It’s Time To Leave the House

I have worn the same pair of joggers for the past 13 months, roughly 5 days out of the week. I figure the other 2 days of the week have averaged “jammies” with a loose pant thrown into the mix very once in a while. I have enjoyed the loose pant year quite a bit! The down side to this has been not really noticing the Covid pounds slowly jumping into the joggers with me. I have mostly only myself to blame, but there have been actual bumps in the road that have put a hitch in my giddy up. I hit a sidewalk crack while running in October, and (after checking to see if anyone saw) realized I cut my hand open and tore a calf muscle. 6 weeks later, the day after I got out of the calf boot, I tore my shoulder labrum in an excited effort to lift weights again. I am out of the shoulder sling and in a fashion pickle now that it is time to leave the house and meet the world again.

With everything that has happened in the world over the last year, this is a no big deal. I realize this, but it is exciting to have the opportunity to open my closet door again. It is not exciting, however, for everything to be really tight. I refuse to buy bigger sizes and want to look well put together, but how? I have grown quite fond of the feel of stretchy pants and a tight jean waist seems unreasonable. I am choosing to skip the 2021 trends and stick with streamlined classics. My leaving-the-house wardrobe consists of a fitted denim jacket, trench coat, dark jeans with a lot of stretch, stretchy pants in a dressier silhouette, easy dresses and shoes with a pop. I top it off with liquid confidence in the form of a perfume that makes me feel a little saucy.

Denim jacket: I can wear a denim jacket year around with Southern California weather. This is a category where you can spend a little more money because they never go out of style. I think of them as an instant upgrade, and have for the last dozen or so years. Jackets are always a wonderful investment piece. I know that the trend is oversized, but that just doesn’t appeal to me for the purpose of looking pulled together. Go fitted and a little cropped if you’re petite. It makes them easier to wear over a dress.

Madewell Denim jacket in pinter wash, $118

Trench coat: This name makes me laugh. What the name conjures in my imagination is probably what yours does too, but the style is so good. Again, an oversized one is very on trend right now, but a classic fit trench coat will slim your figure to your advantage. I go back and forth on belted vs. unbelted, but that’s up to you. I love London Fog. It has just the right weight for California weather. A classic style will last you forever. Get a basic, then add fun prints or bold colors. I may or may not be a coat collector….

London Fog, double breasted trench

London Fog in watermelon, $94.50 at Macy’s. Many colors are offered, but this is by far my fav.

Jeans with stretch: Go for a slight boot cut paired under the trench to maximize the silhouette. Boot cut or straight is a more flattering silhouette than a skinny jean if you’re trying to fudge weight loss. Go with whatever makes you feel best, but here are a few options if you want inspiration. Side note, you know the thing you swore you’d never do, but then embrace? For me, that is NYDJ. I always thought they were matronly, but the high, super stretchy fabric really does look good in their black jean. ALWAYS be picky about the wash. Obvious whiskering is icky, dirty washes are worse. Good American is a brand that has great stretch. If you just can’t embrace stretchy jeans, here is where you can go oversized. The higher the rise, the better. Featured below, AG Alexxis, NYDJ Marilyn and Good American.

Stretchy pants: My favorite, absolute favorite place for stretchy, polished pants is Athleta. The cosmic crop or pant (which is way cuter than the picture on their site) is on clearance. They are so easily dressed up or down and I wear navy in winter with a sable, suede tall boot. The Brooklyn pant comes in a few different styles and is a pant I wear over and over throughout the week. All In Motion from Target offers fantastic Athleta knock offs.

All In Motion from It’s a dupe of an Athleta pant for 1/3 of the cost.

Easy dresses: I have found that Amazon has fantastic options if you’re brave enough to try without trying on first. I follow the reviews religiously and sort them based on height and weight. I like a looser dress and add my denim jacket over to give it a more defined shape., Sherosa Womens Summer Long Sleeve Tunic Dress Ruffle V Neck Swing Shift Dresses, MIHOLL Women’s Casual Summer Ruffle Babydoll Loose Mini Dress

Shoes with a pop: I am a total sucker for shoes. They can make a boring outfit fun. These clogs from Charlotte Stone have made me want to leave the house for any reason I can conjure, just so I can wear them. If you sign up for their emails, you receive an offer for $40 off. They are surprisingly comfortable and run just a tad big….maybe to make up for a lack of half sizes.

