Style

Imagine sipping a glass of wine from Montepulciano, the aroma of fresh cooked pizza, Vespas speeding by almost taking your hat in the wind. Ahhh Italy, but suddenly you open your eyes and find yourself on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles. Hey a girl can dream can't she?!

Travel to Italy this summer, if only by wardrobe, and live like the Italians. 

Think casual and comfortable yet stylish. Go with a dress fitted at the waist with a great wedge, big bangles and a stylish hat. Another option would be a bandeau top paired with patterened cigarette trousers and a strappy sandal. 

In your outfit, you should be able to hop on a Vespa at a moments notice. Style freely and carpe diem! I'm going to pour myself a second glass of wine and daydream about my pasts visits to Tuscany and Umbria.

 

  Pleated Skirt Dress, Mango.com $50

Floral Wedge, Steve Madden $130

          

Mixed Bangles Set, Nordstrom $20                 Bow Floppy Hat, Forever21 $11

 

Floral Print Cigarette Trouser, TopShop $72

    

        Seamless Bandeau Top, River Island $6         Leather Gladiator Sandals, Mango $25        

Two-Tone Straw Hat, JCrew $38

    

Raffia Carryall Bag, ShopBop.com $105

DITTO Designer Sunglasses Giveaway

Corey Hart may have worn his sunglasses at night, but we girls know that while catchy, that's just wack!

We'd rather get compliments while wearing some fab shades during daylight hours... but which pair best suits us?

You be the judge!

Let us know which pair you think suits one of us (or all of us!) and you'll be entered to win a pair of designer sunglasses worth up to $200 (or $200 towards your fave pair) that you choose from DITTO.com. They carry a slew of styles, from Phillip Lim, Jason Wu, Vera Wang, Derek Lam, Chloe, Elizabeth and James, Selima Optique, Persol, Ray-Ban, John Varvatos, Alain Mikli, 7 for All Mankind, to name just a few. Plus DITTO has created a simple virtual try-on function, so you can try on multiple pairs before you buy (BONUS: shipping & returns are free!).

Share which one you think looks best by commenting below, then tweet me or post on Facebook by August 10th before 6PM PST for a chance to win your own designer sunglasses!

Alison's Picks

    

Jason Wu - Anais            OR               Vera Wang - Antillion

Christina's Picks

    

Vera Wang - Brigitte         OR          Vera Wang  - Giza

Lauren's Picks

    

Selima Optique - Zazou         OR                 Jason Wu -Anais

 

(Winner will be announced on August 13th and must respond by August 18th in order to receive prize. 

Winner will be randomly chosen from their style suggestions. 

This giveaway is only open to those that live in the United States or Canada.)

 

Sync your personality and shape with a new swimsuit for summer.

Swimwear shopping carries a four out of five on my anxiety scale. Nearly naked in a dressing room, bad lighting that highlights my cellulite and a perky salesperson who inquires about sizes.  When it comes to swimwear I have multiple personalities as I try to connect a bathing suit to an image of sweet and flirty, subtle and sexy or sophisticated and smart.  Perhaps that’s too many requirements to place on a small item that first and foremost needs to make my body look good from the butt upwards.  And even then it needs to work for me—I don’t want my breasts to look too small or flattened, I want my legs to look long and slender and my butt to be lifted.  Additionally, I don’t want to fidgit with the fit and be tugging or pulling to stay covered, no thong or boy short bottoms for me. Exposing my thighs gives me enough angst so my bathing suit needs to draw the attention upwards.

So, I skip the dressing room and now order multiple styles online to try in the privacy of my own home.

If you're like me and dread swimwear shopping, we’ve got some tips to help you find the right style for your body. The most important tip is to remember that you are aiming for a balanced silhouette.

Just add Havianas and water.

My Bathing Suit Pick

Off the Shoulder Suit, JCrew $120

I received four compliments (Yes, four compliments!) from gal pals at a recent pool party. I was so psyched to receive kudos from other women I immediately ordered this suit in another color just in case J. Crew decided not to keep this in stock. It's ideal for covering up any little flaws-gives the illusion of a flat tummy, good support for an A-C cup and flattering on the bottom half.

Truly chic!

Big Bust

You may need some extra support; under wire tops, formed cups and wider bands under the bust line can work well and look great.

