Monthly Archives: July 2008

Back To School

Before my surgery, I was contacted by a writer from a Kansas newspaper inquiring which trends would be popular for middle school and high school girls.  I thought I would pass along some of my ideas for those of you in school or have kids about to head back in the coming weeks.

You may remember many of these trends from the fall catwalks and have now filtered their way down to school age children.  Some of the trends like polka-dots, plaid and the color purple are very hot for adults as well. 

In the coming weeks I will do a more in-depth look at key fall looks, but in the meantime, don’t forget that Nordstrom is having their Anniversary Sale.  It’s a great opportunity to pick up some of those coveted fall looks at a significant savings.  But don’t wait too long, the sale ends August 4th!

80’s Styles Abound

As it was in the spring, neon and other 80’s inspired styles are still really popular.  For fall, you will still see a lot of footless tights and graphic tees, along with updated jean jackets and tailored bomber jackets top off the look. 

I love this jacket from Forever 21.  To add a little of your own personality, style your jacket “Old-School”, with some vintage rock or message buttons.  Check out the eBay store Punk Your Buttons for a little retro flair.

(click on images for shopping details.)

51417862-01 6369_1


_5649180 _5634769

_5647763 _5644440

Pitter Patter of Pattern

There’s a lot to like about this fall’s love affair with patterns.  First off, incorporating different patterns like hounds tooth, plaid, stripes, polka dots and geometric prints give your wardrobe endless possibilities.  A shirt with multiple colors offer several options when paired with different sweaters, jackets, pants, accessories or shoes to change the look.  It’s a great way to increase your wardrobe without increasing the volume.

This Tribal Print Tee from Forever 21 has endless possibilities.  You can layer it with the above jean jacket, or a long sleeve T-Shirt or any number of colorful hoodies.  I can even see it with the very retro Reeboks pictured here and skinny jeans.



Middle School


 2166254_099  61tHMYK5erL__AA262_



Prep School Polish

The preppy look really never goes out of style, but the addition of varsity sweaters, argyle, blazers (Think Gossip Girl) and headbands move girls out of the original 80’s style, and into an updated look.

14440168_04_b 51229780-02

51044407-01 14765788_41_b

Middle School

219458_5Y07_LF_DNV 178978_AK06_M1_LEF 

315300_AK08_LF_QGC gp580664-01p01v01

gp579996-01p01v01 064702_1_300x300


Scarves Aren’t Just For Chilly Days

For fall scarves are a major accessory.  You’ll find them coinciding with many of the seasons popular trends such as print, plaid, fringe style or argyle.  Whichever option you choose, it’s a great way to spice up a t-shirt and jeans.

51790156-04 51875683-02

gp590453-01p01v01 14882989_40_d


You Can’t go wrong with Chuck or Mary Jane 

Some of the hottest trends in footwear are Converse Chuck Taylor’s, Mary Janes, Moccasins and the T-Strap.  Think color and lots of personality.

Oh-Deer!-shoes-Gumdrop-(Houndstooth-Wool-Black)-010604 02881629_zi_neon_pink

Rocket-Dog-shoes-Kung-Fu-(Off-White-Lumberjack-Plaid)-010404 gp580336-02p01v01

_5640143 pl583851-00p01v01

Eco Conscious Carry-All

Kids have joined the Eco Conscious and sustainability movement, so here are some backpacks, lunch bags and water bottles that are earth friendly and cool.

104643_5_1 105343_1_1

 16467_med LNB-1




I hope these suggestions help while you are out shopping this Back-To-School season.  And for all you ladies and young ladies getting ready to shop, it’s not cool to wear clothes that don’t fit well (that means muffin tops) or shows too much skin.  The cool girls wear clothes that fit, flatter and show off how creative they are.  As I write in all my Fashion Lessons, not all trends are made for your body.  Just because it’s in style doesn’t mean that it will look good on you.  Trust your mom’s or girlfriend’s opinions if you’re not sure.


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!



Filed under Accessories, Beauty, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, pop culture, retail, runway, sale, Shoes, Style, Trends

Recovery & Coupons

Hi Guys, it’s been a couple of weeks now and my creative juices are starting to come back slowly.  My recovery is coming along, I’m just anxious to have my mouth unclamped.  My family keeps teasing me that I can start a new career as a ventriloquist.  😀

I will say that the first week was really hard.  I had to go back to the hospital the day after I was released for dehydration, vomiting and an adverse effect to my pain medication.

I often hear stories about people who wait in the ER waiting room for long periods of time before they are admitted, so I was worried on my way back to the hospital that I would have to wait.  Well, they took one look at me, and how swollen my face was, that they took me right back.  I think I sort of freaked them out a bit.  I looked like I had a softball stuffed in each cheek.  I didn’t know my face could swell up that big.

