Graphically Aligned: When in doubt, go bold with graphic T’s

Few fashion items stand the test of time, to the point that they seem as though they’ll never even have a down period, much less vanish for years.

Fashion can also be quite cyclical, such as a particular style disappearing for decades before reemerging and christened as relevant again.

The items that have staying power, that have been part of your ensemble and wardrobe forever are quite rare, and when you see them in your closet while you’re whipping from one hanger to the next, you know that you’re always save when you pick this over everything else that may or may not be outdated.

One particular top that women gravitate toward and has been around for quite some time and shows no signs of slowing is the always lauded graphic T shirt. Even as the warmer temperatures begin to be replaced with colder ones, the graphic T is so universal and beloved that you can’t imagine life without it style wise.

Not only is the graphic T shirt part of just about every women’s closet around the world, but it’s picking up some serious steam as part of Fashion Week and is making serious headway on the runway.

Why is the graphic T so important to your closet, however?
Think of it like this. You can wear a graphic T shirt with jeans, but also pair it quite sincerely with capri pants and a black suit jacket for a look that is casual, fun and yet could easily be worn in an office setting on a dress down Friday.

The graphic T works with heels and sneakers, paired with suit or even part of a dress ensemble. The style options are endless, which makes the graphic T so incredibly versatile that you can’t afford not to have a few dozen in your closet.
What appeals to the masses, as well, is that they’re not always priced to the point that you can’t afford them, either. Some can be as much as $100 per shirt, but you’re more likely to settle somewhere in the $40 or $50 range on average. Truthfully, you could probably, if your budget was prohibitive, find a graphic T shirt that is $20 or less.

The graphic T in some ways is forgotten about when you get into talk about fashion and style, because quite frankly it’s a T shirt. That said, the popularity of them can’t be denied on so many different levels of acceptance, whether your Metallica T shirt is under a contemporary jean jacket or paired with jogging pants that simply work.

Hit or Miss: Some trends make sense, while others are head scratchers

The world of women’s fashion clearly resides on opposite ends of the style spectrum when, for example, you look at particular trends and just how embraced and questioned they can be all in the same breath.

When you take a look at certain tops, bottoms and accessories, their appeal is easy to spot. Whether it’s practicality or just a flawless look that is universally lauded and loved, you gravitate toward them without much concern or thought to the contrary.

Then, you have what would at first sight appear to be a highly visible yet odd fashion trend that you can’t help but wonder why it’s popular in the first place.

Take for instance the obsession this Fall with handbags that look like you could fit an entire family in them or a small compact car. While you can’t argue that the handbag as an accessory works wonders for most wardrobes and a complimentary piece, these bags are bountiful and not quite as beautiful as some may assume.

And if that handbag craze isn’t enough to make you scratch your head, what about this love affair with velour, more specifically the track suit. This look might work for a stylish Olympian, but you’d be hard pressed to see this fully loved and wanted by the average woman. It’s a throwback, comfortable of course, but a little too retro for the masses.

Other styles, conversely, are easy to see why women want them to be part of their wardrobe, no questions asked. Think about designer, graphic T shirts, the ones that you’d assume are more tailor made for me. These actually are being scooped up by women more than they have ever been, mostly because what was once old (retro) is new again. Women love the idea of pairing these T shirts with an equally warming blazer and a pair of skinny jeans to take a casual look and turn it into something you’d wear out on a Friday night.

The handbag craze does in fact exist and once you are able to get past (literally in some cases due to size) the larger ones, you have an array of choices that are bona fide winners, small enough to not stand out but large enough to still be useful.

Fashion is wonderfully unique in that it’s all about what’s hot versus what’s not, but the former category sometimes leaves us feeling a little lukewarm about something we’re told to be fashionable, even though we respectfully disagree.

Flash Forward: Why old styles are making serious play for runway

To say that fashion is cyclical would be a spot on comment, in that styles tend to come and then go, and then repeat that cycle every so often.

But rarely in fashion is a style so maligned and so laughable years after it was popular but yet still manages to make a fiery comeback.

That is in the midst of happening with one particular style that somehow has been revived for whatever reason and finds itself making a serious play for the runway.

Remember, the aptly titled and hilarious “mom jeans,” as they were known? You know, these high waisted train wreck pants that didn’t flatter any part of the woman who was wearing them.

From front to back, “mom jeans” were lame denim that, in retrospect, have zero redeemable qualities to them.

Yet somehow, here we are talking about them as being all the rage.

They’re back but this time have a little bit of help along the way, and it’s really up to the fashionable women of the world if they’re truly accept them again with open arms.

That “help” as it is defined is how you pair these high waisted jeans, whether that be with a sleek pair of low cut boots (preferably leather) or an unconventional graphic T shirt or plain T shirt.

