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.

The Non-Fashionista, Appreciating Fashion

The Non-Fashionista, Appreciating Fashion

I think I’ve covered this before. I am not a fashion guru. I don’t buy expensive clothes. I like to be comfortable when I go out – or to work – or hell, just sitting around the house. This typically means, jeans and a t-shirt. Sometimes a polo-ish top (or the like).  I own one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of flip flops. I’m a simple woman. *wink*

However, none of this means I cannot appreciate someone who’s dressed nice.

Correction.

Sexy.

And so I give you . . . my top (we’ll go with FIVE) favorite best dressed hunks whom I love to watch on T.V. and / or movie screens.

First, of course, there’s Jensen. Because . . . JENSEN.

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Helloooooo, Jensen.

Then we have, Gerard . . .

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Barrrrre . . . Feeeeeeet!  COME ON.

And Stephen . . .

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Do I seriously need to spell this one out?

And okay, Robert . . .

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Because that pic of him has always killed me.

And last but far from least . . . the Fassy:

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It’s a tough life, but someone’s gotta Google these men.

You’re welcome.

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Dress for Success I do not

Dress for Success I do not

To my mother’s dismay, I still dress like an 18 year old boy. Why? I like being comfortable.

I have an obsession with band tees and tennis shoes. My life does not afford fashion–between my figure and my finances, jeans and tees are my way of life.

I wasn’t always this way. Way back when, I was stylish and creative and bohemian with my fashion approach. I graduated from design school, worked fashion shows for Nordstrom and on music videos as a stylist. I loved it, truly I did, and to this day, I love clothing. The feel of it, the look of it, the ten million ways you can approach one dress. But, nowadays, I work a full-time job where I am hunking around in a warehouse part of the day, I am the caregiver for my mother who is ill, a mother to a filthy, pig-pen of a 19-year-old and fur-mama to a house full of cats and a big black dog.

Plus, I write sometimes. (lol)

So–since I have no time, no money, and no interest in trying to be pretty anymore (what’s the use!) I wear my daily uniform of jeans, tees, and tennies. And they make me happy. Do my friends shake their heads when I wear my politically incorrect tees in public? Nope! They know me better than that! But the best part about my uniform is how I feel like me. I’m me. It’s more than comfort–it’s part of my personality.

So lace ’em up and have fun with your sloppy!

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To Costume Or Not To Costume? That Is The Question OR Halloween: It’s Not Just For Kids

To Costume Or Not To Costume? That Is The Question OR Halloween: It’s Not Just For Kids

So, my better half and I were invited to a Halloween party this year. A costume party. I have to admit, the idea of going somewhere as a matched pair that’s not our usual selves is a pretty fun idea. We could be Snow White and Price Charming, Superman and Wonder Woman, Hulk and She-Hulk (green body paint would be fun!). The possibilities are endless. (Really. Endless. Search “Halloween costumes for adults” on Google. I’ll wait…) 
But costume party aside, I have several friends who work in corporate offices and they are allowed to come into the office in costume on Halloween. This is cool. This also never happened during my brief stint in the corporate world, but I’m all for it. I have other friends who wear costumes when they take their kids trick-or-treating or hand out candy, and friends who dress up their pets for the day. (If I had a pet, I’d SO do this too).
If you feel silly dressing up, remember this: People have been doing it for centuries. An early reference to wearing costumes at Halloween comes from Scotland (My ancestors rock!) in 1585. There are many references to the custom during the 18th and 19th centuries in Scotland, Ireland, Mann and Wales. It has been suggested that the custom comes from the Celtic festivals of Samhain and Calan Gaeaf. Halloween costumes were traditionally based on frightening supernatural or folkloric beings, but by the 1930’s costumes based on characters in mass media such as film, literature, and radio were popular. You can literally be anything you want to be.
 
I don’t think you’re ever too old to take part. And I don’t think you should take yourself or life too seriously, so if you have the chance to be Ironman or a fairy or a football player or a minion, or heck, a deck of cards for the day, why not take it?
 
So, are you dressing up? If so, what as?
 
Now I’m off to find a costume for my inner She-Hulk 🙂
Susan-Sig

 

A Man Makeover

A Man Makeover

Full disclosure: I’m not a fashion-plate, more a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy. But I am addicted to Project Runway for some reason I cannot fathom and recently I’ve started thinking about updating my wardrobe to be a little more fashion forward.

I know very little about fashion in general, and even less about men’s fashion, so I thought I’d do a bit of research.

 

First stop, Gucci:

Ummm…I don’t think I could pull off any of those looks.

Let’s check out Burberry:

Okay, I could see myself in a couple of those pieces. Still, it’s a bit young/metrosexual for an old guy like me.

One last stop at Bottega Veneta:

These get a little closer to what I’m looking for I think. Still, I’ll probably just stop into Kohl’s and pick up a new pair of jeans and a fall flannel. I can always say I’m doing that lumbersexual thing.

Then again, maybe I’ll take my wife along and get her input. She seems to know better what will work for me.

 

So, ladies, do you help your guy stay fashion forward? Suggest styles and items for him? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Oh yeah, while searching I came across this, because every guy needs beachwear:

(You can thank me later.)

Steve

Best Face Forward

Best Face Forward

There are people who hate wearing makeup. There are people who love wearing makeup. One group is not better than the other. Wear it or don’t, but please respect (or at least, don’t mock) the other side. I’m in the pro-makeup camp. I love playing with colors and using my face as the canvas. (Eye makeup only. Lipstick isn’t my thing. I’m more of a Burt’s Bees balm type of girl). And, yes, I do this every day. Again, because I like it, and it makes me happy. How can sparkles and shimmer not make you happy?

