Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What to Wear - Meeting your Boy/Girlfriend's Family

One of the most fashionably stressful events in a woman's life can be, hands down, meeting the parents of your boyfriend or girlfriend. No matter how old you are, now matter how long you've been dating, it's practically impossible not to revert back to your slightly insecure 15-year old self. You want to make a good impression, have a good time, show the family what a fantastic partner you are to their child, etc. etc. And you want your clothes to help reflect all of these things. A pretty tall order for one outfit.

No matter what you're doing with the family - meeting for brunch, getting together to watch a football game, having a cozy night in at the family home - keep a few tips in mind as you get dressed.

  • Dress for the occasion without overdressing; don't wear heels to a football game unless you want the family to call you High Maintenance Heather behind your back.

  • Show your personality while complementing your partner's style - although I am definitely NOT suggesting you wear matching outfits. Don't do that.

  • Wear an interesting accessory - your great-grandma's favorite necklace, a chunky cocktail ring, red shoes. If nothing else, it could serve as a conversation piece during those inevitable awkward conversational lags.

  • Keep makeup natural - let the family get to know you and your face before bringing out the smokey eye.

Here are a few of my favorite meet-the-parents looks:

Great for dinner, either out or at the family estate.
Darker-wash jeans with trouser details (look closer at the stitching and seaming on this pair) are usually a safe bet, no matter the activity (unless we're talking fancy dinner, obviously). You'll look casually polished. A pretty tunic that lets you show you take the spotlight.
Make a good first impression with your outerwear.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Think Red!

Harper's Bazaar turns 140 right around nowish, so I thought I'd go the whole Diana-Vreeland-proclamation route and say, 'Think red!" Not only was red the divine Diana's color, it's universally known to make anyone wearing it to feel invincible. It instantly amps the Bombshell factor of basic pants or jeans. Red looks especially crisp with black, gray, and dark jeans. Avoid the Target-employee look by stearing clear of red and khaki.

And with so many shades available, don't try to tell me that you can't wear red. You can.

Top photo courtesy of Lane Bryant; bottom two photos courtesy of Avenue.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fashion Re-Think

Have you ever walked into a store, found an article of clothing and wondered, 'Is this stylish? Or is this lame?' You walk around with it, holding it up to this skirt and that pair of pants, feeling some kind of attraction to the piece while simultaneously doubting your ability to pick out cute clothes. I always have this problem at Eddie Bauer. I pick up a cardigan and really want it to work - but when I see it next to all the other clothes in Eddie Bauer (which on a whole are not my personal style) it just doesn't come together. But, much like people, you'd be amazed as what a piece of clothing can transform into once it's out of its native environment.

This embroidered snowflake sweater certainly falls into that questionable category - especially when merchandised next to corduroy pants..But it would be incredibly cute over a flouncy little shirt dress - very 1950's fabulous.

This Eddie Bauer staple also has great potential - as long as you don't wear it with a long denim skirt and hiking boots.

Instead, put it on underneath a brightly colored blazer - think cranberry, pink, emerald green. Jeans and Keds complete the look. Suddenly the floral top is quirky-cool instead of soccer-Mom.

No one will mistake your style prowess in this embroidered wool-blend skirt when you make sure to show a little leg.

Eddie chooses to style this professionally sweet skirt with knee-high boots and a turtleneck. But isn't it much more you with a crisp, cotton wrap top, black tights and t-strap heels? I thought so.

Trust your instincts when it comes to shopping; just keep an eye towards what really represents you and your look, rather than how a store dresses its mannequins.

Lucky Inspiration

Lucky magazine serves as one of my favorite monthly sources of fashion inspiration. Lucky differentiates itself from Harper's Bazaar and Vogue by offering up style options that real women can wear in the real world. I'm all for fashion as art (or vice versa), but I'm even more in favor of clothes that can be a part of my everyday life.

One of my favorite features of the magazine is a section called Street Style. The magazine pulls together a bunch of separates (skirts, tops, shoes, accessories, pants), hits the streets of various cities and has the local girls put together their own signature looks. It's so much more interesting than seeing yet another pictorial on what J-Lo has been wearing while making the late night rounds. Lucky recently relaunched their web site and included an online version of Street Style. My favorite edition is online now - Paris. Check it out - get inspired - enjoy!