Charlotte Stone, Marlo clog,

Liquid confidence: Perfume makes you feel better. It can’t take away the weight gain, but it can let you embrace those womanly curves. My grandmother had a silver tray covered with beautiful perfume bottles. I always looked forward to visiting her and sitting at her vanity and smelling them one by one. Scent is instant glamour to me. I have found 2 that I love over the last year. My husband says one of them smells like church. I say that makes me holy….

Le Labo, AnOther 13. I really like the size options to manage price points. If floral is more your style, Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27 is stunning.

If you are still homebound or without many options for sniffing, is a site where you can get lost in fragrance heaven. You are able to purchase samples to try before committing to a full bottle.

I had fun while gaining weight over the last year. I don’t regret eating cookie dough and watching Harry Potter with my little boys. I don’t regret running, even with a fall. Being outside was an indulgence. I don’t regret drinking wine and laughing way too late at night with my husband. This last year emphasized the need to cherish the little moments. Now, it’s time to shed the fear, hopefully the pounds and embrace leaving the house to resume life in a world that is still a little bit different.

The Best Pant/Leggings to Look Like Sandy “at the end”

I have mentioned this before, but I saw Grease for the first time with my best and first friend, Kristen, when we were little. Before she started the movie she had raved about SO much that I had become desperate to see it, she qualified it with, “but I get to be Sandy at the end.” I would have agreed to sell my organs in order to see the movie at that point. Afterwards, I realized I had been swindled because Sandy at the end was SO MUCH COOLER. Thanks, best friend, for offering to share….

I am somewhat of an adult now. I raise children. I am pretty lazy with my appearance most days and leggings are a staple because they are both comfortable and remind me of my fitness goals. Win! I have felt confident in this choice (because I mostly don’t have important places to be and just don’t care) until I read an article by “” titled “French Girls Laugh Every Time Americans Wear These 3 Things”. Leggings were on there. Apparently we should just wear pants or jeans. I felt completely indignant! Who were these French girls stating that they would just never wear leggings around town? What made them qualified to shoot down my pant of choice with a Parisian sniff?    (The real question is why would I care?) Since it keeps doing a lap in my brain, I decided to prove them wrong. I would find the perfect pant/legging.

I did it. I found the perfect pant/legging. It’s the Stellar tight from Athleta. It feels like a legging (and it is) but it looks a bit like a Moto pant. The fabric is thick (and Italian, so doesn’t that make it more le chic?) and the zip pockets make it look cool and tough, like an up and coming neighborhood.


I have been trying on black pants for a while now and this is exactly what I wanted. In theory, I could exercise in it, but why? It’s so fabulous I just want to save it for when I need to look pulled together without doing my hair. The slit ankle adds to the illusion of a trouser and I adore the high waist. It is easily a professional pant with a jacket or a date night pant with a slinky blouse. I had my husband photograph it right away with my crazy hair and a band-aid on my shoulder from my doctor’s visit. I needed to share it with you that much!




While I photographed it simply to just show the pant, you have to admit, there is an element of Sandy “at the end” of Grease, isn’t there? Maybe that’s why I had to have the pant. I have been waiting for my turn for 30 years.

P.S. There isn’t anything more American than “Grease” the movie, and I am all for it!

shoes by Marc Fisher, Yente Chelsea boot

black tank by Karen Kane

Photography by my greatest love, “You’re the one that I want. Hoo hoo hoo.”

