Reality Chic

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****for week of January 7th, 2010****

links a la mode

Bring It On

Edited by Dream Sequins

My job as editor this week was difficult as many bloggers decided to follow the fierce directive of that cult cheerleading movie, Bring It On. It’s a new decade, and the IFB community decided to “bring it” and then some. (Just to clarify, I’m talking about the original movie starring Kirsten Dunst, and not the subsequent, watered down sequels; because as fashion bloggers, we all have original stories to tell!) This week’s links explore topics such as winter trends, vintage fur care, biker chic style revelations and profiles of 70s and 80s style icons and are so good that they make me want to lead the group in a cheer.

Links à la Mode : January 7th

  • 39th and Broadway – NYC Brings Opportunity to Emerging Designers
  • A Typical Atypical – My style revolution takes me into the realm of the biker chick, and doesn’t look back!
  • amanda lee dot org – Essential sewing skills for wardrobe maintenance
  • Bobbins and Bombshells – Fashionable History – Airline Travel
  • DailyDivaDish – Indie jewelry designer Debra Mitchell’s newest piece: Tibet. Part of the new SALVAGE line, this necklace is convertible and each contains a piece salvaged from Tibet.
  • Darian Darling – The blonde fashion icon of every 80’s Hair Metal skank and rock star’s girlfriend!!
  • denimaniac – Woolrich Woolen Mills S/S 2010 Lookbook
  • Dream Sequins – A studio visit with designer Katie Gallagher
  • Fashion Pulse Daily – We Love Colors will fulfill your legwear fantasy, as Fashion Pulse Daily quickly discovers!
  • ferOHHHsh – Bryce d’Anice Aime S/S 2010 RTW … chic LBD’s, pops of red, and those spiked shoulders Rihanna made famous
  • Gotham Hipster – Once you’ve indulged in Babycakes there’s no going back
  • HiFashion – How to roller set your hair
  • Idiosyncratic Style – The Personal Style of Costume Designer, Melissa Stewart
  • Oranges and Apples – On the importance of critique in fashion blogging
  • Retro Chick – 5 New Years Resolutions you can’t fail to keep
  • sighsandwhispers – A history and analysis of the style of a notorious teenage groupie in the 70s, Lori Maddox
  • Style on a String – An interview with Judy Kou, owner of the fabulous online dress shop – Sunday Brunch Dress
  • Styletastic – We’re finding it hard to adjust to a new year at Styletastic, but here are some things we can all look forward to!
  • The Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire – I already knew I was going to wear a black sequins belt and beret for NYE, but I wanted some fun shoes to add to the mix; I couldn’t find anything I liked though, so I decided “when in doubt, make your own”
  • The door in my wardrobe – How to choose a vintage fur and take care of it – plus DIY repairing & maintenance for the brave of the heart
  • wit & whimsy – The winter trends you should be wearing

For most of us who can only sing about Christian Louboutin, Gucci, etc., there is creativity involved in looking chic without breaking the bank.  And for those of us who have seen Heidi Montag dress, well… you should know looking cheap doesn’t mean being chic.

5 ways to simply stay chic

1. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn, and stay classy by wearing black and white.  It’s hard to mess up this look .  Dressing in black and white might just leave people wondering how much you spent.

2. Shoes are a budget savior! You can find them everywhere and anywhere for great prices.  Leave your sneakers at home and wear a heel or boot to dinner.

3. Looking so good has never been so easy! Nowadays, thanks to the gloriousness of H&M and Forever 21, you don’t have to pay a fortune to get cute clothes!  These stores will not only guide you in the right direction, but give you a boost toward fashion-forward styles.

4. Layering and pairing, layering and pairing, layering and pairing….need I say it again?!  This is the best advice anyone can give you when it comes to looking effortlessly chic.  Who has money to spend on 3 or 4 expensive items?  Take that one nice jacket that you got for your b-day and pair it with the tank in your closet from Wal-Mart along with a scarf from Target and you’re good to go.

5. Break out of the rut!  It’s easy to get caught up in corporate america or college life, but it’s time to break free people!  You’ll never once see a women’s business suit on a cover reading “TREND ALERT”…unless your watching  CNBC or a presidential debate.  So don’t dress like you’re working or sitting in class 24/7!

Stay Chic, Stay Classy, but most of all Stay Creative!