Picture from luckymag.com.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

$1.99 Shipping at B and Lu

If you've never bought anything from B and Lu, now's the time to do it. Aside from boutique-style clothes to die for, they're offering $1.99 flat rate shipping through October 31st. Looking for some ideas on what to pick up? Check out these B and Lu signature looks:

All photos from B&Lu.com

Lane Bryant's New Fit System

A Bombshell friend named Ann recently called me, annoyed and slightly desperate, because she'd just tried to buy a new pair of jeans from Lane Bryant. LB has long pioneered the creation of cute, well-fitting jeans in sizes 14+. Now the retailer has introduced a new system for every woman to find the perfect jeans for her body - Right Fit. That's right- something new for Bombshells to embrace in the pursuit for fab jeans. Hence, the desperation.

Ann walked into her local Lane Bryant and headed toward the jean wall. Before getting there, she was approached by a sales associate wielding a tape measure. The associate explained that the sizing had changed on the jeans -14, 16, 22, etc had been changed over to sized 1-10. Vanity sizing. How obnoxious. And confusing. The associate explained that by measuring Ann's waist and hips, she could determine the amount of curve her jeans should have, and figure out the sizing.

Ann succumbed to the measurement and then tried on 5 different pairs of jeans, none of which fit as well as the jeans she walked in with - the pair she simply wanted to replace. She called me from the fitting room. "I just want a pair of jeans. What should I do???" I told her to grab a pair of pants to walk around the store in. Take her own jeans out of the dressing room. Grab a couple pairs of jeans from the wall and hold them up to her own. Forget the curve to hip ratio and find a pair that matches what she walked in wearing.

I love the fact that Lane Bryant wants to make buying jeans easier and the fit more flattering for Bombshells. I think vanity sizing is stupid - I'm not a size 5, I'm a size 22. And I'm fine with that. And I don't enjoy being measured by strangers. Aside from that, I'm all for innovation. Especially if it makes my butt look great. So be aware- your first trip in to buy jeans at Lane Bryant in the new Right Fit era may be annoying. Go in with plenty of time to be measured and try on, and you'll probably walk out with a great pair of jeans.

Daytime Sparkle

A popular look right now, which is a natural for Bombshells, is sparkle in the daytime. Just a touch of luxe metallic sparkle paired with subdued fabrics creates a visual pop that will get you noticed - and will make you feel like a million dollars. Top a pair of dark brown trousers with this gold brocade blazer, then wrap a long scarf around your neck in complimentary shades of brown and gold to cut some of the metallic volume. Take the look from day to night by removing the scarf and adding strappy shoes.
Make Saturday-morning errands a little more glamourous with this sparkly trapeze tank. Slip it on over a tissue-thin long-sleeved turtleneck or t-shirt to add some coziness, then pull on a pair of straight-legged jeans and flats. The sequins at the neckline mean no accessories are required- the ultimate throw on and go outfit. Gunmetal is a fantastic neutral shade with a little ooomph. You get the perfect amount of shine with the option to layer on pops of bright color (like red, yellow, green) for maximum impact. Try on a crinkly tunic like this one from Avenue and then go wild with a chunky necklace or a bright shoes/handbag combo.

All photos from Avenue.com

Friday, October 19, 2007


Comfort means something different to everyone. It can be a steaming cup of hot chocolate or a lowball of whiskey. It can be an old blanket, worn through with love and use, or a brand new chenille throw. Today, think about what comforts you and surround yourself with those things that make you feel warm and safe. Here's what's comforting me these days:I love slipping on a soft tee shirt after work and on the weekends, especially when it's as easy and cute as this one, the Floral and Ditsy print tee from Lane Bryant.
Available in a variety of colors. Nothing soothes my rough, chapped hands like Caswell Massey's Almond and Aloe Hand Cream with Silk. The formula is rich without hindering absorbency, and the light scent of almond is instantly refreshing.

