Friday Favorites

I've always been a big fan of denim shirts. If you walked into my closet you'd see a grouping of at least eight denim shirts from light to dark wash, button-front to henley and even an ASOS shirt with a long tie front for a denim take on being super feminine.  I was already wearing the mix of denims before it came back as a trend two years ago. I don't look like I should be working part-time on a cattle ranch, instead I mix my denim shirts with color blocked A-line skirts, black skinny jeans and patterned pencil skirts. I'm such a fan that I try to make converts of every client and have them add just one good fitted denim shirt to their wardrobe. I believe there are multiple ways to wear them when you strike that perfect combination of feminine and strong. Just look for fabrics that aren't thick so they're easy to tuck into whatever you choose to pair it with.

A few of my favorite denim shirts range from medium wash to dark rinse and fit the body well.

ASOS Denim Shirt in Dark Wash, $47 ASOS

Banana Republic Dark Denim Shirt, $80 Banana Republic

Gap 1969 Floral Denim Shirt, $60 Gap

DONDUP Denim shirts, $136 YOOX

 

Banana Republic Denim Shirt, Medium Wash, $80 Banana Republic

 

Time to dress to impress in the four latest styles that are a must for your spring wardrobe. I love dresses! When you're having one of those "what do I wear?" moments, choose a dress. Dresses are so simple to figure out in your wardrobe and barely require a thought,  just slip one on and add heels or sandals. 

Midi Dress with Nipped Waist

     

ASOS Midi Dress In Animal Print, $35 ASOS

ASOS Skater Dress In Check Print, $105 ASOS

Hitting just past the knee the midi dress is sweet and demure. Look for a style that defines the waist and for this season a print means the need for fewer accessories.

Wrap Dress

     

Gemma Chevron Print Wrap Dress, $90 Banana Republic

Diane von Furstenberg Wrap Dress - Faith Silk, $207 Bloomingdale's

Another waist defining style with a flattering v-neck is the wrap style. 

Maxi Dress

     

Michael Stars Exclusive Stripe Halter Maxi Dress, $97 Piperlime

Diane Von Furstenberg Long Two-tone Patterned Maxi Dress, $311 Yoox

Long, flowy and comfortable, the maxi dress can be weekend wear or party wear.

Swing Dress

     

ASOS Swing Dress With Floral Border Print, $42 ASOS

Haute Hippie Sleeveless Silk Tuck Dress With Lace Back in Buff, $465 Piperlime

The swing dress can easily transition between totally casual with flip-flops to a cocktail party when you add heels. For the buff color dress from Haute Hippie add a colorful necklace or cuff bracelet.

I thought it time to share a few of the companies I've come in contact with that are doing good in the world. I wish more time were spent sharing their stories. So here are four of the many I admire.

Boll and Branch

     Missy and Scott Tannen were perplexed when shopping for sheets last year. They couldn't figure out between thread count and price which was the best brand or product to buy. Been there, done that.  But they decided to start their own sheet company and not just any sheet company; one with a mission. The Tannens describe their new line as "linens with a mission": 300-thread-count sheets and cable-knit throws made exclusively from Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton from fair-trade farms and factories in India. Boll & Branch uses only low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes rather than pigment dyes because they do not contain any known toxins or heavy metals and are considered eco-friendly pigments.

Their sheets are crafted by adults who are paid a fair wage in above-standard work conditions that keep everyone's health and safety in mind. Their products are made ethically by workers who are treated well and are working by choice. Their cotton is 100% GOTS-certified organic which means less impact on the environment, less water used in production, and guaranteed to be safe. Plus, Boll & Branch donates a portion of every sale they make to Not For Sale, which fights modern-day slavery around the world. So these are the sheets I've chosen recently for a good night's sleep.

Karama Gifts

Ali Ly used to watch me on Movie & a Makeover and became a fan so when she moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a growing city in East Africa three years ago and started working with the founder of a nonprofit business called Karama how could I not become of fan of hers. Karama means an "intrinsic gift, needed to be given" in Swahili, and "dignity" in Arabic. Karama was born originally to provide women with skills, jobs with which to use those skills, and a marketplace that would keep African artisans' businesses going, while sharing their stories of social, spiritual, and financial freedom with American customers. Since those humble beginnings, they have grown to sharing the stories of over 500 artisans and their families. I've picked a few of my favorites from the Karama Gifts collection as much for the product as the story behind it. 
 
