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What do I talk about? What if something’s in my teeth? Do I pay, or does he?

Welcome to the wonderful world of dating and all the questions that go along with it. While some aspects of dating etiquette are quite apparent, others may be less obvious. Most people know the basics; be ready on time, be yourself, don’t talk about your ex, etc. But alas, there’s more! There’s another important piece of the dating puzzle to remember; in other words, prepare what you wear!

Believe it or not, there are datewear do’s and don’ts that go hand in hand with master dating protocol. One wardrobe slipup can make a hopeful date a disaster, and doom you from the dating world forever! You have a choice; so don’t be a casualty of bad datewear. Follow this list of simple dos and don’ts to make your wardrobe and dating life a fabulous pair!

DO! ask what the plans are so you can dress accordingly. Three-inch heels don’t ride well at a horse farm, and flip flops won’t cut it at The Precinct. Avoid this problem by asking your date what is on the agenda. Once you know the setting, you’re open to make a better fashion choice for your promising date with destiny.

DO! find out what your date will be wearing. Not only should you know what the occasion is, you should also ask what duds your date will be donning. Knowing the destination doesn’t necessarily mean you and your gentleman friend will have the same ideas about appropriate wardrobe.

DO! look into the temperature and plan your fashion forecast accordingly. Although it’s nice to witness his gentlemanly gesture to offer his coat, bring a jacket if it gets chilly. This will ensure your comfort level, so your genuine light can heat up the room.

DO! dress in a way that makes you comfortable. Wear something you know flatters you, but won’t make you fidget throughout the evening. Pulling at your dress or fixing your neckline all night will take away time you could be spending gazing in each other’s eyes.

DON’T! overdo it. You’re excited about the date, understandable. But that doesn’t mean double the blush, double the eye shadow and fake lashes three feet long. Let your date see the real you by spending your time getting ready complimenting your features. Spending extra time on you is one thing, looking like bobo the clown is another.

dress like someone you’re not. Dressing in disguise is just as bad as behaving in a way that masks the real you. The whole point of dating is to get to know someone with the possibility of a future relationship. As we all know, first impressions mean a lot. Let your date see the real you, not what you think they want to see. Dressing yourself is dressing comfortably. Dressing comfortably allows you to open up and be yourself for all the world, and your date, to see!

bare too much skin. You know the line between sexy and slutty ladies, so walk it. Think about first impressions and make sure you’re expressing who you are. At the same time, don’t be afraid to show off your curves. There is nothing wrong about making a lasting impression, i.e., your date’s eyes bugging out; but just remember if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable or unsure, there’s probably a reason.

DON’T! rush around last minute. Plan ahead so your fabulous date time wardrobe fits the above criteria, and you’ll be stress free to boot. Rushing can make you miss little things you wouldn’t normally forget. Is there time to iron your shirt? Did you notice the food stains on your blouse? Rushing with your attire can make you to lose confidence and want a new fashion choice mid date.

When making the trip to the wonderful world of dating, make it first class. Follow these easy tips to avoid any fashion faux pas that could ruin a possible love connection. Planning ahead, dressing comfortably and being yourself will help the real you shine and leave plenty of precious time to be spent on each other. Remember, dating should be fun. Dress your best fashionistas, and you’ll have one lucky date!

Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Models: Missy Scalia, Matt Reinhardt

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So I'm the last person in the world to be giving fashion advice to anyone-you wouldn't really be able to tell by looking at me, it's kinda like the stereotype of the makeup artist that hardly wears any makeup, or the hairstylist who wears her hair pulled back into a ponytail all the time…that's me – I don't look like I know anything about fashion, but in reality, I really have a good eye for what works best on others.

So hopefully you've read all the other fantastic fashion articles by the lovely Cincy Chic ladies, and are well equipped with all the fashion advice you can stomach, because here, I'll be offering fashion advice from a different angle: from Mo's unconventional fashion viewpoint.

Do What Feels Right!

For me, I equate fashion with comfort. That's just how I roll. If I'm not comfortable in what I'm wearing, I don't feel right. If my feet heart in 'em, I kick 'em off. If it's too tight, I tear it off immediately. If it makes me feel "not me" for a moment, it's a no-no. So, that's my first rule: wear what makes you feel comfortable, because if you are cinched into an ensemble that makes you feel like a robot, then you can't be yourself.

