The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

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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.


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Every woman opens up her closet and says it: “I have absolutely nothing to wear.” When in actuality you’re standing in front of a closet full of potential. Here are a few ways to tap into that illusive potential:

The Blouse

The button down, collared shirt, whatever you'd like to call it; we all have it in our closet, and probably look at it as if it were calling us back to the office. NOOOOOOOOO! All you need to do is add belt around the waist (thin or wide belt), cuff the sleeve. Put on a pair of dark jeans, cute pumps and tahdah! You have successfully transformed that top into tiptop sexy, sophisticated shape.

The Lil Cotton Dress
Is it a dress? Is it a top? It’s both. Ladies, please don’t think that because something is marketed as one item, that’s all it can be. Wrong. Fashion wouldn’t be fashion if you didn’t play around with it and do your own thing.

For some reason, you’ve kept it or you’ve worn at ton and don’t want people thinking “is that the only dress this girl owns?” Add a pair of jeans or dress pants under it and wear it as a top. This is an oober trendy way to add style to an otherwise bland garment. Punch it up with a clutch, fun bracelet or diamond studs. Pin your bangs back and you’ve turned blah into bam! (Pssst! This is also a great way to hide when you’re feeling a little on the bloated side.)

The Tank
The tank is notorious in everyone’s closet. Some of us wear it as gym wear or everyday wear. An easy way to take the tank to the next level is to layer it over a long sleeve fitted cotton shirt. It gives the tank an artsy twist. Pair it with a pencil or mini skirt and that tank will be so happy to not be going to the gym. Put your hair in a pony tail with some soft curls, and you’ll be able to wear whatever shoes you choose.

The key to great style is actually not having one. Think about it. The fashion world tends to do some things that are strange at first, and then we all ride the trend train. Also, remember less is more! Don’t load up on jewelry and think you look great. You may look like a Christmas tree instead. If you go for large earrings, pass on the necklace that day. And visa versa. An outfit should revolve around one main piece and evolve from there. And as for clothing: You should wear them, they shouldn’t wear you.

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Do you own that wardrobe staple, the little black dress? The dress that transcends events, seasons and yes, even time. We all do. But even tried and true pieces like our beloved LBDs can use a little saucy va-voom every now and then. Local fashionistas clue you in on how to make your LBD draw a second (or even third) look.

“The biggest way I would change the little black dress is through the accessories,” says Diane Sweeney, owner of Coco’s on Madison. “Through accessories, and through colors, you can change the total look of the little black dress.”

But before beginning the LBD accessorizing process, you should decide which piece of your ensemble you would most like to showcase. For example, do you absolutely adore the dress, and want to make sure that’s the first thing seen, or do your shoes make you salivate at the mouth and should therefore be the featured object?

Or more simply, “Do I want to see the shoe or do I want to see the dress?” asked Vicky Schmidt, co-owner of Envy on Observatory Road in Cincinnati.

Neutral-toned shoes and accessories, in colors such as silver, gold, bronze or white, are better if you’d like your dress to be the first thing noticed about you. However, if you have to-die-for orange pumps, your dress can be the accessory.

Regardless of this question, Schmidt recommends not wearing a black shoe with a black dress, even though some may not feel comfortable wearing otherwise: “Soften the dress by putting on a neutral shoe,” she says.

Once you’ve chosen your featured piece of choice, you can begin the LBD jazz-up procedure. Sweeney recommends adding colors that will contrast nicely with the black, such as red and yellow. Cooler colors such as blue, purple or green will look good also, but warm colors work best.

“I think red and yellow are really popular right now,” Sweeney says. “Some people can’t wear yellow; so if you like the color, it’s a fun way to bring it into the handbag, jewelry or shoes.”

Belts are one of the most important steps for Schmidt, who says switching the belts can keep a dress completely new. Sheath-shaped dresses work best with belts (and everything else, Schmidt says: there are thousands of things you can do with a sheath), but many black dresses lend themselves to this accessory.

Varying width belts are popular this season, such as wide or skinny, but the choice of width depends on your body type, Schmidt says.

“Wide isn’t for everyone,” she says. If someone is tall and skinny, a wide belt cinched at the waist is best. But for more curvy types, a skinnier belt worn at the hip is better, because wearing belts at the hip have an elongating effect, according to Schmidt.

Another popular way to add to your LBD is with a neck scarf, Sweeney says. “Neck scarves are in right now even though it’s summer,” she says. “It’s just a different look, probably not practical, but it’s a cool look.” Again, when choosing the scarf, decide whether you want it to complement or contrast with your LBD.

Season is something else to consider when accessorizing your LBD. In the summer, Schmidt says less is more. A pretty shawl or brooch will do the trick, she says. However, heavy accessories like strands of pearls in addition to belts lend themselves better to winter or fall.

“Clean and basic jumpers that are sleeveless, round necked and straight to floor are great for fall because you can put something underneath,” Schmidt says.

Other accessory recommendations: lots of jewelry, sheer, patterned or colored stockings, dramatic hats and makeup to match.