Teardrop necklace

This teardrop necklace is made by a partner group in the Entoto Mountainside, just outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Started by a local church group, this project employs men and women who are HIV-positive. It all began when HIV-infected men and women heard of "healing waters" emerging from the mountains, and so they followed paths up the mountains to wait for this water. These men and women left jobs and homes, and thus started begging and even selling their bodies in order to make a living while waiting for healing to come. As the local church watched, they devised a plan to create a jewelry training program for these men and women to give them employment, and bring them away from the lure of these healing waters, which left them still sick with HIV. Now, Entoto Beth, Karama's partner, employs hundreds of men and women who create jewelry out of coffee beans and recycled artillery and other recycled metals.
 
Journal (kitenge)
 
Neema Crafts, found in the town of Iringa, Tanzania, employs hundreds of men and women, most of them having physical disabilities, and many whom are deaf.  In a society where physical disabilities and deafness are still considered "unacceptable" and render a person "useless," men and women with these difficulties are often abused, abandoned, and neglected. Ali tells me that as you walk through the doors into the Neema center, an incredible spirit of love and acceptance is experienced. The Kitenge journals are measured and cut from Tanzanian fabric (kitenge) by men and women going through training at Neema crafts.
 
Novica
Novica.com (part owned by National Geographic) is an online, fair-trade market place based in Los Angeles. At any given time, NOVICA features more than 30,000 limited edition and one-of-a-kind handmade works of art, ranging from artisan-crafted jewelry to home decor. Launched in 1999, to date NOVICA has helped change the lives of 75,000 people in developing nations, including artisans and their dependents, uniquely helping each artisan earn personal recognition and real-world prices for their work. 
Couldn't resist this incredible photograph of the Melasti Ceremony in Bali. According to Hindu traditions in Indonesia, the Melasti ceremony serves to purify Bhuana Alit (small world) and Bhuana Agung (universe) during the Balinese New Year. 
 
One Hope Wine
 
Their motto - Indulge. Do Good. #WineNot
I've written about them before and even shared their story on TV, but in case you haven't heard, One Hope Wine funds multiple causes with half of their profits. Yup, 50% of sales from their wines go to fund organizations working to find forever homes for pets, fight breast cancer, end childhood hunger, support our troops, help children with autism and more. So whether you like a pinot or a merlot, they have good taste in helping others.
 
     
Do you LOVE your pets like I do? So do they. That’s why ONEHOPE’s Pinot Noir helps animals across the country to find their forever home. Inside this box you’ll find a treat for you (the wine!) and some treats that your furry friend will love. Pinot for Paws, $49 includes a bottle of pinot noir, dog treats, rawhide, rope toy and a $10 gift card.
What’s better than a glass of wine? A glass of wine and a cookie! Enjoy Cookies & Corks’ gourmet cookies - specifically paired to complement our ONEHOPE Cabernet Sauvignon that helps provide ABA behavioral therapy for a child with Autism. Cookies & Cab, $49 includes cabernet sauvignon, a jar of cookies and a $10 gift card.
 
 
 
 

 

Prom season is upon us! Dresses, hair and makeup, heels and the limo are on the agenda.

I attended two proms and didn't learn my lesson from one year to the next that I should have foregone the strapless. I didn't have the boobs or the right bra to hold up the dresses. Thankfully, no camera phones to capture my nip slip on the dance floor. Back then you wore Jessica McClintock, but now while wearing a poufy dress may be the dream for some girls a little black dress, faux Herve Leger sheath or even a sequin top and pencil skirt work just as well.

 For my first prom, I lay on my bedroom floor under a sun lamp trying to get a tan and for the second I visited a tanning bed. I know, I know, tanning beds and sun lamps are evil, but I was a teen desperate for a sunny glow. Neither worked. I used too much Sun-In on my hair and was left with an orangey tint rather than the bottle's promise of golden blonde tresses and I used hair spray like an addict. And as I look back I must admit, my parents had to have been cool or foolish since I took the SAT's the morning after attending my first prom as a junior. Perhaps they felt safe knowing I could always re-take them. After nodding off during the first test, that's exactly what I did a few months later for a higher score.