Avoid strapless bandeau tops and those tiny, triangle tops that offer minimal coverage.

Halter-top bikinis offer support, while providing some great cleavage too. Look for styles that are banded under the bust line and can be tied in back and around the neck to make adjustments.

Look for one-piece swimsuits with some structure in the bust, such as soft foam cups or a shelf bra.

Tie Back One Piece, Alloy.com $25

   Sweetheart Tankini & String Side Bottom, Alloy.com $35

 

Small Bust

Look for tops with a touch of padding, or an under wire, demi-bra style that makes the most of adding to your small bust line.

You have the body to wear cute, ruffled tops that are hot right now, triangle tops plus bandeau tops are easy to wear as well.

Avoid tops with too much fabric or have a poor fit.

          BLEU Bright Young Things Bikini Underwire Bikini, Swimwearforme.com, $134

 

     Underwire Bandeau Top & hipster, Alloy.com $23  

 

No Waist

If you don't have many curves, choose a swimsuit that has a belted waist to create one.  Or choose a one-piece suit with a high-on-the-thigh cut. The cut-out one piece swimsuits instantly create a few curves at the waist and hips without adding “weight.”

Bikinis are also good for you. Add some details at the hips with rings, ruffles and bows.

   

   Side Tie Cut Out One Piece, Alloy.com $25  

  

Surplice Blouson Swimsuit, swimwearforme.com $120

 

Big on Bottom

A mini-skirted bikini bottom is made just for you!  Skip the super frilly ones.  Choose a skimming, smooth skirt that covers just what you need too.

Opt for a bikini bottom that has slightly wider sides, skip the string side tie versions that only draw unwanted attention. To balance your proportions choose a solid bottom and a patterned top. It will draw the eyes upward.

Play up your top-side to de-emphasize your bottom.

Avoid boy shorts, skimpy bottoms, or lots of ruffles and details at the hips.

Diner Dot Halter& Bottom, Alloy.com $70  

 

      Bandeau Skirted Bikini, Swimwearforme.com $130

 

Plus Size Figure

Look for one-piece swimsuits with lace or mesh inserts. Showing a little skin in the right places can be sexy.  A well placed cut-out or a deep v neckline can be a flattering visual.

Lengthen your thigh with swimsuits that have a high cut leg or adjustable ruching detail at the hip. 

Avoid too much fabric and boy short styles. Stay away from white, as well as bright fabrics.

Robby Dots Side Tie, Swimwearforme.com $80

                    Bandeau Halter Swim Dress, Swimsuitsforall.com $70

 

Too Much Tummy

If you are self-conscious about a less than flat tummy try one of those swimsuits with a little extra Lycra woven into the tummy area; they work wonders. A one-piece with some draping around the waist or hips can also help to conceal a “muffin” top.

If you’re going for a two-piece swimsuit, then opt for a tankini where top and bottom meet at the waist. They cover just enough, but you still have the freedom and hip factor of a bikini.

Avoid teeny bikinis.

   Sweetheart Tankini &bottoms, Alloy.com $30  

      Peekaboo Bikini Top& Bottom, Swimspot.com $150

 

 

 

 

Sale Steals

When it comes to shopping who can’t resist sale items?!

Stores and designers are in full sale swing during peak summer. They are just looking to get rid of clothes at a way more affordable price. Whether shopping online or at the stores here are a few tips to keep with you on your sale search.

                       When shopping on the store sale rack…                        

·      Look for small but fixable defects with an item. For example a missing button or a washable stain. If you point it out to a sale clerk they will most likely give you the additional 10-15% off the already marked down item. But keep in mind it will be final sale.

·      Be practical. Don’t just buy an item because it’s “on sale”. Think how can I wear it? Try to mentally picture it with other items in your closet. If you can use it more than once, buy it!

When shopping online sales…

·      Do an advanced search in your size and price range. In doing so you’re able to get excited over items that fit you and your budget range.  

·      Pay attention to an item description. The type of material is important to know because it will help determine what size you may need to get and how to keep your items looking great past the summer season.   

·      Measurements are key for online shopping. Most stores do have the standard sizes. Unfortunately sizes are not universal and there are some buyers that you need to carefully read the description and match measurements that fit. Knowing those measurements will save you a trip to the post office for an exchange.

One of the easiest things to shop online for are Accessories.

