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Simply wearing a certain outfit can make you can feel your best because fashion is a way to express yourself and tap into your inner confidence. But why not take your passion for fashion to another level and achieve personal fulfillment at the same time by giving back to the community?

There have been many local and nationwide events that combine fashion and charitable donations. This type of event can take on different forms and may include fashion shows, proceeds from retail sales and even clothing donations. We were able to find a couple of events in the Cincinnati area that stylishly combine the beautiful relationship between style and philanthropy. Combine your love for fashion with public service and feel like the fashionable and well rounded individual you know you can be.

Dress for Success Cincinnati is a local charity devoted to helping low- income women in our community achieve personal and professional excellence through work attire and personal and professional development. They are involved in various community events such as “Women on the Move, a Fashionable Afternoon.” This event is an annual luncheon and fashion show that directly benefits Dress for Success.

This year, the event will be held on Oct. 5, 2007 at the Duke Energy Center and will feature fashions from Saks Fifth Avenue. For more information, contact Dress for Success Cincinnati at (513) 651-3372. If you are unable to attend the event or want to help this organization even more, you can donate new or gently used work appropriate clothing and accessories at their Fourth Street boutique in downtown Cincinnati. Donations may be made on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For volunteer information, contact Dress for Success Cincinnati at the number mentioned above. Be a part of the solution to help women achieve the style and success we all deserve.

Love the fashions at Coldwater Creek? Stop by their Crestview Hills Town Center store Sept. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. to help benefit the Susan G. Komen race to cure breast cancer. Coldwater is offering 10 percent off all merchandise and will donate 10 percent of all sales to the Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati Affiliate. You’ll wear your new digs with style and pride, knowing you bought discounted items and supported breast cancer research in the process.

St. Vincent de Paul is a non-profit organization that provides basic necessities to those in need in Greater Cincinnati. On Oct. 11 you will be able to enjoy new fashion creations and donate to the organization by attending its annual fundraising event, RetroFittings. All proceeds will benefit St. Vincent de Paul. The event will be held at 20th Century on Madison Road and will feature thrift store fashions by University of Cincinnati School of Design fashion students. Tickets are $25 ($15 with a student ID) and are available online at Feel personally fulfilled and style savvy, all in one night!

Are you a Cincinnati Reds fan? Purchase your Reds t-shirt to support your favorite baseball team and donate to find a cure for breast cancer in the process.

The Cincinnati Reds Women’s Pink Ribbon Charity Tee is available on the Reds’ Web site for $19.99. For every T-shirt purchased, Major League Baseball will donate $1 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Watch your favorite team win in style and smile knowing you helped a good cause!

There are many events that cater to the fashion savvy that recognize the importance of philanthropy. Put your best fashionable foot forward by combining your love for clothing with your personal dedication to patronage. Make this world a better place where style and giving combine to form a wonderful fashionable relationship.

Looking to make a more worldly philanthropic fashion statement? Designer Jonathan Adler donates 10 percent of sales to Peruvian earthquake relief. And half the profits from Gap RED sales go to the Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

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If you're anything like Carolyn Martinez, associate editor of Cincy Chic, you avoid chocolate-hued clothing like the plague. Turns out, Martinez is smart to trust her fashion instincts. She has "Winter" coloring, and therefore looks best in intense deep, rich colors accented with jewel tones, or contrasted with bright white or icy pastels.

According to, people with an Autumn coloring can best pull off the chocolate color. Whereas, those with Summer or Winter coloring should not wear earth tones, such as brown. Not sure which color season you are? Click here to take a color season quiz.

People with Autumn coloring have varied coloring – ranging from golden blondes to brunettes and black hair coloring. Red-heads, excluding very fair auburn and strawberry blondes, are usually Autumns. All red-heads are Autumn or Springs. Red-headed Autumns often have porcelain white or very pale skin.

Autumns can also have a ruddy skin with orange tones or swarthy skin. Autumns cover such a large range of colorings, fairer Autumns may look best in the oranges and turquoise, whereas black-haired or dark brunette Autumns may look good in the deeper chocolate browns, olive green and deep orange reds.