If I were to time travel back to my high school prom, I would make different dress and hairstyle choices, but most importantly, I'd have the confidence I possess now which ultimately makes all the difference. 

 

Dresses featured: Speechless, City Triangles, and B. Smart from JC Penney and Kohl's, and LittleBorrowedDress.comThe hair and makeup were provided by the amazing talent at The Private Room in Beverly Hills.

As a Luminary Circle member of Step Up, each year I help some of the teens we mentor get ready for their prom. This year, I helped Maria and Lesley from Gertz-Ressler High School and gave them a chance to show off their looks on Fox's Good Day LA. Step Up is a nonprofit organization that mentors high school girls from under-resourced communities to empower them to become confident, college-bound and career-focused. For four straight years, 100% of Step Up seniors have graduated high school & been accepted to college. Yeah, it's awesome! Visit SUWN.org and meet other cool women in the organization and join our awesomeness. 

Here are choices I'd make today for prom:

It's sweet and I could guarantee it would stay in place. A-Line Princess Sweetheart Floor-Length Floral Gown, $245 Lightinthebox

    

Jacqueline Dress by Coren Moore, $80 BHLDN

Unique Vintage Garden State Dress, $102 Zappos

    

Aidan Mattox Dress - Double V Neck Sequin, $365 Bloomingdale's

Adrianna Papell Beaded Chiffon Blouson Dress, $355 Nordstrom

Dalia MacPhee yellow lace dress, Neiman Marcus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When a blazer just won't do, you look for other options. You know what I'm talking about. Don't get me wrong, I love a good structured blazer. Not one that looks ready for Wall Street, but a contemporary style that fits well and works with jeans or slim pants and heels. Sometimes, though, you need a boost to your look with a jacket that when worn with just about anything in your wardrobe makes the overall outfit stand out.

Welcome to the jackets that will become your new style staples for the season. They're the cool finishing pieces that will take the place of your traditional blazer and make your t-shirt and jeans, oh so much hipper.

Get a mix of prints in a thin scarf style bomber jacket.

Clover Canyon Twist Scarf Jacket, $385 Piperlime

A chic embossed jacket that is perfect for layering over a t-shirt or a dress.

Rhyme Los Angeles Nila Embossed Jacket, $55 Piperlime

I love stripes and I love this sale price too!

Diane von Furstenberg Jacket - Esther Stripe, on sale $251.16 Bloomingdale's

This pairs the cape with the blazer.

Champagne Taste Cape Blazer, $58 Nasty Gal

It's ready to be worn for the presentation or to the movies.

Diane von Furstenberg Jacket - Laya Ladder Tweed, on sale $330 Bloomingdale's

 

 

Ok, so I know I usually share my favorites based around a theme each Friday, but today I'm feeling a little "all over the place." I fell for multiple items that didn't necessarily have anything to do with one another other than they're fabulous. I'm just going with this mix because I'm trying to get this day started and take charge. Perhaps I'm still reeling from getting hit hard three times with balls while playing tennis last night. Or the fact that after playing tennis, while backing up my car to say goodbye to girlfriends, I hit a small sign with the side of my car. Thankfully the paint can be buffed out. Obviously, that put a little "dent" in my mood since my husband asked me three times if I was ok while we were watching TV and then I nodded off watching @Midnight. If you haven't tuned into @Midnight yet, please do, it's hilarious! Don't let my note about falling asleep deter you. I just can't seem to stay awake past 10:30 anymore. I will be soooo glad when daylight savings happens.

Babbling complete, now onto my picks.

 Here's my Friday Favorites this week. Enjoy and let me know if you like them too!

This lightweight striped coat was made for weekends. My weekends, at least.

ASOS Coat in Light Weight Stripe, $130 ASOS

I get the stylish skirt for meetings, but the comfort that will last me well into a late Friday date night or even a movie night on the couch.

ASOS Midi Skirt in Soft Touch, $65 ASOS

This gets me daydreaming about water, boats, and island hopping. I need to plan my next vacation.

ASOS Stripe Belted Swimsuit, $56 ASOS

This little box bag is so minty fresh, I want to brush my teeth.