Stocking Stuffer Musts–If Santa Is Not A Sure Thing

I am incapable of shutting my mouth and smiling kindly when backed into a corner. It is a glaring flaw in my personality. Just today I was telling my mom about a conversation where my inner common sense was screaming at me to just listen to someone I completely disagreed with and let it go. Just listen and let it go. Nope. I firmly ignored that poised inner beauty and let the sweaty, striped capri pant, crazy haired girl with red armpits from laser treatment carry on like a Halloween lunatic. I’ve been this way since childhood. This unfortunate characteristic was the reason for the entire Santa Claus unmasking. The well mannered, quiet girl would have gotten a couple more years of childhood, but the loud mouth had to be protected by her mother. Here is what happened.

Third grade started off with getting an out-of-the-blue giant nosebleed on my new dress, on the first day of school and my teacher would not let me walk the one block home to change my dress. This was a sign, in hindsight. Near Christmas vacation, we were in class doing a Christmas craft. The girl next to me said Santa Claus was not real. I told her if she believed that then he would not come and bring her presents. She said that she knew he was not real. This started a full blown discussion/argument including everyone around our desks and I was the ONLY one on my side. (Ok, Kristen Amy, WHERE WERE YOU, best friend??) I went home and indignantly replayed it all for my mother. A couple of hours later, she took me across the street to our church, early before choir practice. We sat in the sanctuary and she told me that Santa was really named Leanne and Dennis–but really just Leanne because I know my dad wasn’t picking out the presents. I sobbed. I was devastated. I asked if this meant that the tooth fairy also was not real. So many dreams were shattered that night.

IF Santa is not a sure thing for your stocking, may I suggest some must haves to make the holiday stocking commercial, merry and feminine.

BEAUTY Category:

I found the brand Beautycounter and am a convert. They stand on the premise that we must do a better job promoting safer products. Our skin is our largest organ and we slather it with unregulated chemicals. Rest assured that everything this mom owned company sells is safer for you and your littles. I sell it on the side, but these are two of my favorites. I could go crazy telling you about all my favs, but here are a couple. Want more info,

Cleansing Balm, or aka miracle balm. $80 and lasts about 6 months. The price is steep, but lasts forever and is worth every cent. Cleanse your face with it, remove make up, slather it all over after a day in the sun or a day in a blizzard, rub it over bitten cuticles or tiny cuts. It is the most incredible soothing product I have ever used. The incredible scent comes from essential citrus oils.


Beautycounter Body Butter, $39. Winter dries out your skin. You need that extra layer of thickness to protect yourself. My fingers crack, even in 65 degree weather. This is amazing. Again, the scent is from essential citrus oil. You are paying for the extra time in sourcing the ingredients and time spent ensuring its quality and safety. Support safer products. My lion cub has very sensitive skin and this soothes his baby eczema.


Lush bath bombs. Perhaps the phrase “it’s the bomb” came from referring to this fabulousness? My entire family loves these. I convinced my child at 10 months that baths were tolerable with the magic dragon egg bath bomb that turned colors as it fizzed. Buy them. Don’t worry if your tub turns a color. A good clorox spritz will get rid of it and you can bathe again with more of these magic balls.

Everyone Soap and Lotion, $11ish. I found these at Whole Foods, although available on as well. This is a non GMO and essential oil scented line. This is a HUGE bang for your buck and it’s fantastic. I bubble up the boys’ bath to the tippy top and then turn around and use it neck to toe on myself. This is my new fav for the bathing process.


Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, $29 I just received an unfortunate haircut that I am referring to as the reverse mullet. I have more styling options with this as my #1 favorite hair product. Spray it after drying your hair, all over, mess it up and finish styling. It is equally as awesome as their dry shampoo. Don’t judge the product by my hair, just trust me.




Ditch the conventional stocking and fill up some pretty cowboy boots with goodies instead. This is the most versatile shoe ever. I’ve been wearing boots for 20 plus years. I’ve given up my highest heels after having 2 teenies, but boots make me feel pretty and I can chase my cubs at the park in them. If you’re new, don’t go conservative. Jump in. Wear color. Cute dress with boots? Why not. Skinny jeans tucked in? Absolutely. Feeling fat? Boyfriend jeans, cuffed with a hint of boot peeking out. Perfection. No one looks at thighs when you have a detailed boot. has my favs. Check out the Corral brand. Yes. Please.