Typically people who have the Autumn profile have a lot of depth to their coloring and a spicy, earth tone quality to their hair color, eye color and skin tone. The Autumn complexion will be accented by rich golden, spicy and earthy colors. Autumns can wear both muted and rich, warm colors like the Autumn foliage or exotic spice colors. Autumns should look for a warm golden undertone when choosing a color.

To determine your undertone, wash your face, use no makeup, wear bleached white clothes and take a step outside to look at yourself in natural daylight. You can also try placing a white piece of paper near your face. Warm skin has a golden or yellow undertone, while cool skin has red or blue.

MAC classifies skin undertones into NC and NW. As an example, a cool undertone color profile will be MAC NW25. "NW" stands for "Needs Warmth." The "warmth" will neutralize the "cold." The opposite is "NC" shades, for those with yellow undertones.

Learning which color season you are will help you figure out exactly which colors look best on you. Keep in mind that your season may not be what you expect. For example, many Asians and freckled Red Heads are Autumns. In general, Winters are usually brunettes whose hair contrasts with skin, Summers are naturally blonde and their hair doesn't contrast much with skin, Springs have pale eyes, and Autumns have dark eyes.

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There’s a big event coming up and you have absolutely nothing to wear. Funds are lacking and you’ve worn everything in your closet at least 50 times. This is a clothing crisis many face, but there is an answer: borrow from a friend.

To gain more insight, Cincy Chic asked several local fashionistas about their personal experiences lending clothes to friends. Their overwhelming response confirmed how passionate people are on the subject, and how often situations like this arise. These style mavens were quick to point out dos and don’ts of borrowing. Yes, there are rules. How do you ask to borrow an item, how long should you keep the outfit, should you get it cleaned? These special guidelines will keep your friendships in tact, and your friends closet open for business! Read on, my fashionable friends…


First, be courteous and respectful. The lender is being put out by missing an outfit that may be returned in a different state than borrowed. Please ask her, not tell her, you would like to borrow something. Keep in mind she is doing you a favor. You’re saving the stress associated with finding an outfit, as well as saving the funds needed to buy new duds. Secondly, flattery gets you everywhere. Daphne, a Hyde Park resident, suggests complimenting how cute your friend looks in an outfit. Follow it up with a good reason why you should be able to borrow it. Letting her know she looked so great that you simply must borrow it, will help your chances to take it home.

We received a mixed response when asking local women if they have a problem saying "no" to a friend that wants to borrow clothing. While some said they could definitely deny a friend closet access, others said they would feel guilty or selfish to say "no." Either way, respect your friend's decision and do not take it personally. She may have had a bad experience lending out clothes or the outfit may be new. Put yourself in their shoes and move on… not literally, of course.

You probably received the outfit clean, so please return it that way. If you ever want a chance to borrow from your sylish friend again, this is a must. According to Sherri, a downtown Cincinnati resident, it’s important to go the extra mile when cleaning. Remember ‘Dry Clean Only’ means just that. Just because you wash items in the gentle cycle, doesn’t mean your friend does. Go the extra mile to get it dry cleaned, and return items in prime condition. Next time you need to borrow an outfit, your friend won’t think twice before handing over her prized possessions.


How long should you keep borrowed items? The overwhelming response is one week maximum. Once the outfit has been used, get it cleaned and return it to your friend promptly. Becky, a local salon employee, says she should not have to bother someone to return what is hers. The lender may want to wear the outfit they paid for, only to find an IOU in their closet. Sherri adds, “I hate to ask for my own things back. It makes me uncomfortable, when it shouldn’t!”. While your friend may not miss some items you borrow as much as others, but it is important to earn her trust and return borrowed clothing quickly. Your friend was kind enough to trust you with her property. Return it to her and prove she was right about you.

