Thursday, December 20, 2007

You would look so cute in this:Kiyonna's denim trousers feature a wide leg, which adds length to your frame, and just enough stretch to skim your curves. The dark dresses up a casual look. Anchor the volume of the wide leg with chunky platforms or sleek heels in a bright color. The real star of this outfit is the satin charmeuse colorblock blouse. Chocolate brown offsets turquoise trim, creating a rich and flirty effect. And the shape of the blouse is universally flattering - a deep v neck, empire waist detail and color band at the bottom of the blouse for balance.

Infuse the bleak winter months with a splash of bold color in the form of this Donna Ricco cap sleeve A-line shirt dress. The dress's crisp cotton construction will feel deliciously light after pulling on wool and cableknit all winter. Add some layers to cut down on the chill factor - a long, duster-length cardigan and brown suede boots should do the trick.

Add some attitude to your strand of pearls:
Swap your lady-like single strand for this multi-strand set from Evans of London. The drop knot is an easy, and funky, way to up the ante on your accessories. Ms. Chanel would approve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beauty Blitz

I keep telling myself, "If I can just make it to the new year, I'll _______________ (insert whatever I've been slacking on in favor of making merry i.e. updating Bombshell Beauty). In light of the non-stop running around that's been my life for the past month, I've come to rely on a selection of beauty products that keep me looking presentable and upright.

Booth's Mineral Bath Soak in Lavender is a god-send, morning and night. The scent is light, uplifting and instantly calming. The formula is thick and whips up a nice frenzy of bubbles that moisturize your skin. And how cute is the apothecary-style bottle? Super cute. It's available at many drugstores, including Wal-Greens, for a steal of a price - $5.99. Which means you don't have to feel guilty about pouring in more than the suggested one capful.
I usually straighten my wavy hair in the wintertime - it's easier to coax into ringlets during the humid summer months. But my signature "party hair" look is curly and wavy, restrained only by a glittery bobby pin. I rely on my man Nick Arrojo to replicate mid-summer curls in dry winter weather. A pea-size amount of Arrojo Defrizz Serum ($15, the bottle will last a lifetime) and a quarter-size dollop of Arrojo Curl Creme ($17), mixed in the palm of my hand and then manically rubbed all over my head does the trick. Dry with a diffuser, curl a few random strands and I'm set. Have I mentioned how much I love Arrojo products? This line does not disappoint. Shop online or at Space N.K.

In the name of full disclosure, I am a mark. representative - but I'm a beauty junkie first. I wouldn't be involved with mark if I didn't love their products. My purse would have been bursting at the seams, whatwith the need for frequent gloss checks and going from day to evening makeup, if not for my mark Hookups. Gloss on one end, mascara on the other; or eye shadow on one end, eye liner on the other - one skinny tube to toss in my bag? The combinations are endless and the results are all fabulous.

And finally - nails. I haven't had a proper manicure in ages, so I rely on pinky-nude shades to keep my nails looking shiny and polished, while minimizing the signs of wear and tear. Minor scuffs and chips don't show with this pale pink polish from Essie. It's called Beach Party and is available at Ulta and most salons.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Topshop for Bombshells

Evans, a London-based plus sized retailer, has just landed stateside. Often compared to another British export- Topshop- this retailer specializes in trendy pieces at reasonable prices (we're talking $25 and under). Their product line ranges from tops and pants to dresses, sexy lingerie and swimwear, to boots and accessories - a veritable one stop shop where you can put together an entire outfit and accessories for about $100. Granted, the quality is right up there with H&M, but I've always considered that to be a blessing - by the time the trend is over, their clothes are falling apart anyway.

The first US Evans is open in New York, but keep a look out for more stores to pop up in L.A and Chicago. If you're not in the New York area, shop online. Before ordering online, be sure to check out their sizing chart since you're working with British sizing. They offer a nice selection of tall, petite and maternity wear in Bombshell sizes.