Here are a few sale steals you’ll be able to use all summer long. Time to go shopping without going to the mall.

Mango.com linen colorful scarf

Colorful Cotton Foulard, Mango.com  Original Price: $45 Sale Price: $20

     Calico June Design Earrings

       

Stella Bracelet Set, Alloy.com  Original price: $25 Sale Price: $10

Calico June Designs-Bohemian earrings (A favorite of Eva Longoria & Kathie Lee Gifford), CoutureCandy.com  Original Price: $124 Sale Price: $73

VC Signature Florence Sandal     Pour La Victoire wedge sandal

Go-to everyday sandals that work with dresses, jeans and shorts. THE packable pairs for vacation.

VC Signature Florence Sandals in gold, VinceCamuto.com Original Price: $175 Sale Price: $120

Pour La Victoire "Lulie" chic, minimalist platfrom wedge (multiple color choices), PourLaVictoire.com Original Price: $229 Sale Price: $160

Mango Braided Belt     Mango Leather Obi Belt

 

Swap out your borrowing black or tan belt and choose a bright to give your outfit a jolt of style.

Bright Braided Belt, Mango.com  Original Price: $35 Sale Price: $23

Silver Metallic Lether Obi Belt, Mango.com  Original Price: $50 Sale Price: $25

Cynthia Vincent clutch       Rag & Bone Geo Purse

Cynthia Vincent Studded Pouch, CoutureCandy.com  Original Price: $81 Sale Price: $38.25

Rag & Bone Large Geo Purse, ShopBop.com  Original Price: $220  Sale Price: $154

 

 

Aye-Aye Captain!

Or for the love of Andy Samberg, "I'm on a Boat!"

Nautical themes are turning up everywhere this summer. To help you navigate the trend we picked a few of our favorite sea faring items. So whether you're vetting invites from Beyonce & Jay-Z, Johnny Depp or Ellen DeGeneres & Portia DeRossi or just looking to play the part we've got you covered. Just remember to pack the dramamine or Psi bands if you get nauseous.

Shop Bop Pencey striped top

Pencey Standard Striped Top, Shopbop.com $77

 

LLBean Rope Belt              J. McLaughlin anchor belt

             Anchor Rope Belt, LLBean.com $25                    Leather Anchor Buckle Best, J.McLaughlin $95

J. McLaughlin Rope Halter Dress     J.McLaughlin Laney Coral Dress

Maria Newport Rope Halter Dress, J.McLaughlin $198

Laney Sleeveless Dress with Coral Pattern, J.McLaughlin $198

                           

Sperry Top-Sider metallic     Superdry shoes

Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original 2 Eye Platinum, OnlineShoes.com $80

Striped Espadrilles, Superdry.com $30

Splendid Terry Tunic     Splendid Bandeau one piece bathing suit

Splendid Hooded Terry Tuni Cover-up, Swimspot.com $99

Splendid Marcel Striped Bandeau One Piece Bathing Suit, Swimspot.com $119

Ahoy, my fair readers! This ship is sailing away.

 

In my newest STYLE MY MAN series, I give tips on how to get your man looking stylish in shorts while still staying comfortable (so he doesn't complain).

There's far more options than just wearing a T-Shirt and shorts; watch as I show my very good friend, Brian Patrick Flynn (interior designer & HGTV host), three different ways to make his new red shorts look awesome and make them totally fit his personality.

 

Red shorts available at Marshalls, $28

Paired with a gingham shirt from Marshalls. Striped belt from Bonobos.com. White slip-on sneakers from Nordstrom Rack.

Wear them to work with a chambray shirt and tie from JCrew.com. Add a preppy striped belt and bucks.

As Andy Samberg said, "I'm on a boat." And this look works for that and more. Striped sweater and striped belt from Bonobos.com. Button down shirt from J.Crew. And a bold touch with the red Sperry Top Siders scored on sale at Nordstrom Rack.

 

 

Hawaii, Sunshine and Style

I traveled to Oahu, Hawaii to appear on multiple TV shows (not a bad place to work as style expert) and style a photo shoot. The shoot was quite rogue, which I'm used to from years of traveling all over the world as a fashion director with magazines. This one was a simple and very quick shoot; nothing fancy about the backgrounds. The photographer chose a local park near Waikiki, and I changed the models on the sidewalk and styled the clothes out of a trunk and back seat.  But hey, it's Hawaii!... the sun was shining and everyone pitched in to assist. I've always loved going on location for a photo shoot. The clothes and girls are certainly pretty. These are my quick photos.

