Category Archives: fit

Your Miraclebody Has Finally Arrived!

Finding a pair of jeans that are flattering can be an arduous and demoralizing experience.  That is why I just have to tell you about these fantastic jeans that I was sporting around-town yesterday.

They are called Miraclebody® Jeans and they are from the makers of the1201CC10-EBY_2 Miraclesuit.  The jeans are made from a patent-pending material called Miratex and boast twice the spandex of ordinary jeans. 

In full disclosure, the company sent me a pair of jeans to review and I was very skeptical that they could really live up to the claim that they will make you look “10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds!”   But with the tummy-control panel in the front, the extra spandex to slim your thighs and lift your tushy, I agree with their proclamation.  I was really impressed.

The first thing that I noticed when I tried them on was how unbelievably comfortable they were!  I don’t think I have ever worn a pair of jeans that felt so good.  I am an apple shape, which means that there is no getting around my muffin-top.  The Miraclebody® Jeans are midrise so they hugged my muffin-top so that for once, I could actually wear a belt without looking lumpy.  Now that’s a miracle!

I chose the ebony bootcut style above, but they come in several colors, cuts and styles.

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You may be wondering, where can I buy Miraclebody® Jeans?

Miraclebody® jeans, leggings, skirts and tops can be purchased at their site online www.miraclebody.com or you can go to: Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales.

Here’s the kicker though, they don’t come cheap.  With a price tag starting at $110 it is more than most of us spend on a pair of jeans.  However, I ask you to consider this: it’s significantly cheaper than lipo, easier than losing 10lbs. and I wouldn’t recommend them if I really didn’t think they were worth the money.  They really are a good investment piece.  Not to mention, Mother’s Day is coming up and these jeans would make a terrific present.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, Miraclebody® Jeans is looking for “Women Who Shape our Lives”.  They are looking for women to share their stories about how someone has made an impact on your life or something that you have done to make a significant difference.  You can enter at www.weshapewomen.com for a chance to be one of 10 Semi-finalists to win a denim wardrobe from Miraclebody® valued at over $300.  Four lucky winners will be flown into NYC to take part in a photo session with photographer James Macari for an advertisement showcasing your winning story in the August  issue of PEOPLE StyleWatch® magazine. You also will receive a consultation with celebrity stylist Robert Verdi and a makeover at the Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon.

Just for entering, you will be given a $20 coupon good towards the purchase of your Miraclebody® Jeans.  (Then you can give that coupon to your hubby as a little hint.)

I hope that you will take the opportunity to enter yourself in this contest.  As women we’re always reluctant to admit what we are doing well for fear that we are boasting.  Well I’m telling you right now, you deserve it!  You work hard all year long and it’s ok feel proud of what you do to contribute to your family, friends and your community.   I want you to brag up a storm and win yourself a new wardrobe and a little pampering.  Remember, you’ve EARNED it!

Good luck and Happy Mother’s Day!!

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Fashion Sensei Says…

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Choo’s 4 All!

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H&M

Great news for shoe lovers!  H&M is collaborating with Jimmy Choo to design an exclusive collection for the discount retailer.  The luxe shoes which normally sell for $500 or more, will be up for grabs (and I’m sure there will be a few catfights to get your hands on these babies) for only $60-$200. 

What’s more, included in the Jimmy Choo collection are men’s shoes, accessories, bags and even clothes.  So mark your calendars for November 14th and get your running shoes ready.  The mad dash for Jimmy Choo will be a great warm up for the after Thanksgiving sales the following week. [People.com]

 

“The Letter” Rages On, Spawning “Cosmosexuals”…

Earlier this week, I wrote about the now infamous letter penned by Vogue UK editor Alexandra Shulman and her criticism to the fashion industry for supplying the fashion tome with clothing so tiny that the magazine is forced into using tiny models and later photo shopping their pictures to look heavier.

This has caused quite a buzz on the internet. 

Now, columnist Kevin Meyers of Independent Ireland, is coining a new phrase to describe the designers who are promoting the emaciated “New Woman”, he’s calling them “Cosmosexuals”.

