{Fashion} Glitter for Grownups

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No need to be sequin shy. Fashion Week was full of stylish FOFs sporting metallic embellishments and glitter galore. But all that glitters is not gold–FOFs should practice restraint and sophistication when selecting sparkle, according to FOF style expert Sherrie Mathieson. “Sequins are best in sophisticated tones like beige, platinum, charcoal and a not-too-brilliant silver,” says Sherrie. “When paired with a luxe cashmere shawl or sweater, you have a great textural mix.”

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Resist the urge to pile on–settle on one or two glitz-cessories and use the rest of your outfit as a backdrop for these star-pieces to shine.

Left to right: Dune Sparkle Sequin Fold Up Ballerinas from Asos/ $35.81, Goldie Clutch from the FOF Shop, $30/ Big Buddha Faux Leather Hobo, $95/ Eileen Fisher Embellished Whisper Silk Infinity Scarf, $158

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A blazer with sequined detail is perfect paired with a little black dress, a nautical-striped top or even a t-shirt and jeans. Sequined shirts add understated glam beneath a blazer or solid-color cardigan.

Left to right: Sequin Shawl-Collar Cardigan from J.Crew, $99/ Shimmer Sequin Tank from Talbots, $38.99/ Shiny Print Blouse from Zara, $79.90

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Pair sequined skirts with solid-colored sweaters and shirts in cashmere or cotton. The sparkle will pop against the neutral textures and tones, and you’ll avoid looking like a disco ball.

Sequin Hostess Skirt from Talbots, $148.99/ Bloused Cold Shoulder Sequin Dress by Aidan Mattox from Nordstrom, $360/ Tianna Sequined Skirt from Lauren Woman by Ralph Lauren, $59.99.

{The Look for Less} Steal This FOFashion Week Style

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Maybe they should rename it FOFashion week…

New York City’s Fashion Week is dominated not by FUF models, but by the FOFashion forward, from Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia, to jewelry designer, Efva Attling, Sweden’s queen of bling. It’s also our FOFavorite place to scope out style worth stealing. Check out these 3 street styles from Fashion Week and then, get them for less.

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Patterned Tights
Once reserved for leggy waifs, patterned tights have made a comeback on more shapely sisters…namely, shapely FOF sisters. Trust us, ladies, the fashion future is hosey. “We may have varicose veins, sun spots or cellulite,” says Hallie Peterson, owner of Leg Luxury tights. “so, when we cover our legs with patterns, it looks a lot better than going bare or even wearing regular nude hose.” Glenyse G. Thompson of styleosophy.com agrees. “They add unexpected texture and/or color to your outfit.”

Get the look: Leg Luxury tights, $22 from the FabOverFifty shop

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Itty Bitty Bags
We’re all grown up, but our bags are shrinking?! We’re talking about itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny,  honey-I-shrunk-the handbags. “Fashion is having an Alice in Wonderland moment, with exaggerated proportions flinging outfits into thrilling disarray,” according to the fashion website and store, Asos.com. If your own body proportions give you agita, there’s nothing like a dinky dollhouse-sized bag to throw them for a loop!

Get the look: Mini Metallic Quilted Cross Body Bag, $21.49 from Asos.com

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A Fur Collar
When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing more delightful than a fur collar–preferably detachable–to give it more va-voom! As the weather warms, you can remove it and keep your statement coat working a bit longer. “[A fur collar is] a cool addition to a fitted sweater, a sheath dress or a narrow coat.” says FOF Style Guru Terry Gibralter. “ Well said, Terry… and well worn, Fashion Week FOFs.

Get the look: Helene Berman Faux Fur Collar $46 from TheOutnet

{Style Expert} What do you think of this look?

We spotted this belted beauty outside of Barneys in NYC. We loved the kimono-style coat, but is her style everyone’s cup of tea? Read what our style experts think, and then tell us: What do you think of her look?

Glenyse Thompson: “I love it–this FOF has it going on. All the elements in her outfit balance together perfectly; from the chunky turtleneck and statement necklace to the belted coat. The colors compliment her skin tone too. She looks chic, comfortable and fabulous. I personally would like to know where she got that coat, and If I were her friend I would be trying to borrow that necklace!”

Glenyse Thompson is a personal home and wardrobe stylist and the creator of Styleosophy.

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Sherrie Mathieson: “This refined-looking lady understands quality and style. Every item she is wearing says ‘well made’, and ‘high-end’–the best cashmere and leather. I love her sporty, ageless, flat boots and how she tucked her pants into them without excessive bulk. (Leggings would have been too “young”). However, the lovely necklace doesn’t integrate and the look would be sleeker without it. Sunglasses that were neutral without those purple lenses, would be better.”

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.

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Sandra Soich: “This woman definitely has style, but too much happening in one outfit. The pieces are all beautiful on their own, but not mixed together.  The big problem is the riding boots. They are great–but not with the ensemble. Another issue…is this outfit age appropriate?  Tending to think not. She’s definitely trying too hard.”

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.

