The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Fashion

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It’s a given when any representative of our nation visits the U.K. (with the obvious exception of Madonna, but hey — she married one) that this U.S. ambassador, be he or she an actual ambassador, there on business or sigh, yes a tourist, that person is looked upon as a fashion don’t. Unfortunately, England isn’t the only country hating on American fashion. There’s France. Or the entirety of Europe.

So why are Americans a fashion faux pas in any foreign land they happen to visit? It’s our cliché, down home, apple pie and ice cream persona. Think about it — where are the fashion capitals of the world located? In Europe (with the obvious exception of New York City). European fashion is known to be cutting edge, gritty and in your face, where even sitting in the local café requires runway-worthy clothing.

It’s time American women took a stand against apple pie and baseball games and made a play for a place in the fashion world. So where do we start? Let’s go with the most basic of European looks: the coffeehouse chic.

“What is coffeehouse chic?” you may ask. Imagine any foreign film you’ve ever seen: there’s a woman (alone or with one companion, debating the archetypes found in Dostoyevsky), smoking a cigarette, dressed all in black, wielding an espresso like a weapon and sporting the just-been-washed-two-days-ago coif. This may not sound like the most fashionable look, but to the eyes of an outsider, a woman exuding coffeehouse chic has an air of that indefinable je ne sais quoi setting her apart from her sisters. And that’s something we all can afford to emulate (excepting the cigarette, of course. But that’s much less taboo across the pond).

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Stand Back, Johnny Cash

He may have been known as the man in black, but we know one thing for sure: that man took color coordination to new heights. But color coordination is not the goal of the coffeehouse chic. The opposite is true. Black is classic. It is always in, always mysterious, lending polish to any ensemble. However, I do not recommend following Johnny Cash or the European example to the tee. Instead, never be afraid to wear black. When in doubt, wear black. Outfit not stylish enough? Add some jet beads or ebony boots. Black equals automatic style upgrade.

Coffee, Please

We’ve covered most of the bases of coffee in this issue, but let me say, the caffeine-enriched brew is essential to a fashionable lifestyle. But not because of the drink itself. Think of it this way instead: people who frequent coffee shops are usually unique, outspoken, influential, educated or motivated. These are the people the truly chic woman wants to meet, speak to and discuss classic novelists with. Getting a cup of joe at the corner may result in a mind-blowing, life-changing three-week conversation. But there’s only one way to find out.

But Dirty Hair?

Yes. Even dirty hair. Not necessarily dirty…we’re talking more of a “two days gone” level of dirty hair, which isn’t bad. Americans are slightly obsessed with hygiene, so most women wash their hair every day. (Europeans are much more laid back about this.) But why two-day dirty? What’s the point? Wearing their hair in public this way is a nonverbal way of expressing confidence. “Yes, my hair is slightly dirty. I still look hot.” So says the Euro-woman. We should follow her example. Besides, it IS healthier to wait a day or two between washings. Too much washing strips your hair’s natural oils, leading to bad hair days we’d rather avoid.


C’est la Vie

You’ve guzzled some espresso, donned some black and said no to smoking. Time to incorporate that je ne sais quoi to your persona. Unfortunately, this is the hardest part. It all goes back to the dirty-hair-confidence concept. Maybe it’s because all the countries in Europe are old men compared to America’s relatively awkward teenager stage, but the fashionable inhabitants of those countries seem to be a reflection of their homeland’s ripe years. Or maybe it’s because they’ve accepted something about life in general: C’est la vie. That’s life. When we experience a setback, our Puritan roots kick in and we automatically assume we’re at fault for the occurrence, whether that’s true or not.

The European coffeehouse chicster, however, knows that life is life, and all she can do is sip her coffee, read her book and acknowledge the unpredictability of life, while knowing at the same time she can handle whatever life throws her way. Incorporating a little of that confidence and acceptance into your own life will affect everything about you, down to your closet. C’est la vie.

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Women have always had their little beauty tricks, from Cleopatra’s elaborate eyeliner to the advent of the Wonderbra. It’s no wonder the nation’s largest lingerie store adopted the moniker “Victoria’s Secret.” As the name implies, women go to great lengths to keep these appearance enhancers hidden from our male admirers, lest they realize we are less than perfect. Following are some of the biggest secrets we try to keep just between us girls.

