‘Tis the Season to Sparkle!

‘Tis the Season to Sparkle!

warm-wishes-for-the-holiday-season

 

Red and green may dominate this time of year, but the holiday season also encourages one other element.

Whether subtle shimmering like the sun shining off fresh snow, or a sea of sequins that screams party, now is definitely the time to pull your sparkly pieces out of your closet.

It’s all about celebrating. Think about your holiday party or ringing in the new year. A sprinkling of sparkles makes it even more festive.

dressshoesscarf

And let’s not forget that plenty of makeup and nail polishes come in glittery shades too!

facenails

 

If you’re worried that you might be overdoing it, take comfort in the words of fashion icon Iris Apfel:

“More is more, and less is a bore.” 😀

May your days be Merry and Bright (and Sparkly),
Susan-Sig
Let’s get our Christmas Sweaters on

Let’s get our Christmas Sweaters on

By Carrie Elks

Well folks, it’s that time of year.

December 1st has finally arrived, which means there’s no escaping the holiday madness. Trees are up, lights are flashing, and the Christmas sweaters are being taken out of mothballs and pulled over our heads.

I confess, I do have a Christmas sweater. Here in the UK it’s a staple part of many people’s wardrobes. There’s even a ‘wear a Christmas Sweater for Charity day’, so only the meanest Scrooges among us refuse to look stupid in wool.

Here’s me. Cool huh?

attachment-1-5

One of my favourite things is seeing families wearing Christmas Sweaters. Especially if they send you a card with them wearing it. Something like this would work. See how happy those kids are?

1000 Images About Family Christmas Photo Ideas On Pinterest - Best Resume Collection

Now this is a blog about romance, so you may be wondering how looking stupid fits in with falling in love. Well, I have two words for you. Mark Darcy. Phwoar. (Okay, that’s three. But who’s counting?)

_64900516_colin_rexfeatures

The first time he meets Bridget Jones, he’s wearing a ridiculous sweater, but somehow she falls for him anyway. And isn’t that what romance is all about? Loving the guy whether he’s wearing a silly sweater or a fabulous six pack (sigh). Because really, it’s what’s inside that counts.

And in case, like me, you really want to see the scene again, here’s Bridget and Mark’s first meeting.

 

Whatever you’re wearing this December, I hope you rock it.

Carrie Pink

That Minimal, Criminal, Sinful LBD

That Minimal, Criminal, Sinful LBD

While surfing the internet looking for a topic for today’s blog I happened across this:

Now even I know that no matter what her shape, size, or age, every woman needs this all important garment in her closet. This isn’t just a dress. This is a statement. It needs to be you.

Beautiful young woman in black dress

Find that shape, length, and exposure you’re comfortable in, but keep it on the daring side. Little means little.  A side slit, a little cleavage, or some lace can make a big difference. And make sure it highlights your best assests.

Believe me, every guy, straight or gay, notices a woman in an LBD on one level or another. So shop, shop, shop until you find the right one, because a mistake here can be disastrous.

punk screaming in theatrical mode

Once you’ve found the right dress, you are not done. No way.

Female bag, shoes and accessories isolated on white

It’s now all about the accessories. Bag or clutch, sunglasses, jewelry, and those all important shoes. Accessories are the frame to that perfect picture. Just enough to enhance without taking away from the artistry of the dress and that amazing woman within.

So…have you got one? Do you own it?

 

Sophisticated woman holds a blank tablet computer.

Oh, girl! I like how you accessorize.

So is there a guy equivalent to the LBD? Let me know in the comments below.

I may need to go shopping.

Steve

Winter is coming…and I need shoes!

Winter is coming…and I need shoes!

It’s that time.

Yes, the dark days of autumn have arrived in Sweden, and now I have to wear socks and waterproof shoes again. See? I love autumn when it’s sunny and the leaves are changing colors. I hate autumn when it’s been cloudy and rainy for days and I can’t remember when was the last time I saw any proper sunlight. Right now, I feel like a zombie.

And my feet are cold.

So, yes, socks it is again.

And waterproof shoes.

Chelsea boots from Wera.

Chelsea boots from Wera.

