Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hips, Hats, Hair ... and Tribal Print?

Remember those days when summer was coming and you didn't have a care in the World when it came to what to wear and when? You were built like a twig and could throw on anything from last summer and it would still fit.

That was the 'high school' you. Now that you're a grown woman with a figure, preparing for summer isn't as easy. No it's not just you who feels like you're not gaining weight but your body keeps getting wider. This is happening to me too. Those hips we have, they're evil bones. Is it possible to get hip plastic surgery? I know you can get hip replacement but can you get them pulled in closer together like they were before your body decided it was ready to bear quadruplets at a moments notice? I think God should have made it illegal for your hips to spread until you were actually carrying child. That's just me though.

Enough about our flaws... you know what's fabulous about this summer's fashion trends? They're flowy, draped, and ruffly and leave room to a eat a 5 course meal, develop a food baby, and no one will even notice! Ooooh Summer 2011, how we love you!
Go ahead, eat 5 chimichangas girl... no one will know!

Much like the spring trends... nautical theme is going strong but it's not the only theme taking over our wardrobes. Tribal print is here and is hunting you down. Personally, not a big fan, but I think I'm in the minority. I do have to admit, it looks precious on most women and adds that extra 'flare' we're all looking for.
Rain dance anyone? Just need some face paint and spears!

Cropped pants are fab-u-lous... especially cropped skinnies. We all need a few pairs to go with any top on any day. You can dress them up or down; wear them with platform pumps, or flats. They're convertible, comfortable and stylish. The ones with the buttons at the hem line that crawl up the leg, are super cute...and they match well with your nautical tops.

Jeans rarely make the Summer 'must-have' list because they're thick, bulkier, and don't breathe well. This Summer may be a bit different however with the comeback of the wide leg pant. These lovelies tend to be thinner (more trouser like) and allow some room for air to reach your otherwise suffocated legs. Thank you Carole Brady for allowing us to bring the wide legs back from the 70's. Disclaimer: if you find that you have shorter and thicker legs, these jeans may not be a great choice for you because they may shorten your leg and draw more attention to your bottom half.
Paige Wide Leg.. Doesn't get much better than this!

I feel like we've discussed fashion trends quite a bit but what about the other 'trends' that will accompany your new fashion like hair and accessories?

Bangin' bangs, whether you like it or not, are here and popping up everywhere on women's foreheads these days. You saw Taylor Swift with them at the American Music Awards and then you saw Sandra Bullock with them at the Golden Globes (take that Jessie!). They're fun and trendy, but not for everyone. Our advice? If you want to give them a try, take a fashion leap. If you end up not liking them, give them a month or two to grow a bit and push them to the side as a funky side bang, or clip them up in a cute 'poof' (no, not like Snookie's) until they grow out to a more comfortable length. If you have a long lean face, these may be a great choice for you. If you have a strong bone structure or more of a round face, you may want to think twice before choosing blunt bangs. This is because they could leave you looking more masculine than you'd like.
 Who wore it best?

Like many Summers before, beachy wavy tresses are absolutely in. Part your hair down the middle, add some spray gel to your damp towel-dried hair and you're on your way. Sometimes, by doing this, your hair can seem flat. To fix this just tease small sections of your hair around the crown, use your fingers to style it a bit, and you're golden. Need some extra body? Go purchase yourself some clip in hair extensions that are about the length of your natural hair, or a bit longer, and you'll have hair to be desired. You'd be surprised at how many women these days have extensions but hide them well.
Sarah Jessica shows us how you can dress up the hairstyle!

Much like, hmmmm, about 10 years ago, floppy hats are back in! They're so fabulous and functional and we will definitely be embracing this hat trend. Jennifer Lopez wore it best and first and we thank her for it. Now it's our turn to give this trend a test drive. Floppy hats look pretty stunning on just about anyone and they're quite the statement piece. Much better than Von Dutch trucker hats, right ladies? No worries, we haven't seem them making a comeback... yet.
No one wears it better.

What summer trends will you be welcoming into your wardrobe? If you're going o be rocking any of the looks above, send us a picture of you doing so and we'll show you off on our blog! Did you try the blunt bangs? Let us know your thoughts on the experience!

Until next time... Peace, Love, & Fashion

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are you a Fashion Felon?