Athleta Chauranga capri, $64. It may be the first stripe to make thighs appear thinner and your booty perkier. I swear on all that is sacred that this is the BEST capri ever made. Put an IOU in the stocking with this picture because they’re back ordered until January, but get them. GET THEM!! Amazing. Plus, you can size down. Vanity sizing works for me. They come in a full length tight as well, but the fabrication is not the same. The magic is in the capri.


Lou and Grey Steeeetch top, $59.50. Lou and Grey has wearable pajama fabrics. It’s the equivalent of a security blanket that has been washed 1000 times. Their fabrics are to die for. The fit is beautiful and skirts the timeless and trendy category in just the right way. I like this top because you can go full on athleisure with it. Pretend you are going to the gym when you pair this with your chaturanga capri. Check out the thumb tab on the sleeve. You look like you are pulled together with fitness goals. Win.

lou and grey.jpg

Thingies: This site is my current obsession. They launch new products regularly and it is all based upon individual creativity. I. LOVE. IT. MADLY. You also get a video of the product. Check out the chicken launcher game. I was crying with laughter. BUT, to continue with the feminine stocking stuffer, I really eye balled the Impwear laminated cotton bags starting at $24.95. Laminated cotton. This not only appeals to the mother in me, but the clean freak. It is a giant pain to clean makeup bags, but I gag when bags get too dirty. This is a wipe down bag WITH a loop to hook upon things. You have several options in color combos too. Perfection.

JBL Flip 3 Wireless speaker, $79.99 (currently at I’m not tech savvy. I know Beats and Bose have these too, but the JBL had the best price and I love it. I hook up my Pandora app from my phone and have been rocking out to Christmas carols (Hello Trans Siberian and Manheim Steamroller) since November 1. I love that there are color options too. Perfect for a techie wannabe.


Oil Diffuser. I’m not into candles. I don’t like the dust that accumulates on top and I’m over plug ins now that I have discovered the beauty of essential oils. I am a sucker. Plus, I feel fancy blending the scents. I am a scent junkie and this hits the spot. Plus, if you blend Eastern and Western medicine, there is science to essential oils and healing properties. In full disclosure, I rubbed fennel oil all over myself in an attempt to nurse the tiniest tiny longer and it didn’t work. However, I diffuse the left over fennel oil and it works instantly to make me smile with its scent. Amazon has a million oil diffusers to choose has the best oils, but man are they expensive! Their Thieves oil is both therapeutic (hello cold and flu season) and it’s the best smell ever. It comes in cleaning products as well as the oil. It is the icing on the essential oil cake. It is, however, about $41.


Here are a couple from Amazon that I have loved blending and are in the $7-$12 range. Clove and sweet orange are lovely together and perfect for a cozy winter afternoon. They are not just for the ladies either. My husband asked for a diffuser and starter set for his office. Boom.


LaMarca Prosecco sparkling wine. My dad decided he had enough ties and shirts and decided to switch to buying fancy wine. He built a wine rack and started buying wine from The Wall Street Journal recommendations. He has a dot system for coding how fancy the fancy wine is. His children are not allowed to choose bottles with dots on them, certainly not a 3 dot bottle. In fact, after I stayed in my parents’ home for 5 weeks and they were concerned we would never leave, he implemented a top shelf only rule for me. I am only allowed to help myself to top shelf wine. He brought this one home for me one night. It’s very moderately priced and has a great sparkling taste that is not too sweet. Thank you Dad.

Cards Against Humanity Game. This is not a new game, but so funny and wrong. It’s wrong that one might put it in a stocking, which makes it so right. You learn about people and how to play to your judge. For example, I learned my mother generally played the dirtiest card but would never vote for a dirty card when she judged. I love you Mom.

Merry Christmas! 



