Accessorize to Give New Life to Old Dresses
Wedding season is upon us, ladies. Your fridge door is crowded with save-the-date cards and fancy invitations to the dozens of spring and summer weddings of your friends and relatives.
Your first thought? “What will I wear?”
It’s actually a more serious question that it seems – with each new nuptial you attend, you have to plan out a dress, a purse, jewelry, and shoes that all look great together and make you feel gorgeous. And each of these ensembles comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
What stops you from befriending the local dry cleaner and wearing the same getup to every wedding are the overlapping guest lists and the corresponding fear that your repeat outfit will be the stuff of catty restroom chatter.
This wedding season, instead of dropping half of your paycheck on a new dress for every event, find fun ways to give a previously-worn frock new life.
We all have those beloved dresses that fit us like a glove – the problem is that we can’t get away with wearing them even one more time without people noticing. This is where your local tailor steps in and gives your old dress the Cinderella treatment.
A great tailor can transform your dress in a way that leaves all the things you love intact. Your options here are endless, but it really depends on the dress. Whatever you do, find a seamstress you can trust by checking out online reviews or seeking referrals from friends; you don’t want to put your favorite frock in the hands of just anyone.
Here are a few examples of transformative alterations:
• Have a long dress shortened
• Add cute cap sleeves to a sleeveless dress
• Add pretty straps to a strapless gown
• Remove sleeves/straps to create a strapless look
• Add a fun peplum
• Change out the bodice or skirt with new fabric
• For the brave, have a dress dyed a new color
Accessory to the Dress
Really, a dress is just the start of a special occasion look. Accessories can make two women wearing identical dresses look very different. They can change the overall effect of a dress to the extent that no one will notice that the dress you have on at Cousin Ellen’s wedding is the same one you wore to Uncle Tim’s wedding a month ago.
If you know from the start that you will be repurposing a dress several times, it’s best to go with a solid color as opposed to a print – this will make it much easier to play with bold accessories. The first step is to decide on a color scheme. Be brave; choose a less common color combo for a look that will definitely make people forget that they’ve seen that dress before. If you have, for example, a dove grey dress, try all sunny yellow accents for one wedding, and then white and lavender accessories for the next one. The focus will be on your fabulous earrings, shoes, belt and purse rather than your repeat dress.
Hair & Makeup
Playing with your own natural beauty is one of the best ways to change your style. A new hair and makeup look can lend the same dress very different feels. But don’t feel like you have to spend big bucks at the salon – thanks to the hundreds of helpful hair and makeup tutorials available online, you can get a pro look at home if you’re willing to put in a bit of time and effort.
When trying to alter the appearance of your outfit, choose completely opposite hair and makeup. The first time you wear the dress, leave your hair down in loose beach waves and go for a soft, angelic look on your face. When you repeat the dress, try an elegant updo with a smoky eye and a sexy red lip. These styles are so different that no one will remember that the dress is the same.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to repurposing a great frock. Try adding new, spotlight-grabbing components that you haven’t worn before. For example, take a page out of the young royals’ fashion playbook and explore the world of formal hats and fascinators, which have made a huge return to women’s fashion in recent years.
There’s such a huge range of options available that even the most conservative fashionistas can find a suitably subtle headpiece. But, if you like making a statement with your look, opt for a larger design that adds volume and interest to your look. Just note that the larger the hat or fascinator, the more subtle your other accessories should be. The last thing you want is for your beautiful accent pieces to be competing with one another.
If Kate Middleton can rock the same dress to multiple very public events, you can surely get away with wearing the same thing to a couple of weddings this spring and summer. And, let’s be honest, finding the right accessories is the fun part anyway.
Just make sure that you’re comfortable and feel great in whatever variation of the look that you choose. If you feel beautiful and exude confidence, no one will ever question your fashion sense.
Author Bio: Nicole Betti is the owner of Gold Coast Couture, an online shop that specializes in high-end, formal accessories from a wide array of European designers. Nicole’s main passions are wedding hats & fascinators, which inspired her to carry exclusive collections that are rarely available in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.goldcoastcouture.com/ or connect with Nicole on Google+!