Being You = Confidence

I know I'm making some fashionistas cringe right now, (Regan, Carolyn, Amy, and Missy, bear with me please!) but remember this is my turn to give advice here! For me, I can only be truly confident, if I am true to myself, regardless of what the magazines and Anna Wintour declares.

My second and last fashion tip that I live by: if you're standing in front of a floor-length mirror, at this very moment (while simultaneously reading this article), just after slipping on the latest fashion trend, and the real you isn't staring back at you, take it off and fling it into the corner, as far away from your body as possible!

You've heard people say, "that's so you!" or, conversely, "that doesn't look like you at all!" What does that mean? Well, that means the true essence of your personality has been temporarily hidden behind clothes. If, as you're looking in the mirror, you have lost that sense of "you," you'll more than likely lose the sense of confidence to pull it off; at least that's what happens to me. If, for one second I feel like I'm dressing for someone else, or for that matter, look like someone else, I immediately loose the look.

A Makeover Isn't Necessarily a Good Thing

No one can deny the makeover mania that has taken over daytime talk shows and the morning news shows. Everyone from Oprah and Tyra, to the Today Show, regularly feature segments and entire shows of taking some fashion-clueless person and making them undergo a barrage of hair, makeup and wardrobe changes, always resulting in the individual in a split-screen-before-and-after-makeover that literally transforms them into a new person.

And that's exactly what I have a problem with. I am not against the idea of someone trying to improve their look, but I'm adamantly opposed to a transformation that leaves the person unrecognizable to their family and friends, and most importantly to the person themselves. When someone looks into a mirror and says, "It doesn't even look like me," that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing.

Oprah recently did a hair-makeover show on 100 people (99 women and one man) that were truly remarkable, but what I found most disturbing about the show, was Oprah kept repeating to the makeoverees, "You don't even look like yourself!"…"I would have never guessed that was you!" One man even proclaimed that he would probably get in trouble with his wife if she knew he was going home with this "other woman."

If I go through a makeover and come out looking like some other chick, I would be incredibly insulted that my mate didn't appreciate the real me and how I looked before, pre-makeover! I don't want to remind my mate of some other chick…I want to remind him of me.

It's a Societal Thing

The madness behind this makeover mania, to me, stems from society's incessant bombardment of making us feel inadequate with ourselves. From billboards, fashion magazines, television, and catwalks, we are always being pressured to trade in our old selves for newer, brighter, trendier, shinier, slimmer, and completely unrecognizable versions of our former selves. The real question should be: "What's wrong with the way I am?!"

So what if you aren't wearing the latest stuff, and you hair isn't angled just so? Who cares?! If you are living a life that is full of happiness, quality and joy, does being fashionable really matter? Why do we, and by we, I mean human kind, place so much emphasis on appearance? We should be less concerned and wrapped up in what we wear on our backs, and more concerned with our heart and character.

Mo's Parting Advice

So where am I going with all of this? Where's the fashion advice that you've been looking forward to? Well, I warned you in the beginning, there would really be none of that here. Here's what I have to say in a nutshell:

Yes, buying a new outfit, that makes you feel and look hot is really nice, but that shouldn't consume us. After all, it's just clothes. Actually, if you want to really get technical, clothes are just pieces of fabric in different colors and textures that have been sewn together into interesting shapes and patterns.

So let's just keep that in mind, and focus on the more important things in life.

Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes Lifestyle Design Center
Model: Vicki Gianfagna

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You’ve got a catchy name above your awning, your doors are wide open and you’ve taken care of every inane detail about your business — so now it’s time to devote some attention to yourself. And your wardrobe.

Because, whether we like it or not, owning a business is about creating an image, and if the way you look doesn’t match the image of your company, you could be going in the red rather than the black. Cincy Chic has some easy-to-incorporate advice for helping you dress like a savvy business owner.

Dress Appropriately

There are clothes that you wear for a night out on the town: sky-high heels, slinky tops and form-fitting pants; and then there are the clothes you should be wearing to best represent yourself and your business. It is very important to know the difference. Wearing low-cut tops and other sexually-suggestive clothing can send potential and existing clients the wrong impression; mainly, wearing the wrong clothes can make you appear unprofessional, something that could spell doom for a business-owner.

If you have trouble figuring out what is business appropriate, ask an honest friend, your significant other, or better yet, your mother (someone who is guaranteed to tell you the truth). Ask whichever person you choose to go through your closet with you, separating what is business appropriate from everyday or evening wear. Then organize your clothes according to category, so that when you’re dressing for a long day managing a company you can just grab and go; without having to search through hangers full of the wrong kind of clothing in the early morning.

