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+!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
As part of Nolcha Fashion Week, held a couple of weeks ago, I attended the event’s annual brunch at Yotel in midtown Manhattan. At the brunch many different vendors were on hand including Msglocal by Glocal Connection, a company started by two friends to provide an e-commerce platform for global artisans and micro-producers, allowing them to make an income. The company curates beautiful handcrafted accessories by locals in communities across the country, and gives them the opportunity to sell their creations to a global audience. Additionally, Msglocal provides them with business coaching. The goal of the company is to achieve positive social impact via economic development: Impact GLObal Shop loCAL!
Check out some of the photos below to see just a few of the gorgeous creations by some of their artisans, and visit msglocalstyle.com to learn more.
ICU Eyewear, a global eyewear company featuring stylish designs at affordable prices, wants your opinion on the newest designs in two of their collections: Wink, a chic line of women’s frames or, Dr. Dean, a classically styled collection of specs for men.
As a special thank you for participating, ICU is offering the first 1,000 visitors who vote the opportunity to win the style they chose as their favorite. After the first 1,000 entries cast their vote and score their awesome prize, the giveaway will end. But, fashion-forward guys and gals who aren’t first in line will still be able to adorn their faces with stylish ICU specs, since they will receive a promotional code for a 40% discount to be redeemed at ICUEyewear.com.
The giveaway is open now through August 28th. Visit ReadInStyleGiveaway.com today to vote for your favorite style of readers, and instantly find out if you are one of the lucky winners.
No outfit is complete without the perfect accessories, but not every woman can afford to stock up on multiple pieces of jewelry to adorn herself with. Enter At Style 24/7, a new accessory website that fuses trendy costume jewelry with savvy prices. The website features a versatile collection of watches, bracelets, rings, earrings, brooches and necklaces for the budget conscious fashionista that wants to look great 24/7. The collection includes statement pieces that are sure to make anyone stand out, while vamping up bland outfits. Check out some of my top picks below, and visit their website to see more.
1. Women’s Fashion Watch, $70.00
2. Thick Black Leather Bracelet with Gold Metal Lock, $35.00
3. Pave Crystal Stretch Bracelet with Two Jaguar Heads Connected with a Metal Texture Circle, $35.00
4. Necklace and Earring Set with Multi Colored Flowers in Various Sizes, $63.00
5. Jaguar Hinged Ring with Black Epoxy and Pave Crystals, $19.25
Whether you will be spending the summer laying on the beach or fashionably strutting yourself to and from work, I’ve got you covered with the perfect summer handbags for every price point.
Sorial Ava Beach Totes
Make a statement, while keeping everything you need for the beach organized in one of these bold totes.
Kate Spade ‘grove court floral – tenley’ crossbody bag
Nothing says summer more than florals. Plus, the added pop of color makes this bag a showstopper.
For less money…
Forever 21 Studded Clear Tote
This very stylish tote, featuring faux patent trim with pyramid stud accents, looks more expensive than it really is.
Nine West 9 Jacquard Hobo
This slouchy-chic Nine West bag boasts plenty of pockets for your summer essentials. The teal color alone, reminds me of bright blue skies and refreshing beach waters.
XOXO New Horizon Hobo
This hobo just screams warm summer sunshine and is sure to brighten up any outfit.
Let’s face it. Weddings can seem like celebrity red carpet affairs with everyone decked out to the nines, with the hope of being crowed best dressed. Stand out in the crowd by taking a cue from two stars that know how to wear flattering styles and make heads turn.
The Outdoor Wedding: Celebspiration – Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton stunned in a long lace-chiffon gown at the 2012 “Our Greatest Team Rises -BOA Olympic Concert” in London, England. The chiffon material flows dreamily while keeping you cool, so it’s a great choice for an outdoor special event. Kate accessorized her outfit with strappy silver sandals and a clutch to match her gown. (Source of Kate Middleton Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe)
1. Embellished Lace & Silk Chiffon Gown, $292.80
2. Caparros Zarielle, $62.00
3. Amanda Logo Clutch Bag, Light Blue, $297.00
4. Jody Coyote Sterling Silver Earrings, Glass Teardrop, $18.90
The Black-Tie Wedding: Celebspiration - Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston appeared sophisticated and polished in a black and white formal gown at the 26th American Cinematheque Award Gala. She accessorized her look with a white clutch (and handsome man). Take the look up a notch by adding a little sparkle to your neckline. (Source of Jennifer Aniston photo: Source: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images North America)
1. Black and White Column Long Bridesmaid Dress, $179.00
2. 5 Row V Shaped Estate Freshwater Pearl Bridal Necklace, $49.99
3. French Connection Nina Sandal, $84.00
4. BCBGMAXAZRIA Lizard Envelope Clutch, $78.00
Summer is almost here, and you know what that means? You need a wide-brimmed hat to keep yours kin protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Because I care about your skin, I’ve searched far and wide (at least on the internet) to find you my top picks for the most sun proof hats that will keep you fashionable while offering a large circumference of protection. Behold:
Last week I had the opportunity to preview the 2013 holiday collection by Kensie jewelry. The collection features triangular shapes, monograms and celestial-inspired pieces. My favorite accessories are the sparkly moon necklaces, which is sure illuminate any outfit, regardless of the time of day. As a special treat, bloggers were treated to complementary tarot card readings; according my tarot card reader, 2013 will be the most exciting year of my life. Check out some of the photos I took at the event below.