Padded Bras

If only men were interested in brain cleavage, we wouldn’t need padded bras. According to the Fashion Windows Web site, only 29 percent of women admit to owning padded bras. No wonder, as those of us who wear nothing but these embellishing undergarments feel a shameful sense of false advertising. On the upside, we won’t embarrass ourselves if we encounter a cold breeze.

Butt-Lifting Jeans

JLo’s musical or acting abilities may not leave an indelible mark on world history, but her posterior assets have certainly made an impact on modern preferences. Her willingness to flaunt a bountiful bottom has influenced men’s appreciation of (and women’s longing for) a cheeky derriere. No worries, many clothing companies now make jeans that offer an uplifting effect for your backside. Acting much like a push up bra, these pants counteract the consequences of gravity by squeezing in and pulling up your fanny for a higher ride and rounder rump. The downside? Eventually, you have to take them off!

Shaping Panties

The days of the corset may be long gone, but women today still want the look of a smaller waist without sacrificing lung capacity. Enter the girdle, or “shaping panty” if you prefer a less Edith Bunker term. If you want some extra smoothing under a slinky dress, these garments tuck the tummy without painful surgical procedures. Sure, they leave ugly red marks on your skin, but it’s worth it to squeeze into an old pair of jeans for a reunion with your high school boyfriend.

Hair Removal

Why, oh why do we pretend that hair doesn’t grow on us in the same places it grows on men? Women have been known to pluck eyebrows, wax inner thighs, shave feet and toes, bleach facial hair, electrolyzes abdomens, Epilady lower backs, Nair knees and laser underarms … all to look as smooth and silky as airbrushed models appear in magazines. Wherever we perceive hair to be too thick, too coarse, too dark or just plain too much, we lose all feelings of attractiveness until we remove it – sparing ourselves no pain in the process. Ladies, we are mammals. Body hair comes with warm blood and the ability to give birth to live young. It’s time we learn to accept our animal attributes … unless, of course, these traits result in a unibrow. In that case, bring on the tweezers!

Secrets are Meant to be Shared

It’s easy to get caught up in our beauty secrets, depending on them to disguise things we don’t like about ourselves. However, these enhancers should be additives we use to help us look and feel our best. When padded bras, butt-lifting jeans, shaping panties and hair removal techniques become necessary to create a sense of femininity and desirability to men, it’s time to rediscover the things that truly make us beautiful and worthwhile as women.

Let’s look at things from another perspective:

Men have their cover-ups, too. However, they are more than willing to expose their bald spots and expel gas in front of us. Why? Because they are confident we will still love them for their real characteristics. This is certainly a secret worth sharing, and one from which we women can learn.

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Most of us spend the majority of our time in a work environment, and have to plan our wardrobe accordingly. The gleaming garments you like to wear on the town don’t quite fit in an organizational setting.

The daily grind, no matter what the vocation, can turn a glamorous wardrobe into dowdy monotonous mess. But have no fear! It’s okay maintain the style status you adore at the office, and even carry it into the evening. Keep in mind what impression you want to give while incorporating key trendy pieces that are apt for your organization. There are proper ways to turn your drab duds into sensational styles, properly suited for the office.

Each new season has new fresh innovative styles to which we can open our minds and closets. Glamorous grays, colorful hues, nouveau prep styles and terrifically tailored pieces are all the rage! Incorporate these trends to your work wardrobe in a classy way, and you’ll feel chic and trendy at your next meeting. Keep in mind your wardrobe can be a reflection on you and your personality. Maintain the respect you deserve by dressing appropriately at the office. Leave the miniskirts and low necklines at home, time to shine your radiant fashionable light in a classy sophisticated way!

This fall, move out of the way basic black, because gray is in town and it’s just right for the working girl’s wardrobe. Neutral shades make up the most “staple” pieces of a wardrobe, and this time, it’s a gray matter to attend to. Whether it’s a gray scarf, dress or pantsuit, keep this nifty neutral in mind when dressing for success.

Bright hues are another awesome autumn trend for the fashionable working woman. Lucky for us, gray goes with about any color. Pair a bright color and gray shade without creating too much clothing chaos. Keep the attention on you and your talents by adding just a small amount of color. This can be done by pairing gray slacks with a bright blouse, or by adding vibrant colored bracelets to your outfit. Don’t be afraid to add that ‘pop’ of color. It may just brighten your day!

