There's No Place Like (Zara) Home

zara homeIf you're like me, Zara occurs to you when you need to find a cute and inexpensive trend piece to wear.  Never before have I considered the brand for home decor.  Never, that is, until I stumbled upon this adorable chevron LEATHER patchwork rug (roughly 4'6"x6') for...wait for it...$449!!  Sure, it's on sale but even at $799 we're not talking astronomical pricing for a leather (did I happen to mention it is LEATHER?!) rug. My inner foot is kicking my own behind (yes, I'm also a contortionist) because last year I spent twice that much on an 8'x10" wool version of this item.  Considering how hot chevron is, the above rug (and the one I bought) represent trend pieces and so the bottom line is that $449 is a much more kind price for something I know I'll be switching up in a few years.  Before I make my next fun/trendy decor purchase, I will stop at (Zara) Home first.

Good Vibra(m)tions

vibramPart of my job, particularly during a Closet Cleanse, involves giving my clients permission to let go of things.  Once that hurdle is overcome, most people are ecstatic to rid their lives and closets of items they have long hated/made them feel guilty/didn't fit/were (awful) gifts.  The flip side of the purge coin is knowing when and how to rescue something that has lost its former lustre - particularly when it represents a significant investment. In a walking city like NY, this discussion often revolves around shoes. Let it be noted that I always ALWAYS encourage my clients to go immediately to the cobbler (prior even to an inaugural wear) and reinforce new shoes so they never get to the point of no return.  And by reinforce I mean specifically Vibram brand rubber soles, rubber tips, and rubber taps;  Women and men heed this important warning!!  But sometimes people forget or get careless and don't take this extra step (no pun intended).  I see a ton of shoes that resemble those on the left in the photo above.  If the client is lucky, though, and if the sidewalk or subway grates have not yet "bitten" into the main part of the shoe, Vibram can still be added and the shoe effectively rescued from the clutches of the trash heap!  But the moral of this story is that it's soooo much more cost effective to simply replace the soles of your shoes rather than to replace the shoes themselves.

I know, I know - you are a Louboutin lover like I am.  Do not fret because Vibram even comes in red - no need to sacrifice the pièce de résistance of your beloved pumps!  Now that I have robbed you of all of your excuses, go forth immediately to the cobbler so you may restore zen to your shoe closet.  And remember that an upfront investment of $30-$50 will save you hundreds (let's be honest - thousands if you love Louboutins) down the proverbial road.

Weather Or Not

rainmanI'm a huge advocate of the philosophy:  If you can't beat them, join them.  That's how I've been feeling about the weather all year.  The snow was appalling and so I bought dope snow boots.  The rain has not been much better and so I took a similar course of action.  But what of the options for men?  Lest you think rubbers (remove mind from gutter) are the only choice, I offer this stellar option by Rain Man.  These super sleek rain resistant shoes will look cool whether or not there's a cloud in the sky.  Wear them with jeans, trousers, or a suit and you will not only look fly but stay dry.  (I couldn't help myself.)

Fashion Math: My Go-To Beach Formula

jennie kwonI'm leaving for vacation on Sunday (Hello, beach! And a tip of the hat to you, pool-side cocktails!) and can't stop my mental turnstile from displaying swim-ready looks.  So let's talk fashion math.  A formula I always find super sexy is a strappy bikini coupled with delicate layered necklaces.  An example: this sultry neoprene suit from Lisa Marie Fernandez with the above featured Jennie Kwon necklace and yet another simple but stunning Jennie Kwon creation.  I'd do them both in yellow gold but get the diamond arc necklace in 16" and the knife edge cross necklace in 18" for perfect layering.  Toss on this cover up and these darling Valentino sandals and head straight to Malibu.