Personal Comfort Counts

I moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I was determined to make the most of my education and my first order of business was to get an internship for fashion week. I chose my favorite brands and went to the showrooms representing the brands to inquire about employment. I was very fortunate to land an internship with my favorite denim brand. As an added bonus, a hot new pant designer was also showing there for fashion week. My job was to bring coffee, water, snacks, etc to the buyers while modeling the jeans. I worked with another intern who was a very tiny, hip skater girl from Long Beach. The day that the Nordstrom buyers were coming through was the day it all went to sh*t for me. The new pant designer felt too much attention was being given to the denim line and instructed me to put on his pants. He threw his trendiest pair in a sample size at me. I was a FULL size bigger. I really did not have a choice. I squeezed myself into pinstripe, flesh colored cargo pants with back pockets that are best described as pig nose pockets. It was a travesty. I had to walk around pretending to be peppy and hip while saying things like, “Aren’t these just amazing?” “Yes, I am so comfortable. I HAVE to have these.” All the while, skater girl looks unbelievably cute in my favorite jeans. I was certain my career was over. Nordstrom and every other buyer coming through would remember me as the girl who clearly has ZERO fashion sense. Why would anyone hire me? I might as well quit school before it starts and move home.

I did not quit school and I learned something from the experience. I swore I would never make anyone feel as ugly as I felt that day, and to my knowledge I have not. I have legitimately fit hundreds of regular women for fashion shows and I altered whatever made them feel ugly so that they would shine in front of other people. It was possibly the best lesson I learned while in school. This lesson applies to my personal life too. My tiny one hates clothes. Hates ‘em. I have drawers of darling, expensive outfits and all he’s interested in is how soft are his underpants. Oh, and shoes. He really likes shoes. We have a deal that I let him run naked whenever he wants at home and he does not fight me getting dressed when we leave home. It works for us. He has the rest of his life to wear clothes. We live in Southern California. You really do not need clothes. His current shoe obsession is with glow in the dark Native shoes. Being a stellar parent, I forgot to pack shoes for him and my mom bought him his beloved shoes in lime green. (no boring colors for this beautiful boy) We discovered by accident that they also glow! Native shoes come in a million colors, are very water friendly and slip on and off. No laces or Velcro to slow a wild child down. My favorite style is the Jefferson. At $32-42, they aren’t the cheapest shoes, but they are rugged and stylish. They are hands down the perfect summer shoe for boys or girls. My naked boy now chases fireflies at night with his glowing shoes. I should probably just get him a loincloth to go with it—if he was comfortable with it.


My preferred brick and mortar or online Native resources: Nordstrom,,,


What To Wear When Dressing To Impress In a Photograph

I have been reading Glamour Magazine and Marie Claire since I was a teenager. I answered phones at my very first job at 16, and spent most of the in between time reading these magazines. They had thrilling articles that talked about date etiquette, make up applications, ways to look thinner, etc. I still read them. When I was 23ish, one of these magazines had an article about this new thing called “internet dating.” I had heard of it, but was always dating someone, usually my on again, off again college boyfriend, so I had not ventured into it. Also, there was kind of a stigma back then and I cared about those types of things. The article caught my eye because it broke down different companies offering this type of service. One of them was called “J Date.” One of the things I had learned in Manhattan was that Jewish men were awesome. My best guy friend was Jewish and the Jewish men who had taken me on dates were a ton of fun. I was curious and decided to try it out. I filled out the online application. I remember it asked me about my religion. Curiously, this had not occurred to me when jumping on board. It listed several denominations of Judaism. I am Christian in general, and Presbyterian in particular, and those were not options to select. Certainly there were others like me, no? I checked the box for “other.”

I had my employer (I nannied) take pictures of me, and I had my best friend take some action shots of me studying paintings at the Guggenheim. None of these turned out the way I hoped so I did not post a picture. They asked for occupation, body type, hair color, etc. I said I was a curvy blonde actress/singer. The description created a lot of action and I was pretty excited. I quickly learned that these men took the site seriously and asked about my “other” religion box. The two men I went on dates with basically thought I was a moron. Looking back, I can see where they were coming from. My best guy friend thought it was fantastic, but he knew and appreciated my slightly naïve yet super exuberant outlook on life.