Do not ask your friend to pick the item up from you or meet you out of her way to return her clothing. Out of the kindness of her friend loving heart, she put her possessions in your hands to wear. Make it easy and convenient for her by going the distance and making the effort to return borrowed goods.

Not everyone likes the responsibility of borrowing a friends clothes. However, when asking your friend to lend out her favorite outfit, make sure you extend the same courtesy. Let her know that any time she would like to borrow your clothes, the closet door is always open. As Daphne says, if they are a good dresser, then “yes, I want to borrow from them, too!” When you return your borrowed item, it’s easy way to pick up what you lent out, as well. Keep the lines of clothing communication open, and your friendship and wardrobe swapping shall last forever!

Don’t take advantage of your friends' generosity. Your good friend said you can borrow what you want any time. Keep in mind that does not mean daily, or even every weekend! Sherri has faced this issue first hand; “Some people are unaware of their boundaries. I had someone borrow things almost every day, and it guaranteed a slow return.” Someone giving you an inch does not mean you’re due a mile. Returning one item and immediately asking for another is just as bad. Your friend may likely tell you to start hitting the mall, instead of her closet. As Daphne says; “Hey, Forever 21 has cute clothes that are cheap!” It is a great benefit to borrow stylish clothes from friends. Don’t wreck that advantage and the friendship that goes along with it.

Everyone we spoke to unanimously agreed, there are friends you would lend things to and friends you wouldn’t. Work to be the respectful friend that is trusted with their fashionable possessions. Ask properly, clean properly and return items in a timely manner. It is a compliment to your friend, showing you like her style and respect her belongings and friendship. Your friends will extend the same courtesy, and it’ll be the beginning of a beautiful style sharing relationship for years to come!

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You’re running out the door, dressed to the nines and ready to rock this fashionable world. At least you think so, but your opinion is based solely on the five-second once-over you just gave yourself. Avoid being a fashion disaster or a drabby delima by taking the time for a second look at your ensemble before leaving the house, because ladies, you’re worth it. Ask yourself the following questions before leaving your domain. These five questions will make you the fairest in fashion land, each and every day.

1. You’re a fashion icon this side of the Midwest, but is your outfit appropriate for where you’re going?

Showing off new duds can be fun, but they’re not worth wearing if they aren’t suitable for the event. The pantsuit you’ve been dying to show off is deliciously divine, but not for the neighborhood grill out. Your favorite heels may sink in the sand at the beach party. Are your pretty pumps right for the fête? The cable knit sweater your grandma made is a bit warm for Kings Island this month, wouldn’t you say? Keep in mind a few key elements; where you are going, the occasion and the temperature. These boring basics come together to help you look and act your brilliant best! If you feel your iconic status is being well versed, then you’ll be singing with poise and confidence all night long!

2. You’re the queen of fashion land, but is the crown pulling at your hair?
It’s a necessity to feel comfortable in your clothing of choice. Once you’re out the door, your personality should take center stage. Thoughts of uncomfortable shoes or tight pants take away from your debutant debut. I love shoes as much as the next fashionable female, but wincing in pain with each step is a sure sign they shouldn’t be worn. Believe it or not, there are stylish shoes out there that are cute and comfortable. Don’t let those wretched blisters rule your thoughts, when you should be concentrating on that fine looking soul across the dinner table. Same goes for ghastly garments that stop you from feeling your best. Don’t cram your terrific tush into pants two sizes too small. Breathing is a necessity! Wear items that fabulously flatter you and give you the confidence to take rein and rule the room.

3. You’re a sexy senorita but always exude couture class. Are you expressing the self-image you want to portray?

If your bra strap may show, strap on the strapless. If your breasts are overflowing quicker than Niagra Falls, then maybe you should rethink your gaudy getup. Think of the self-image you wish to portray, and dress accordingly. Until someone gets to know you, a first impression is the key to forming new relationships. How you look and carry yourself is a direct reflection on you. Be ravishingly radiant, and present yourself with the style and class you live by.