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Terry Gibralter: “There’s a lot I like about this look and some things I don’t. The belted wrap coat is great and given her trim figure, she wears it well. I like the leather tie belt and the sweater underneath.  As much as I like the necklace, I don’t feel it works as a coat accessory and it feels at odds with the tailored ensemble.  I also don’t like what looks to be pants tucked into her boots, it feels a little heavy and awkward and I would prefer a sleeker look on the bottom–narrow wool pants with a brogue shoe or slim fitting boots on a slightly higher heel. I do love her chic bob and cool sunglasses!”

Terry Gibralter is the Sr. Vice President and Creative Director at Grey advertising as well as a fashion stylist and the creator of these clever work accessories.

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Lovey Dash: “I love this look–tres chic! Love the belted coat layered over her cozy, contrasting turtleneck sweater. The boots are great, but I think I see baggy denim jeans peeping out. That is a no no. Thank goodness it’s mostly covered.”

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.

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Susan Hersh: “When I first saw this woman, ‘chic and luxurious’ came to mind. The short-sleeve cape is an exquisite outwear piece and layers beautifully over the chunky turtleneck. The black riding boots polish off the look and the necklace is an artistic statement. This lady has great style and is an influence for all ages.”

Susan Hersh is a Ford model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.

{Style Expert} 2012’s Hottest Nail Trends – Would you wear them?

Some nail colors–candy-apple red, sheer pink–are forever. But with polish as cheap as $3 a bottle, you don’t always have to invest in the classics. We checked in with FOF Deborah Lippmann, manicurist to the stars (i.e. Meryl Streep), who reveals this year’s top nail trends so far.  You tell us, would you wear them?

To enter to win a bottle of FOF Deborah Lippmann’s own fave shade, Naked, vote and then answer this questions in the comments below: What’s your go-to nail polish shade, no matter what’s trendy?

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Before you run screaming from this color, consider it paired this spring with a classic white blouse, jeans and a pair of neutral flats. Or, as Deborah says, “it will give you that easy, breezy and carefree feeling you’d have on vacation.” Still not convinced? Vote “No way!”
Deborah Lippmann “Mermaid’s Dream,” available Spring 2012; Essie “Absolutely Shore,” $8; Revlon Nail Enamel “Minted,” $4.79; Butter London “Bossy Boots,” $14.

Would you wear it?

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“Turquoise will be a big color this spring and summer,” says Deborah. “Different hues of blue–baby blue, turquoise, and navy–will definitely be a lasting trend seen into fall as well.” We could imagine working the baby blue at the beach, and we love the idea of navy for fall. Turquoise sounds a bit trickier–but we take Deborah’s word for it. Do you?
Essie “Bobbing for Baubles,” $9; Deborah Lippmann “On The Beach,” available spring 2012; Priti NYC “Crown of Thorns,” $12.50; Butter London “Blagger,” $14.

    Would you wear it?

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    “My new ‘Run The World Girls’ neon shades [editor’s note: these will be available in Spring 2012] have a matte finish, which makes it easier for us FOFs to wear the trend,” says Deborah. “If you don’t feel like you can take the plunge with CONFIDENCE–because that’s the key–then wear it on your toes!” Yes, the highlighter shade takes a little getting used to, but we love tan hands with neatly trimmed nails in neon pink.
    Essie “Knockout Pout,” $3.90; Essie “Tangerine,” $6.65; Chanel “Mimosa,” $34.99; Butter London “Jaffa,” $14.

    Would you wear it?

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    “Beige is the new sheer pink, and its popularity is rising,” says Deborah. “It gives the illusion of skin continuing and really lengthens your finger. My staple nude is ‘Naked.’” The trick is to match your skin–whether it’s beige, tan, chocolate or porcelain. We don’t need convincing on this one. It truly lengthens–try it!
    Deborah Lippmann “Naked,” $16; OPI “Samoan Sand,” $8; Dior Vernis “Ivory,” $30.59; RGB “F3,” $16.

Would you wear it?

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To enter to win a bottle of FOF Deborah Lippmann’s own fave shade, Naked, vote and then answer this questions in the comments below: What’s your go-to nail polish shade, no matter what’s trendy?

One FOF will win. (See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes January 26, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

[Style Expert] How to wear a scarf–and not look old.

Stylish women wear scarves. Right? But how come when we try to wear them, we end up looking either uber conservative or, well . . . dated?

According to style blogger and scarf aficionado, Une Femme, (yes, that is a nom de plume), there are two big mistakes when it comes to wearing a scarf:
1.  Trying to make it look “neat.”
2.  Lack of practice.

“Wearing scarves is a learned thing,” she explains. “If you want to have that French, effortless chic, it has to look sort of thrown on–but it’s really not. You have to play in front of the mirror–twist, fold. Get that muscle memory going.”

Une Femme began experimenting with scarves about 5 years ago, after she returned from her very first trip to Paris. “French women have a basic wardrobe and they accessorize it. I started looking up other women online who were doing scarf tutorials. Now I wear a scarf every day unless it’s just too warm.”