I have a mission now to find some cute shoes that will be my go-to shoes for the season. Shoes that can take rain…snow….whatever curveballs Sweden decides to throw at me. Whatever I buy needs to be comfortable, stylish enough to wear to work, but laid-back enough that I don’t feel like I’m wearing someone else’s shoes. I’m a big fan of Chelsea boots because they’re pretty versatile. My old pair finally bit the dust, so maybe it’s time to replace them with a brand, spanking new pair?

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-23-03-14

Tripoli boots from Läeder by Nature

Or maybe I need a pair of sturdy boots that can handle snow and slush, since it won’t be long until Kung Bore (the Swedish equivalent of Jack Frost) makes his first appearance. I used to have a pair of leather boots similar to these Tripoli boots from Läeder by Nature. I practically wore them to death, I loved them so much, and I’ve been trying to find the perfect replacement pair for ages. These could do the trick. Of course, I would need to buy some rag socks or boot socks to wear with them. The awesome thing with boots like these is that they just need to be oiled from time to time to keep the leather in good condition. Also, oiling them improves how well they stand up to moisture. Hmm. What do you think? Should these be my new boots for the autumn and winter?

Cool winter sneakers from Canada Snow.

Cool winter sneakers from Canada Snow.

If this winter is anything like last winter, I may not need proper boots. We hardly had any snow in Stockholm last winter. I spent most of the winter in leather sneakers with a sturdy outer sole. Maybe I could get through an entire winter with a pair of boots like these from Canada Snow that are more like sneakers? They sure look comfortable. And I could imagine wearing them with jeans, leggings, skirts…not that I wear skirts very often, but still. 🙂  And that sole looks like it could handle Stockholm slush and snow and all that jazz.

Of course, there is the possibility that I buy all three…we’ll just have to wait and see… 😉

My Signature for the Blog

 

Facing Fashion Forward into Fall (10 Must-haves of your work-from-home wardrobe)

Facing Fashion Forward into Fall (10 Must-haves of your work-from-home wardrobe)

With Fall around the corner, back to school trends in stores, Fall/Winter runway looks emerging and clothing starting to make the transition from bright and breezy to more muted colors and heavier fabrics, none of this affects me in the slightest. As an author, I work from home, and while I may not wear mascara, heels or lip gloss every day, I still bring my personal style to the table (or laptop as the case may be). You’ll find me carrying out a crucial daily beauty regiment consisting of splashing cold water on my face, and looking divinely disheveled during my grueling commute, a shuffle from bed to the computer, coffee in hand and a patch of dog hair fastened securely somewhere on my person. It may seem challenging to pull all of this together, so, as the new season approaches, I thought I would share with you my must-haves for the work-at-home woman. While fashions may change, certain staples will always work for sitting on various surfaces around the house and answering the door for deliveries and the occasional plumber or handyman.

The yoga pant of near endless variety-2

 

First of all, one cannot launch oneself into a day not-at-the-office without an ever-flattering yoga pant, which can be in differing shades of black (from washing and wearing over a period of time) and vary in length from ankle to half an inch above the ankle, and, on casual Friday, a fun version that comes up mid-calf.

 

Footwear repellant even to the dog

 

You may not have co-workers, but you could have a faithful friend nearby, your beloved pet, who sheds a tremendous volume of hair on your clothes and furniture. Your favorite accessory, an incredibly unappealing pair of shoes, might be too horrid even for your typically easy going associate. But rest assured that it won’t affect your working environment, a comfortable place for him or her to curl up will go a surprisingly long way in smoothing over these disagreements.

 

the track pant of unknown origin and size

 

When the day calls for an even more formless look, reach for a pair of track pants. Ideally, you should be unsure of how exactly you came upon them and what size or shape they were meant to accommodate. You may be tempted to rush out and purchase this staple, but resist. The right pair will mysteriously appear alongside your yoga pants.

 

the dizzying variable mismatched socks

 

 

The right footwear is a must, and here I am referring not to the afore-mentioned atrocity, or a pair of rabbit slippers (or unicorns, flamingos, whatever you’re into, feel free to have fun here), but to a mind-blowing number of mis-matched socks, in an array of colors and styles, forever destined to wander the earth (or your livingroom) in search of its lost counterpart. Recycle and reuse, give the homeless sock a purpose.

 

the t-shirt nobody would claim ownership of

 

On weekend shopping excursions, you may find unique vintage pieces or wardrobe gems that might be pricey, but work flawlessly with any outfit. That has absolutely nothing to do with this next garment, a T-shirt that nobody could be bothered to claim after it went in the wash or somehow otherwise made it’s way into your house, but owes its charm to being ridiculously comfortable.