4. Double check yourself patterned princess, do you match?

Before running to the car dressed to kill with accessories to match, see if your ensemble does just that: match. Have you paired plaid with stripes? Do all your red accessories match? Taking a few moments for yourself is necessary, especially when trying to piece together an outrageously opulent outfit. Look yourself over. Ask for help, if necessary. It’s great to experiment, but if you’re unsure whether or not you match, chances are you don’t. Change into something you’re sure of, so you can look and feel your best!

5. Fashion overload, did you overdo it?

It is very possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to fashion. I know you like gold jewelry, but wearing earrings, three necklaces, a couple of bracelets and a gigantic ring may be a little much. Simple is better. If necessary, take off a few items before walking out the door. Accent yourself, because you are the main feature.

Taking a second look before you walk out the door may just help you avoid a bad fashion blunder. Guess what? You’re worth it. You deserve to look and feel top notch out there in this dazzling divine world we live in. Tackle that social calendar with confidence knowing you look and feel your fashionable best. Today’s woman has a lot of priorities on her mind. Make yourself one of them!

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081307FASHION.jpg  Have you ever been a victim of the dreaded toss and turns? One way to alleviate this problem and improve your nighttime log-sawing is by wearing more comfortable sleepwear. Follow these sleepwear comfort-enhancing tips to make counting sheep a thing of the past.

The Soft Factor
Wearing ratty old t-shirts or scratchy flannels to bed isn't conducive to a good night's sleep, so the first step to more comfortable sleepwear is choosing fabrics that are soft to the touch, such as pajamas made of fleece, jersey or silk. The softer the fabric, the more soothed the wearer will be. What's there not to like about wearing pajamas so soft you feel like you're clothed in feathers?

Through Thick and Thin
Another aspect of sleepwear that can affect the quality of your rest is the weight of the fabric. Depending on your personal preference or climate, the thickness or thinness of a nightgown can make all the difference. As to climate, the answer's obvious: hotter climes wear thinner versions, and vice versa. But preference is up to you. If you're hot blooded, thinner sleepwear is the answer, whether you live directly on the Equator or in the Antarctic. If you do get night sweats, you may want to consider a fabric with wicking properties to prevent skin breakouts.

Closely Fitted
A third thing to think about when choosing comfy sleepwear is fit. Again, this is up to an individual's preference, but for the most part, the roomier fitting options are ideal. Loose-fitting sleepwear allows the wearer to move freely, an important consideration if you tend to move around a lot during the night. However, if tight is your pajama penchant, still make sure your nighttime garments aren't restricting blood flow.

Extras, or Lack Thereof
Before you get all excited about that cute cami set with three-inch heart buttons, think about what you're going to feel like the next morning after sleeping on them for eight hours! In other words, some sleepwear is divine to look at, but may not be the most comfortable sleep option. With all good things, moderation is best. Look for sleepwear that is distinctive in its cut or style, such as a lacy tank paired with gaucho bottoms, rather than a nightgown with huge buttons.

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In recent years, workout wear has come into its own. Many of the newest trends for fall can be worn in the gym and out to lunch with the girls. So, let’s review what workout wear will make you feel so good that you can’t wait to get to the gym.

For those of you who love to run, products by Nike, New Balance and Triks are your answer. Aside from its always fabulous selection of shoes, Nike carries a great line of running shorts that remind me of the ‘80s, complete with neon colors and side-piping to match, a virtual guarantee you’ll stand out in a crowd. However, the Nike shorts can run a tad short, so if you are at all self-conscious about your legs, Nike isn’t the brand for you.

Another useful workout wear brand is New Balance, which has running shirts, shorts and skirts. This brand is designed for women, rather than teens, so the clothes have the added bonus of running a little bigger, though fashion may be sacrificed somewhat. The best places in the Cincinnati area to find New Balance workout apparel is at Fleet Feet Sports in Kenwood or at one of Bob Roncker’s Running Spot locations. By the way, when choosing workout wear, remember to pick pieces that have moisture wicking, which is a runner’s best bet to prevent leg chafing.