Classic is Key

A second great way to dress like a business owner is to invest in classic pieces that will never go out of style, and will always look great when you’re doing what you do best. Looking for a few examples of classic wardrobe additions as classic as Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O? How about pencil skirts, black pumps, button-down tops, trench coats, trouser pants, anything houndstooth, plaid or pearls? Incorporate clothing classics like those into your closet rotation and you’ll be confidently striding through the entrance of your business before you can say “CEO.” Aside from the never-go-out-of-style and always-professional benefits of clothing such as the ones listed above is the added advantage of staying power—if, that is, you’re willing to spend a little more than you might usually on clothing. Here’s the thing: spending a bit more on these classic pieces will make them last as long as they’re fashionable: forever! Well, not forever, but high-quality clothing is worth the squeeze on your wallet.

Tailor Made

Now you know what not to wear and which parts of your wardrobe are forever, it’s time to tailor those pieces to your body. Nothing is more detrimental to a put-together look than clothes that don’t fit correctly.

You know what we’re talking about. Sleeves so long your hands disappear, pant legs so long you get rolls of fabric gathering at your ankles and let’s not forget that that great blazer that fits in the shoulders, but when it comes to your waist, it’s nothing more than a bag. These problems are fairly easy and not too expensive to fix, and the end result is worth the extra effort of picking up a phone book and taking your clothes to a tailor.

No longer will you scour the racks for a perfect fitting pant or jacket, no longer will you pass by the skirt of your dreams because it doesn’t fit you in the waist. Tailor it! That way, when you’re conducting your business, you won’t just look like a fashion-conscious woman; you’ll look like a fashion-conscious woman who knows exactly what she wants and knows how to make it happen! Which, hey, you were anyway, but now you’ll look like it. By the way, when looking to get your clothes tailored, be sure to buy clothes that are roomier or a size bigger than you wear—that way, you give your tailor more room to work with. It’s much harder to tailor up than down.

Throw in a Bit of You

You’ve said “no way, josé” to your “After 5” wear and pulled off a classic look tailored to your body. Now, for the finishing touch: a piece of you. Do you treasure an antique cameo your grandmother gave you? Wear it! Your mother found you up a beautiful scarf in France? Wrap it! Does your “cancer survivor” bracelet give you a sense of pride? Rock it! That’s what separates the fashion-savvy ladies from the fashion wannabees: the ability to wear what is office appropriate and fashionable, but still making that look personal. Think of the fashion world more as guidelines for your fashion statement, rather than your Bible. That way, you’ll still be fit to hit the runway (and your office), but you’ll experience the added advantage of expressing yourself with your ensemble of choice.

Now that’s something to CEO-brate.

Photo Credits
Model: Missy Scalia

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Fashion savvy ladies should take a hint from local elections by getting rid of the old and bringing in the new … to their closets! It’s a new season and a new look, so why are you still wearing last year’s wardrobe? Grab your broom and dust pan, ladies, and sweep those former fashion favorites into the proverbial dust bin. Here are five has-beens that kissed style goodbye in the last year, and so should you.

Gosh Darn Gauchos

OK, so two years ago these shorts-that-look-like-a-skirt hit the fashion scene so hard your grandmother owned a pair. Unfortunately, gauchos, just like so many fashion trends, hit the fashion world comet-like, then fizzled to a spark less than a firecracker just a short time later. If this is true, then why are so many otherwise fashionable women wearing them? For the same reason so many trends stick around a lot longer than their shelf life: women think they’re still fashionable. They’re fashionable once, they are forever, right? Wrong.

Pop the Bubble

Another fashion trend that is so last year, but is so still being worn is the bubble skirt. These voluminous skirts give the wearer an ethereal, almost otherworldly fairy look — that just so happens to be dated. This is a fashion trend I never jumped on, because being a fuller-bottomed lady myself, common sense told me a skirt that poofed all over was probably not the best wardrobe choice for me. Watching women wearing these, out and about, however, confirms my first opinion: this is a skirt for stick thin super models who honestly can pull off almost anything. Verdict? Toss ‘em.