NY Fashion Week: What to Wear & How to Get Around

dezma dressIt's NY Fashion Week and to keep the excitement going around the clock I'm reading the memoir, Grace, by one of my fashion idols, Grace Coddington.  I've just passed a chapter where she recounts Fashion Week in the 60s and discusses how the sole focus was the collections - so foreign from the spectacle we know today!  These days a show isn't a SHOW unless the front row is packed with celebs and all attendees are dressed to the nines. Unsurprising to my faithful readers, one of my favorite aspects of fashion week is selecting outfits for myself and my clients to wear to the shows!  This year, my favorite ensemble is the Elie Tahari Dezma dress (the laser-cut leather number pictured above) with my (current) favorite Alexis Bittar necklaces (one, two, three) and the divine Connor Sandal also by Elie.  I imagine you saying, "Wardrobe Whisperer, surely you jest.  Sandals in all of this snow?!  You are a lunatic!"  And I say to you, gentle readers, YES I am lunatic and I also endorse the sandal for this special week.  I endorse the sandal and I will tell you how to pull it off.  Simply observe my cardinal rule of Fashion Week:  use a car service instead of cabs.  Car services can be scheduled in advance and will take you door to door sans the tromps through the snow and the post-show cab fights.  With your impeccable look and good planning you might just have an opportunity to meet some of your own fashion idols.

P.S.  And a bonus fashion week photo that I could not resist posting for obvious reasons:

becks and baby becks

De Blasio Ladies Decidedly Not Blah

Bill De Blasio Sworn In As New York City MayorI don't think that any New Yorker will debate that with the first chill of winter (did that happen in July this year!?), the city becomes a sea of black.  For that reason, coats in colors are my go-to for clients looking to breathe new life into their winter wardrobes.  (Not to mention, it's a heck of a lot easier to identify your outerwear at a party.) So when I peeped the De Blasio ladies sporting chic Nanette Lapore coats at the Mayoral Inauguration I found myself applauding their sage fashion choices.  And what a boon for Nanette Lapore and the Garment District in general! Dear Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA President and biggest proponent of the Garment District, please consider this a belated birthday (December 31) gift!

Love, The DeBlasios

How Anna Wintour Stole Christmas

annawintourYou better watch out... You better not cry...

You better not pout...

I'm telling you why...

Because if your mother is Anna Wintour then she will probably toss your Christmas tree out before Christmas day.

It's a little known fact that not only was the main character in The Devil Wears Prada based on A.W. but the main character in this popular film as well:

Grinch

What To Wear to Your Office Holiday Party

reiss partyThere are so many things to fear in this world (kid nappers, terrorists, missing Barneys warehouse sale), so WHY do people still fear the pairing of navy and black?  (Cover your ears, Elie Tahari, oh champion of this combo!)  I love the subtle contrast and the deviation from the standard LBD options.  Take the REISS Saffron pictured above.  This dress and its color palette allows you to be sleek and sophisticated and yet not risk too much which, incidentally, makes it a perfect option for your office holiday party.  And speaking of your office holiday party, re-read the first part of the previous sentence.  That applies to your decorum at said event as well.* *Wardrobe Whisperer will now step down from playing the role of your mother.

 

Tease Ts

playboy-kate-moss-t-shirtRooting around in some storage boxes recently (trying to find a photo of me at my first  Goldman Sachs desk which featured an unobstructed view of the Twin Towers) I stumbled upon a 1964 copy of Playboy whose highlights included an interview with Salvador Dali (hilarious!!) and some gorgeous photos of Brigitte Bardot.  And, I must admit, I read it cover to cover...for the articles of course. It's Playboy's 60th anniversary this year and they wisely shot the Bardot-like Kate Moss for this pivotal, though chaste, cover (and for some stunning artsy nude shots inside -the second pic is my absolute fave.)  Unsurprisingly, Marc Jacobs (the opportunist that he is) has created a $35 t shirt to commemorate this iconic edition.  I will give credit where credit is due, the t is adorable.   I will be rocking mine with black waxed jeans, sexy booties, a draped cardigan, and of course some Prada bunny ears. OK, maybe not the ears.