 

the foundation farmer of uncertain age and undeniable comfort

 

You may think you’ve nailed your outfit of a track pant well-tied at the hip and a novelty shirt, but it’s all for naught without the right undergarment, a really, really comfortable bra that you’ve had for so long you can’t recall if you purchased it to pair with a very old, tattered shirt you’ve worn for 3 days in a row or for a special evening on the couch in a cardigan, also quite old and no longer holding it’s original shape.

 

the shapeless , fluffy bathrobe

 

It may not surprise you to know, that one piece you absolutely cannot live without, as an author who can go days without walking outside, is a fluffy bathrobe, preferably well-worn, shapeless and in a drab color, so as not to detract from the accidental t-shirt.

 

the cardigan of questionable hue

 

Who can imagine a life of working from home without a trusty cardigan, one that’s positively soothing when slipped on, to ward off the mid-shuffle morning chill, and which was definitely a very different shade of whatever it is now when you first came to possess it.

 

the ever versatile pajama-2

 

Is it a day when you can’t be bothered to change out of what you were sleeping in last night? With the right accessories, your pajamas can be the perfect ensemble in which to battle writer’s block, or procrastinate on social media when you have a massive amount of editing to work on. They transition easily from bed to desk to couch.

 

accessories are king

 

Of course, no outfit is complete without accessories, most of which are completely and unquestionably functional, such as your reading glasses, and the rest of which you bought with the best intentions but have been laying in wait, unused, for such a length of time you probably decided the statute of limitations had run out on them, such as your Fitbit, in mint condition, still in its packaging. If you don’t need reading glasses, you might consider purchasing a clear glass pair. Nothing adds to your intelligent wordsmith persona like a pair of glasses.

 

I hope you’ve found this helpful in planning your fall (or year-round) wardrobe, express yourself, have fun, and remember that no coffee stain is too bold when you’ve got the confidence to pull it off!

 

the possibilities are limitless

 

Made in the Shades

Made in the Shades

madeintheshades

You already know that you should be wearing your shades when you step outdoors. (Full-spectrum UVA and UVB protection). But, if you’re confused about which frames suit your face best, I’m here to help!

ROUND FACE (Full cheeks with wide forehead and rounded chin (other sources say: Full cheeks with narrow forehead and jaw))

Choose square or rectangular designs. Over-size frames work well. Avoid round frames.

SQUARE FACE (Broad forehead, strong horizontal jawline, proportional in width and length)

Go with round or oval designs. Aviator and over-sized will suit you too. Make sure frames are wider than your cheekbones.

OVAL FACE (Proportionate forehead, cheekbones, and jawline)

Lucky you – All styles will suit you.

HEART-SHAPED FACE (Broad forehead that extends down to a small chin. Can have high, angled cheekbones)

Pick round or oval designs with wider tops. Cat-eye, Aviator, wayfarer designs work well too.

DIAMOND FACE (Wide cheekbones and narrow forehead, angular jawlines)

Oval designs work well.

OBLONG FACE (Face gracefully tapers toward chin. Elongated features from forehead to chin.)

Choose over-sized, square frames.

Made (1)

If you can’t really tell your type, grab a soft tape measure, and measure from forehead to chin and then from cheekbone to cheekbone. (Yes, there are online tutorials for this…) Enlist the help of a friend. “Hey, can you help me measure my head?” is something people do not hear every day. My husband thought I was nuts when he heard that question ringing through the house last week.

My face shape is a cross between round and heart-shaped and my personal taste for sunglasses is THE BIGGER, THE BETTER, so even if I look like I’m being swallowed up by them, I grab over-sized frames every time. I like to channel my inner Audrey Hepburn.
AUDREY
Bottom line: Wear what you love, and make sure you wear them year-round. Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. Protect those peepers Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. But maybe not a night…no matter what Corey Hart may say…

Which shape are you wearing?
Susan-Sig
Ignore the Rules – What to Wear at Any Age!

Ignore the Rules – What to Wear at Any Age!

It seems as though everywhere I look there are rules about what I can wear. With titles like “17 Things Women Over 40 Shouldn’t Wear”, Over 30? Stop Wearing These Things!” and – my favorite – “Fashion No-Nos for the Over 50s” (thanks AARP, way to keep to your remit).