Fashion experts agree that these “mom jeans” are best used with a lighter wash.

And as for that graphic T shirt, that top also is not only a perfect match for your newfound love of high waisted jeans but continue to be popular no matter the reason or year, quite frankly.

The graphic T shirt is nothing new, although for men that style has come and gone quickly thanks to overexposing brands like “Affliction,” which became so overly popular with their busy T shirt that those fizzled out to the point that the style is completely gone, almost without a trace.
For women, it’s a little different. The graphic T shirt look is another older style that remains steadfast in its appeal and approach: the slogan’s are more political, social and mean more than they did 20 years ago.

As whimsical as a shirt might have been, slogan wise or with its saying, in the 1990s, that has changed to a more powerful voice on the front of your shirt.

Whether it’s the jeans or the graphic T shirt, what is once outdated, passive and downright silly has transformed into chic, poignant and poised to be in your closet in the near future.

Shoulder Breaker: How to relax and still stay fashionably comfortable

Ask any woman what combination they would choose ten times out of ten when it comes to fashion, and you’ll hear the same response.

They would want to be fashionable and comfortable all in the same breath. That isn’t always quite as easy as it sounds, since being comfortable often is associated with a sloppy look, one that isn’t going to pass out to dinner or in the office even though you might want to try to sneak past your boss wearing black yoga pants straight from the gym to work.

The fact is summertime is even harder of a feat to pull off when you talk about fashionable and comfortability, but the popularity of some of your favorite items has changed in the eyes of both the industry and even those who once scoffed at a track suit or an off the shoulder casual look as being acceptable for just about any moment or any time during the day.

Now, those looks are no longer lamented as being lame or inappropriate but rather lauded for their convenience and casual nature, a combination that has you contemplating rethinking your entire summertime or warm weather clothing.

The off the shoulder look specifically once ruled the fashion roost but has since vanished into obscurity. The late 1980s and 1990s gave us the off the shoulder vibe but both shoulders in this time period were exposed. Today’s off the shoulder look is all about one shoulder being exposed, rather than two.

As for the aforementioned track suit, you have to remember that track suit and exercise are no longer exclusive to one another, as the suit is now starting to creep its way into the mainstream, again giving women the option of having the peace of mind to know they won’t be asked to go home and change clothes because they look too relaxed.

Women’s fashion has embraced both looks, the one off shoulder look and the track suit (velour specifically), and even Juicy Couture has rallied behind the track suit to the point that they’ve announced they’re back, and when that brand talks, most everyone listens.

The idea of being able to rock a track suit or an off the shoulder top and not have to worry about feeling out of place if you’re either casually wearing this attire or need to keep things a little more professional without having to do an impromptu change makes any woman smile knowing that fashion sense and style won’t slip a few rungs even if you choose to feel that much more relaxed with your wardrobe.

Tone Setters: Why some pieces always tie together perfect outfit

For every woman who believes that they need an endless budget, personal trainer, personal assistant or personal shopper to look the part of elegant, effortless and chic when it comes to their style and subsequent wardrobe, you’re missing out on a huge message regarding fashion.

You don’t need any of them to succeed in having the style you want.

What you need is to keep an eye open for a variety of fashion pieces that aren’t going to break the bank or be difficult to find even but rather are anything from accessories to shoes and everything in between that, when worn, make you look fabulous to the point where you don’t really even look like you’re trying all that hard, if at all.

And if there’s one element of fashion we all strive for is to make the average woman look like a million bucks without spending nearly that much.

The great equalizer is that one top, bottom, shoe or product that takes the mundane, the average and makes it look that much better, minus the huge overhead the runway models don’t need to worry about (they just stand, change, walk and repeat, right?).

Let’s start with the bottoms, specifically pants and skirts.

As for the latter, patterns are in and back for good it seems. The bolder the more beautiful and better, and as much as we want to shy away from horizontal stripes, you should incorporate those in every skirt, particularly the fashionable maintain that is the longer version that hugs the hips and ends at the ankles, just before the heel of the shoe.

Pants are aren’t nearly as tricky as you think since jeans are always a must, but please make sure you’re wearing the kind that actually fit. No matter what size or shape you are, the jeans should fit snug (not too tight, though). Nothing is going to bust up a beautiful wardrobe more than jeans that hang off you or look as though they’ve be worn far too often, separate from the rips and tears that typically you’ll see on jeans that are intended to be there.

And as long as you’re talking about jeans and skirts, high heels are always a must since they’re being paired with anything these days. High heels have that ability to transcend all other shoes as being good for the dressed down look but also debut nicely with a dress for a more formal approach to your look.

Striving for a wardrobe that is something you’d see at fashion week is fine, but unrealistic. What needs to happen is finding a few pieces that are perfect tent poles for the closet of your dreams.