My Legs are Fine Cold, Thanks

Just say no to leg warmers. These are not necessarily out of fashion — they recently made a comeback from their previous ‘80s grave — but still. Just say no. There is no way leg warmers can be made to look classy and chic. It’s just not happening. I don’t care if you pair them with a trapeze dress and ballet flats, it still won’t work. The only look the trying-too-hard fashionista will achieve wearing legwarmers is an awkward Olivia Newton John “Let’s Get Physical” vibe that begs for the classic lines of Sandra Dee. Clothing that was originally meant to keep dancers’ muscles and tendons warm until they’ve been loosened by stretching should never have a place in high fashion, OR your closet.

More like Ugg-ly

Again, a fashion trend that should have been put to rest two years ago is the Ugg-style or sherpa boot. These boots are made of suede, or a suede-like material and are lined on the inside with sherpa, a furry feeling material. Worn by tucking jeans into them, the sherpa boot, the most famous of which is made by the Aussie-based company Ugg, have flat soles and generally come up to mid calf. Guess what? That particular style is kind of over. So toss out your Uggs or (gasp!) Ugg knockoffs, and pick up the new edition: streamlined and sassy with wedge heels. This heeled version is becoming for everyone because heels make the calves look sleek, and the streamlined version is much less clunky and heavy than its predecessor. Just say no to Ugg-ly.

So are you a victim of fashion trends gone wild? It’s easy to get carried away by the newest and latest styles on the fashion runway and go buy out a store’s entire stock of legwarmers and bubble skirts, but try to remember that fashion changes every day. The only sure way a woman dedicated to fashion AND thrift can survive is to forego trends and go for timeless, classic pieces that will never need to go in the garbage. In the words of the illustrious Coco Chanel, “Fashion passes. Style remains.”

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It’s that frightful time of the year again you gorgeously ghoulish gals — Halloween is right around the corner! Do you have your costume ready? Is your budget scarier than any horror flick? Have no fear my frightful friends, we are here to help! Time flies as we all know, but don’t get in a terrible tizzy. You still have time to pull together your ghoulish garb at a price that will scare away the cobwebs from your wallet!

With a little imagination, you can easily come up with a creative costume made by your own hands. Browse online costume stores to get your imagination rolling. Most can be made with items readily available, without the horrifically heavy price tag the online outlet provides.

Another way to get endlessly easy to do ideas? Look up people and events in the media. For instance, dress up like your favorite celebrity, such as Paris Hilton. Why not throw a fake pooch in a purse, dress to the nines with some shades and proudly chant "That’s hot!" as you prance in your heels? Get your creative juices flowing by thinking back to recent events in the media, and bringing those characters to life right here in Cincinnati! Lindsay Lohan in jail? Try the above Paris outfit, with jail stripes on your dress! There are many ideas you can find in People
magazine or in your local media. The possibilities are endless, and you can most likely use items found at your own haunted house!

Once you have a few ideas brewing in your mind, put on your creative cap. Look around your house for items readily available you can use. Dressing like a maid? Throw some of your Windex in an apron pocket and hold a feather duster! How about a farm girl? Grab that flannel from high school days and pair with some ripped jeans and boots!

From your costume to those final accessories, most likely you have something laying around the house that could work. Still need some help? Visit your local Goodwill. This is the perfect place to find random items for a chillingly cheap price. Find an old prom dress and be an ‘80s prom queen! See a butterfly collar from the '70s? Blast back to the past and be the hippie you miss or have always wanted to be! Stores like Michaels or Cappels may also have odds and ends you may not find at home or Goodwill. Here you can find a wig, accessories or the perfect boa, in other words, all of those items to pull your freakishly fantastic costume together!

With a little imagination, you can easily come up with a creative costume and be the horrid hit of the party! Here are a couple ideas to help you along your witchy way:


Use an old shirt splattered with pain and hang paint brushes out of your pockets. Cut a paint palette out of cardboard. Add a mustache & goatee and you’re the new Picasso!


Judge Judy

Get your old graduation robe out, grab a gavel, and get this town in order!

Hippie Chick

Throw on some small round glasses, bellbottoms and a butterfly collar to like, conjure up your inner flower child, dude!


'80s Glam Gal

Pull out the jelly bracelets, puffed out bangs, neon pink lipstick and legwarmers to make those side ponytail days live again.

The possibilities are endless. Remember, you may just have the ravishing resources right at your fingertips or at the thrift store down the street. Why pay $80 plus for an outfit you’ll wear once when you can put together a costume with your own homespun creativity!

Good luck and have a spooktacular Halloween!

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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).


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.