The manbag: once a most unfairly maligned accessory that was reserved for the more, let’s say, sartorially serious gent. ‘Real men’, of the kind of butch masculinity heralded by Yorkie chocolate bars and McCoy crisps, would never be seen with anything so fey and useful , instead preferring to stock their pockets or maybe condescend to use a natty skate backpack, at a push.
But that would be me showing my age, for in recent years, the manbag has undergone a reputation overhaul and now is the accepted accessory of nary a man, regardless of personal style or degrees of butch, with everything from satchels to duffle bags thrown over shoulders.
Personally, I’m all for a good man bag: why should men be so heartlessly deprived of life’s greatest pastime (namely, bag shopping) while simultaneously forced to ruin the line of their trousers with overstuffed pockets? Tsk, this is an age of equality we live in and it is only right and proper that men should be able to enjoy the finer aspects of life just as we women do. But just as the most unyielding have come round to this way of thinking and begrudgingly accept that it’s possible for something other than the briefcase to be carried, Burberry have challenged us anew with the latest update to the manbag: the man clutch. I see those questioning looks on your faces; this isn’t a return of the murse, but rather streamlined bags to be carried much in the way you might your iPad, which can no doubt be handily stored inside. Burberry’s offerings included those in brightly coloured metallics (which could work with this season’s skater boy trend, in theory) but the early adopters of the trend on the street often tend to favour oversized, slouchy leather versions in simple black or brown leather, which are more ideal for those wishing to ease themselves in. There are even some to be found that come with a slim chain, so, when you tire of carrying it, you may causally adorn your shoulder. But I see I’m losing you again.
Now, this isn’t going to be for everyone, I grant you, and it may take a few more seasons for the majority to come round, but if you can pull this one off with aplomb, why you’ll look the height of sartorial elegance.
And if anyone questions your choice of accessory, simply throw them a withering look of pity, deprived as they are of the wonder of the manbag. Or failing that, pretend like it’s your girlfriend’s…
Amy Lavelle is a journalist from UK fashion comparison site Style in View. She’s contributed to a number of publications including Spindle magazine.
Today, April 22nd, marks Earth Day. Last week, I told you how you can get great skin while supporting a green initiative, and today, I’m featuring a way you can complement your great skin and eco-friendly lifestyle with ICU Eyewear. Specs from ICU are a fashionable way you can protect your eyes, while protecting the environment. Since the launch of its first “Eco Reader” in 2006, ICU has used the most sustainable materials including bamboo, recycled metals, and other plant based materials, to manufacture many of its reading glasses, sun readers and sunglass styles.
Product Recycling Program
ICU encourages consumers to recycle their readers so materials can be repurposed. Through the company’s product return and recycling program, customers can return used eyewear to the company’s warehouse to be recycled. Glasses that are in good condition are donated to organizations that distribute eyewear to those in need. To date, ICU has donated over a 100,000 pairs of glasses through various programs worldwide. Learn more here»
Last week I attended the Summer/Fall 2013 jewelry preview event of Kensie, held at the company’s beautiful showroom in New York City. I believe a woman’s outfit is never complete with at least one accessory, so I was excited to see the new pieces, which will be available at Macy’s later this year. Whether your style is boho chic, low-key or elegant, there is something for everyone in this collection. The Summer/Fall line is an eclectic mix of colorful statement pieces and metallic jewelry, some of which feature fun geometric shapes.
I am in love with the bangle sets in the “Shine Like Stars” collection, which are engraved with inspirational words (seen below) and will make great gifts for upcoming graduations, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Click on photos to enlarge.
My favorite accessories in the whole room were from the Rooftop Party Gasoline collection. The see-through, lace-like architectural design of the necklaces, earrings and braceltes creates a unique effect and is absoutely stunning.
Which pieces from the Summer/Fall 2013 collection are you coveting?
In the past I’ve written about Maya Brenner Designs, a high-end jewelry collection favorited by some of the most hottest celebrities. This week the jewelry company is kicking off 2013 by having a celestial sale – 40% off all zodiac necklaces and birthstone rings through Jan. 14. Since the year has just begun, you can buy a special zodiac accessory for someone you know and hold onto it until their birthday. Or, just grab one for yourself – at 40% off why not?
1. Druzy Necklaces, $40.00
2. Jay King Blue Lace Drusy Sterling Silver Drop Earrings, $89.90
3. Peter Ciesla Necklace, $690.00
4. Liz Larios Black Garnet Nugget Ring, $170.00
5. Raw peridot stud earrings, $14.00
6. Crystal Cave Rock Ring, $20.00
A quick and easy way to add flare to your outfit is to add a hint of animal print. However, even easier is going from stylish to tacky when wearing animal print. To avoid overdoing any print, try it out on one piece of your outfit. If you are feeling bold, try a printed dress. Make sure that the print is not too busy, and keep your accessories simple.