In Pink

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Shades of pink continue to pack a punch this season. Usher in spring by wearing soft rose floral dresses or solid blush colored tops. If your tastes run to bolder colors, try accessorizing with a hint of pink.

Petal Pink Power

Eyeshadow
$9.98 – vestry.com

Eye makeup
$165 – charlottetilbury.com

Maybelline lipstick
maybelline.com

Burberry lip makeup
$28 – net-a-porter.com

Nail polish
nailsinc.com

Spring style preview

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Spring is right around the corner. Soon you will cast off your boots in favor of open toed shoes. Until then, think pink, feminine kitten heels, and soft neutral pants.

Spring style preview

Ted Baker wool cape
$285 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Michael Kors zipper pants
$140 – stylebop.com

Wall art
hattanhome.com

WallPops wall art
nordstrom.com

Four decorating steps to a stellar bedroom

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

If the amount of time we spend in rooms is a measure of their importance, then bedrooms, above all other spaces in our home, deserve preeminent status. Experts estimate that sleeping alone takes up one-third or twenty-six years of a person’s lifetime. When you add in all the other activities that happen in bedrooms, they should be thought of as a home’s nerve center. I begin and end each day checking emails and organizing my life from the comfort of my bed.

I chose our bedroom as the first room to decorate when my husband and I bought our historic house in downtown Greenville, South Carolina one year ago. We spent almost every waking hour of the five months leading up to our move from Washington, DC tackling the task of selling our home of thirty years. Now I fully understand why many folks prefer to undergo multiple root canals than endure one of life’s most stressful experiences. I knew I immediately needed to create a bedroom oasis that would soothe the memories of living in chaos and out of boxes.

I applied my wardrobe styling skills to help me with this decorating project, and in doing so, I discovered the similarities between dressing people and dressing rooms. The creative process I followed resembles the one I use with clients who hire me to elevate their image. Whether your boudoir requires a complete overhaul or only some minor tweaking, answering these four questions will help you construct a roadmap to transform your space into a design showcase:

1. What are the issues with your bedroom now? Do you lack adequate storage space or lighting? Perhaps your bed treatments look more shabby than chic. Start by listing and prioritizing what you need and want in your enhanced space;

2. Does your room reflect your personal style? Since we seek congruity between our interior and exterior selves, then it stands to reason that we also want to leave our style imprint on our surroundings. If you adore modern minimalism, but your duvet and pillows look like they jumped out of Country Living Magazine, then perhaps you and your bedroom suffer from irreconcilable style differences. Greenville interior designer and home stager, Karen Roberts, says that when individuals follow their gut decorating instincts, they end up loving where they live;

3. Are you holding on to items well beyond their expiration date? Although a coat of paint often revitalizes a tired nightstand, sometimes other items need to be kicked to the curb, like the lamp that dates back to your dorm room days. Editing, a stylist’s polite term for purging, frees you to advance your decorating aspirations;

4. How do I create a vision for my bedroom? Once you determine what you need and identify your authentic style, then look at home decorating books, magazines, and online decorating sites for inspiration. Browse stores for one-of-kind statement making pieces. As Roberts says, “thrift store furnishings with a fresh coat of paint or new upholstery do wonders for making a retreat unlike everyone else’s on the block.”

Having completed your homework, selecting your room’s core neutrals and accent colors is a perfect launch point for building your dream bedroom. Wearing colors that illuminate your hair, eyes, and complexion boosts your image just as choosing restful room shades sets the stage for relaxation. Let’s say you go with the new grey-beige hybrid “Greige” for your walls, and white for your woodwork and window treatments. Imagine dressing your bed in shades of blue, one of this season’s trending color palettes, and accessorizing with pops of Marsala, Pantone’s rich red wine color of the year.

Turning your attention to your bed is the next logical decorating step. Since it is your room’s focal point, it deserves to be dressed in the best bed coverings, like those from Parachute Home. This Venice Beach, California company offers luxury bedding at an accessible price point. At Parachute Home, you can purchase superior Egyptian cotton sheet sets, duvets, and duvet covers in five soothing colors. Parachute Home products are custom- made in Tuscany by skilled artisans “who have been weaving world class bedding for over sixty years”. The company also sells additional items to complete your sumptuous sleeping experience, like cashmere throws, pillows, and scented candles.

Upgrading your bedroom is an investment in yourself. Think of how good you will feel each night when you settle into your beautifully decorated bedroom haven. As the song goes, “Sweet dreams are made of this.”