Work Worn: How to dress down for office yet still look stunning

Most women assume that dressing casual at the office really doesn’t pertain much to them.

Sure, you have your days when “Casual Friday” means you can wear jeans, but not much else comes of a day like that for women who want to somehow slip Yoga pants or a sweat suit into their office wardrobe without anyone noticing just how comfortable their clothing appears.

In a sense, you’re simply trying to get away with dressing down, yet still looking the part on the days when you’d much rather be in your comfy clothes rather than donning a business suit, dress slacks or anything else from your closet that would be deemed cumbersome to wear.

This dream sequence of sort is just that, as women aren’t really believing the idea that you can somehow wear all the clothes you enjoy on your down time or when you’re off from work to work in place of other garments and clothing that only reminds you just how uncomfortable you are.

Now, if you’re the CEO of a company or have a job that requires that sort of wardrobe, chances are you’re stuck with all the pant suits you can handle.

But some jobs have a little bit of leeway when a power suit can give way to a little less of a dressy look but still with the expectation that you’d look as though you’re coming to work at a respectable office and not simply rolling out of bed.

So how exactly do you pull that one off?

One of the bigger women’s fashion movements is the jump suit, which is a one piece that is the epitome of relaxation but tends to come across as more laid back when it comes to wearing it at the office. Fashion experts will tell you that the jump suit is comfortable, for sure, but it needs a little help in being totally and fully accepted as an alternative to dressier clothes. You can pair the jump suit with a nicer jacket or blazer to throw over it (one that you’ll wear all day or you can take the jump suit and put on a shirt over top of it, such as a button up dress shirt.
Accessories also help when you’re trying to dress down and keep things classy at the workplace, so don’t be afraid to pair that comfortable outfit, jump suit or not, with a pair of high heels and jewelry, for example.

Dressing down doesn’t have to carry with it a negative connotation but rather should be more about centering on your creativity from a fashion sense so that you can have the best of both worlds: an outfit that looks like it belongs at work and peace of mind knowing you can be fashionable without all the fanfare.

Timeless Classic: Wardrobe staples make fashion that much easier

Not every woman has the luxury of being able to spot something on a runway at Fashion Week, and simply rush to the store and buy exactly as they see it in the pages of their favorite fashion magazine or online.

The truth is most of us need those series of clothing pieces or elements to our fashion attire that are universal, that can be worn with just about anything and help us also from a budget standpoint. You can’t imagine just how remarkable of a feeling it is when you purchase a piece of clothing and realize that the money spent didn’t only get you a remarkable item but something you can pair up or wear on its own for years and years to come, not having to worry about its fashion relevance whatsoever.

When you think about staples in your wardrobe, thoughts immediately turn to three items: tops, bottoms and accessories. That’s easy to identify those categories, but what exactly goes in them as far as timeless classics might surprise you, however.

As for the accessories, think jackets and other wear pieces that aren’t necessarily labeled as “coats” but something more along the lines of tracksuit tops and bomber jackets, both of which have some serious staying power to the point that they’ve become the epitome of style when you want to have that classic, comfortable look without looking sloppier than you’d like. And as long as you’re instituting comfort, why not look at the traditional throwback of the two-piece sweat suit. As much as you’d cringe to see someone wearing a one color sweatsuit (something you’d see your mom wearing to do sit and fit aerobics, perhaps), the idea behind this look is more along the lines of that track suit or exercise attire that looks the part and is well put together, with one color matches for both pieces with perhaps a little 1980s or 1990s flare with the color trim (think black track suit and white trim lines).

As far as the tops and bottoms go, the two pieces you want to be in your closet at all times: the classic white, button up dress shirt and the black leggings. The former pretty much speaks for itself and the latter is all about, again, comfort but also something you pop on to wear out or even to the office without any pushback from the masses.

You really could say that about all these examples: they’ll always be there for you and universally lauded and loved no matter what time, date or year you’re wearing them.

Fashion Rewind: Why the 80s are cooler then ever


What is old, often is rebranded, rechristened and transformed from cast aside to the hottest and most stylish trend women’s fashion has ever seen.

Much the same way pop culture has embraced everything associated with the 1980s, shoes, shirts, pants and accessories are no different as far as women’s fashion is concerned. The real highlight of that decade is the rebirth of just about everything 80s, even the type of clothing or trends that, even back in its heyday, would be considered odd and oft putting at best.

But that is what is so magical about fashion, how something can be lambasted and laughed at 30 some years ago yet return in the modern day runway or department store as being lauded and wanted by the masses and brought back to life to the point that it is utterly clamored for by all.

The best place to start is at the bottom, as in your jeans as those stone washed and acid washed (or varying washes of your choice back in 1980 something) looked hideous to some yet worn by most have marched their way one odd pant leg at a time back into the forefront. The acid wash look, notably better this time around in brighter colors, works well with the oversized sweatshirt, another staple from that decade.

