panty lines. Not to mention how it controls that wiggle and jiggle that some of us with a little more junk in the trunk have. Great for special occasions too! They are a cheap investment. You can go to your local drug store and buy a "wanna-be" spanx for about $5.00. Invest my friends. Not to mention, they are for larger and smaller girls alike.

Get the girls up! You know...the twins. Well, they should be standing high, not sagging low. With that being said, I have one question. When was the last time you were measured? You're scratching that head I see, so it's been a minute. Get measured, find the perfect bra and then buy it in a variety of colors with different strap options. Believe me, your girls will thank you 30 years from now!

Full panty. Friend or foe? I know a lot of you love them, but I'm going to have to vote foe on this one. There are a lot of great alternatives, such as the boy shorts that feel just as comfy and do not create that eyesore known as the panty line. YIKES!

Control top stockings. Friend or foe? Friend! In essence they do the same thing a spanx does and they keep those legs warm during colder months. Wear them the same color as your skin tone, with a touch of shimmer for evening events, or in the form of opaque tights during the winter. I do have one warning. NEVER, EVER wear with an open toe sandal!!! I loathe this look. Can we say country?

Now that we have all that down, we can focus on the top layers. More to come.

Remember ladies Be Bailout Beautiful!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The LBD - make it your own!

I had one on NYE and felt so fly! I saw many other gorgeous ladies wearing them and I had to give them their props. With Inauguration around the corner, I'm sure I will see plenty struting around the DMV! The LBD is an essential in every woman's closet. It is chic, it is classic, it's easy and it's fun! I guess my main concern is, how do I avoid looking like every other chick that is wearing an LBD?

The key is to- yes, accessorize my good friends! Accessories give you individuality and an added level of spunk! Don't be afraid to experiment with:
  1. Animal print shoes and bags/clutches
  2. Silver, gold or jeweled earrings

  3. A splash of color

  4. Long necklaces

  5. Scarves

  6. Choker necklaces

  7. Leather bomber jackets

  8. High-waisted belts

  9. Bracelets and

  10. Rings
Now I wouldn't recommend that you wear all of these accessories at one time, but pick a few and have some fun. If you want to maintain a classic look try a nice choker and stud earrings with classic black pumps.

If you want to have more fun, wear red shoes with a zebra clutch and large silver earrings. You'll be glad that you did!

NYE I sported a sweatheart neck, bubble dress by RubyRox (great inexpensive party dresses...Plus sizes featured as well) that had a cute little bow in the middle. I wore two multistand necklaces, red pumps, yellow clutch and small rhinestone earrings to achieve the look I wanted...young, fresh, but classic.

On the occasion below I wore the LBD with a trendy pink and black scarf, brown vintage leather bomber (Salvation Army) and black ankle boots.

Here are some pics of friends that are sporting those LBDs oh so well!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gotta love that Earring Bling-Thing

I've never wanted to be that girl that couldn't leave the house unless she had makeup on and I am proud to say that I have not become that person. However, I am that chick that must have a pair of earrings on at practically all times. Yes. Tis' true, I sometimes even wear studs when working out.

I'm a lover of long, big, shiny, gaudy and simply extravagant earrings. Then there those smaller, classic, simple yet elegant earrings that do just the trick. What can I say, I love them all and I might argue that you should too. The earring provides an element of authenticity to any outfit and in some cases pulls it all together. The key is learning what type of earring is appropriate for a particular event as well as knowing when you are piling on too many accessories.

I am very careful about my earring selection for my 9 to 5. The last thing you want is to be the conversation piece when walking out of a meeting. "Check out the Christmas Tree on that one." That's a no no! I normally go with a stud, small hoops or dainty drop earrings for a more professional, polished look. Some of you may think they are not as fun, but you can make these looks youthful and fun. Try stores like For Love, Amuse, Claire's and Icing for professional earrings that still have a hint of youth to them. STAY AWAY FROM NEON, FLUORESCENT, PLASTIC EARRINGS even if they are studs or small hoops. These are not work appropriate by any means and they simply look childish. If it's not an 80's party, don't do it to yourself.

Now for more social outings, especially during the night, practically anything goes. Currently I am a huge fan of both silver and gold accessories, costume of course (we have to spend wise my friends). I normally wear them very big and coordinate them with my clothing. I have short hair so they really accentuate my face and they are great with long hair, especially when you tuck your hair behind your ear. What a sexy Alicia Keys look!

As for piling on too many accessories there are a few rules.
  1. The Neclace and the earring should not compete! Pick one to be the focal point and simply eliminate or downsize the other.
  2. Only 10 shiny things on a person. My Communications teacher taught me this rule. Again, we do not want to look like a Christmas Tree. Count all jewlry, glasses, shiny buttons, etc.
  3. Belt, necklace and, especially if the necklace touches the belt. HUGE NO! In most cases, get rid of the necklace and let the belt and earrings do their thing.

Be as unique as you like! Go to consignment shops, thrift stores and the Goodwill to find one of a kind pieces. Wear two different earrings of the same color and see who notices. I used to do a stud in one ear and along dangling earring in the other. Or perhaps a hoop and a stud. It provided a little drama to the outfit and was always the topic of discussion. Someone who doesn't mind being the center of attention can carry that look off.

I can safely say that I have converted most of my friends to earring lovers as well. What joy! Hopefully I can convert you too! Take a look at my pics and tell me what you think, get some ideas or just look around.

Until the next Bailout Beautiful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Test Driviing"

And I'm not referring to a car my friends. I see males and females make this mistake constantly. Wearing that outfit that you tried on momentarily in the mall, or the one you thought of in your head to an actual event and to your surprise (and perhaps demise) it is UBBER UNCOMFY! Don't you just hate that!? As a result, your swag is utterly destroyed for that evening because you spend the entire night a-pullin and a-tuggin, adjustin' and a-fixin'.

Two Words: Over it!

I think my sister and I came up with this term "test driving" a long time ago. The process goes a little something like this. We envision an outfit in our minds and get excited thinking about how wonderful it will look when we don it, but we must first put it to the test. I test drive outfits for every type of function. Just because it looks good in your head doesn't mean that it will look good on. And more importantly, it does not mean that it will feel comfortable throughout the night.

Here are the basics to test driving an outfit (feel free to add some ideas in case I leave some out):

  1. Try on every article of clothing that will comprise the entire outfit, UNDERGARMENTS INCLUDED! Shoes as well. Ladies, I can't stress this one enough. If you want to avoid those unsightly panty lines, this is a must do!

  2. Perform similar actions and movements in the outfit that are typical of actions that you will make while actually wearing the outfit. Do this for at least 15 minutes. Walk around, sit down, bend over, dance, jump, clap...whatever's clever.

  3. Take note of how the outfit responds when making certain movements and decide if this is what you want. Is this how you want to portray yourself? Does that skirt show half your back side when you bend over? Do those pants fall down by your knees (men) while your walking? Does that dress creep, creep, creep up while you dancing? If that's what you want, GO FOR IT! If not, you better rethink your clothing selection.

  4. If needed, make the appropriate adjustments and repeat steps 1-3.

Test driving is one of my favorite things to do because I get to use my creativity. There maybe articles of clothing that you have vowed to never wear again, but after test driving it and coordinating it with some new pieces, it has a new life. For all my budget fabulous peoples out there, this can save money while helping you to grow your wardrobe. You can find one piece that mixes and matches with several other pieces after taking the time to be creative and test drive your ideas.

If this concept is new to you, I encourage you to try it. C'mon, get out of the passenger seat and let's drrrriiiiivvvvveeee!