I share this story because I spent hours trying to get a picture for my profile. I did not know what to wear and did not like any of the pictures. Today, I would choose a pretty blouse. A feminine blouse should be a wardrobe staple. I have found that some of my staple jersey dresses do not translate well in photographs, but a blouse is delicate and pretty in a picture. For photographs, choose a solid color, or very subtle print. Steer clear of white or cream because it can be difficult to photograph well. A blouse transitions easily from casual to formal and is at least a 3 season piece. I prefer silk or a silk inspired fabrication because of the fluid draping on the body and ease of positioning for the photograph. For something more substantial, choose a crepe fabric. Crisp cotton can be tricky. Here are beautiful fall options that I would choose today if I had not already found my Prince Charming!

dvf tanyana 265

DVF Tanyana Blouse

dvf teagan

DVF Teagan Blouse

anthropologie blouse



Maje Blouse


Joie Blouse

The Perfect Skinny Jean and Words You Should Never Say

There are a couple of words/phrases that should simply never be uttered aloud. Keep this in mind as a preface.

I have worked in fashion/retail in some capacity for almost 15 years. I have experience with personal shopping, selling, event planning, hiring, training, management, and visual merchandising. I have taught students about the importance of creating a proper retail environment. I love it. I love working with a woman and watching her transformation from self doubt to self confidence. My greatest professional moment was working with cancer survivors for a fashion show and watching them strut the runway feeling sexy and womanly. This is good.

One time in my career, I was working with a very poised and proper lady and I needed to go grab some different pieces for her. I asked a colleague to check in on her for me. As I was returning to my customer, I overheard my colleague say, “Yes, those pants look great. They don’t give you camel toe or anything!” Camel.Toe. This is the most foul phrase. Why she chose not having camel toe as a selling point is beyond me. I gagged. I panicked. Would this customer put me in the same category as this other person I foolishly sent to her? Would she think I coached her on the proper usage of the phrase camel toe? Please make it stop. I later told this story over family dinner and it went in an entirely new direction when my dad did not know what that phrase meant, and my brother googled images of the phrase for him. Note, you can never unsee certain things….

I reference this story because I had to put my word loathing aside when I found the perfect pair of skinny jeans. They are by “Rich and Skinny”. I find “rich” an offensive and tacky word. The only time you should utter it is in regards to food or the saturation of a color. I have actually avoided this brand due to their name. Now that my ivf prep and baby weight is gone, I found myself in a delightful situation of needing smaller pants. My finances are not quite as delightful, so I headed to Nordstrom Rack. I found the Rich and Skinny Schoolboy Cuff jean marked to $59.97 from an original retail of $154. They are perfect because of the stretchy fabrication, but not so stretchy that they cling unnecessarily, mid rise, the dark wash, and the slightly loose calf. If you are a curvy girl, you do not want a skinny jean that says “legging” or “ultra skinny” unless you plan to wear them tucked into a boot. When a skinny jean is a little straighter, it is much more flattering, especially when paired with a dark wash. When I put these jeans on the first time, my husband asked me when I got so skinny. THAT is a phrase I can never hear too much!

rich and skinny 2 rich and skinny

Dancing “Cheek” to “Cheek” at Trina Turk

I found myself packed into a sweaty tent with roughly 100 other women, all scouring the racks for a designer bargain.  My pulse was racing, my eyes were narrow and evil looking, and I guarded my 4 inches of personal space fiercely.  Why would I spend a free Saturday morning in a humid tent in 90 degree weather?  For a Trina Turk sample sale, to be exact.  I had heard of this mystical happening, but had never experienced it.  I was driving home and spotted several well dressed women teetering down a shady, commercial street and thought “This must be it!!”  It was.  I had found it!  It happens 1-2 times per year and I finally stumbled upon it!!