The good news is that I don’t have to worry about becoming addicted to the pain medication.  I discovered that I get really sick if I take narcotics.  Now I’m just gutting it out with Tylenol and Motrin.


Also, I wanted to pass along a couple of coupons that are burning up my e-mail in box.

First is a great coupon for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.  From August 1-3 you can get 25% off your purchase and 5% of that purchase will be donated to Dress For Success.  Here’s how you get the discount.  The first 10 people to send me their e-mail address will be sent an invitation with a 25% off discount offer.  My e-mail is fashionsensei(at)  You have until 5pm EDT to contact me for the offer.

Express-  Save $10 off a $20 purchase or save $20 off a $75 purchase.  Click here for coupon.  Expires July 28th.

Finally, I’m interested to know what you thought about solestruck.  Did you like their selection?  Did anyone take advantage of the discount?

Alright, guys I’ll talk to you again soon…

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!


Filed under Coupons, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, retail, sale

solestruck Exclusive Discount!

I recently stumbled upon a noteworthy shoe site that I think you should know about., although geared to the “Junior” market, solestruck offers such a wide variety of shoes, one could find shoes that appeal to everyone from teens to grandmas.  Not just the trendy types either, they have shoes to satisfy personalities ranging from granola goddess to glam girl.

Brand names include Roxy to Delman for the trendy types and Keds to Campers for those seeking comfort.New-Balance-shoes-W-975-(Grey-Blue)-010404

While I struck out when it came to finding a wide variety in my size (10.5), I was fortunate to find a pair of much needed workout sneakers by New Balance that I have on order. 

Now, because the majority of the world is not a big foot like me, I did some pre-shopping for you to get an idea of what shoe candy awaits you.

(Click on the image for links to each shoe.)


Here are four things that you should know about

  1. Shipping is FREE
  2. Return shipping is free too! Now you don’t have to worry if the shoe fits.  If it doesn’t, you can return it and get the right size without paying to have them sent back to you. Fantastic!
  3. You have 12 months from the date of purchase to return your shoes.  Can you believe that?  But please don’t try to send back a pair that you already wore out on your hot date.  Wear them around the house first to make sure they fit.
  4. Finally, best of all, Fashion Sensei couldn’t forget her girls, so enter discount code FTGH88F2F for a 20% discount on your TOTAL purchase.  That even includes sale items!  This deal ends 7/16/08 so don’t wait.  Your shoes might not be there when you go back.  I got the last pair of New Balance in my size. 

A special thanks to Danielle at solestruck for the terrific discount for the Fashion Sensei readers!  This will officially be my last post for awhile, so I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and I hope to put up at least one post to note my progress in a couple of weeks.



If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!



Filed under blogging, Coupons, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Polyvore, retail, sale, Shoes, Style, Trends

Polygamy Fashion For All

I was reading Cynthia Nellis’ article Polygamy Chic this morning and thought to myself, “I’ll bite” when I saw a link to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints clothing website.

Many of us have seen the full length, puffy sleeved uniform dresses the women of this sect wore during coverage of the raid on their ranch back in April.

What I learned in clicking on the link in Cynthia’s story, was that these women have their own website where those so inclined may purchase dresses, jeans, shirts and even underwear for children and teens.  I’m not too sure who will be buying these garments for their kids, but the folks behind this site are aiming to make a tidy profit.

Here are a few examples of what you will find.

This teen dress, yes I said teen, runs $72.53 for a size 8 to $80.45 for a size 18.


The following jeans range from size 2 ($31.81) to size 14 ($39.94)


Last but not least, you may purchase a pair of these very modest and likely very warm for the summer underwear for teens.


Aside from my initial voyeuristic curiosity into the lives and fashion of these people, I was really struck by the following quote on their website:

“And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that
which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the
afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel,

yet they were neat and comely.” Alma 1:27

My assumption is that they want to share the source of their beliefs for our understanding.  However, what baffles me, is if “…they did not wear costly apparel”, why are they selling a very ugly dress for $80.45?  There’s nothing in the above quote that the clothes had to be ugly or even cover every square inch of their bodies.

I find it really surprising that a dress for over $80 is not considered costly by their standards.

Here’s a “neat and comely” dress that one of your teenagers could wear for the same price.  It has longer sleeves, very modest by a modern teenager’s standards, and it’s $88 right about the FLDS price range.


Or better yet, let her wear something like this.



  If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!