Here are a few of my favorites looks from Evans:
Gray waistcoat, so cute over a graphic tee, skinny jeans and boots. Or amp up the work wardrobe by pairing it with slouchy trousers and a crisp button-down shirt.
The Ruched Shoe Boot is fun and versatile - wear it with a mini dress and tights for a night out or under jeans and trousers for a more casual look.
Chiffon, especially in ultra-feminine colors like raspberry, is going to be a big trend this spring. Get a jump on it with this Pink Short Sleeve Blouse, featuring a round collar and a subtle polka-dot print - switch out the cami underneath with a long-sleeved tee for the rest of winter.
All photos courtesy of Evans.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Throughout the winter months, the one item of clothing that will be worn daily is your coat, right? So it makes sense to invest in one that's versatile enough for work and play. But very few day-to-day coats make the cut when it comes to throwing on a party dress and hitting the snow-covered streets. In that case, be prepared to pull a little something special out of your front hall closet - because a casual puffer coat over fabulous tuxedo pants is not something a Bombshell would be caught dead in. Instead, she'd slip on something like this:
Monif C's "Samantha" Bracelet Sleeve Swing Jacket might not keep the frostbite at bay, but it will make a flashy entrance. The proportions of the jacket work really well with this knee-length dress. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how long your dress coat should be, just makes sure that the overall proportions are flattering to your shape. An easy swing coat, which flows from the shoulders, is equal parts retro-hip and classically cool. And hey - as long as your date valets the car, you shouldn't be forced to freeze outside for too long.

Back in the hay-day of the original Bombshell, fur was the go-to look for evening. It was decadent, elegant and incredibly warm. While the fur itself has changed - think faux - the look hasn't. Swath yourself in a big faux-furry coat, then draw out the big reveal of whatever fabulousness is going on underneath. Luxurious fabrics like faux fur, satin and buttery suede can transform a basic silhouette into evening wear.
Or be especially daring and slip on this gorgeous Calvin Klein faux leopard wrap coat, a pair of heels and nothing else. That should make for an interesting night out.

A lot of big-night outfits are dark or neutral colors - think the Little Black Dress - so a fun way to add a splash of color is with your coat. Top your oh-so appropriate black suit with a raspberry trapeze coat to make a memorable exit.

Photos courtesy of Nordstrom and Monif C.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Great Crewneck Sweaters

The crewneck sweater is one of the most classic of pieces and looks great on most Bombshells. Incredibly versatile, the crewneck adds polish and Ivy-league sportiness to everything from casual jeans to a slim pencil skirt. The high neckline draws attention up to the face and begs to be layered over crisp cotton button-downs.

Those of you blessed with very large busts may prefer a v-neck to create some length throughout your chest and torso, but shouldn't be afraid to give the crewneck a try - just be sure to avoid cableknit and other patterns that could stretch and distort over your breasts.

Look for crewnecks that fit well throughout the shoulders; make sure the armholes don't sag or pull throughout your armpit and that the shoulder seams are smooth. Because a crewneck covers more surface area than other necklines, avoid builky sweaters. Go for thinner, slim-fitting versions for maximum, elongating flattery. Finally, make sure the sweater stops at your hips - any longer and you'll look swathed in fabric.

The Mossimo Ultra-Soft Crewneck from Target lives up to it's name, feeling downy soft to the touch. Available in a variety of colors, including Cranberry Juice (below), it's priced at a mere $14.99. The fabric pills after several washings so be sure to toss it in on the gentle cycle.
Use a crewneck line as the foundation for a monochromatic twin set - the contrast between a high crewneck and a plunging cardigan creates visual interest within a single color. This is a great way to look long and lean, especially when paired with boot-cut pants and a heel. I love this fresh lilac twin set below from Talbots.

Simple details can add some ooomph to the basic crewneck shape, like the Henley buttons on this sweater from Lane Bryant. Added bonus - you can re-style the sweater by leaving a couple of the buttons open and layering it over a pretty tank.

Photos courtesy of Target, Talbots and Lane Bryant.

Monif C Convertible Dress 50% Off

Monif C's clothes are designed for maximum Bombshell impact; one of the line's most popular offerings is the Marilyn convertible dress. Available in a variety of colors and aptly named for one of my favorite icons, the dress is ingeniously inventive. With quick alteration of straps, it can be worn as many as 22 different ways - halter, full sleeves, babydoll...the options are almost endless. It even looks cute as a long tunic over skinny pants.

Usually retailing for $195, it's on sale right now for $97. Twenty two different dresses for less than $100? That ain't bad.

Click here to see a few of Monif's suggestions for wearing the dress and to get yours.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Shine On

Whenever I feel dowdy or drab or just not quite Bombshell enough, I paint my nails. Now, I like to gt a professional manicure as much as the next girl for one reason: my nails always turn out shinier from the nail salon than from my couch. I don't always have the time, or inclination, though to head to the professionals so I've been on the prowl for a combination of nail products that will leave my tips gleaming and sparkly.

Found it. Sally Hanson Mega Shine Extended Wear top coat. $4.99 at the drugstore. Love this stuff. It dries quickly, doesn't smell overly acetoney and I'm on day 6 of my home-made manicure - the color is still vibrant, the nails are smooth and shiny and I feel anything but dowdy or drab.