Almost no designers of women’s clothes are women. Most are male Cosmosexuals — who are either homosexuals, such as Yves St Laurent, Christian Dior or Gianni Versace, or more ambiguous denizens of the Cosmosphere, such as Gaultier, Lagerfeld and Valentino. Hardly any designers for women are simply straightforward heterosexual men. Tommy Hilfiger and Paul Costelloe clearly love women as they are. Which is why their clothes celebrate women’s carnality, their sexuality and the sheer exuberant bodiness of the female form.

This cannot be said of gay designerdom: Versace, St Laurent, Dior, or of their Cosmosexual peers. Together, they have redesigned the female body to suit their own demented needs. This ambition is very 20th century, and echoes the earlier schemes of Marxists and National Socialists, to create The New Man. Except, the Cosmosexual project is to create The New Woman — and what do you know: she looks just like a teenage boy (emphasis mine). [Independent.ie]

Meyers believes that when we look back to this time in history,  Shulman’s letter will be regarded as “that point where history turned”.  I certainly hope so. 

A Fit Revolution

With the revolution brewing in the fashion industry, I believe we will have another woman to thank; her name is Cricket Lee.  She has taken on the industry to standardize fit through her Fitlogic technology. 

Imagine being able to walk into a store and buying a pair of pants that fit your exact body shape and size without having to try on dozens of styles.  Click here for a post I wrote about her crusade on our behalf.   This is a cause that we can all rally behind!

What do you have to say?  Leave me a comment!!

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Ask Fashion Sensei: Prom Conundrum

Reader Valentina Asks Fashion Sensei To Help Her Find A Prom Dress

Q: I am 6′1″ – but not proportionate. I’m a size four at the bust and eight everywhere else, my legs are very long but my torso is proportionately smaller, my arms are long and gangly (making it hard to find shirts) and to top it off my lack of curves leaves my hips with these unflattering bumps that look like love handles but are really just a result of absolutely no shape in my hip region.

The main problem is that my body line is completely straight (36-34-36). I’m trying to look for a prom dress flattering to my figure but all the information leads me to believe that form fitting dresses look good on tall women. This is not the case for me as I’m very bony and shapeless. Finding clothes that fit are hard enough without trying to find FLATTERING clothes that fit. Help me please?

A:  Thanks for the question Valentina!  High School is a trying period for everyone, but finding the right dress for such a special occasion like prom can be very frustrating if you are not an “average” size.

Rather than focus on figure variations that you aren’t happy about, let’s concentrate on your best features.

Being tall opens up all sorts of possibilities that your petite counterparts envy—namely your size.

When looking for your dress I would recommend some of the following features:

  • A sweetheart bodice-  It’s a heart shape top to the dress that will compliment your bust, with out being revealing.
  • A bodice with embellishment-  When you have a small bust adding details like bows or ruffles adds proportion to your lower half.
  • A full skirt-  The “party” dress is really popular this season and was worn by Taylor Swift in a recent spread she did for InStyle magazine.  What’s great about this kind of skirt is that Here is an example with a sweet heart bodice like the one I mentioned above.  Add a pop of color to this look with one of the seasons hottest colors- fuchsia.

(Click on images for shopping information.)

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  • Bridal Shop– If you are looking for a full length gown, consider going to a bridal shop.  These dresses are typically altered, so they are longer than a full length dress that you would buy at a department store.  I had a client two years ago who wanted a full length gown for Homecoming and she was 5’10.  We hit the jackpot when we went to the local David’s Bridal where this dress below is from.

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  • One-Shoulder/Print/Gloves– The dress below is also one that I would recommend to you because it incorporates one of springs’ popular trends—the one shoulder look.  Further, it has a print that will create a focal point on the dress, rather than your body.  The flare at the bottom creates fantastic proportion that will compliment you too.  You mentioned your arms earlier and I think the gloves worn with this dress would be especially appealing on you as well.

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Prom Dress Don’ts

Here are some general don’ts for young women to consider while shopping for prom.

Don’t go for the revealing, backless or cutout look.  It just looks cheap—not fashionable at all.

Don’t buy really thin satin dresses.  You can see your underwear through them—and you better be wearing them!

Which brings me to the next don’t.  Don’t forget to wear a bra.  Many times young ladies think that they don’t need to wear a bra—you do.  Extra support is always good and when you bend over, I would much rather someone see your bra than your bare bosom.

Don’t get caught up in finding the most expensive, ultra trendy dress.  Instead, find a basic dress that you can add some really incredible accessories to.  Belts are REALLY in right now, so if you find a black dress, pair it with a bright belt and matching shoes.