Notice how these articles are all aimed at women? I don’t see many discussions on the webz telling men that baseball hats over 20 make them look like they’re trying too hard. Or that knobbly knees should never be seen after the age of 45. So why do women get singled out?

The other thing that saddens me is that most of these articles, not to mention the derision seen in every day life, comes from other women. This isn’t the place to get into a feminist discussion about how we sabotage ourselves, though. Instead, I’m going to share with you five over-40s who I think are ROCKING it with ignoring the rules. They’re my heroes, and I want to be like them, just as soon as I drink a cup o’ their confidence!

1.Helen Mirren.

6090707.cms

Still rocking the bikini into her 70’s!

2.Madonna

madonna-16_v_9mar12_pa_b

She’s got it, she flaunts it, and I think she’s fab.

3.Oprah

oprah-winfrey-o-magazine1

Proof that intelligence and finally being comfortable in your own skin is sexy.

4.Susan Sarandon

507622782_susan-sarandon-zoom-443bd120-09d4-4d75-b324-5fe5fa306b67

If she wants to wear a crop top, she’ll wear a crop top. And rock it, too!

5.David Beckham

 images-9

In the interests of equality, men over 40 can rock what they want, too. And David Beckham does it admirably!

So ignore the rules and wear what YOU want. Whether that be a low-cut leotard, or jeans and a tee, don’t let anybody dictate what you’re allowed to do. Clothes can be a way to keep warm, a form of expression, or even a way to rebel. What they shouldn’t be is another way for people to hurt other people, or to keep them down.

SO LET”S ROCK IT!

Carrie Pink

Why Wear Black?

Why Wear Black?

As Veronica Forand, I wear black. Lots of it. At first, it was a practical. Like the Garanimals of our childhood, wearing all black means almost everything matches. There’s comfort in knowing I won’t be rummaging for hours looking for something that matches the cool green pants that languish in my closet without a coordinating top.

Black screams also screams attitude and lately, I’ve felt anything but confident. Clothes can affect how I see myself. I need to be strong right now for my family, for my clients, and for myself. Dressing to kick ass, helps me take on any challenge I’m confronted with.

Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge is known for her style and color. She’s not perceived to be aggressive or a take charge kind of person.kate-middleton-Pink

Her entire body language changes with a black casual outfit. kate-middleton-black

Tom Hiddleston. Just because.

crimson-peak-bombed-tom-hiddleston-and-del-toro-losing-touch

tom-hiddleston-crow

Tina Turner looks killer in black.

Singer Tina Turner performs at SkyDome in Toronto, Sunday, June 4, 2000. Toronto Sun-Veronica Henri) QMI AGENCY

Singer Tina Turner performs at SkyDome in Toronto, Sunday, June 4, 2000. Toronto Sun-Veronica Henri) QMI AGENCY

In another color, she’s got a softer side.

Tina_Turner_soft

There are days I’ll wear bright blue and white and that suits me fine, but when I need to engage some of my power, wearing anything black helps out.

 

Red Carpet Season – What (Not) To Wear

Red Carpet Season – What (Not) To Wear

by Xio Axelrod

adele 2013Every time I decide to skip the Grammys and stay home, someone amazing is scheduled to perform. One year, it was Prince. This year, it’s Adele.

I. Am. Kicking. Myself. [Read more…]

Why dress like a Parisian when I can dress like me? Five wardrobe items I love!

Why dress like a Parisian when I can dress like me? Five wardrobe items I love!

I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Always have been, probably always will be. But there is this part of me that wishes I could be more put-together. You know–like all those stylish Scandinavian girls I see everyday or those über-effortlessly chic French girls we hear about all the time. Every now and then I tell myself that I will do as they do: stop eating carbs, do Bikram yoga and get manis/pedis every week. And then I laugh and have another glass of wine or a pastry and don’t bother spending time putting together outfits.

Photo credit: thestore.com

So chic…and yet…it would require far too much planning and too few carbs. Photo credit: thestore.com

My closet is overflowing with clothing bought on a whim and yet very few items actually speak to me or scream, “Wear me!” And I end up back in my t-shirt and jeans. Or my sweater and jeans–depending on the season.