Finally, the running skirt by Triks,, is a great choice for the avid runner. The skirts come in two lengths: marathon for those of you who prefer a shorter skirt, and the gym girl for those who like a little bit longer length. The best part about Triks’ skirt is that it can be worn to the gym or on a run and when the workout is done you can just change your shirt and go out to lunch, the grocery store or the mall and still look fabulous. The skirts also feature moisture wicking compression shorts underneath, which prevents the wearer from get sweaty and prevents a peek-a-boo when doing abs at the gym. There are many skirts on the market, but this one is the best. It is designed by a female triathlete and every detail has been decided on for a women. There is even an MP3 pocket in the shorts and a hole in the side of the skirt to pull the MP3 cord through so that you can rock out while you workout.

Yoga and pilates buffs also have a great selection of clothes for the fall. Lucy at has some awesome new lines that are really just extensions of what is hot in casual clothes. The brown, burnt orange, deep pink and heathered colors are all hot for fall. Camouflage still seems to be a staple in workout wear as well as the army green color. Lucy has a wonderful selection of pants in many colors that come in different lengths. Don’t forget a pant with some amount of spandex so that you can move into that downward dog pose. Also, the shirts for the fall have great prints that you may want to wear beyond the gym or yoga studio.

Finally, the piece of workout wear that every woman should have but few do: a sports bra that actually fits. O.K., I’ll be honest: at one time I was one of those large busted people who literally wore three or four sports bras to squish the girls and prevent any type of bounce. Then I found out about the Moving Comfort Selection of bras found at Fleet Feet and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The bras come in sizes AA to DD and they are wonderful. They have adjustable straps and fit like a regular bra, only comfier. If you shop at Fleet Feet they are trained to fit you for the right sports bra. The employees will also educate you about the importance of sports bras not squashing your girls but lifting and separating them to prevent movement. The cost is a bit high, but if you just wear one sports bra versus three or four you are already saving money and time doing laundry.

One last thought, your workout clothes should fit so well that you feel like a diva every time you go workout, but remember there are some workout clothes that don’t belong in the grocery store, such as bike shorts—save those for you spin classes. Also, velour is better fitted for Monday morning coffee with the girls than for running. Now go out and find your perfect workout wear and give that outfit the workout it, and you, deserve.

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We’ve all experienced the “looked great on the hanger” catastrophe. You fell in love with a pinstriped gray pencil skirt at first glance, but once it was on your body that first glance wasn’t so sweet. Know why? That skirt didn’t suit the shape of your body. Apple or pear, hourglass or petite—until you buy tops, pants, jeans and skirts that fit your shape the woes o’ clothes will never end.

Red Delicious

Apple-shaped ladies generally have fuller breasts, waists and upper backs with slimmer legs. When on the lookout for clothes, choose pieces that showcase your knockout legs and balance your larger upper half.

One way to accomplish this balance is to create a waist. Cinched-at-the-waist anything, tailored jackets and wraps draw the eye to your waist and slim your figure. Wearing darker-colored tops made of basic fabrics will also slim your figure by minimizing your upper body.

On your bottom half, show off your legs with pencil skirts or shorter hemlines. Pair either with a flowing peasant top to create proportion. Skirts with a flare or ruffle balance a larger top half. Flared and boot cut pants also ideal for accomplishing balance.

Sugared Pears

Ladies with a pear-shaped body have a smaller chest, bust and waist with bigger hips, thighs and booty. A pear’s main clothing concern should be finding a wardrobe that at once draws the eye to the body’s slimmer top half and balances the larger bottom half.

V-necked tops are a good choice for pear ladies, as they add definition to the smaller top half of the body. Embellished necklines with sequins, ruching or beading are also effective in adding shape and making your bust appear fuller.

Another pear-lady technique to draw attention to the upper half is wearing bold colored, patterned or detailed blouses. Pairing such a top with a dark or solid toned skirt, pant or denim will result in proportionate perfection.