Don’t over match.  With the example above, I suggested to match only two accessories.  You don’t need a matching bag, shoes, earrings, etc.

 

Valentina I hope this information helps!  Be sure to send me a picture of you at prom.  I would love to see what you decide on.

If you have a question that you would like Fashion Sensei to answer, go to the “Ask Fashion Sensei” tab and leave me a question.  I may even use it for a featured Fashion Lesson!

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Filed under Fashion Lesson, fit, straight shape, Tall

Fashion Lesson #25: The White Shirt

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The white shirt is the most versatile and timeless staple in any woman’s closet.  In today’s Fashion Lesson, we will discuss what to look for in this perennial classic and how to get the most for your money.

Are you one of those people who go into a store, try on a shirt, then another, then still another, until you finally find the right fit, not really knowing why a particular shirt looks good? 

Wouldn’t it be great to know what to look for on that next shopping trip?

I’ll let you in on a few secret tips that Fashion Sensei clients already know.

When looking for a new shirt, think of the three F’s.

  1. Fit
  2. Fabric
  3. Finish

The first of my top three tips centers on fit.  To get started, there are a few definitions that we should know when searching for the most flattering garment off the rack.

Collar– The area of fabric that folds over and comes to a point on each end.  The points may come in a wide range of styles including a sharp long point, button down and rounded. The area between the points, is referred to the spread.

Fashion Tips: Some people feel that the wider the spread, the wider you face may look.  I think that these effects can be quite subtle, so check them out for yourself the next time you are trying on a shirt to see if it makes a noticeable difference.

When looking at the points of a collar, think of them as arrows–792V_White_enlargedlong points that are vertical, will draw the eye down.  A varsity collar or a collar that points outward, may help to broaden shoulders.  Rounded tips may aid in softening a woman with sharp features.

It sometimes goes without saying, but the higher the collar, the more coverage it provides.  If you have a long neck, a tall collar may put your neck in better proportion.  Tall collars can also hide the sins of aging, such as a wrinkly neck.

Yoke- One of the most important components of a shirt, the yoke is the area between the shoulders that connects the other panels of the shirt together including the arms.  _5726469

Placket- The area of the shirt where the garment will be buttoned.  You may find hidden placket shirts where an extra piece of fabric covers the buttons.  

Darts– A method in sewing to taper a garment to your body shape.  When shopping, this may be called “fitted” or “tailored”.

Fabric–  Many of the shirts that you buy off the rack are made from cotton broadcloth or cotton poplin which tends not to wrinkle as easily.  

When handling the garment, you will notice the weave density, weight and texture of the fabric.  Generally, a bargain shirt from a discount store will be lighter weight,  have a bit looser weave and the texture or feel of the fabric may not be as soft.  This has a lot to do with the quality of cotton used and the length of the cotton fibers.  Longer fibers create better shirts, but cost more money.

See through shirts are not always the hallmark of a poor quality garment.  Some designers will create a thin fabric for their shirts in the summer season or for layering purposes.

There are also a wide variety of blended fabrics to choose from.  Some incorporate polyester to reduce wrinkling or add a wrinkle resistant finish to the fabric.  Others, add spandex for added comfort and movement of the garment.

Finish– When examining the final product, be sure to notice the overall construction and finishing touches.

Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • How is each section sewn?  Are the stitches wide or loose?  If so, this shirt will not endure as many washings as its better constructed sister with tighter stitches.
  • Are there loose threads?  This could be a possible sign of poor craftsmenship.
  • Do pieces pucker?  Each panel of the garment should lay flat.  If it puckers on the hanger, it will pucker on you.
  • Is the hem even? 
  • Are the buttons secure?
  • Are the points on the collar even?

Finally, here are a few suggestions in different price ranges to consider the next time you are out shopping.

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                                   Gap                  Sandra Ingrish Mitered Shirt

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Craig Taylor Jet Set Twist Shirt

(Click on any of the above images for shopping information.)Reference

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Fashion Lesson #24: Mommy Makeover

There’s something about having children and being in your 30’s (or greater) that can sometimes induce a fashion-identity crisis.

You may think, I’m a mother now, how should I dress?  Or I’m in my 30’s I don’t know what is appropriate anymore.  Even worse, is the mother who doesn’t care anymore.