The Devil (who wears Prada) Is in the Details

  prada shoeAs I was flitting through Saks this past weekend sourcing shoes for a client (who was happily sitting in the lounge sipping a whiskey), I was rendered temporarily motionless by these Prada bluchers.  I literally stopped dead in my tracks at the site of them.  I have long been a fan of Prada for men's shoes (just try to find more comfy drivers), but these blew my mind.  As with most things in menswear it all boils down to the details (and the fit).  The perforated pattern on these puppies is sheer genius- elegant and modern and the least boring thing I've seen in a long time.  Note that they are available not only in classic black but in my newest never-fail shoe color, oxblood (above).  So rich and perfect with anything:  grays, blues, browns...even black.  Get a belt that corresponds and literally never think again about which shoe color is the proper choice.  But before you quit thinking take these beauties to the cobbler and have them soled with Vibram in order to protect the leather, extend the shoes' life, and prolong your reign as the best dressed dude in your office.

Happy Harlow-een

sound-waves-cuffCelebrity fashion lines do not always work (Malibu Dave by David Hasselhoff), but sometimes they do (The Row, Elizabeth and James, Olsenboye, and now BeachMint by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson).  I place Nicole Richie in the latter category (ahhhh - sweet redemption from The Simple Life!).  Her House of Harlow 1960 line, especially the jewelry, is fresh and edgy and inexpensive.  Take the Sound Waves Cuff pictured above.  I love that she creates interest with the shape while also keeping on trend by using rose gold and, perfect for Halloween, black diamonds!  Pair with this black dress and these sexy shoes and you'll look so good no one will realize you didn't don a costume this year.

Fashion Forecasting

givenchy brownTwo years ago I prophesized that brown suits would come BACK with a vengeance.  I sung it far and wide, smugly confident in my fashion prediction.  So when they didn't immediately come to pass it felt like a personal Y2K moment. I am ashamed that I doubted myself (read: how could you have doubted me??)  For have you seen that which erupts from the pages of every magazine and hangs from the racks of the chicest stores (get the above Givenchy at Barneys!)?  Better late than never (that applies to both chocolate suits and vindication).

Grays and navys will forever be staples but mixing it up with brown feels incredibly NOW.  Go for a solid shirt and choose a tie that riffs on the color in your new oxblood bluchers.  And don't be surprised if while wearing this you are asked to peer into a crystal ball or two.

A Classic Case

j crew edieMy clients are forever asking me my opinion of J Crew.  My standard answer is that I think Jenna Lyons (Executive Creative Director and President) is beyond brilliant.  She took a run-of-the-mill prepster brand and made it a force to be reckoned with.  I see the contents of a LOT of closets and I don't think I've ever been in one that does not contain at least something from the ubiquitous brand.  Having given props where props are due, the problem that I have with J Crew is two-fold.  First, the quality of the items is sometimes dubious and, second and almost more importantly, if you've seen it in J Crew, so has everyone else.  Case closed. Case re-opened.  Or at least I hope to open this Edie python case.  For it is a thing of beauty.  And this is the area where I think that J Crew can add some significant value.  Granted $1500 is a lot to pay for anything from J Crew BUT this is ACTUAL python (settle down SPCA) and from any other designer would hover around $4000.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say the quality of this piece is probably pretty solid (I viewed the mini and it looked fabulous) AND not everyone is going to buy it (although they will covet it) because the price point is high enough.  So my suggestion is that if you don't have a J Crew credit card already, open one (for the 25% discount of course!) and buy this bag.  Guys, this means you too.  Scoring your girl a python bag for around $1125 is a heck of a lot better than having to spring for this one.

Un-VALE-ing My New Go-To Jewelry

Vale_TinyPaveBarLike my grammie always says, please stop me if I'm repeating myself but I'M OVER statement jewelry.  Can we all just acknowledge that it had a moment and that moment was wonderful but now it's time for all of us to consider other things?  And by other things I mean Vale Jewelry specifically.  It's feminine and delicate but modern and even a little edgy.  It's as refreshing as, well, the gin and tonic I'm enjoying at this very moment.  (Waiter, another please! And by waiter, I mean my husband.) Let's inspect the two gorgeous pieces I've featured above and below:

Vale_pavestarNot only gorgeous but excellent value propositions considering you should never remove them but instead layer around them.  And rest assured when you're running late and don't have time to style your outfit to the max, any of these singular delicate pieces can create a stir all on their own.  Just like the girl who's wearing them.