I loaded my arms with unsized merchandise and entered the communal dressing room to find potential treasure.  What I really found was that I was lined butt cheek to butt cheek with other desperate women.  It’s slightly unnerving to ask a woman who has her cell phone holstered to her underpants if she would mind moving over so you can peek in the mirror she is hogging.  If you have not participated in a sale of this ilk, here are my tips:

  • For goodness sakes, wear some decent underpants.  Because I am unbelievably nosy, I stared at everyone’s underpants and was very underwhelmed.  There was nary a sexy pair to be found.  Many were in shades I could not confidently attach to a specific color.  If I could have taken a picture without looking like a total creep, I would have so I could have shown my husband.  It would have totally blown his idea that women just “hang out” in sexy underpants.  (To any men reading, no one was close to starting a pillow fight in the tent either.)
  • If you are brave, a thong works best, but know that you will find yourself with your hiney to the wall as much as possible.  A thong eliminates any visible lines and will give you the most accurate assessment of the garment, which you will need due to speeding through the trying on process.  If you do not wear a thong, definitely wear seamless underpants.
  • Be kind to yourself.  The woman next to me was tiny and was bemoaning her tummy.  While it wasn’t a 6 pack, she was darling and I would never have noticed if she had not pointed it out.
  • If there are sizes on the clothing, know that they will not be accurate.  There are salesman samples and then there are fit samples.  Salesman samples are not accurately fit.  The size is not 100% true to the designer’s vision.  The garment is initially created for sales people to show to potential buyers.  Fit samples are going to be much more representative of the designer’s vision, but you will never know which is which.
  • Sample sizes usually run between a size 0 to a size 8.  A lot of sales will also have end of season garments that will be in all sizes, so even if you aren’t a sample size, you should always look.

I left with 2 beautiful blouses that I paid $30 each.  Her blouses at full retail are in the $200 range.  Score.  Stay tuned for why every woman needs blouses in her closet!

The Dress That Launched 1000 Ships

There are two things my husband regularly requests of me:

  1. Please wear something short and tight.
  2. Please consider dyeing my hair so black that it has purple undertones.

In reference to the latter, I keep trying to explain that a pasty white girl cannot pull that one off without looking deathly ill.  He is not buying it.  As far as short and tight goes, it just isn’t comfortable, but I am working on it.  Enter Diane Von Furstenberg.  Every woman should have a go to brand that you know will work in a crunch.  My crunch is that the tiny one and I flew to Omaha much earlier than anticipated and I am completely unprepared for the big, upcoming reunion.  I have ordered several dresses to try, and one of them is a DVF because I know it will fit.  It is my ‘sure thing’, my bff of the closet.  Diane Von Furstenberg is known for her sexy and feminine wrap dresses, and her impeccable taste in prints.  She is the queen of femininity, in my book, and my heart beats a little faster when I see new collections.  She manages to bridge the worlds of super trend and timelessness.  I have little loyalty to most things in my closet, but I horde my pieces by her.

My dress arrived today, and true to form, it is an incredible fit.   I looked in the mirror and grinned.  It manages to be proper and racy in one dress.  Like a mullet, it’s business up front and a party in the back.  It hugs curves like a race car and is just as exciting.  My mind is relieved.  I know I’ve got a dress that makes me feel comfortable, but is as tight as second skin for my husband.  Life is about compromises.  In this situation, this compromise is definitely a win-win.

Here is the dress.  It’s offered in 2 colors.  Nordstrom has the purple on sale.  Saks has both colors at full price, but really fast shipping!

dvf purple dvf


I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

When I was little, I had an idea of what sophistication and glamorous looked like. Here are a couple of things that fulfilled my vision:

• The ladies at the country club pool who laid out on loungers all day, slathered in oil, smoking cigarettes. (I knew the cigarettes were bad because I read Ramona Quinby books, but like a good ciggie ad campaign, they just looked cool.) I was certain they walked around with clinking glasses at 5:00 in their modern Miami Vice inspired homes.
• Big, blonde hair on women with visible make-up.

• Animal print outfits.

One would not think I would pursue a career in fashion with these visions of beauty, but time and many fashion faux pas of my own have smoothed out the rough edges. I see the cigarettes and tanning oil as serious carcinogens and I strongly feel that you should only choose one feature to highlight with visible make up. I still passionately love animal print, however. Whether it is in or out for the season, I covet a pretty kitty or slithering snake print. It is a classic, not a trend. The key to animal print is to limit your audience’s exposure to it. Head to toe is a no-no, but a well placed and designed print is always a yes!