ASOS Satchel Bag With Scallop Bar Detail, $56 ASOS

This bracelet is my homage to a warrior princess.

Stella & Dot Renegade Cluster Bracelet, $59 Stella & Dot

Can we all agree this beret is SUPER cute! I wish I could find a way to wear this.

Lovely Cat Ear Beret, $30 Oasap

I FINALLY accomplished putting fake lashes on all by myself and now I want to have a drawer full of them. The #301's are perfect for a look that's not over-the-top. My tip: Get the grey or black adhesive rather than the white glue.

I recently saw the trailers for the movies 300 and Pompeii. Uh, seriously, I'd like the budget to have a trainer get me that buff. But instead, I'll take flight in these gladiator sandals.

      

Ardell Accent Lashes, Black #301, $3.50 Drugstore

Zigi Soho Toybox Gladiator Sandal, $100 DSW

 

These oxfords make me think of tap dancing, Vegas and the famous "Rat Pack." Brogues and oxfords are my go-to shoes for running errands and meeting my styling clients so a little sparkle wouldn't hurt. Turn up the music and I'd probably do a little dance as well.

And it seems Tom Ford can do no wrong. This color is perfect for a subtle touch of glamour.

       

Goldust Kiltie Oxfords by Croon, $228 Anthropologie

Nail Lacquer, Sugar Dune - Tom Ford Beauty, $32 Neiman Marcus

 Red is bold. Red is sexy. Red is powerful. Red clothing gets attention. So it's time you make friends with red in your wardrobe and stop leaving all the fun to Valentine's Day or the lingerie you wear for 30 seconds in the bedroom.

A red lace dress can help flirt for you when you can't find the right words. A red skirt can inspire you to spin on the dance floor. A red pair of heels can motivate you to tell your boss your vision for the department. Seeing your ex at the same party? A red dress or pumps will help boost your confidence and give you strength to just walk past him with barely a glance in his direction.

Go Red!

These would be the last item I'd put on when headed out the door and likely the last item left on at the end of the night. You get it, these shoes are hot!

Red Suede Rosario Pumps by Bionda Castana, $560 Avenue32

I'd dominate the dance floor in this skirt and expect my husband to spin and dip me endlessly.

ASOS Full Midi Skirt In Scuba With Pockets, $65 ASOS

This top is just the right mix of daring and flirtatious.

Nina Ricci Lace Shell Red Tango, $290 Nordstrom

Red dresses for multiple occasions.

    

RED Valentino Ruffle Hem Knit Dress, $695 Nordstrom

Adrianna Papell Lace Sheath Dress, $158 Nordstrom

Wear to a wedding? Sure.

    

Rubied Dusk Dress by Rina DakaSide, $298 Anthropologie

For the boardroom and the party invite.

    

Manolo Blahnik 'BB' Pointy Toe Pump Cherry Red, $595 Nordstrom

Jeffrey Campbell 'Barnes' Bootie Womens Red Suede, $200 Nordstrom

I'll wear my heart on my sleeve if it looks this cute. And guaranteed, I'd wear this more often than just Valentine's Day. Love needs more attention in our clothes all year long.

Red White Striped Heart Elbow Patch Sweater, $29 SheInside

For a bit of whimsy, I'd put on my Tom Ford red lipstick and carry this around all evening at a party. I'd leave smooch marks on all my friend's cheek.

Charlotte Olympia Kiss Me Lips Zip Pouch, $495 Bergdorf Goodman

 

 

 

Let your clothes and accessories roar! Leopard print never goes out of style. Just wear one piece for impact in your wardrobe whether it's a silk dress, a coat, the perfect heels or that slim clutch to carry your kissable red lipstick. You'll walk strong, confident and everybody will know not to mess with you!