Now that the weather is wearing up and summer is fast approaching, it’s time to begin searching for the perfect swimsuit to show off that gorgeous body you’ve been hiding under layers of winter clothing. If you’re looking for swimwear that will give you a trendy edge check out Kalimera, the latest collection from Catatsis Swimwear. Designed by Carolina Bagg, the swimsuits in the collection were inspired by Bagg’s trip to the Greek islands and incorporate everything from Greek architecture to the color of the sunsets. The bottoms are available in a Brazilian, Italian and moderate cuts, offering a variety of different options for every woman’s comfort level. The tops are beautifully designed and feature flirty cuts and intricate details. Check out some of the bikinis available in the collection below and click here to learn more.
TeKay Designs, a couture house based in Houston, debuted its “Queen of the Brides” royalty themed bridal gowns during New York Fashion week this past February. The collection was inspired by the elegance of historic monarchas, and featured luxury fabrics, textures and colors.
Not only were the gowns unique, but the faces that graced the runway were as well, as diversity was applied to the model search.
“Women of royalty are represented from all over the globe through these gowns,” explained Kimma Wreh; the Fashion Designer and Creative Director for TeKay Designs. “Places such as Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East influenced the current collection. The gowns express cultural themes that resonate with many ethnic groups.”
Some gowns featured intricate embroidery, while others were accented with shimmering beading. Each represented a woman of royalty who has left behind an indelible mark. “I am proud to present a bridal collection that acknowledges style aesthetics that many cultures have contributed to humanity.” said Kimma.
Check out some of the photos below to see some of the gowns that were inspired by women of royalty from various cultures throughout history.
A few weeks ago I attended an event where I was introduced to Bandelettes, a brand that produces thigh bands to relieve all of the uncomfortable problems of inner thigh chafing that many women encounter when wearing skirts and dresses.
What is chafing? It’s the irritation skin may experience due to the repetitive friction from a specific area, such as the thighs, rubbing together. Bandelettes prevents this problem, with an exclusive trademarked and patented design that features non-slip silicon on the underside of elastic lace that lightly wraps thighs and stays in place. The result: no more redness and soreness and the elimination of messy powders or lotions. Moreover, the garment is not just functional, but aesthetically pleasing, as the 6-inch long chic lace can provide a sexy peek-a-book look to rev up any outfit.
Developed by Rena Abramoff and Julia Abasova, the product is available in 4 different shades for $14.99 each. Get one now»
Every looked for a fashionable way to store your makeup brushes? The Hold Me Company has just announced a new size to their line of makeup organizer bags, The Hold Me Middle Sister Bag. The eco-friendly mid-sized bag is just a step-down in size from the largest and original Hold Me Bag and perfectly fits inside an average purse for easy transportation. Available in 11 different patterns, including basic black to bright pinks, the bag is a chic way to organize an assortment of cosmetics and brushes that can be stored for daily use. Closed, the Middle Sister Hold Me Bag measures, 9″ H, by 6″ W, by 2.5″ D, and extends to 20″ W when fully opened, giving full access to makeup and brushes with 8 separate brush sleeves. The exterior of the bag is made of vegan black suede, and the bag includes a removable bottom liner.
Hand made in the USA, the Hold Me Bags are available in three sizes and retail for $60 to $95. The Hold Me Bags can be purchased online and at fine makeup and beauty supply retailers.
We’ve all been there, whether it’s the same pair of gym sneakers you wear religiously every time you work out, or those comfy pair of ballerina flats you’ve had for years, it’s inevitable that these footwear will develop funky odors that won’t go away no matter how many times you wash them. Recently, I had the opportunity to learn more about a new product called Sole-Socks, a customizable shoe insole developed to absorb sweat and odor from your feet throughout the day so you can wear the fashionable no-sock look in the summer and have cool, comfortable feet.
The design is simple – a plush terry cloth top that absorbs the moisture and odor is stitched together with a cotton layer of fabric for durability with a breathable base attached to grip the inside of t your shoe and prevent slipping. The base is multifunctional as it is designed in a way that allows your foot to “breathe” while also acting as an extra layer of padding and support for your tootsies.