For any occasion, be it casual or formal, the best dresses for a pear shape cinch at the waist and flow outward, such as a dress with an empire waist. This draws attention to your southern belle-esque mid section and sashays over the parts that need minimization. Knee-length skirts fitting loosely in the thighs are also a good choice because they accentuate slim calves and ankles.


Hourglass-shaped women look like they may have Marilyn Monroe as an ancestor; in other words, these women have wider busts and thighs and a small waist. These ladies should wear clothes that display their assets and hide the not-so-great parts.

An hourglass shape staple is the wrap top or dress. Or any clothing item that cinches or belts at the waist. This calls attention to a middle even Scarlett O’Hara would envy (and makes certain assets look even bigger.) Hourglasses can make said assets look ITAL***too*** big, however, by sporting high necklines. Avoid that problem by wearing v-necks instead, which narrow the torso.

When it comes to skirts, knee-length is generally best for an hourglass shape, while pencil or high-waisted skirts are great for minimizing the tummy and elongating the body. As for bottoms style, flared denim makes thighs look smaller, while medium rise pants hide unwanted tummy bulges. Pants with high waists are also good for hourglass shapes, because it highlights the smaller waist and again hides the stomach if needed.

Petite Chic

Ladies with a smaller frame and broad shoulders and short legs are known as “petite.” Petite women should focus on finding clothes that create length and curves.

Petite shaped women can easily lengthen their frames by wearing tall boots, pumps or wedges. Skinny jeans also make a petite woman’s frame seem long and lean, but avoid pants or jeans that touch the floor. Pants that are too long draw the eye down. Instead, find bottoms that are at least an inch away from the floor.

Any clothes that cinch or are tailored to the waist and flare out will work on you to create curves. A jacket with darting, a pencil skirt with a flounced bottom or anything high-necked will bring out your body’s soft side.

Keep your size in mind while shopping. What may be the correct length or fit on a taller woman may not be the same for you. For instance, if you’re dying to wear a long pashmina, choose a smaller one—‘cause it’ll look bigger on you! In other words, buy all clothes and accessories in proportion to your body.

That goes for clothes with patterns also. Bolder, larger patterns or details can literally be too much for petite frames, and if worn, result in an almost cartoonish look. Thin pinstripes or polka dots are a better alternative.

Sporty Spice

Ladies with an athletic figure have very little curves with smaller breasts and bottoms. For these women, creating curves is the most important step to a balanced shape.

Sporty ladies can look curvier in a number of ways. Pleating, beading, prints, ruching and knits are your key words. Clothing that incorporates any of those styles create curves in all the right places. Cinched belts and tailored jackets flaring at the waist is another curve option, or if you’re a skirt kind of girl, a-line and fuller skirts pump up the volume of your frame. In dresses, a good choice is again the a-line for its flared bottom.

Clothing that is tailored to the body rather than loose-fitting is another rule to live by for the athletically-framed woman. Your body would just get lost in a sack-like garment. Wearing large jewelry and flashy colors around your neckline (i.e. scarves) add depth to a simple frame wanting decoration.

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Choosing the wrong dress can make an expensive purchase look cheap or send the wrong message before you speak. However, the right choice of clothing for the right body type transcends confidence and inner beauty. That's what it's all about.

Don't blame it on mom and dad or the pizza the night before. Your body type is a combination of many variables. Everyone has a body type. There are four different body types: round, hour glass, pear, and straight or "boyish."

Round or Apple Shape
This body type is usually round with a generous bustline, wider rib cage, fuller back, narrow hips and slender legs.

Your best dress: Show off those legs! Most women strive for legs like yours. Opt for one that skims the knee and flatters your shapeliness. The neckline should be v-neck, but not too plunging. An empire waistline softens the lines of the body while deflecting the eye upwards and away from the face. A printed wrap or elegantly draped silhoutte are good choices too.

What to avoid? Avoid tops that are too fitted. If you are wearing a jacket, make sure the lapels are narrow. Asymmetrical hemlines, skirts that hit the calf or clingy fabrics all take way from your best assets.