White wash your wardrobe

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Whether you follow fashion tradition about when to wear white or allow the weather to dictate your color choices, fashionistas everywhere agree that now is the time for white. Besides the fact that white keeps you cooler in hot weather and always looks fresh, this enduringly popular color is having its day in the sun. Models sporting white from head to toe grace the pages of leading fashion magazines. Linen pants, white lace dresses, white satchels, and white Birkenstocks are among this season’s trending items.

Whites definitely take a beating. Not only are they dirt magnets, but unexplained stains invariably magically appear on white clothes. I always examine my whites closely each year at the beginning of spring. Sadly, this season I parted with my favorite pair of white Adriano Goldschmied jeans because they had started to turn yellow, an affliction common to whites. This was a blow since they lasted me four summers and fit like a dream. I replaced them with light-weight BCBG skinny jeans which actually suit Greenville summers better than my treasured AG’s. I also bought a paper thin white tee-shirt and a white cotton cropped eyelet sleeveless blouse from the Gap, which I plan to wear with my summer pants. For the past few summers I’ve searched for that perfect white summer dress but haven’t found it yet.

This might be an ideal time to purge your closet of worn out whites since stores are well stocked with white clothes and accessories. Buying a few key white pieces also instantly updates any wardrobe. Sales already abound in spite of the fact that summer’s official start date is still weeks away. If shopping is in your future, please let me know if you come across any amazing white dresses during your travels.

White Wash

Alice You white shirt
$24 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Banana Republic wide-leg pants
bananarepublic.gap.com

Birkenstock white shoes
$91 – thehut.com

Marc by marc jacobs bag
barneyswarehouse.com

How to stay on track to achieve your new year’s resolutions

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Believe it or not the new year is already 38 days old. Time races by; days run into weeks and before you know it February will fade from memory. If you’ve read my blog postings lately, you know that I made a few resolutions for 2015 that I’m serious about achieving. I committed to getting in shape after an injury wreaked havoc with my fitness level. I also vowed to further streamline my wardrobe and stock up on casual and activewear wardrobe basics.

Experts advise that regular check-ins help keep us on track to achieving our goals. These check-ins provide us an opportunity to honestly assess our progress and also fine tune our strategies for success. Today I listened to the experts and paused to consider how well I’m doing. This exercise yielded positive results. I tweaked my fitness regimen to include daily stretching exercises and longer aerobic workouts. I also collected additional clothes to donate and consign, and made a list of items to purchase for spring.

If you’ve commited to enhancing your style in 2015, then check out “Ten steps to a stellar style” in 2015″, which appears in the January issue of Palmetto Parent. In this article I offer tips for advancing your style, such as adding two new trends to your wardrobe and breaking up black with touches of color. Trending colors for spring include soft shades such as aquamarine and yellow. Sports inspired clothing and colorful suede pieces rank high on the list of top spring trends.

Have you put style on the back burner so far this year in spite of your desire to look more polished and put together? Don’t despair. The path to success includes setbacks, and taking little style steps each day could lead to transformative image changes. How about spending some time this week in your closet to help you decide what you need for spring? This will ready you to shop during Presidents’ Day weekend for new wardrobe basics, like the ones featured in this set.

Casual spring wardrobe essentials

NIC ZOE cuff shirt
nicandzoe.com

Tulchan blue floral cardigan
$75 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Topshop short sleeve tee
$25 – topshop.com

Joseph pants
$225 – farfetch.com

L K Bennett pleated midi skirt
$140 – johnlewis.com

Go glam with gold

Friday, October 31st, 2014

In the 1991 movie “What about Bob”, Bill Murray classified people into two categories, those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t. I always laugh about this line because my husband loves Neil Diamond and I never “got” him. The fact that he wrote Red Red Wine, however, almost makes me want to revisit his music.

Based on my experience as a wardrobe stylist, I theorize that folks are more accurately grouped according to their penchant for either silver or gold instead of their affinity for a 1960’s music icon. My clients over the years have definitely expressed a preference for one precious metal over the other. On more than one occasion clients have even described themselves as gold or silver “girls”. Statements like this give even more credence to the notion that we wear clothes and accessories that express who we are on the inside.

I’ve had a lifelong affection for gold, perhaps because I am a redhead with a warm complexion. Don’t get me wrong. I own my share of silver jewelry and wear it when the mood strikes me or my outfit calls for it. Silver is my jewelry of choice for summer because it psychologically feels light and suits pastels well.