And as long as you’re talking about jeans, why not continue the trend of the high waisted ones? That is another fashion staple that has made a stand and returned to form, along with pairing it with a thinner belt. And that acid wash look isn’t made just for the pants, either. The high waisted look also has migrated into the shorts market, too, with jean shorts making a serious comeback that would make even the most fashion conscious women stop and stare at just how not out of place this stylish staple truly looks.

We can all agree too that one accessory or piece of outwear that also didn’t seem all that great back in the 1980s was the windbreaker, this jacket made of a plastic material that was, in theory, supposed to protect you from the wind (hence the name). What popularity these jackets had quickly eroded when you started seeing them being given away at events with company logos on them.

But the windbreaker is back and being trotted out for a second go around, along with its 1980s (and into the 1990s) partner in crime: the fanny pack. These belt and purse hybrid is hardly just hype.

No matter if you were a teenager in the 1980s or in your mid 30s, you can’t ignore that you maybe quietly enjoyed this fashion and now can revel in the fact that it has returned even better, brighter and bigger than ever.

Tiny dancers: Why small handbags aren’t popular but still great

Think about cell phones and how amazed we all were when the flip phone arrived and allowed those large, outdated cellular phones (yes, you should use the whole name for how big they were) to slowly move out to pasture.

Big was hardly beautiful when it came to phones, but that has changed with the “phablet,” the phrase used to coin a cell phone and tablet melded together to one giant phone.

Now, change gears for a minute and focus on women’s handbags, more specifically that the larger handbags, not that long ago, went away with extreme prejudice and were replaced by the smaller, chic version.

That isn’t the case in 2016 as the larger bags are begging (and getting) a major comeback as the accessory of choice. But downsizing isn’t completely taboo, even if it isn’t the fashionable tour de force it was not that long ago.

Sure, the small handbag isn’t thriving but it’s alive and well enough for a few manufacturers and designers to take note and give the minority of women who still want small wonders of handbags something to choose from that doesn’t forget how much style matters.

Two styles of smaller bags in particular are starting to show signs of life, namely that of a leather or suede ilk and those that sport a thicker, chain like strap (gold and silver both are widely accepted).

The suede bags by Burberry and Chloe send shivers through the spines of women who want small but don’t want to be cast aside for that tiny choice versus their larger counterparts. At first glance, the larger straps on some of these bags is a bit off putting but works with the suede and leather look.

As for the leather, a lot of small bags are the ones that, when pulled shut, have that twist tie look at the top, a really fashionable and trendy style for spring particularly but works year round as well.

The perfect handbag is truly in the eye of the beholder, but big certainly would be considered beautiful as far as fashion goes for now. But if you’re ready to buck the trend and go rogue with your style, you can do so knowing that a smaller bag isn’t going to equal big problems with how you’re perceived from a fashion standpoint.

It just means, in your eyes, good things do still come in small packages.

Eye Balling: How eye color plays into choice of makeup

Have you ever considered the possibility that your eye color and your eye liner play a game of back and forth with one another?

More specifically, does your eye color affect the type of eye liner color you ultimately choose?

The idea that eye liner doesn’t matter is somewhat laughable, almost the same as the comment suggesting that one size fits all when it comes to eye liners.

The truth of the matter is eye liner color does matter as certain shades of a particular hue will ultimately make your eye color pop.

Darker, brown eyes tend to work best with blue liner, while those delectable blue eyes match up perfectly with a gold liner.

While green eyes are always a stunner, a reddish, brown tone doesn’t harken colors of the holiday but instead makes those unique green eyes stand out even more so than they do already.

And as long as we are focusing on the eyes, why not ask the question how you can make them look bigger and bolder? Anyone who pays close attention to their makeup, whether you’re talking about the aforementioned eye color and liner or concealer, foundation or anything that you put on your face.

Your eyes really tie everything together from a makeup standpoint, so it’s hard not to get totally involved in making those peepers pop. How exactly do you make them stand out?

For starters, why not look at not only the eye liner in conjunction with the color of your eyes, but also get rid of the puffiness, the number one concern for eye issues, with cold, not hot in the way compresses. The cold part flushes the skin and takes away the swelling look under your eyes. Concealer, the right one, also will take the attention off the puffy eyes and back on to your eyes and all that you’re done to make them that much more important.

Equally paramount is having eyebrows that are framed for your face but also specifically for your eyes. The right frame can draw all kinds of right attention to your eyes, and unruly brows are best left to those who aren’t interested in making their eyes the focal point of their makeup endeavor.

When you think about the phrase “the eyes have it,” you can’t argue that part of your face is fair game as far as making bold decisions with eye liner and making sure the first impression, the first glance is always the best one you put forward.