The fashion forecast is in, and nouveau prep is raining into fashion outlets all over the US! Plaids, stripes, collared shirts, and layered pieces make up this current trend, and they’re perfect for the workplace! As fall brings in brisk weather, layer a striped sweater over a collared shirt. Pair this with gray slacks and your coworkers will wonder what fashionable female is hanging at the copy machine! Plaids are here to stay, and can be found on stylish sweaters, scarves galore and even on a delicious dress that will never be a bore! Why not layer your plaid dress with a collared shirt? You get the pretty picture, ladies. Nouveau prep is in, and the versatile pieces are perfect for you AND your organization’s dress code!

A tailored look oozes sophistication and style. Thankfully the classic suit is in, and better than ever! Trousers can be straight leg or wide to suit your personal preference. The best suit is a fitted one, so take the time to have it tailored to your terrific bod. Keep in mind that it’s menswear, so add a touch of fabulous femininity. Pair your suit with a silk tunic or ruffled blouse. Mix today’s magnificent trends by pairing a gray suit and colorful shirt. Want to add even more pretty pizzazz? Wrap a waist belt over a suit jacket. The suit trend has no rules, just no holds bar style and class!

Today’s woman juggles a full life with a full time career, and sometimes rushes from work to her glamorous evening out. All of the trends above are able to transition into evening wear, with a couple key pieces to help them along. Pair your suit jacket with a feminine top, skinny jeans and pumps. Or the same jacket over a silky dress. Take off your tailored jacket and wear your ruffled blouse with jeans or belted at the waist with trousers. Day to night wear is possible with a little classic creativity.

Cheers to you and your fashionable working wardrobe!

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With the changing of the seasons comes the changing of your wardrobe, i.e., a perfect excuse to go shopping! Though this fall season doesn’t denote one specific fashion must-have for the coming months, there are still plenty of style-options available to the savvy.

Can You Take Me Higher?

Pants with higher rises are a basic this season, says Nick Christen, a buyer for Karisma Klothing in Oxford, Ohio. “Super low-rise is long gone,” he says. Christen suggests contrasting your higher rised pants with a crop top, be it a cropped cardigan, motorcycle jacket or a coat that hits the wearer at the waist.

But high-rise pants are not the only bottoms trend we’re seeing this fall. “All pant styles are in,” according to Vicky Schmidt, co-owner of Envy, located on Observatory Road in Cincinnati. “From skinny to straight, from stove top to wide legged pants. They’re in.”

Beware pants with wider legs if you’re smaller statured, both Christen and Schmidt advise. “If you’re short, you get lost in them,” Christen says. “If you’re curvier, it doesn’t look like you’re trying to hide. They look best on taller women around size 12.”

Also, don’t wear your wider pants too short. They should be a quarter of inch away from the top of your heel, no shorter, Schmidt says.

Skinny jeans, all the rage last year, are still walking tall in the fashion world, so don’t throw those in the back of the closet. There’s a certain way to wear skinny jeans, however. A fitted tee or blouse with the jean? A definite “don’t” Schmidt says. “Do a skinny jean with a fuller, flouncier top, it balances you out.”

Tunic Me up

Another fall fashion must, in keeping with the popular bohemian look, Christen says, is the tunic. “Tunics are for all ages,” Schmidt says. “If it’s done tastefully. Tunics can go anywhere from below your tush to a couple of inches above the knee.”

A tunic is a dress, fitted through the top with a high or no waist, breaking away from the breasts and flowing down. “Younger women can pull off shorter, more fitted tunics,” Schmidt says. “Older women can do tunics, but they should look classy, not edgy.”

The tunic enters the realm of classy when accessorized with a pump, strappy sandal or fitted boot, Schmidt says. Tunics can be worn with leggings against the cold, or just because. Look for leggings in a contrasting color (such as electric blue or yellow — which are white hot, Christen says) or subtle pattern for extra outfit oomph.

A tunic or baby doll dress also looks great, Christen says, when worn with high rise skinny jeans, which have the added “holding you in” benefit.
Schidmt does advise tunic lovers to not wear ankle boots with a tunic, because doing so creates too many lines on the body, drawing attention away from you.

Miscellaneous Fall Fashion Favorites
Dig out your old school patent leather Mary Janes, because patent is one universal trend this season, though you see it more in jackets and shoes, Christen says. “You can’t go wrong with patent,” he says. “I think it’s reaching its pinnacle, though. It’s not going to hang around for the next two or three years.”