I wish I had a dollar for every woman who has said that they care more about what their children look like over themselves.

For today’s Fashion Lesson, we will discuss how to dress after becoming a mom and how to look fashionable—yet age-appropriate—without looking dowdy.

The first step in our Mommy Makeover, is to address that abyss attached to your bedroom, also known as your closet.  When was the last time you went through and weeded out all the clothes that no longer fit?

Do you still have an outfit like this from the 90’s that you rocked on a date night?

If you answered yes, PLEASE get rid of it!

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Boots like these have no place in your closet.

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This heel has been out of style for years, yet I still see women in boots or shoes with this big, clunky heel.

Here is my suggestion for a date night boot.

Bootie

Not your typical tall boot, the bootie is this fall’s answer to the staple of years past.  This particular brand is by Söfft, and like the name suggests, they are known for comfort.  The sturdy heel will also be supportive for those of you reacquainting yourselves with heels.

The model you see above is vegan, so here are a pair of boots that I suggested to her from Payless.  Aren’t they cute?

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For an evening out, my mommy-model was immediately drawn to this dress from a local hot spot, Rise clothing in Royal Oak, Michigan.

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With the dress above, we paired it with black leggings so that it was more age-appropriate.  You could also wear the dress as a blouse by donning a pair of skinny jeans (or a style that fits your shape) and booties.

I happened upon a mother of teenagers in Target Monday, who said that all of the clothes that she was looking at, seemed only to be suitable for her daughter or mother.  That seems to be the consensus for women with teenage daughters.  It appears that there are stores for teenagers and young women, but after that, the market seems to go a bit dry.

Here is a suggestion for a date night out for my sophisticated friends.

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This jacket is flattering on so many levels.  First, the high kimono-waist sits at the smallest area of a woman’s torso.  No matter how big your tummy is, this is the most slimming area to create a focal point.  The wide sleeve is excellent for any-size arms and the A-line in the jacket adds lovely proportion.

I also like the crisp, white shirt under this jacket.  A white shirt is a timeless staple in any woman’s wardrobe.

Now that you have your date night outfit secured, it’s time get rid of the ripped-up jeans or sweats.  Instead, opt for something more attractive for your trips to the grocery store.  You never know who  you may meet.

While my model has an amazing figure (even after having a little boy), the old Billy Idol cropped T-shirt and ripped-up jeans is not particularly age-appropriate for running errands with a child.

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Instead, we opted for this fantastic western-theme dress, leggings and a pair of flat boots that she already owns.  It’s youthful without trying too hard.

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For the cooler Michigan fall afternoons, we found this wonderful walking jacket, floral scarf and flared trouser jeans.

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To stretch your dollar, use classic items in your closet and update them with current accessories like the scarf above.  Also, never underestimate the power of a pop of color.  It shows the world that there’s a spark of personality under those neutral colors you’re wearing.

To help you get started with your shopping this weekend, here is a sampling of some of the sales going on.

Ann TaylorSave an extra 20% off TODAY ONLY with this coupon.

Ann Taylor Loft Save up to 60% off on their Columbus Day Sale.

Liz Claiborne.com– Extra 30% off previously reduced merchandise when you use discount code CDAY30.

J.Jill- Extra $10 off with this coupon.  See afore mentioned link for further discounts of $25-$50.

Cusp– Save 40% off new arrivals.

Macy’s Columbus Day Sale

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I also want to say a special thank you to Sylvia at Rise Clothing for providing us with full reign of her store and to my client Lori for allowing me to photograph her in her outdated clothing.

To purchase the looks you see here today, stop in to Rise Clothing at  525 S. Washington, Royal Oak MI.

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Filed under Accessories, Aging, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, fit, Metro Detroit, straight shape, Style, Trends

Biniki: The Butt Bra

I was listening to the radio yesterday and one of the hosts was laughing because she said that she was going to order the “Butt Bra” and let the listeners know how it worked out.

The “Butt Bra”?

The first thing that came to mind was the male bra that Kramer invented for George’s dad called the “Bro” or “Manzier” from Seinfeld.  (Be sure to watch the clip it’s hilarious.)

I had never heard of a Butt Bra.

Well, here it is…the Biniki.

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For approximately $29.95 you can purchase what looks like a series of elastic bands sewn together to give a little lift to your lovely lady lump.