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Do three-way mirrors, fluorescent lights, and the thought of seeing your own pasty skin squeezed into a form-fitting garment usually scare you right out of shopping for a swimsuit? Well, it’s time to face your fears. With the help of Jessica Dole with Jimmy Swimmy, try these tricks to make this year’s suit shopping painless:

  • Shorter people should not wear bulky bathingsuits with an overlap. They should also stick to bathing suits that are thin on the sides of the hips. This helps elongate and thin out the legs, while taking emphasis off the midsection.
  • Are you a tall drink of water? Try a longer line tankini and coordinate with separates.
  • For a large bust, try a tankini, because it emphasizes your upper curves in a classy way. Also, look for suits with built-in bras for support.
  • The one-piece is in. You see more and more people – large, small and everywhere in between – with uniquely styled one-peice suits.
  • Bright colors in the summer emphasize tans and pedicures.

Fortunately, online retailers like are starting to really help women shop for bathing suits. Instead of numerical sizes, the sizes are color-coded, and the online shopping experience may decrease your public bathing suit shopping anxiety.

According to , here are more simple shopping tips:

  • Go shopping for a swimsuit on a day you are feeling confident and are in good spirits. Selecting a suit will be all the easier if you feel good about yourself.
  • Do not set limits – especially time limits. The more time you have, the smarter your final choice will be.
  • Know your body. Certain body types can’t wear certain suits. That’s just the way it is. Once you get that settled, you’ll avoid a lot of tear-fests.
  • Just because your dresses are size 8, don’t assume your bikini will be. Swimsuits tend to run smaller than clothing, so be prepared to try on a few sizes larger than you are used to. Is the suit creating bulges or muffintops? That’s an instant hint to go up a size.
  • Be comfortable – not just physically, but mentally. Thongs are hot, but you won’t be if you feel like a dork wearing one.

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Colors: greens are very popular. Some great combinations are green and raspberry pink, but not a feminine pink. Together they look crisp and fresh. Green and browns- a softer green, paired they are very inviting. Reds, in many shades, are in; rusty reds to a claret color.

Paint: faux finishes that are heavily textured are everywhere. There is a lot of depth of color to these because of the multi-layered processed used. Some have a stencil piece that has irregular borders; that fading in and out treatment gives it an aged feel. Sometimes they can only be seen at certain angles.

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The whole house revolves around the kitchen, and they are magnificent! Beautiful cabinetry, embellished with carved onlays. Painted or stained, there are a lot of details. They are also very well thought out, everything has a function.

Huge refrigerators and freezer drawers. Appliances are all top of the line. People like to invest in things they use this frequently.

Pubs on the first floor are a trend. This is a great spot for entertaining (breaks up the bottleneck in the kitchen) or just an adult place to unwind at the end of the day.
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TVs are everywhere!

This is new – one of our homes has a dedicated soccer room! Astroturf and padded goals. It's great fun for the kids!

Some old styles are being revisited:

  • Detailed woodworking details are rich, elaborate and timeless
  • Wider width hardwood floors, great for the open spaces on which they are being used.
  • Iron railings, with lots of detail, really make a statement in the foyer.
  • Brick inside – one of our homes has gorgeous arched doorways in brick.


– Holly Burtschy Rebensdorf, Interiors by Nancy Paul & Julie Bell


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What you need…

  • Fabric
  • Interfacing (iron on)
  • Press cloth
  • Belt buckle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine

Step 1:
Choose your fabric and belt buckle. This is the fun part. I made the yellow belt out of an old skirt. I found my belt buckles at antique markets and garage sales. The belt buckles shown do not have prongs. To fasten your belt, loop the fabric through the belt buckle.

Step 2:
Determine the length and width of fabric needed to make your belt.
To determine the length of your fabric, run a tape measure around your waist and through the belt loops of your pants.
Add 3 inches to that measurement.

Decide how wide you want your belt to be. Double that number and add 1. The belts pictured are 1-½ inches wide.

Step 3:
Cut your fabric.

Step 4:
Determine the length and width of your interfacing. The interfacing should be 1 inch less than the length and width of your fabric.

Step 5:
Cut your interfacing

Step 6:
Center the interfacing on the WRONG side of your fabric. A ½ inch of fabric should be visible along the length and width of the interfacing.

Step 7:
Attach the interfacing to the fabric following instructions for fusing the interfacing. You should receive fusing instructions when you purchase the interfacing.

Step 8:
Fold the fabric in half with the RIGHT sides together.

Step 9:
Mark a rounded edge ½ inch in from one of the short ends of the fabric. If you can do it free hand, go for it. Otherwise, trace the edge of a cup.

Step 10:
Sew the folded fabric together using a ½ inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-inch opening midway down on the long edge of the fabric.

Step 11:
Trim the seam allowance along the round edge of fabric.

Step 12:
Pull the right side of the fabric through the 2-inch opening.

Step 13:
Sew the 2-inch opening closed. Sew as close to the edge as possible.

Step 14:
With the right side of the belt buckle and the right side of the fabric facing up, pull the squared short end of the fabric through the belt buckle 2 inches.

Step 15:
Sew the squared edge of the fabric down as close to the edge as possible.

That’s it! Grab your new pants, buckle up and you're ready to go!