When I was sick recently, my friend Mindy gave me a fabulous gift - a cozy red chenille blanket. I've cuddled up in it endlessly since. True friends know that I am crazy about one thing - Christmas. I'm that girl who gets excited at the first sign of Christmas in stores, who cries over every holiday-themed TV movie of the season, and who plans gift-giving for months in advance. I've got no shame- it's all part of my Bombshell personality. It might be different, but I don't care. It's me. And I'm taking comfort in downloading my favorite Christmas music off iTunes. My latest download? Dean Martin's A Marshmallow World.

Photos courtesy of Lane Bryant, Caswell Massey, Target and Amazon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Easy Updates to Your Fall Look

Daylight is getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and your closet is probably looking a little "blah." A complete wardrobe overhaul is most likely out of the question; besides, clothes can only go so far in ramping up your look.

Now is the perfect time to reconsider your haircut and color. From May to August, it's only natural to take your hair lighter, add a few highlights, go for that whole beachy-tousled look. It's October, though, which means that your highlights could use a little toning down. Have your stylist weave chocolate or dark red low lights into your current hair color. And while you're at it, get your hair cut. The past several years have been all about loose, deconstructed hair styles. But fashion's dictation of glamourous, ladylike looks begs for a real hair style- a bob, a pixie cut, bangs, anything with definition.

Another quick, easy way to update your look is by mixing up your makeup. Pretty obvious, right? You'd be amazed at how easy it is to find yourself in a makeup rut. Chuck your usual neutral shade of lip gloss for a berry-colored stain. I like Mark Gleamstick in Flirtatious, and Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Putting a little extra color on your lips will make a big difference. If you'd rather show off your eyes, choose a neutral shadow with flecks of gold. Gold brings out the sparkle in every eye color.

If you've been holding on to a look - whether it's a hair style, makeup routine, or an unofficial uniform of clothing - dip deep into your inner Bombshell, embrace the power you'll get from change, and go for it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bombshell Book Review

Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer tells the story of Maggie, a Bombshell who's lost touch with her self-esteem (and her love life, and her career!), especially in light of the upcoming wedding of her long time best friend, Olivia. Olivia's worked hard to shed her excess weight and, in the process, has shed a lot of her likability. Through the course of planning the wedding, Maggie realizes her own self-worth and carves out a pretty fantastic life - one that includes better friends, a cute guy, and a big career change.

I devoured this bit of chick lit in one sitting- Maggie is instantly likable, the plotlines are highly entertaining (if not predictable, but so what?), and I always love reading about a woman who realizes the power within herself and kicks ass with it. Don't be turned off by the title- there's no fat-bashing, or thin bashing for that matter. It's all about what's inside.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beauty Moment

Vintage packaging is immensely popular right now; brands like Benefit and Bella il Fiore base a big part of their brand identity on the cute, retro packaging. There's something satisfying about reaching for beautiful products that do beautiful things to you, that look great on your counter and on your body. I've discovered a brand that takes vintage one step further. We're talking, George Washington further.

Caswell Massey is one of the United States' oldest-running businesses. It hit the scene with colognes and toiletries in 1752, New York City. Fans throughout the ages have included George Washington (Number 6 cologne), sophisticated first lady Dolly Madison (White Rose cologne), and Grand Dame of the stage, Sarah Bernhardt (Cucumber Night Cream).

The packaging is evocative of the company's 1700's-start, many of the formulas are in their original form, and everything will make your skin look gorgeous and smell delicious. Plus, I like the fact that Caswell Massey is a little different; it's not what everyone else is using. How beautifully patriotic.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Take your pick- Bathrobes

I've always wanted a really beautiful bathrobe. I'm not sure where I got the idea, but as a small child I got it in my head that silky pajamas with a matching robe is the utmost of luxury and glamour. I no longer wish to sleep in silk pajamas every night, arising with the sun peeking through my window as a little bird on the sill serenades me. But I do love the idea of a gorgeous bathrobe.

Back in the hayday of the original Bombshell, a bathrobe was referred to as a dressing gown. Which makes sense. How often do you jump out of the shower and into the clothes you're going to wear for the day? I usually pull on a t-shirt to wear while putting on makeup and doing my hair. But I'm thinking of an upgrade.