Sequel to the previous blog.  Who would of thought??…Check this article out by NY Magazine’s The Cut

Often times it seems like there is a disconnect between the “real world” and parts of the “fashion world”.  I believe this is partly due to the fact that if you are a celebrity, live in NYC, or LA you can basically get by with wearing whatever you want.  As cool as this sounds (wearing whatever you want) it can sometimes create an illusion well…that you can wear whatever you want.  However, for the other millions of people who don’t live in the city, aren’t immune to public criticism, or aren’t a celebrity, wearing an outlandish outfit or dress that barely covers your butt, is going to get you some dirty looks and don’t be naive to think you won’t be a topic of conversation.

So how are we “real” people suppose to differentiate from what the top “stars” or fashion magazines advise us to wear this season. Listen to our “real” instincts! 

1. First, if the style is not flattering don’t wear it! For example… who in their right mind would wear harem pants besides M.C. Hammer (and is he really in his right mind)?!  There is nothing flattering about having a baggy crotch hanging low while the pant tightens around your ankles.

2. Second, if it’s never been in style it’s not going to magically come back in.  I was flipping through a popular magazine where the models were each wearing a different patterned skirt with a different patterned top that didn’t match.  Not only are patterns difficult to match, but wearing mismatched patterns together have never and will never be in style. When wearing this look, it’s as if they dressed in the dark. Matching colors and patterns together to compliment or accent each other won’t ever go out of style, so why try to change it?!

3. Third, the futuristic look won’t be in style  in 2010 and won’t be in style in 2030.  Just because it’s the future doesn’t mean we will all suddenly forget about comfort and start dressing like robots! Seriously.

There is something to be said about being fashionable without having to look like a fool. Some celebs and designers have this down while others seem to live in another world.  So for those of us “real” people who want to be stylish and trust in fashion magazines to guide us in the right way, don’t take that risk. Use your common sense! Don’t have any? Find a friend to help. Just remember, there is a difference in taking a risk and wearing something completely awful. Example: risk = leopard print shoes with a colored dress, hideousness= see through lace top or lace leggings.

It’s been famously said that “Beauty is Pain”, and honestly how can you not agree?!  Ever since the days with corsets, girdles, and hoop skirts women around the world have not strayed far from the uncomfortable apparel to look good in the eye of society, and not too much has changed after all this time.  We may not wear corsets or girdles everyday instead we’ve graduated to far better things like stilettos, heeled boots, and even Spanx!  Of course these are all things which make us look better none which are comfortable by any means.  I, like many girls out there, often try to convince myself that wearing cute shoes all day is worth it!  That is until I come home to blisters, soreness, and my pride all which does nothing to help the throbbing pain in my feet. 

Sure we women have rallied throughout time…women running for president, women CEO’s, women’s professional sports, and more, but I hate to be the bearer of bad news!  We haven’t come quite as far as we thought in the fashion world.  From not being able to breathe to elevating our height at a steep slant to wearing undergarments that force fat into unknown places. It’s amazing that at some point our common sense has yet to sink in.

Where did comfort get lost in the mix and growth of fashion throughout all these years?!!  Will our only resort be Dr. Schultz cushions and cotton clothes??  If so…here’s a toast to the next 100 years of beauty and pain.  May your feet be pedicured (often), stomach be sucked in (frequently), and prayers for comfort and style  to be combined be answered (soon…preferrably).

Men, this article probably isn’t for you… well, unless you wear a manzierre?!  Ladies let’s be real!  There are certain things that only a true friend will tell you.  So today I’m going to take the time to express my love for all my girl readers out there and be a true friend by telling you what many of yours won’t. 

First and foremost…underwear lines!  This isn’t cool no matter what size you are, and there is no excuse for it either!  Whether you are a 2 or a 20, no one wants to see what type of underwear or the outline along your buttocks!  As embarrassing as this is to tell someone, it might be a necessity if it’s happened more than once.  It’s not the prettiest site, and it’s awkward when you can see the whole outline of someone you’ve only known for 10 seconds.  Don’t act like the guys don’t notice, and don’t act like the girls don’t talk about it.  It’s one faux pas that can be nipped in the butt, literally!  The way to get rid of this growing epidemic (so maybe that’s a little overstated) is to wear under garments that do not show lines.  Choose wisely. If thongs aren’t for you, there is shape wear such as Spanx or non-brand names out there.  Also, often boy shorts work out!  There is a time and place for comfortable lined underwear, but when wearing pants that are tighter, this isn’t it!