But I do know there are five items that I wear fairly often and that I love. So I may never be as chic as a Parisian or as on-trend as so many of these Stockholm girls, but I can feel comfortable in my own skin and really that is what is most important.

Girlfriend jeans from H&M+.

Girlfriend jeans from H&M+. Photo credit: hm.com.

My favourite jeans

I may love my skinny jeans, but sometimes what I want are a pair of slim-cut jeans that don’t feel super-tight. These girlfriend jeans from H&M+ fit perfectly without having too low of a rise or squeezing my thighs like sausage casing. I love these jeans. I love them so much that I bought four pairs that I rotate. I am going to buy one more pair just in case.

My only complaint is that H&M seems to think we only want black jeans. I would love to have these in indigo and stonewash…and why not white for summer?

I can’t be the only woman who loves these jeans. I think I will send H&M another email suggesting more shades…:)

Sooner or later they will listen to me, right?

 

I love stripes! Striped boatneck sweater from H&M+. Photo credit: hm.com.

I love stripes! Striped boatneck sweater from H&M+. Photo credit: hm.com.

A stripey, boatneck sweater

I love stripes. I own far too many pairs of striped socks. I also love boatneck sweaters. Well, I love sweaters. Period. And this one, another gem from H&M+, has been a staple of my autumn/winter wardrobe. I usually wear my favourite white t-shirt under it. This sweater looks great with jeans, leggings, joggers, you name it.

I wear it at least once or twice a week. My colleagues must wonder if I don’t own any other sweaters…but this is one of my favourites. I will cry the day it goes to sweater heaven. It’s just so cozy and so easy to wear. And I like easy. I hate clothing that feels overly fussy or that is more trouble than it’s worth to wear. If it requires I wear Spanx just to look good in it, then it isn’t in my closet. And this sweater just looks good. No Spanx needed.

 

A new type of hightop sneaker

Soft 7 hightop sneakers from Ecco. So comfy!  Photo credit: ECCO.com.

Soft 7 hightop sneakers from Ecco. So comfy! Photo credit: ECCO.com.

A few years ago, I tore a ligament in my left foot. Even though it’s healed, it has affected which sort of shoes I can wear nowadays. High heels are no longer part of my shoedrobe (even though I still drool over them) and shoes that are too flat can also be a bit annoying. So as much as I love my Converses (and who doesn’t love Chucks???), these  Soft 7 high tops from ECCO are more comfortable and I like the look of them.

It took a day or two to break them in, but now they are like butter.

 

A vee-neck t-shirt? Yup! Photo credit: hm.com.

A vee-neck t-shirt? Yup! Photo credit: hm.com.

Vee-neck t-shirts are never wrong

I already told you I was a t-shirt kind of girl and I own this t-shirt in grey, white, black and rose. Whenever H&M+ offers it in a new shade, I buy it. Why? Because it doesn’t cling and it looks great and I can wear it under my favourite sweaters or as it is.

I think they used to make it in a long sleeve model, but now it’s only available as a short sleeve tee, which is fine. I wish they’d make it in olive green or red…that would make my day. Maybe another email hinting at more shades?

Hey…isn’t the customer always right? 😉 And–admit it–that t-shirt would look great in red.

 

Striped socks! Another obsession! Photo credit: happysocks.com.

Striped socks! Another obsession! Photo credit: happysocks.com.

You can never have too many pairs of socks

Did I mention I have a thing about stripes? I love striped socks. I probably own too many pairs of striped socks, but I don’t care. They’re my thing. And socks are important. They should be soft. They should not glide down under your heel–which is annoying. They should not get holes in them the very first day you wear them. They should just…work.

I don’t really care which brand of socks I wear–as long as they are comfortable. When I am in the US, I stock up on socks since I can often find striped socks there in a multitude of colors. In Sweden, I am usually limited to black-and-white…unless I turn to Happy Socks or Bleuforêt.

 

So simple! I don’t even have to waste any time worrying about if this matches that or if it makes my ass look big (it’s big anyway, so who cares?) or whatever. I get dressed, I go. I’m comfortable. I feel like me and I can focus on other things–like which books I should get for my Kindle or if I should write another story about the delectable Mads. So much more important than pretending to be a French girl. I’ve already started clearing out my closet and donating all the clothes I don’t really like to charity.

Someone else will get more use out of them. I will stick to my staples.