The product is currently pending production, as the creators have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds (at least $4500). Interested in learning more? Head over to the company’s Kickstarter page for more information or to pledge to support.
Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes and thought “I wish I could store my candy, flowers or business cards in them?” Me, neither; but, when I saw these fabulous creations on Esty by SoleSensations I had to share them with you. Check out some of the “Fantasy Shoe Creations” below that are not just works of art, but also function as more than just personality for your home décor.
During New York Fashion Week designer Diego Binetti revealed his FW14 collection title LOVE. The collection features cape-like wool coats, wild prints, and oversized knits and tops. According to Binetti, “The LOVE by Diego Binetti FW14 has a spirit that is Nomadic with a city-slicker vibe…LOVE collection is unapologetically street-inspired with a sophisticated bohemian flair.”
Stylist Jenny Balding created the hair look for the collection’s debut developing hairstyles that had a naturally disheveled, rocknroll, effortless feel. “This is a woman who wouldn’t spend much time on her hair, but looks effortlessly sexy and disheveled. “ said Balding. “Enhancing natural beauty was key for this look.”
Here are the steps to create the look:
•Start with clean, dry hair to showcase hair’s natural texture
•Use a dry shampoo like Redken pillow proof blow dry two day extender & oil absorbing dry shampoo to give body and volume at the roots
•Spray section by section from the nape of the neck, right up to the front hairline
•Mist hair all over with a light hairspray – “I used Redken fashion work 12 versatile working spray as you can layer it on without it becoming sticky” said Balding.
•Use a large curling iron only to create a bend in the mid shaft of the hair – this creates movement and texture
•Shake your hair out and let it fall into its natural part to give this effortless, sexy disheveled finish
On Friday, February 14th I attended the 6pm show of Couture Fashion Week featureing designers Nonye Lumm Couture, Wesley Petermann and Marisol Henriquez.
Set to the pulsating beats of African music Nonye Lumm Couture was first up with a vivid display of gorgeous evening gowns, billowing dresses and tailored suits. The edgy androgynous creations of swiss designer Wesley Petermann was up next. Highlights included a show-stopping fur dress creation, and a flamboyant Lady-Gaga-esqe metal top with spikes. Lastly, Marisol Henriquez presented her with “Retro Texturas” Collection featuring rich and varied textures, oversized bows and translucent bodices.
On Monday, February 10th I attended the A/W 2014 Presentation of London fashion designer Misha Vaidya at New York’s Lali Lali Gallery. Vaida’s clothing line By Misha, which launched in 2011, always unveils a collection with a unique story and theme. This season’s collection titled “Eloquence,” debuted against a simplistic romantic backdrop of hanging lights in a dimly lit room. Featuring deep colors such as navy, burgundy, mustard and olive-green, the collection includes expertly tailored cropped jackets, flowy dresses, pencil skirts and several lace pieces. Check out some of the photos below to see some of the garments that were on display.
Looking for you next fashionable outfit? Check out the new arrivals at Liveinfashion.com , an online boutique launched in December 2009 by Michelle Akers. The website features unusual, daring and bold pieces for the woman who dares to be different and is a reflection of Akers’ unique style. The new winter collection includes feisty jewelry pieces, sultry peek-a-boo black garments, and metallic gold and silver fashions at affordable prices. Check out some of the new items available now below.
Paris Hilton was spotted wearing a fabulous red jacket at LAX Airport at the end of December.
Steal her look with one of these similar looking jackets:
For More Money:
For Less Money:
What do you get the name brand aficionado in your life who has everything? How about a limited edition brown and beige monogram Louis Vuitton teddy bear? The bear named DouDou, is the only teddy bear made by Louis Vuitton in 150 years, and recently became available at NYC’s Toy Tokyo for a whopping $8,999.99, a steep price to pay for a toy stuffed with cotton. The bear was first offered to the top 500 Louis Vuitton VIPs worldwide during the 2004-05 Fall/Winter mens runway collection. Now, DouDou is available for regular non-VIP folk who have enough bank to spend on this exclusive item. Interested snagging one? Click here.