This garnet wrap robe truly looks like a dressing gown, doesn't it? It secures with both an inner and outer tie (so no fear of slippage). A little sex appeal in the morning could do wonders for the rest of your day...

Nothing feels as sexy as pillowy soft fabric against bare skin. Which is the appeal of this cushy robe by Barefoot Dreams.

Whatever style and fabric makes you feel good, find more choices at these online retailers:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bombshell Icon

Irish-born model, Charlotte Coyle, is proud of her curvacious body. She makes no apologies for being a size 18/20 in a world obsessed with idealizing unhealthy weights and sizes; she is a fashion model. You may have seen her fronting campaigns for Torrid and Svoboda by Jessica Svoboda.

Charlotte has a few horror stories - being told to lose weight and get down to a size 14 in order to find work in London. Her response? "Don't you think that's outrageous? In the real world, size 14 is not plus size. The average London woman is a size 16 and 5'5" tall. " Like a true Bombshell, Charlotte doesn't bash thin women- as long as they are naturally, healthfully thin. Ultimately, what she's working toward within the fashion industry is balance. "It shouldn't be skinny or nothing."

For more on Charlotte Coyle, check out this article from British paper, Telegraph.

Tunics Done Right

"Tunics" and "Flattering" are not two words that always go together. We've all seen our fair share of shapeless, clingy tunics that create the exact opposite of a Bombshell silhouette. When done right, though, a tunic can be incredibly polished, easy, and fun. Because tunics are typically cut a little fuller than other tops, remember to pair them with slim fitting pants, like straight-leg jeans or trousers.

This tunic from Sweet Pea is superb in so many ways. First, the print is interesting without overwhelming the figure. And speaking of figure- the black mesh trim opens up the neck, cinches in the waist and creates and will make you look long and tall.

What makes clothes fun and shows off your own style is in the details. This flowey black tunic, with great movement, a ruched square neckline and cute (without being cutesy) ties at the arms makes a very subtle Bombshell impact.

Whatever style and color you choose, just make sure that there's something special about your tunic- be it subtle detailing or a great print. Ensure that the fit is flattering- no pulling or tugging or suctioning to your curves.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bombshell Accessories

The original Bombshells- Rita, Marilyn, Marlene- lived in a time when women wore day and evening dresses, carried intricate compacts and turned powdering their noses into a glamourous event. They knew that the rituals of womanhood could be turned into a sensual, empowering act with the flick of a wrist. I think it's important for today's Bombshells to embrace that mode of thinking - we should all surround ourselves with items and accessories that feel glamourous - and that make us feel glamourous! To get you thinking, I've pulled together a collection of the ultimate in Bombshell glamour- all evocative of the original Bombshells.

Lockets may seem antiquated, as they have their roots in the Victorian age, but they are also very sentimental, personalized, and classic- just like a Bombshell! You can order photos to fit in the locket through Kodak Gallery.com - you get mini proofs of each picture you order on a separate contact sheet. Just cut out the little proof and insert into the locket.

Touch-ups happen - often under terrible fluorescent lighting in the office bathroom. Make the experience more sensual with a beautiful, metal compact. Find one that reflects you - whether it's simple sterling silver monogrammed with your initials, or decorative gold - and you'll turn the mundane task of checking your lipstick into an event that makes you feel gorgeous!

Tell the truth- is your jewelry strewn across your dresser or jumbled into a drawer in the bathroom, requiring a Sherlock Holmes-type of search for matching earrings or tweezers and a magnifying glass to untangle necklaces? Treat yourself (and your jewelry) to an armoire. You can find affordable selections in both free-standing armoires, and wall-hanging versions, all in a variety of styles and finishes. Because decorating yourself is so much more fun when your collection of jewelry is organized, at your fingertips.

For an instant shot of Bombshell glamour, buy a shade of lipstick in a luxirious tube. You can't go wrong with Estee Lauder's signature tube- ribbed gold metal. I've got nothing against drugstore lipstick, but it just feels more beautiful to pull out a substantial tube to brighten up your lips.