Biniki is comfortable, invisible under most clothing, emphasizes smaller derrieres, provides needed support for those with more in back, stays in place with all movement and raises the rear as much as an inch on many people! The basic structure of Biniki is a waist/hip band with two strategically placed adjustable leg loops that encircle the buttocks. [gizmag.com]

I’m not so sure there is a bumrush for this product yet, butt you never know. 😀

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Fashion Lesson: #23 Fall Cardigans For Your Shape

One of the most versatile trends this fall is the cardigan.  No matter your shape or size, there’s something out there for you.

For today’s Fashion Lesson, we will explore examples for the Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Straight figures, and several other variations.

These sweaters are so versatile, they will flatter a wide variety shapes.  It’s all in the details.

The first sweater would look nice on an Hourglass figure.  As I have discussed in prior Fashion Lessons, a belted waist helps to accentuate the lovely curves of an Hourglass shape. I recommend you lose the monochromatic belt, and pair it with a skinny animal print one instead. 

Bows are really hot this season and if you have a small bust, the bow on this blouse would add a little volume to that area to enhance your figure.

Apples and Straight Figures, you could pull of this look as well.  All that you need to do is ditch the belt. 

If you have a large bust, I encourage you to find a different blouse.  The bow will only make you look more ample.  You want to keep the V neck line of this sweater to draw the eye down and break up the area.

You could wear a the same sort of shirt that is illustrated below with a long necklace.

(Click on images for shopping information.)

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I love the shock of color with this cardigan.  This is really the sort of sweater that would look good on any shape.  Due to its hip length, it will not draw too much attention to a Pear’s thighs as if she were to wear the gray example above.  I also think the shirt and tie is a really cute combination.

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This sweater would compliment a busty Apple shape woman.  The deep V will draw the eye down, and the band around the hips will add proportion to a full bust.

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Here is another example of a universally flattering casual sweater.  The dolman sleeve on this cardigan would also suit a woman with full arms.  You could even layer this combination one more time with a pop of color from the long sleeve tee that would enhance your complexion.

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Honestly, I could have written this whole post based on the cardigan page on Anthropologie.com.  This lovely example would become an Hourglass, Straight or Pear figure. 

Especially important to a Straight figure, this sweater creates an hourglass shape with the peplum at the hips.

One other interesting point to note.  Do you see how the wide set buttons draw the eye outward, broadening the the shoulders?  Now look at the close set buttons on the lower body of the cardigan.  They help create the focal point for a smaller waist.

This is very important if you are a Pear with narrow shoulders.  You want embellishments that create a broad shoulder to put your upper body in proportion to you lower body.

Remember that when you are out shopping.  Wider set buttons, make certain areas look larger and closer set buttons make the area look smaller.

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I really fancy this swing sweater for an Apple shape paired with the the blouse below.  The ruffle on the blouse helps to lengthen a Short Waist and add proportion at the same time.

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A cardigan post would not be complete without a cashmere argyle sweater.  Universally flattering, you can wear it with a pair of jeans or dress it up with an equally universally flattering A-Line skirt.  Don’t you just love that cute little belt?

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This is my Wild Card pick.  I like the very unusual, almost Medusa looking design around the neck.  When I first saw it, I thought it would be a good choice for a small bust because all that detailing adds volume and draws the eye in that direction rather than focus on your cup size. 

Reader Heba asked for some advice earlier about examples for a small bust, hence the extra examples this week.

I felt the bell sleeves on the blouse would be a good choice for this sweater and would look great together with a pair of pants like the ones pictured for a business casual outfit at the office.    

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Finally, I am a big fan of polka dots and I thought this sweater vest would be really fun under this bright red cardigan. 

You can tone it down if you are not interested in a “LOOK AT ME!” sort of image.  It could also be worn under a blazer or over a white blouse similar to the one above for a less conspicuous appearance.

If you are a Pear or Hourglass shape, consider buttoning up the sweater and wearing a skinny black belt with it to accentuate your little waist.

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I hope these tips help.  If you have a suggestion for a future Fashion Lesson topic, be sure to leave me a comment!

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Filed under Apple Shape, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, fit, High Waist, Hourglass Shape, Large Bust, Metro Detroit, narrow shoulders, Pear Shape, personal shopper, Short Waist, Small Bust, straight shape