Bright colored jeans are a hot trend. Get yourself a pair, whether skinny or straight leg. I love the Rebecca Minkoff black and white handbag and the Paige Denim jeans on both models.

These shorts go out at night! I paired a Helmut Lang jacket with $16 shorts available at TJ Maxx. Turn shorts into a style staple with jackets and wedges.

A floaty, ruffled dress with the sea as inspiration, from Calvin Klein.

Stripes in the dress and criss-cross strapped sandals.

I styled this look to show off my love of mixing prints. I added just a nod to the 80s with neon brights in a bag and sunglasses.

 I kept the accessories with the white lace front dress simple, just one bracelet and deep pink heels. (Little would you know from her smile that a homeless gentleman was trying to strike up a conversation with her from a few yards away.)

An A-line, slightly pleated skirt with neutral colors to mix-and-match in your wardrobe, and it's silk so it's super lightweight for summer. Plus a great bag to carry your iPad or laptop.

This is the ideal outfit for travel-lightweight tank, a long, soft skirt, metallic sandals for walking and a big oversized bag. I could wear that skirt five days a week it's so comfortable.

  

The models I styled are ready for their close-up! I was on just about every local news channel for every telecast that day, talking about spring and summer fashions and the opening of three new TJ Maxx stores on the island. To the good people of Oahu, I thank you!

 

 

 

Give Mom something sweet for Mother's Day that tells her you love her whether she eats it, wears it, or shows it off, but get to it, times a wasting.

An inspiration bangle from Red Envelope, $100

Give a place to set the jewelry you buy her like this LOVE dish from The Brick Kiln, $12 on Etsy.com

Blue Nile pendant XO necklaces, $41-42

Tell her with decor from Alexandra Ferguson, $69-109

Paloma's Nest customizable puzzle, $44 You choose what kind of love message they have to decipher.

Give her a fortune cookies filled with love notes, gift certificates for pedicures, a massage, take out meals and even some time off from the kids. Curly Birds on Etsy, $8-17

Photo Memories Capture all your memories in a custom designed family frame from Personalization Mall, $30

Time to finally make mom dinner. Get the instructions, recipe and ingredients from Destination Dinners, $18

Custom yummy cookies for mom from Katie's Creative Bakery, $11-40 from Etsy.com

And then of course there is always a gift at the top of every gal's list, A MASSAGE! One of our favorites in Los Angeles is Arcona in Santa Monica.

With Earth Day approaching, it gives me a chance to explore many of the designers that are producing clothing and accessories with an eco-conscious approach.  Here are some of my favorite finds.

H&M's Conscious Collection

Beau Soleil's Beau Athens, ultimate Greek Goddess dress made from 100% bamboo, $195

Mika Organic spiral shell dress, $245

Dalia MacPhee's one shoulder vegan dress, $278

Edun fitted blazer, $348

Mountain Khaki's Meadowlark organic tee, $29.95

Levi's Water<Less Curve ankle skinny jeans, $68

Beyond Skin cute & sassy vegan Retro 70’s style wedge Siam red Haiti print, $277.38

Hovey Lee Ocean Life collection reclaimed brass starfish bracelet, $135

Heather Belle Audrey fold over bag, $325

Beau Soleil bag, $55

As a stylist I've become adept at disseminating trends quickly and pulling together a variety of looks based on variables like price point, body size and shape and even for specific audiences. Through that I've also become a very savvy shopper whether online or in a store.

Given the challenge of putting together four head to toe looks, accessories included for under $700 I headed to TJ Maxx & Marshalls. And when I tallied the numbers, I came in at $699 and saved an additional $1,000 by not shopping at department stores.

Striped top, $25  Pink skirt, 80   Two tone flats, $40   Black wristlet bag, $25  Polka dot scarf, $7

Floral top, $70  White jeans, $17  Cross body bag, $30  Flats, $30

Jean jacket, $130  Striped dress, $40  Metallic top siders $30,  Burgundy clutch, $20

Ethnic print tank, $15  Black skirt, $70  Black striped wedges, $40  Raffia tote, $30

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