Bombshell Compact

All About the Pretty's Julia loves Vaseline's new Vitalizing Gel Body Oil. If you're looking for the ultimate in silky smooth moisturization, check it out.

Less obvious than the ubiquitous Chanel handbag, and much more affordable, try out the quilted trend with Payless Shoes' Keaton Quilted Peep-toe Pump.

Perfect for the Bombshell with edge, slip into Alloy's very cool Camo Bomber jacket. With a removable, faux-fur trim and a worn in treatment that usually takes years to achieve.

Give a nod to autumn with these beautiful Gold Cut Leaf earrings from Shop Intuition. Polished, sophisticated, classic. Just like the season!

There's nothing more special than receiving one of Red Envelope's signature red boxes tied up with cream ribbon. And I don't think there's anything wrong in a Bombshell giving one of those boxes to herself! Especially when it contains a gift as fabulous as this luxurious wine carafe', complete with erasable white pencil to write the wine's vintage on the holder.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rainy Day Fashion

I woke up this morning to sheets of rain glancing off the windows of my apartment. I would have been extremely hesitant to head outside, were it not for my trusty, yet stylish, rain coat. If you haven't plunked down some dollars for a rain coat, you should put it on your list of "Next to Buy." Trust me when I say that a rain coat can last for years and is a great bridge jacket- for that changeable weather between fall/winter, spring/summer. Here are a few of my favorites:

Go ultra mod in this irridescent walking jacket from Gallery. The sleek shape hugs and flows where it should, while the Smoke color feels very classic, yet now. Also available in black and gold. Slip into a classic trench, with an updated belt. Instead of a floppy tie belt, I love the sleek sensibilities of this buckled belt. Cinches in the waist for maximum curve appeal, without the extra bulk of a tie.

Add some plaid to the forecast! Sometimes, you've gotta stand out in the crowd. In what better look than this fun trench from Avenue?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Party Dress for Party Girls

I. Love. This. Dress.

Monif C has gone out and created a dress that begs for a fabulous gathering of friends, a martini in one hand and some great music - a party! Red is the ultimate "look at me, cause I deserve it" color - and Bombshell, you do deserve it. The flouncy skirt wants to swish around your knees as your twirl around a dancefloor (or someone's living room), the black beaded belt creates a figure-flattering definition of the waist, and the drapey neckline draws the eye up to your beautiful face. (Sigh) This is true love.

I'm also in love with these fabulous party shoes, also available at Monif C's web site (up to size 13). Metallic shoes are an updated neutral - you can wear them with absolutely anything. I'd pair them with a black skirt or tuxedo pants for a splash of glam on a night out.

Last of the Halloween Costumes

For my last post on costumes, I've found a selection from Torrid. If you're one of those Bombshells who likes to go the sexy route for Halloween, you'll love these!

Hello sailor! Get the boys in blue excited with a little number that's a little patriotic, a lot cute.
Kiss and make it all better, as a sexy nurse.
Cleaning not required in this hot little French Maid outfit.
For more bodacious costumes, head to yoru local Torrid. Costumes available in store and online.

What to Wear- Football Game

Whether you're a student, alumni, or cheering on a special player, chances are you might be going to a football game this fall. Typical game-time fashion includes an oversized sweatshirt with the team's name and logo right across the chest/stomach, jeans and tennis shoes - and if you're cheering during cold weather add a hat, gloves, windbreaker...layer upon layer of less-than Bombshell clothes!

You can show your team spirit without sacrificing (or succumbing) to unflattering style. Instead of the oversized sweatshirt, pick a short sleeved tee with your team's name splashed across the chest. Layer it over a tee shirt in a complimentary color. Choose a good pair of jeans and cute tennis shoes to complete the look.

If it's extra cold out, forgo the huge windbreaker for a fitted zip-up fleece or hoodie, or build your outfit upon a cozy layer of long underwear. Whatever you choose, keep fit in mind.

White long sleeved tee plus:

Huskers tee shirt plus:

Easy-fit jeans in a dressier dark shade plus:

Classic, can't-go-wrong Pumas (color-coordinated, without crossing over into obnoxious territory) equals Go Huskers!