Fashion rules, unsaid rules, common mistakes, and don'ts... some of us pretend they don't exist and others of us preach fashion rules like the word of the bible. Can I get an amen? Really though, fashion rules can be silly. Well, unless the fashion rule you're breaking has turned you into a convicted fashion felon... and if you wear a crop top with a big belly, you're definitely a felon.

One of the biggest fashion rules that we all try to abide by but don't know why is the 'No white after Labor Day' and before Memorial Day (or whenever) rule. Who made this rule anyway and what were they smoking? It seems as though historians can not quite agree on where this infamous rule came from. Some say the snobby elite, back in the 30's, created it so that they could mark claim over white clothing and keep the less wealthy from wearing such a pure and ritzy color when it wasn't 'in season'. 
 White Jeans are ready to wear at anytime, so cute! We have these currently in stock!

Regardless of the reason,  this rule makes me want to jump up and down and stomp my feet in detest. White looks good on everyone. I say we cape diem, pull a Coco Chanel and make white a staple wardrobe color all year long. What are your thoughts? We do have to admit that white shoes look a bit out of place in the cooler months, like white keds, or white knee high boots. Yikes!
Work it Coco!

How about some other rules that we can probably all agree on, like if you're over the age of 40 you should throw out your mini skirts. The age limit is actually debatable, but 40 seems like a good number. Whether you have cellulite or not, it's just not appropriate. UNLESS you're in your local redneck bar, single, and looking for a good classy man to take home to mama.

Speaking of skirts, how about the unsaid rule 'No uggs with skirts or shorts', like we discussed in a previous post. This rule also has an age limit which is at about 12 years old. If you're older than 12 and you're caught breaking this rule, expect to be whispered about.
Britney you ruined it for everyone!

Here's one that half of us probably don't follow... the rule about leggings. Leggings (like the thin black or gray ones) are meant to be worn under a short dress, tunic, or long shirt. If your top does not cover your 'bottom' then you're breaking the leggings rule. We do have to admit that if you have a bangin' body and have a really nice pair of leggings you can probably get away with showing off your bottom in leggings. But most of us do not fall into this category. So please ladies, I beg you, cover up your girly bits that no one cares to see. Leave some things to the imagination. You may think black camouflages everything, but you may be very wrong.
Uh oh... This is when it stinks to be a celeb.

Anyone try to match their eyeshadow to their outfit each day? This is another one that drives many people nuts. It's commonly said that this is a no-no, which I agree. But, sometimes it can look cute like on St. Patrick's day or Halloween. If you're wearing a blue blouse please shy away from blue shadow. We may live in the south, and bigger may be better in some cases, but not this case. Don't pull a Mimi from the Drew Carey show. Stick to neutral tones with a little touch of color here and there, but keep it subtle.
If you commit this fashion crime, you deserve imprisonment!

Oh how about this one... don't mix black and brown. Although this rule may ring true for men, it's become a fuzzy line in women's fashion. For example, wearing a black dress with a brown high waisted belt is reveered as fashionable and cute. I guess it really all depends on the trends of the times. One thing that doesn't change, if you're a man and you wear a brown belt with black shoes, you need to do an 'about face' and march right back into your closet and switch one of the two out.

Let's end on a rule we all can probably agree on. It's not okay to allow your bra straps to show, period. It's no longer 1995. Wearing a black bra with a white tank top is not okay. And while we're at it, it's not sexy to let your thong hang out from the top of your pants. A bra is defined as an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts. Key word being, undergarment. They're meant to support and not be seen.
Amy Winehouse... such a trendsetter.

Did we forget a fashion rule? Let us know, and comment with your thoughts on each rule whether you agree or disagree. It's nice to have different points of view.

Until our next blog post... rock that white year-round Coco, if you're getting older sell your mini skirts at your annual yard sale to your crazy redneck neighbor, wear your uggs in the safety of your own home, cover up your girl bits when rocking some leggings, don't duplicate your rainbow blouse on your eyelids, pair black and brown wisely, anddddd... Victoria's secret is her bra, she wants it hidden and kept a secret, don't disrespect Victoria!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Southern Woman's Shoe Guide

For those of us who have traveled outside of the South, we know that our 'must have' shoes are sometimes much different than the 'must haves' of northern ladies. Seeing as we are not from the north, we can't quite comment on what they wear up there but we sure do know what our shoe collection staples are on this side of the mason dixon line!