Walking. It’s something most of us do every day without really thinking too much about it. Juil, an innovative footwear company is trying to change that. The company, launched in February 2011, creates footwear that aims to recreate the sensation your feet feels when walking barefoot in a concept called grounding. Advocates of grounding assert that when one’s bare feet comes in direct contact with Mother Earth, toxic electrons that cause medical ailments are absorbed into the ground like a magnet; thus, constant contact to the Earth is vital for our well-being.
Since walking barefoot is not feasible for our everyday lives, and the outsoles of shoes prevent the connection with the Earth, Juil has developed a variety of trendy footwear that not only look fashionable, but allows the electrons to flow between your body and the Earth. All of the footwear contains copper dots which act as a conduit, allowing the connection so that the body may be cleansed of stress and toxins in the form of free radicals.
For a couple of days last week I tested The Cap Toe in Snakeskin (pictured above). The soft insoles are very comfortable and when I am wearing the flats it feels almost as if I am, well, barefoot. Immediately, my feet felt relaxed when I put them on and continued to be at ease as I strutted around the city running errands. I can’t really speak on the grounding proprieties of the shoes, as I am a generally healthy individual; but, I do like feeling like I’m doing something good for my body just by wearing a comfy pair of flats. And, when you buy a pair of snazzy Juil footwear, you will feel good before you even put the shoes on – for each footwear purchased, the company donates a pair to a person in need in a developing country.
Learn more about Juil and see more of their footwear options by visiting their website here.
FTC Disclosure: The shoes were provided gratis for review.
Over the summer I was sent a gorgeous zipper bracelet cuff from Maslindadesigns, a boho chic indie brand that focuses on contemporary jewelry and one of a kind hand bags. The stylish cuff came enclosed in a beautiful floral pouch, which revealed the fashion accessory. The zipper cuffs by Maslindadesigns have an 80s punk influence and looks great when layered with other leather and chain bracelets. Handmade in Greece, the cuffs feature long heavy-duty zippers and can be customized to your exact hand measurements. Some of the stylish arm candy available is pictured above. Click here to visit the company’s website to see more designs.
A popular statement piece in the 90s, ear cuffs have returned and are here to stay, for a least a little while. Celebrities from Alicia Keys to Emma Stone have been spotted rocking the decorative ear pieces, and if you are just as daring as those lovely ladies, then here are some options to make your outer ear stand out.
During Couture Fashion Week held in NYC this past September, there were various exhibits stationed outside the entrance of the Grand Ballroom, including Oksana Tanasiv, a Ukrainian-born American artist who recreates fashion as a 3-dimensional art using fabric and Swarovski® crystals on canvas. The unique collection of oil paintings is really something to be admired. Beautiful crystals sparkle and glimmer off of “Secret” (pictured above) and soft fabric realistically drapes off the canvas of “A La Dior” (pictured below). Each masterpiece would make the perfect gift for the die-hard fashion enthusiast in your life. For more information and to see more pieces in the collection click here.
The other day I was sitting on the train in New York City and could not help but admire the feather earrings worn by the woman sitting across from me. Her outfit was nothing more than a plain grey t-shirt and blue jean shorts, but the addition of the long maroon feather earrings dangling from her earlobes took the outfit from bland to chic. Try adding some (faux) feather earrings inspired by your favorite bird, and watch your outfit pop. Below are some suggestions.
A couple of months ago I was introduced to a fabulous new handbag line, Comes With Baggage, designed by NYC style maven Lori Levine. The sassy line features vintage handbags with bold expressions in a variety of colors and textures for the woman who wants to make a statement without having to say a word. Some examples of the sayings on the bags include, What Are You Bitches Lookin’ At? and my personal favorite, Protect Me from What I Want. In addition to the audacious one-liners, Comes With Baggage also features a bridal line with charming taglines such as Happily Ever After, @Wifey, and Old New Borrowed & Blue.