Filed under Beauty, controversial, Diversity, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, pop culture, Style, Trends

Fashion Lesson #18 "Closet Control"

I am reading an interesting book by Barbra Horowitz entitled “Closet Control“. It discusses techniques on how to edit your wardrobe, arrange your closet and turn old treasures into new.

Barbra starts her book introducing readers to her three wardrobe philosophies: Eco-Selfish, Sweaters In Your Head and Small Space, Big Dreams.

First, she defines Eco-Selfish as “…working with what you have rather than constantly buying more”.  Readers are encouraged to renew old items by having them tailored in a different way (i.e. sleeves cut or dress shortened into a top) or by shrinking or dying old pieces.

Ms. Horowitz is known for her interesting techniques in cutting old t-shirts into a new designs.  Below, is a video demonstrating how she reconstructs a new T-Shirt.

I’m not exactly sure about that T-Shirt for me, but she does have some other interesting designs in her book.  One useful tip that I did walk away with, was to not be afraid to cut off the bottom of my T-Shirts.  I have an extra long shirt that was really popular about two years ago, but now looks a little dated.  I cut off the bottom and pulled it so the edge rolled (to hide my uneven cutting) and now it looks great.  Now that I think about it, I have another really cute shirt tucked away that I could use this same technique on.

The Second philosophy she discusses is Sweaters In Your Head.  In her book, she relays an encounter with one of her clients who remarked, “It’s hard to let go of that sweater in your head”, referring to the struggle we all have in purging old items that have a story or represent a meaningful period in our lives.

Barbra’s solution is to either re-work the old garment in a new way by re-tailoring, cutting, dying or shrinking it; or to re-sell or donate it when possible.

For most people I work with, I think that letting go of an old wardrobe is very difficult.  However, giving away a garment go doesn’t mean that you are letting go of a memory, it simply allows you more room in your closet for more.

Moreover, how many times have you looked in your closet and said to yourself, I don’t have anything to wear?  The truth is, you may not, so it’s time to purge.


Which brings me to the last of Barbra’s philosophies Small Space, Big Dreams.  With this philosophy, she urges us to keep our “wardrobes lean and light.”

How many times have you walked into your closet and felt overwhelmed by the disorganization and the sheer volume of your wardrobe?  Many times we wear a select number of pieces and ignore the rest.  Barbra purges her closet 4 times a year (once for each season) and either donates or resells her clothing. 

If it has been a long time since you have purged your closet, you may have a very large donate pile due to all of your dated pieces.  But, with regular editing, the resell pile will become larger and you will have more money to re-invest in your current wardrobe.  Further, I agree with Barbra that one should not hold on to items older than three years.

When it comes time to break free from your old wardrobe and create room for your new abundance, Barbra has the following “Closet Commandments”:

  1. Remove everything from the closet.
  2. Clean the space-don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease!
  3. Paint the space (optional, of course, but worth the effort).
  4. Plan how you will fill the space-grab a pen and paper and start diagramming.
  5. Purchase storage and organizing pieces.
  6. Put everything back.

If you are looking for some great ideas on how to maximize space in your closet, click here for some inspiring illustrations.

Finally, in reading “Closet Control”, I felt that Barbra had several interesting ideas and is well worth the time to read.  Her philosophy may give you that gentle nudge you have needed to pay attention to your closet and its contents.

To read more about this book or purchase it, click here.  Don’t forget that you can also pick this book up from your local library (I did).

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!



Filed under books, Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, retail, Style, Trends

One Man’s Trash Is Another’s Upcycled Treasure

Who would have ever thought carrying umbrellas, wallets, or handbags made from trash would ever have been considered chic?  With the advent of Global Warming and the fact that we are practically swimming in trash these days, it was only a matter of time before someone capitalized on it.

We have seen discards like, gum wrappers, seatbelts, newspapers and even license plates find a new life.  However, I think what makes TerraCycle (known for fertilizer), different is that they are really making inroads and developing relationships with major corporations.

TerraCycle profits from its relationships with Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co., Clif Bar & Co. and Coca-Cola by gathering unrecycleable packaging and then upcycling it into fashionable items such as shower curtains, umbrellas, pencil cases, totes, lunchboxes and backpacks.MK-AQ410_UPCYCL_20080630125932  I was really drawn to the Chips Ahoy! umbrella.

Then I started to think, is the general population really ready to trade in their new products for upcycled trash? 

What do you think?  Is upcycling just another clever advertising tactic or is this a genuine effort to make a difference?  Would you buy a shower curtain made from old cheese wrappers? 

Then to take this one step further, would you be willing to only wear second hand clothes in an effort to reduce the amount of waste associated in purchasing new?

Source: Wall Street Journal

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!


1 Comment

Filed under Accessories, Business, earth day, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, pop culture, retail, Trends