We do have a tip however for those who are traveling up north especially in the winter months. Do NOT bring heels. Seriously though, how do women survive up there without heels? Life must be so un-fabulous (yep, that's a word, we decided). Being the genius blond that I am, I traveled up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming one year to go skiing. I searched through my closet for shoes to pack and came across some knee high brown boots. The word 'boot' meant to me that they were perfect for the north. Who cares if they were 3" inch heels, they're called boots and that's all that matters. That turned out to be a big mistake. We went to dinner one night and I decided to slip on my cute brown boots. The second my foot hit the ice and snow covered pavement I ate it. Ate it meaning I fell on my rear end. I ended up having to be piggy backed carried to and from dinner. Perhaps I did it on purpose because who doesn't love a good piggy back ride!?

Anyway... this post is kind of catered to those of you who are not native to the South. We'll help you make sure your shoe closet is prepared for your new southern life. And for those of us who are Southern natives, please let us know if we're forgetting anything, because surely we will.

Have you ever heard someone say "Oh no I forgot my Rainbows at home!" or something along those lines and you're left asking yourself "What on Earth are rainbows?!" To decode, 'Rainbows' are a brand of flip flops that each and every one of us have in our closet to whip out on a daily basis in the summer months. To us southern girls, the word 'rainbows' is used in place of 'flip flops'. Much like the word 'kleenex' is used in place of the word 'tissue'. Are you wondering what these mysterious rainbows look like? Here you go:

Now, when it's cold outside we have a shoe we wear in place of our rainbows. They're closed toe comfy shoes, that some call 'boat shoes' but their real brand name is 'Sperry'. You will see many girls walking around in sperrys when they want to slip on something comfy and quick. You don't really have to tie them and you don't have to wear socks with them if that's your cup of tea. You can get them in tan, brown, white, and even a fun plaid pattern. These are probably the most popular style:
Let's mix it up a bit. Us southern girls love our flip flops whether they're rainbows or something more fancy. We like things with a bit of 'flare' in case you haven't noticed. Flip flops with studs or straps with a fun design, or even ones with funky patterns or in metallic, are must haves in our closets. Here's some we had in stock here at Blake & Brady that we fell in love with. These are such an easy way to dress up a basic outfit while still being comfortable.

Ready to go a bit further? For many of us short girls, and even taller girls, we like to take our flip flops up a notch. We rock ones with wedges or platforms, which causes them to no longer be 'flip flops' per say! They accentuate our short legs while allowing us to show off our cute pedicures. For some they're awkward to walk in, but for others they feel natural. Personally, I love them and wear them daily so that I'm not sniffing people's armpits all day, and when I have conversations I'm actually looking people in the eyes. Maybe I should add that I'm 5'0" tall and have quite a complex about my height. Perhaps I'm biased. Here's some great ones we have in the store:

Oh, 3"-4" in heels aren't that common up North? Well they sure are here! Whether you're 4'11" or 5'11", high heels are a must have down south. We love to flaunt what our mommas gave us and what better way to do it than to start from the ground up! Make sure you have a pair of high heels in your closet in all colors, patterns, and styles. They make any outfit fun and sometimes sexy. And don't worry, we only have about 2 or 3 days a year (maybe) that you can't wear these bad boys. They're fair game typically year round.
Let's end with something we all have in common no matter where we live... northern women and southern women both wear these next shoes and have for years. It's one type of shoe that we both consider staples in our closets and we'd be lost without them. Although, I'm sure our men wish they were never invented. Can you guess what we're referring to? UGGS of course! They're not as trendy as they use to be but we all love to throw them on when running to the grocery store when it's chilly out or just to sport around the house. We have to leave you with one tip though, a fashion 'don't' if you will. Do NOT under any circumstances where your uggs with a skirt or shorts unless you're below the age of 10. Now you can't say you didn't know, because we just told you!

What else do you think is a 'must have' in a Southern woman's shoe collection? Nude pumps? Knee high slouch boots? Leather black pumps? Gladiator heels? Or how about the new trend trying to take over, the open toe boot? pfft Yea right! (No offense to those who love them, actually maybe a little offense, there's no excuses for those).

If you pay attention to anything in this blog post, make sure it's the first two shoes mentioned. The rainbows and sperrys are definitely necessities for us southern girls. Happy Shopping!