2014 is definitely a gold year. All sorts of gold jewelry, from Egyptian inspired chokers to flapper style tassel pendants abound this season. Apparel also has the Midas touch, as is evidenced by gold sequined sweatshirts, and gold detailed shoes and boots. Undoubtedly many women will wear gold dresses during the holidays. The latest special occasion dress designs, like gold chevron shifts and grecian gowns with gold embellishments, harken back to the 1960’s. Actually, I wore a gold gown to my high school prom. No ordinary dress, this was a Mary Quant (mini skirt originator) which I purchased it at a London boutique. Simple but unforgettable, it transformed me into an old time movie star.

Fashion’s latest and greatest color combination is black and gold. Guests of this year’s Red Shoe Society’s Greenville Royale benefitting Ronald McDonald House of the Carolinas are invited to wear black and gold to this gala with a James Bond theme. What could be more appropriate for an evening of espionage than a color combination that epitomizes elegance, mystery and sensuality!

The stylist in me can’t wait to see how folks wear gold and black. I just might see looks like the two below at this fabulous event.

Gold Gamour

The Limited Scandal collection

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Ever since I fractured my leg in August, I’ve taken to online shopping. When my sister came to visit me last month, she mentioned how many items she purchased during her last trip to the Limited. I’ve always liked the store, but unfortunately the clothes haven’t been sized for my body. When I went online, however, I discovered that the site carried petites in my size. I also came upon the Scandal line, inspired by the outfits that Kerry Washington wears on this t.v. hit series. I found so many items I just loved and went about ordering three sweaters, two tops, and the blush slacks featured in my visual. I would have purchased the blush wrap coat but it was not available in my size.

Even though I expected my purchases either not to fit or live up to my expectations, the exact exact opposite was true. I’ll start with the slacks, since pant shopping challenges my resourcefulness. The pants fit me perfectly. More often than not, petite slacks run too short for me since I’m on the cusp of petite. Although their true color resembles more of a blush/champagne and not a pink, it is a pleasing and very neutral shade. I’m also happy with the sweaters and tops, especially because they look different from the styles you see in every store. One top I bought on sale is a blush halter top with a silver, white and bronze sequined bib. I wore the trousers and top with a fitted Gianni Bini fitted blazer today to a luncheon. The outfit looked smashing and felt very comfortable.

Blush has just become my new favorite color because it goes so well with black, camel, white, grey, navy and burgundy. It also makes a terrific accent color. Wear a blush floral scarf with your black coat or beige trench. How about a blush open cardigan sweater over black leggings and a simple black top? Have you discovered blush yet?

Needless to say, I’ve joined The Limited fan club and will update you on whether my future purchases live up to the first one.

How to wear the color pink

Fall 2014 fashion trends

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Many fashions could steal your heart this season. All eyes are on plush wrap coats with large shawl colors, cozy sweaters, oversized scarves, and satchel purses. The color navy appears front and center again this fall, as does orchid, maroon, rust and orange. Spice up your wardrobe by throwing an autumn color scarf over your denim jacket or neutral trench, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Fall in Love 2014

Ushering in orchid

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Radiant orchid gets top billing as the color of the year. If you are having trouble visualizing this shade belonging to the purple family, it is a tad darker and rosier than lavender. According to The Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director, radiant orchid “emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

The list of those who love purple is long and includes followers like free – spirited folks and ethereal, romantic types. Thanks to the popular poem, “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”, wearing purple is now emblematic of a fearless attitude toward aging. Perhaps purple’s connection with spirituality also accounts for its enduring popularity.

I’m eager to get on the radiant purple band wagon for several reasons. First of all, I can see it against core colors like navy, black, grey, green and brown. One of the guests at a party I went to in celebration of King’s Day looked gorgeous in a radiant orchid sweater set with black leggings. The color illuminated her large brown eyes and brunette hair. Although orchid may not wear well on everyone, chances are most people can find a shade of purple that flatters them. I also look forward to seeing print tops and scarves formed from accent colors like yellow, deep purple and teal. Since my husband and I just bought a house in Greenville, SC, I can’t wait to add an orchid print throw pillow to our grey couch or paint an occasional table in orchid.

If you’re timid about donning this year’s “it” color, then I suggest you test the waters by accessorizing with orchid. Now that much of the country is engulfed in arctic like weather, a bit of orchid may be what we need to keep our spirits lifted as we trudge through snow, feeling the sting of icy wind against our faces.

I wish you a Happy 2014, and may radiant orchid comfort you and keep you healthy this year.

Ushering in orchid