Patterns or colors: Opt for smaller prints and vertical lines. Don't feel like you have to wear black all the time. There are so many options including adding color in your accessories and shoes.

Pear Shaped
Feminine is the name of the game. This body type has a slender neck, narrow shoulders, small bust but is generous in the hip and thigh area. Go for balance by choosing a dress with a flattering fitted top with more volume on the bottom. Some call this "fit and flare."

Your best choice: Necklines should draw attention to the face and shoulders. Bodices with embellishments or detailing can do the trick too. This can be seen in empire, wrap or halters with a flowing bottom line enhance your best features.

Avoid: Tight clothing or cinching the waist. It will draw the eye to the midline and puts more focus on the hip area. Steer clear of sheath dresses or bias cuts that cling in the wrong places.

Patterns and Prints: Avoid bold prints and patterns. Go for fabrics with soft textures and interesting small prints or florals.

Hour Glass
Lucky you! Beyonce is the Queen of the Hour Glass in the style magazines. She isn't afraid of showing off those curves, so neither should you. If you have a bustline, defined waist, curved hips, shapley legs and sometimes a protruding bottom this is your category.

Your best dress: Define your positives. Choose a dress with waist definition whether it's a contoured waist, belted, corseted or wrapped.

Avoid: Anything too clingy or baggy.

Patterns: Choose interesting fabrics and textures like metallics or go for jewel tones in emerald or deep purple.

"Boyish" or Straight
The straight body has an upper and lower torso that are equal in width, an average bustline, large ribcage, undefined waist, flat bottom and slender legs.

Your best choice: Choose a dress that draws more attention to your bustline, like a plunging neckline with ruffles. Or, go for a keyhole, assemtrical or halter neckline. The 60's sheath looks fabulous on your figure, too!

Avoid: Anything too tight. You want to soften your lines and create curves.

Patterns: Go for it. You can play with color and patterns. It's up to you.

Most of all, embrace who you are and what's right for you. Above all, have fun with your clothes and make a night out on the town even more special when you feel comfortable and confident.


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Where do the fashion conscious turn to find stylish gems for less? Every city has them, every woman wants to love them. The answer? Discount stores and sale racks. These bargain bases are filled with countless deals and bargain-hunting shoppers ready to put up their dukes to get that one of a kind deal. At times, they can make even the most experienced shoppers tense, with their overwhelming mounds of clothing mixed together in a clutter of fashion madness.

I can see it now… Upon entering your local discount store, you look around and see hangers shoved together and intertwined on racks. Suddenly you feel hot and the sweat beads start to form. The only thing you can make out is mountains of different colors and styles mixed together in a plethora of garment hell. You immediately want to run to the expensive boutique around the corner. The one where you find three items to a ten foot rack, hanging nicely, color coded, side by side. Too bad the extra zeros on the price tag will leave you with no money left over for a night on the town.

Don’t feel ashamed, most of us have had the same discount store experience. Avoid letting that mishmash of clothing steer you away from joys of fashion discount heaven. Follow these simple tips to find a that fashion gem hidden far beneath the surface of stained tees and butterfly-collared shirts. You’re a fashionable gal, wearing the latest hip and trendy styles. Why not achieve that star-status style while keeping extra money in your pocketbook?

Diamond in the Rough

You'll be searching the mine; be prepared so you don't get overwhelmed. You know what you’re about to face, so get ready to spend time doing a little digging. If you’re in a hurry, discount shopping may not be the right choice. Discount stores tend to have cluttered racks filled with varied sizes, styles and colors. Deep down in the trenches are those fashion diamonds for half the price. Knowing that is half the battle, so be prepared to spend some time looking for your fashion jewel.

Gems galore. Discount racks tend to have a mix of sizes and colors thrown together, even though they claim to be sorted. Think of colors that make you look and feel your best, and grab them when you spot them. It’s a simple way to sort through those crowded clothing racks and start your bargain shopping experience. The color that brings out your eyes may just be the right style and size!