Next, a bra that pinches your fat on the side is not only a sad sight, but also has to be extremely uncomfortable.  If you’ve watched Oprah you probably know about her bra intervention show; however, it is still reported today that over 80 percent of people (well..let’s hope just ladies) are wearing the wrong size.  Having four boobs or a uni-boob isn’t justifiably cool on anyone!  So to help a friend in need I am going to teach you how to measure for your bra size.  It’s really easy and will only take about 1 minute!  First, get out a tape measure.  Second, wrap the tape measure around right above your chest.  Make sure it’s parallel to the ground.  How many inches the tape measure says is how big your band size is such as 32, 34, ect… Third, wrap the tape measure right over top your unpadded bra.  How many inches the tape measure reads above your band size explains the cup size. For example: 32 inches is your  measurement for your band size, but then you measure a 34 around the top of your bra.  Since the 34 is 2 inches above your band size, your cup size is a B.   A= 1 inch above, B= 2 inches above, and C= 3 inches above…etc.  This is a simple way of measuring for the right size.  If worse comes to worse just ask someone at a department store or specialty store to measure you.  Just remember this isn’t church, so don’t let your cup runneth over!

The last faux pas is one that is affecting many girls today.  If you have to ask yourself whether you’re wearing a shirt or a dress, trust me it’s a shirt.  Unless you’re in Hollywood (even then it’s not okay)  you’re not going to get by without either getting snide looks, creepy guys, or being asked to put some pants on!  Ask your friend before you go out on the town, and if it’s during the day you shouldn’t even have to ask because you should know better.  Like mom always said if your hand goes past your shorts you probably shouldn’t be wearing them…and I’m only talking about the shirt!

So to wrap this up there are 3 rules to live by:  no visible panty lines, find the right bra size, and if the dress isn’t long enough wear it as a shirt.  People say rules are meant to be broken.  Well… NOT THESE!!

Unless you’re an absolute perfect fashionista, you have probably worn one if not more of these 20 outfits!  Some of these choices make no sense whatsoever while others are hideously still worn everyday around the U.S.  I have stated before that if you can be confident in an outfit, who’s to stop you from wearing it?  So here’s an ode to confidence and all its glory… 

1.  Vests that claim your occupation.  Teach A+

2.  Sandals with socks.  Helping grandpas everywhere be comfortable.

3.  Short shorts with boots. Oxy moron, right?!

4.  Flip flops in winter.  Can’t say I don’t love this!

5.  T-shirts that can date you. Wearing your high school T-shirt might be cool right after you graduate, but 10 years later it might be best to splurge on a new one.

6.  Shoulder pads.  There is nothing like giving yourself bigger and broader shoulders!

7.  Mom jeans.  These will almost definitely never be completely gone!

8.  Mismatched colors worn together.  Apparently it’s the new style. Who said being lazy wouldn’t pay off?!

9.  Mismatched socks.  Because no one ever really knows where the matching one is!

10.  Granny Panties.  After all, they are the most comfortable.

11.  Whitie Tighties.  Enough said?! 

12.  USA apparel.  God Bless America and its flag.

13.  Camoflauge.  Because the deer will never see me, even though I’m standing in line at Wal-Mart.

14.  Speedos.  It’s sad to say, but Europe won’t be going out of style anytime soon.

15.  Airbrushed T-shirts.  So everyone knows exactly where you were on Spring Break ’09!!

16.  Cut off jean shorts.  It’s a hand-made marvel!…ugh…Not so much!

17.  T-shirts with catchy sayings.  These were made for the people who want to feel cool while walking around!

18.  A wreath around your face.  Wait a minute..that’s just Lady GaGa!

19.  Pleather pants.  It’s like that Friends episode with Ross.  Unless you plan on feeling hot and sticky, stand clear!

20. Tennis shoes with khaki pants.  Men???!!!

These all can be labeled as classics; however, this doesn’t mean they are fashionable by any means.  The more you find yourself wearing the items on this list the more you might want to consult a friend in style.  Then again, who am I to bust what people have been wearing for years, right?!

Reality Chic: Because real people don't wear sparkle pants to Olive Garden!

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