Style mavens are good to go with patent anything through this winter at least, Christen says. Patent makes the ensemble pop, he says. Wear a basic outfit with a canary yellow patent bag or sport a jersey dress with black patent peeptoes.

Other fashion favs: suitings, sweater coats, the color gray, plaids and tweeds, metallics, palazzo pants, jumpers and turtlenecks.

What is interesting about this fashion season, Schmidt says, is that everything is in. “This the first season in seven years where there’s not one strong fashion-forward statement,” she says. What does this mean for you fashion followers out there?

This is your chance to express something different or new in your clothing without being censured for lacking that season’s definitive piece. The sky’s the limit.

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You’re revving up for that fall rendezvous you’ve been planning since June—the car door is open, the key’s in the ignition, but have you appropriately packed?

Cincy Chic has the answer to your fall break fashion quandary with the top five fashion pieces every diva should pack for an autumn trip — whether it’s to the Bahamas, Ohio’s wine country or upstate New York.

Be a Hobo

Well, not really. But at least carry the commodious, stylish bag with the same name. Hobo bags carried by the fashionable world have gotten bigger and bigger as the seasons pass, which is also the No. 1 reason a hobo should become an essential part of your fall getaway packing — these bags combine cuteness and roominess, making them the perfect travel combination. Find a hobo that is structured to achieve a more designer look. For extra panache, pick up a hobo in a metallic color, such as the one designed by Devi Kroell for Target retailing at $34.99.

Boot up the Ankle

This fall’s hottest boot style is the ankle. Made in almost every fabric and shade, the ankle boot can be dressed down and up, depending on need and occasion. A versatile piece such as the ankle boot is a must for any kind of travel venture. Besides, boots will be useful for any walking you may be doing on your fall getaway (since the hot pink stilettos you bought over the summer won’t be much help when you’re walking down a scenic, autumn-foliage strewn path). Pair your boots with leggings in a coordinated pattern or color to keep out the cold. One ankle boot made for travel is the Simply Vera Noir Ankle Boot by Vera Wang (carried at Kohl’s). Retailing at $89.99, the boots have a side buckle for easy on and off slippage and a padded footbed for extra comfort (and they’re super sleek).

The Look of Royalty

Another fall fashion staple to pack on your trip is a color: purple. Anything in this royal hue will be at the forefront of the season’s fashion scene. Think deep plums and jewel-toned violets that will stand out against the season’s other top colors: chocolate brown and wine red. Be it in a scarf, dress, shoe or a blouse, the color purple is sure to be your ticket into the most fabulous gatherings in whatever neck of the woods you visit! Try out Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker’s sleeveless sweater in deep purple retailing at $19.99 at Steve & Barry’s stores for a look that is both fashionable and warm enough for the cooling temperatures.

Patently Beautiful

In the same way the color purple is a fall fashion shoo-in, so is patent leather, the presence of which will leave any onlookers breathless! Accessories made of patent leather are shiny and chic, catching the eye and providing extra vavoom to any outfit. Patent leather packs a dynamic punch to your outfit so you don’t have to lug around lots of glits and glam on your travels. Don’t overdo the patent, however. Only one accessory or two at a time is recommended, unless you want to blind passersby. The best patent products? Shoes, bags and belts, of course. Glam up your getaway’s special night with a little black dress and a red patent belt, such as the wide version carried at Aldo for $30.

Carry a Lightweight

Being prepared in the form of a lightweight jacket is the final (and probably most important) fall fashion trip piece, because, hey, it’s getting cold out there! But this isn’t your momma’s flannel pullover. Pick a jacket made of a thin material that is stylishly tailored, whether it is in the form of cute details, like ruching or large buttons, or in the pattern of the fabric itself, such as houndstooth, tweed or plaid. Layering a jacket like this over your already beautiful fall clothing (i.e. ankle boots, patent leather, etc.) will be the icing on your ensemble’s cake! Stop by Forever 21 for a taffeta jacket featuring over-sized buttons that retails at $32.80.


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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 svdpcincinnati.org. 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 www.flaregamer.com, 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…

1. HOW SHOULD I ASK?

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.

2. CLEAN WHAT YOU BORROW
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.

3. RETURN QUICKLY

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.

4. OPEN YOUR CLOSET FOR BUSINESS, TOO
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!

5. HOW OFTEN IS TOO OFTEN?
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.