Click on the play button below to check out a Webcast of Carolyn working her expert belt-making skills.


Want to win a handmade black and white polka dot belt made by Carolyn? Click here to send us an e-mail and we'll randomly select a winner on June 30, 2007.


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Stepping outside your comfort zone – whether its jewelry or any other clothing item – is never easy, but it’s almost always exciting! It expands your horizons, lets you see things differently, and gives you a boost of confidence.

With jewelry, it's fairly easy and inexpensive to step outside your comfort zone. There are so many styles out there to try. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to Wal-Mart, Value City, even the “teen” accessory store in the mall and just look! Touch anything that catches your eye, especially if it’s not your usual style. Pick it up, hold it and look at it from all angles. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to wear with it… a killer pair of jeans and a fitted white tee could go with it. But don’t stop with just the first piece that catches your eye. Keep the first piece and look for something different than that that still is not in your normal "zone." The more you look touch and play with the different pieces, the more chances you have to find that right one.

When stepping out of your jewelry comfort zone, you want to start simple and small. No major overhauls… it will distract from you and not allow you to really start to feel comfortable in the new zone. If you are not usually a jewelry person, starting small will have a big impact.

The easiest and usually cheapest place to start is with earrings. With the latest trend being towards big, dangly chandelier earrings the options are almost limitless. I usually only wear basic studs. But when I put on a pair of bold, dangly earrings – or sparkly – the change is amazing! And people notice. The earrings draw attention to your face and hair so they are so easy to play up.

Another fairly inexpensive piece to try is a bracelet. Big, bold and colorful are the current trends and the "teen" shops in the malls are full of these. Bracelets will draw attention to your hands and nails, so if you like showing those off, go bolder than what you'd normally wear.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to shake the cobwebs out of your life and see things a little differently. So grab the keys, head to your favorite store and look… touch… play and just have fun!

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Summer is right around the corner. What better way to get ready for the hot summer nights ahead than to spice up your wardrobe for a night out on the town dancing?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a dancer or a novice; wearing the right clothing that fits your style and body type makes you feel like moving with confidence and adds swing to your step that will make you want to get out on the dance floor.

You don’t have to go out and buy a new wardrobe to make a change. Buy a few essential items, add accessories and the stage is yours. Here are a few sizzling style trends:

Black and White: The graphics have it. From easy solids to bolder prints, this style is sure to be a hit no matter what your wallet says. Move from day to night into a jersey black and white printed sleeveless dress from White House/Black Market for $128. If you want more, try the printed jersey top black trumpet pleated skirt. Add clear beaded accessories and patent leather peep-toe pumps or sandals to complete the style.

Color Pops: Crisp and clear, nothing electrifies your wardrobe like a shot of color. From poppy red, grass green, hot yellow to cobalt blue, color is painting personality back into the scene. If blue is a personal favorite, you’ll be in luck. Kenneth Cole Reaction highlights the trend with a blue and green stripe pattern jersey dress for $139. Like siren red? Go for a jersey sleevelhalter top from Shine with a black flounced skirt or wide legged pants. Top it off with beaded accessories and a handbag.052107FASHION2.jpg

Metallics Shine: Dance like no one is watching? Shine bright with the mesmerizing metallics this season and heads are sure to turn. Check out the silver ensembles at The Limited that will accent any style. Try a pair of silver sandals from ballet flats to platforms completing the look.

Eyelets: Taking a twist on the past. Today’s eyelet style is feminine, sexy and stylish. Try a white eyelet skirt from INC for $89 with a white tank to dance the night away. Or opt for an eyelet cropped jacket over a black fitted dress.

Like any dance, your wardrobe not only is about presenting yourself but balance. It’s about the right fit for you. Go for styles and shapes that flatter your figure and lifestyle. Sleeveless tops, flouced skirts and capris glide with ease with shapely jersey knits that compliment your shape and move with you not against. This includes wearing denim with a little lycra to bend when you do.
When it comes to dancing, foundation is key; the same goes for your wardrobe. No matter the price tag, the right bra can transform a body shape and make the shoulders shine bright than to one with confidence. Go for a complimentary color or a clear strap to adjust to the new fashion trends.

And no wonder why women love to dance…it’s about the shoes! Wearing the right shoes is key to moving to the rhythm without a stumble. Leave the spiked heels at home, wear shoes that make you move. Heels should be stylish with a comfortable height. Secure straps add sex appeal and keep your feet groovin’ without falling out of your shoes. Check out for all of the goodies. Locally, Dillards and Macys carry stylish shoes. However, if you are seriously wanting to dance, carry the right shoes in trendy styles that will have you dancing like the stars.

Want to check out your new wardrobe on the dance floor but don’t have the steps? Check out Diana’s salsa classes at

Beginner classes include:


6:15pm at The Carnegie in Covington, KY
8pm at Delta 1018 Fitness in Mt. Lookout


7pm at Newport on the Levee


11am at Delta 1018 Fitness.

No partner necessary. No experience necessary. Wearing clothes with confidence-is necessary.


Click on the play button below to check out an exclusive Webcast interview with salsa dancing fashionista Diana Hoffman.