 

    

Leopard-print silk-chiffon dress by Giambattista Valli, $833 The Outnet

Leopard-print faille coat by RED Valentino, $425 The Outnet

   

Wild Thing Bomber Jacket by Forever 21, $14 Forever 21

A.L.C. EXCLUSIVE Leopard Longsleeve Knit Dress, $578 Intermix

    

BCBG Paris Jaze Leopard d'Orsay Pump, $70 BCBG

Club Monaco Jane Mayle Coco Bag, $199 Club Monaco

    

Leopard-print calf hair ankle boots by Miu Miu, $495 Net-a-Porter

Leopard chenille-jacquard slippers by Stella McCartney, $216 Net-a-Porter

Clare Vivier Flat Clutch Supreme,$195 Piperlime

Amore leopard print leather bootie by Jimmy Choo, $875 Shop Savannahs

  

 

 

               

 

 

Style Makeover and Wardrobe "Stretch"
If your clothes could talk they'd probably complain of boredom and fatigue. The skinny jeans would say, "Please girl, not again, I just want to rest in the drawer awhile. Choose a dress for a change."  Time to reinvent your wardrobe, experiment with what you own and find multiple ways to wear one piece. I help women "shop" the rack in their own closet to cook up some new looks with just one new addition in the "Style Dish" fashion makeover series.
 
And Now In:
Style Dish - Episode 4 - Alison & Christa:

Meet Christa, a pretty girl who is also super sweet-a great combination! Christa has a job at a PR firm and since she's fairly new in the biz she neeed help building a wardrobe that didn't cost her whole paycheck.  She admitted she didn't know how to "stretch" her wardrobe and mix up what she already owned. As her Style Chef, check out how I took one key "ingredient"- a black lace mini skirt available at Macy's and styled it three ways in Christa's wardrobe for episode four of Style Dish.

 

MADE Fashion Week black lace mini-skirt for Impulse, $25 Macy's

Super simple way to style this skirt. I paired the large lace design mini skirt with a small lace design top and black blazer. Load up on some accessories and break up the black with red suede heels.

Christa challenged me to create a casual weekend look with this pretty mini. A plaid cotton shirt and fringed printed open cardigan does the trick. Now, the lace mini won't seem frou-frou when she heads to brunch with friends.

Ok, so the skirt is too short for a conservative office, but in a creative workplace environment this should be approved. Just be sure to keep the rest of yourself covered or wear tights.

 

My fashion philosophy is that every item you own should be working triple-duty in your wardrobe. Every piece has a purpose and at least three ways to wear it.  In each episode, I visit a new woman struggling with her style. I'll walk through her wardrobe, find out what she's got going on and what simply has to GO, and then bring her guest back to the Style Studio.  With just one new ingredient -- a dress, a top or the perfect skirt -- I "cook" up three different outfits, mixing the new item with pieces pulled from our guest's very own closet!

I show how to inventively mix-and-match pieces, how to wear it for work AND the weekend, and how to mix up black-tie or first date, cocktail party or concert. I'm serving up style here, boosting women's confidence and teaching them to be more inventive, creative and experimental with their wardrobe.

Ring in the New Year

Put a ring on it is what Beyonce sang! And we agree, but don't get hung up on an wedding ring when you can get just as much attention wearing one of these fashionable rings. Make bling your thing this year with cocktail rings in all shapes and sizes. Choose from a message to stackable styles, real gold or multi-stone chunky rings to a sweet bee.

 I love my engagement and wedding rings, but I also love to additionally add bold chunky rings that make a statement. These eight rings will have people staring, coveting and doling out compliments.

    

Oscar de la Renta Bow Ring, $350 Moda Operandi

Oscar de la Renta Two-Stone Cabochon Ring, $195 Moda Operandi

    

Trina Turk Snakeskin Texture Gem Ring - Orange/Gold, $56 Piperlime

Noir Set of 3 Pyramid Stacking Rings, $60 Last Call by Neiman Marcus

    

Delfina Delettrez Gold Pearl and Enamel Bee Cuff Ring, $508 Moda Operandi

Elizabeth and James Northern Star Statement Ring, $195 Shopbop

Christina's Picks

    

Love Ring by Sydney Evan, $860 Neiman Marcus   &    Ophelia Cocktail Ring, $148 Margaret Elizabeth

I love rings that have a bit of fun to them, either with a chunky stone or something else that stands out. This "love" ring is a perfect right hand ring that would make a great anniversary or Valentine's Day gift. And honestly, anything Margaret Elizabeth is going to be an amazing pick. I love her chunky stone cocktail rings, especially this mint colored one!

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