Whether it’s to the gym or on a night out on the town, color blocked leggings are a chic wardrobe must-have wearable any time of year. Take advantage of the trend, but remember, not all leggings are created equal….be sure to wear the most appropriate one for each activity.
As part of a fashionable outfit:
To the gym:
The recent Couture New York Bridal Fashion Week, held at the Hilton hotel in New York City, was home to many beautiful wedding gowns this season. But, amongst the sea of chiffon, the collection that stood out the most to me was Je vous aime by Cymbeline. The European company debuted its 2014 collection featuring regal gowns delicately constructed by hand with intricate lace detailing and embroidered bodices. Whether you’re preparing to walk down the aisle or just fantasizing about it, the collection, which evokes the spirit of French romanticism, features options that appeal to every woman. Here are some of my top picks.
The Timeless Beauty
The traditional bride will love the simple elegance of dresses like Hadda and Hane (shown below). The soft, romantic ball gowns with large skirts have a lightweight, airy appearance, while still looking luxurious and feminine.
The Vintage Princess
For the bride that wants to feel regal and channel the classic Grace Kelly look with a sheer bateau neckline and a blossoming skirt, dresses like Hippie and Himalya offer a modern twist on Kelly’s timeless look. Cymbeline also offers numerous hand-made wedding boleros and cover-ups that can be purchased separately to achieve a similar look.
The evocative sheer corset bodices and dramatic tulle flounces featured in dresses Holly and Hirma will be appealing for the fashion-forward bride that wants to turn heads and feel sexy on her wedding day.
The Simple Bride
Not all weddings call for extravagant gowns. Some brides opt for more simplistic looks on their big day and dresses such as Hermione and Hera are perfect for these no-fuss wives-to-be. Perfect for a beach or outdoor wedding, the delicate fabric on these lightweight dresses offer a graceful and romantic wedding look.
The full 2014 collection can be viewed here»
Last week I had the opportunity to view the collections of Jade & Jasper, a trendy accessories company based in New York City offering incredible jewelry at great prices. Whether your style is European vintage or urban grunge, there is something in the collection that appeals to every woman. The stylish pieces are made out of the finest materials with extraordinary attention detail, so it’s not surprising that celebrities have snatched up various items in the collection. Check out some of the jewelry below and visit jadeandjasper.com to learn more.
On October 9th the 3rd Annual United Colors (UCOF) was held at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City. Event Honorary Chair Fern Mallis presented legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award against a colorfully lit backdrop that spelled out the night’s theme in oversized letters: FAITH. HOPE. FASHION. Additionally, the event honored Sade Solomon, UCOF’s top student, with the Achiever of the Year award. Solomon presented her first collection featuring bold geometric cuts and a feminine tomboy aesthetic to the packed room of attendees.
In addition to Solomon, seven international designers showcased their collections: David Tlale, Marc Bouwer, Naked Ape by Shaldon Kopman, Ron n’ Ron, Sukeina Kosibah, and Carmen Marc Valvo.
Founded in 2010, United Colors of Fashion is a New York City-based non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides a free fashion education and mentorship program to under-resourced youth in New York City. The organization also offers financial assistance, food, and clothing to youth in South Africa who are living with HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell anemia and paralysis. Proceeds from the gala’s ticket sales will go towards the cost of running a year’s worth of the orginzation’s programs.
Check out photos from the event below.
If you add one item to your fall must-have list, make it a Joseph Nogucci bracelet. Designed by a team of University of Toronto Architecture graduates, each piece in the line is meretriciously handcrafted using the finest materials, and invokes Buddhist traditions to bring you positive spiritual energy in a fashion-forward accessory. One of the most popular items in the collection is the Dharma Stone bracelets; each feature a silver plated Tibetan Buddha head and are meant to allow you to embrace the essence of truth and inner peace. My personal favorite is the shimmering bracelets in the Kikiballa collection, which feature dazzling Swarovski Elements Crystals and is a symbol of peace, tranquility and happiness. Check out some of the arm candy below and visit josephnogucci.com to learn more.
FTC Disclosure: These products were provided for review