Stolen jewels. Have you ever put something back, only to find it taken when you return? This shopping dilemma occurs all too often in discount stores. If there is a slight chance it may work, hold onto it and try it on. Chic fashion finds disappear quickly. Don’t let an item go unless you know for sure your wardrobe is better off without it.

A girl's best friend. Bring a fashion-forward friend or family member that is familiar with your wardrobe desires. Your style savvy cohorts will help cover more ground in less time, a one up on the other bargain shoppers. You’ll also get that second opinion you may need to make pertinent fashion choices. Two sets of terrifically trendy eyes are always better than one!

Fashion Forecast

Find the facts, fashionista. Ask a knowledgeable store manager when new shipments come in, and plan accordingly. Deliveries are usually the same time and day each week. With this information, you’ll have a fashionable finger on the pulse of your favorite discount store. There will be more to choose from and you’ll find the fashion gems first!

The lay of the land. Frequent the same discount and thrift stores when bargain shopping. You’ll know the store layout like the back of your fabulous hand. This cuts down on time, getting you the first-class fashion finds first. Soon, you’ll be crowed the queen of the fashion mine, while others are left digging for imaginary gems.

Do your homework. Browse through updated fashion magazines for the latest style craze. Then sound off that trend alert by visiting your local thrift or discount stores to emulate the look for less. Take the time to try on selected items, and work them with current trendy accessories you find. You’ll be a stylish fashionista with money left in your pocket for a night on the town!

Fashion emergency. Check all your fashion finds for undue damage before purchasing them. All too often an item may be discounted because of flaws you may not want to live with. Look each item over thoroughly for devilish defects that can hinder your wardrobe ways.

Never feel that overwhelming anxiety when entering a discount store or searching through an intimidating sale rack again. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be a keen shopper that can easily spot than shining fashion gem. You’ll rock that stylish wardrobe and have money left over for your happening social calendar. You’re today’s self-sufficient trendy woman, that knows you can achieve a high class look for less. See you at the sale rack!


Click on the below play button to see Missy in discount digging action.


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Every woman I know has a part of her body that she would like to switch with Halle Barry or Cindy Crawford. But since those two aren’t going to give up any part of their flawless figures, we need to work with what we’ve got.

Knowing your body type can be the first step to filling your closet with clothes that flatter your figure. Women with a small, narrow upper body and larger hips and thighs would be considered pear or diamond shaped. If you have a generous bust, round back and narrow hips, your body type is round. If you have a pronounced bust, small waist and curved hips you have an hourglass figure and may be related to Marilyn Monroe. For help identifying your body type and tips on how to dress to flatter your figure, visit Melange.

Clothing can be your best ally when it comes to disguising figure flaws. Feeling a little flabby in the gut? Address the problem with Tummy Tuck Jeans. There’s clothing designed with control panels and compression fabric to make you feel comfortable and look slimmer in pants, a camisole or a dress. Tummy Tuck Jeans, a Hide ‘n’ Sleek Camisole and a Hidden Slimmer dress are featured on About.Com Women’s Fashion here. Dressing down for summer and keeping your figure flaws under cover can be a challenge, but it can be done. You just need to know what works for you. Check out eHOW for tips on choosing the right shorts or sundress.

Remember, it’s not always about emphasizing or covering it up. It’s also about understanding what pieces work well together. We all have those days when we leave the house thinking, “I’m lookin’ oh so fine today!” Then you come home, look in the mirror and think, “I was out all day looking like this? Well, take comfort in the fact that it happens to all of us. Even celebrities have problems pulling an outfit together. Click here to check out Mr. Blackwell’s Big Fashion Misses.

Styles change. But you’ll be a classic once you understand your body type and know what looks good on you. Now that summer is half over, it's time to consider what you’ll be wearing this fall. View the new fall ’07 fashion forecast, click here.

My take away tip from all this…my pants will have back pockets to give my rump a little more bump.