Dresses: Worn on their own, you can easily go into an evening affair with ease. Layer a jacket or vest over them to dress them down.  A denim or moto vest is an instant way to look right on trend for this season.

Asos, about $48

Asos, about $48

H&M Spring 2013

H&M Spring 2013

Bags: Even if you do not love wearing animal prints, how can you not love to carry one? In a casual canvas, this is an ideal beach or overnight tote. Much better than an everyone-has-one stripe, no?

H&M, $24.95

H&M, $24.95

Try a clutch with all black for a very quick and simple formal outfit.


Belts: A skinny belt is the best, and you can wear it with everything.  Add it to a simple shift dress for work appropriate drama, belt over a sweater come fall, or add interest to slouchy boyfriend jeans and your favorite tee.  Thin is elegant and timeless.

Cusp, $90

Cusp, $90

Scarves: I am a huge, giant, massive fan of scarves. Take your most basic outfit of jeans and a tee. It’s classic, but nothing special. In one quick step, you have a sassy little outfit just by adding a scarf. You get double sass points if it’s an animal print scarf! If you are scarf challenged, buy an infinity scarf. All you have to do is loop it around your neck.

Tarnish, $38

Tarnish, $38

Jewelry: This can be a challenge, but I like a challenge! Here is the key: if you are going for animal print jewelry, it MUST be bling-free. Go for tougher looking details, spikes, metal, chains; not rhinestones or you are venturing into Las Vegas territory.

Vince Camuto, $48

Vince Camuto, $48

Shoes: Animal print flats are about the cutest options ever. I have a pair of Manolo Blahniks and they make me giddy. I really like neon green paired with animal print this season, but if you are gutsy, mix them with a floral jacket. Here are a couple of similar options for inspiration.


Because Swimsuit Season Always Sneaks Up On Me

bathing suit 2
Close friends were coming to California and invited us to spend the day with them at the Montage in Laguna Beach. My first thought was, “Yaaay! Good friends, a pool AND the ocean, and cocktails during the day. Life is good.” My second thought was, “Oh this could be bad. I am so not ready for a bathing suit and ‘Julie’ looks phenomenal after 4 kids. FOUR!” Starvation was not an option. Neither was liposuction. I debated looking into extreme Christianity to justify a full body bathing suit, but that was just weird. I decided to go for an old school glamour look where curvaceous women were celebrated. I self tanned like crazy, pulled my hair into a high bun, wore gold dangling earrings, bright lipstick, and of course high heels. I had never worn a one piece before until I had the tiny one, but with a bright pink color and sweetheart neckline, I am really into it. My glamorous front was sort of thrown off when I casually tried to move my lounger, only to find it stuck and I had to get into a deep squat sans cover up to try and move it, but I choose to focus on the positive. (Or, it’s too embarrassing to relive.)

katie swim

Here’s what I have learned about the glamour of the one piece bathing suit, because I am now so on board.
1. There is a fine line between glamourous and trashy. If it is labeled as a monokini, it is trashy. No ifs ands or buts.
2. The print and/or color can make a difference between sporty and glam.
3. Strapless tends to be more glam, but an unusual strap can be also. Avoid a regular strap if you’re going for a sultry look.
4. Ruching/shirring is not just for hiding a belly. It can draw attention to an hourglass figure, which is always the goal for glamour and sex appeal.
5. No bathing suit can make your thighs look thinner, but they can make you look feminine. Go up a size from regular clothing for the best fit, if you are a curvy girl.

They are not inexpensive generally, but a great bathing suit can improve your pool day immensely. Here are fun and innately feminine one piece styles to try this summer season.

My swim suit!!!  LaBlanca $109

My swim suit!!! LaBlanca $109

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Camilla and Marc $240

Camilla and Marc $240

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Zinke Starboard $132

Zinke Starboard $132

Old Navy $20

Old Navy $20