Kill(er) Bill

bill suitSometimes I think I should've been in my 30's in the 40's (if I could somehow erase WWII from history).  The fashion was incredible - tailored, elegant, and feminine.  With her Bill swimsuit  (above) Norma Kamali tips her cap to the era.  This piece is so functional and timeless that I've been recommending it in in all of its incarnations (mesh, bright, two piece) to clients for years.  It's pretty much universally flattering.  You can't say that about many things or many people for that matter.  Throw this on with a wide brimmed hat and cat eye glasses and you are an instant pinup.

Easter Feast

lilliI have seven brothers (and two sisters) and my family is Catholic.  I didn't tell you one to explain the other but instead to share an Easter tradition. First, some context:  near the end of the Catholic mass, most of the congregation processes up the center aisle to receive communion.  This was a favorite time for my brothers because instead of focusing on the sacredness of the sacrament, they treated said procession as a mini fashion show.  After a long winter of pants, thick sweaters and boots, girls were suddenly fluttering about in spring dresses.  (Oh the joy of it!) The fresh view seemed to them a fitting payment for having to sit still and be reverent for an hour.

I thought of this the whole time as I was dressing my 8 month old, Lilli, for Easter mass in her spring dress.  It was so fun to put a sweet little confection on her after layering her up for the last few months.  She certainly seemed happy to look fancy!  Witness:

lilli2

Texture! Texture! Read all about it!

The word "flannel" will forever conjure images for me of my favorite childhood p.j.s as well as the plaid shirts I wore under overalls in the '90s.   Which makes me recall a time when I had the latter on at a club (yes, overalls were considered club get-up and yes, I was there with a fake ID). A guy who was chatting me up accidentally dropped his cigarette down my overalls - and here's the amazing part- it fell out my pant leg without ever coming into contact with my flesh!  Say what you will about grunge, but my thighs forever thank that over-sized clothes trend.

Today I applaud flannel in an altogether more civilized form - the flannel tie.  It is the season, men, to knot up with a textured fabric which will amp up your coziness factor.  Try the solid number from Bottega Veneta pictured here with a gray blazer, jeans, and colorful shirt and you have yourself a perfect fall look.  Just steer clear of stray cigarettes.

Don't Be A Spectator, Buy Some

It is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone everywhere seems to be doing their part.  NFL players are wearing pink cleats and gloves, my local frozen yogurt place is sponsoring free screenings, and the Fug Girls have designed these shoes whose proceeds go to the Karen Dove Cabral Foundation.  Now do your fugging part by purchasing these adorable pink and navy spectator pumps (see, you aren't completely selfish!).  Pair with this Joie lace shift and fancy yourself a philanthropist (or at least look fancy).

Joie de Vivre

Good ol' Decoration Day is almost upon us and we all know that means remembering the service folks who gave their lives for this great nation.  We also know what else it means - PICNICS, of course!!  What was that?  You're not a planner?  Well, allow me to share Wardrobe Whisperer's Official Memorial Day Prep List

  • Steaks and veggies for the grill
  • Fruit salad fixins
  • Guacamole and chips
  • White sangria + Mojito ingredients
  • Choco Tacos for dessert
  • Party mix featuring Fitz & The Tantrums
  • Picnic guests who know it's best to show up with booze
  • Last but not least, the perfect picnic shirt by Joie (try with these linen shorts and notice-me wedges)

The above basically guarantees a good time but should a dull moment arise, perhaps you could reignite the party Mad Men style with your own version of Megan Draper's Zou Bisou Bisou.  And with that I wish you a glorious Memorial Day weekend!

 

Jeans! Jeans! Good for your heart...

I love the phrase "everything old is new again" - especially because it is so often applicable to fashion.  And this season I'd like to firmly apply it to that one-time staple, the denim jacket.  It warms my heart to see so many fashionable ladies sporting them this season and giving them the credence they deserve!  Behold the above distressed number by Balmain.  It's as easily worn with jeans and a t-shirt as it is with a sexy little dress and some tough-looking shoes.  Denim makes for a great between-seasons option as it is neither too warm nor too cool - and to that end, even uber cool brands like Isabel Marant are showing their versions!  So take your pick.  Or do like I did and let your wallet choose for you.