In medieval times, having pale skin was equated with beauty and high class. Many women went to great lengths to achieve a pale complexion, including bleeding out with leeches or draining some of their blood by slashing a vein. (Um, seriously, that’s the most painful beauty method ever!!). It wasn’t until 1920 when Coco Chanel was on a cruise to the French Riviera and accidentally got sunburned that tans started to become popular.
And speaking of Coco:
Back in the Victorian Era, makeup was seen as something reserved for prostitutes, actresses, working-class women and women of “questionable morals”. To that I say:
AND
   
Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite makeup quotes from a few beauty and style icons.

Liz Taylor’s advice:

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Marilyn Monroe’s thoughts:

 

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Audrey Hepburn is my fave, so she gets two:

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Whether you’re PRO or CON on the makeup-wearing, don’t forget:

 

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AND:

No matter what:

 

Now, please excuse me. I’m feeling the urge to play with some new metallic shades 🙂

Susan-Sig

P.S. For my fellow eyeliner lovers:

Project Runway – My Guilty Pleasure

Project Runway – My Guilty Pleasure

I am not what you’d call a fashion conscious kind of guy. Okay, I did have a bit of a flirtation back in the mid 2000’s with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that taught me a few things, and upped my wardrobe quality a bit, but that was pretty much it until I stumbled across Project Runway.

Project Runway 1

It probably says something about me (though I’m not sure what) that at one time my two favorite television shows were Project Runway and Ice Road Truckers. (Ice Road Truckers is probably a whole other blog.)

I cannot tell you why I find Project Runway so riveting. I had no clue who Michael Kors was. Had never heard of Tim Gunn. Heidi Klum? Oh yeah, I knew about her. I am a guy after all.Heidi Klum

 

But at some point around season 3 I fell into watching this. It took a few more seasons to get my wife hooked on it. Now we salivate at the approach of each season, and set aside time each week to approve or dis young fashion designers fabric choices and sewing skills.

My fascination with this show may have something to do with my grandmother, a well known seamstress in our small town, who’s sewing machine occupied a prominent place in her dining room (which was never actually used for dining.) Her wedding gowns, mink stoles, and hat designs were legend and she was always working on something.

Now I haven’t touched a sewing machine in years, but I will admit (during our tight money times) to turning out an impressive collection of Barbie clothing for my daughter made from fabric scraps scrounged from my grandmother.

In any case, Project Runway season 14 starts August 6th. A glass of wine, some popcorn, and the remote await. Another season where the designers can “Make it work!”

Yeah, I’ll be there.

Steve

How Many Personalities Are In Your Closet?

How Many Personalities Are In Your Closet?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person with multiple fashion personalities scattered through their closet. I seem to go in spurts when it comes to clothing sprees.

A decent chunk of my clothes cover my day job, which is pretty much just standard issue business casual.

Picture 1 Picture 2

That’s a more comfortable step down from what I started out wearing in my professional career. The minute I started working in a “real office,” I took it upon myself to charge my credit cards to the max and filled my closets with everything I could (barely) afford from Talbot’s.

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Alas, I only have a few of those suits now…enough to get me by for job interviews or other power meetings. In fact, the older I get, the more my rebellious side has broken free. Take for instance, the rocker attire I stocked up on last year.

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At first, my family pretty much thought I’d lost mind. It’s taken ‘em a while, but they’ve finally adapted, which is good, because I’ve decided my rocker wardrobe is sticking around for a while. T-shirts and jeans come with a lot less wrinkles and a much lower dry cleaning bill. Just sayin’….

This year, I seem to be favoring a close cousin to the rocker look. I’ll call it Flirty Bohemian.

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Not that I particularly rock the bohemian vibe all that well. I mean, the flirty lines are lovely, but my hips don’t exactly need that kind of focus. I tend to keep to more of the maxi trend, because, well…MAXI. Sure would be nice though if they’d make maxis for those of us on the shorter side…

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Now, there’s one final personality type lurking in my closet I’m sure most of you are familiar with and probably embrace yourself. We’ll call it Comfy Momma. Look familiar?

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Mmm hmmm…can I get a, “Hell, yeah!” for the yoga pants? That’s what I thought…

So? How many personalities are lurking in your closet? Care to share your favorites? Or those you wish you’d never wasted money on?

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Shoe Porn

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Shoe Porn

I LOVE SHOES.

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There, I said it. The higher, the sexier, the more impractical and I’m there salivating all over the display window. The real irony to this, is that I don’t have the lifestyle or opportunity to wear the sort of shoes that make my little girl’s heart sing. Most days you’ll find me hunkered down behind my computer wearing yoga pants and sneakers and/or flip flops.

This does not prevent me from lusting over Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik et al – those gods of beautiful shoes.

I think we need a little visual aid here. My fellow Shoe-Aholics will get this right away.

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I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to my obsession.

 

The other little twist to my tale, is that at 5’8, I only really started strapping on the heels after I got married. My husband is a little clear of six foot, and gets a kick out of me in towering heels. TMI? Maybe, but there it is. For me, there is nothing that makes me feel more girly or sexier than a great pair of shoes.

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How about you? Strictly a sneakers-gotta-be-comfortable girl or a just-call-me-Imelda-and-hand-me-the-next-pair type?

SarahSig