We love the way she uses scarves in her own wardrobe–chic and simple. Now it’s time to T.I.Y (tie it yourself).  Check out Une Femme’s 3 simple scarf tutorials and then haul that stack of scarves out of your closet and get twisting.

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Clip 1:
Three Ties for Smaller Squares
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Clip 2: Large Silk Squares and Lots of Twisting!
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Clip 3: Two ties for long knit scarves. (“This features one of my favorite scarves, and a great one for beginners: The Eric Bompard cashmere “voile” scarf,” says Une Femme.)

{What do you think of this look?} FOF Golden Globes fashion

The Golden Globes were teeming with FOFs this year. Between Meryl, Tilda, Madonna and Helen, there were so many FOFs center stage that we started to wonder: What happened to all the Hollywood ingenues? Not that we’re complaining.

When it comes to awards-show fashion, FOFs have to tread a fine line: age-appropriate but not dowdy; sexy but not “trying too hard;” sophisticated but not boring. Did they succeed?  Read our take and then tell us, what did you think?

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Madonna:

As is her wont, Madonna let her cups runneth over in this sequined gown by Reem Acra. We like the way she made a classic shape edgy with fingerless gloves, exposed roots and her signature cross. But the skirt overwhelmed her, and that bodice looked too tight which is . . . insane, considering that Madonna appears to have a .05% body fat percentage.

What do you think?

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Tilda Swinton:

Tilda is not everyone’s cup of tea, but, quite frankly, we adored her tousled pompadour and menswear-inspired look, designed by Haider Ackermann. She appears ageless and avant garde but also comfortable and oddly . . . beautiful.

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Meryl Streep:

We love Meryl, and we were charmed and sympathetic and when got up on stage to receive her award and panicked because she’d forgotten her glasses. In fact, we’d like to give her a pass because she’s so good at what she does, who cares what she wears? And yet . . . this Western-inspired belted dress by Allesandra Rich just didn’t fit her right. It pulled in the wrong places (stomach and chest) so that by the time Meryl got on stage, we were seriously concerned that the button at her chest would burst and show producers would have to employ a  strategic black bar.

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Jane Fonda:

When it comes to 74(!)-year-old Jane, we are just going to agree with what George Clooney said in the press room after accepting his award for best actor: “Jane Fonda in that dress. My God,” he told reporters. “She looked great, didn’t she?”

What do you think?

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Helen Mirren:

At first glance, we were slightly disappointed that Helen Mirren went more mother-of-the-bride than sex bomb. I mean, it’s not every FOF who has a body like Dame Helen, and we’d like to see her show it. But our expectations aside, she looked stunning in this navy Badgley Mischa gown, and her sleek hair and accessories are very cool.

What do you think?

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Diane Lane:

Diane Lane was flawless in this gold Reem Acra dress which looks both form-flattering and comfortable (at least as black-tied dresses go). She also knows just how to accessorize it . . . with smoldering FUF husband, Josh Brolin.

What do you think?

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Jody Foster:

Jodie Foster’s well-tailored aqua gown felt straight-outta 1988 and could have used some better styling. (The office-wear shoes were a definite don’t.) That said, she looked pretty and strong, and even smiled gracefully through a series of cringe-worthy jokes about her sexual orientation, courtesy of host Ricky Gervais. Most important, she looked blissfully unaware of anything except for her two adorable sons–her dates to the event.

What do you think?

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{Style Expert} Channeling Liz Taylor . . . on the cheap.

Finance experts will tell you that clothing and handbags are among the worst investments you can make–they rarely appreciate. This did not hold true for Liz Taylor.

One of the greatest couture clients of all time,” Liz was said to have still been “buying clothes right up until she went into the hospital for the last time.” And this week, Liz Taylor’s wardrobe was auctioned off for many multiples of it’s estimated value, breaking world records and racking up over 154.2 million.

Couldn’t make it to Christie’s auction house last week? Or, let’s be real, couldn’t swing those record-breaking prices? There’s still hope for you, FOF. We found 10 Liz knock-offs worth investing in.

SLIDESHOW:

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{Style Expert} What do you think of this look?

This lovely FOF was spotted outside Barney’s in Manhattan last week. We loved her hat, her glasses and her free spirit. But what do you think–is her style fab and fun or just frenetic?

Sherrie Mathieson: “Perhaps ‘interesting’ is the word…and surely she has fun with clothes. I’m sure she garners double-takes to her satisfaction. To me this look is somewhat creative and somewhat clownish. Do I dare say that her bag ‘doesn’t go’ (is there such a thing?) with this outfit–when she already has taken multiple liberties?”

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.

Sandra Soich: “I wish I could say this is an example of expression, but I think it screams ‘look at me.’ Hat is great. Glasses are great. Everything to the waist seems to work and then it just simply gets crazy. I can’t even comment on the legwear and shoes in conjunction with the bag. Frenetic is most definitely the word!”

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.


Susan Grant: “This lady is mixing too many elements; her face, hat and bag are an ‘uptown lady who lunches’ look, while the rest is fun and edgy. I think she needs to decide which she wants to portray.”

Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.

Susan Hersh: “This woman really has a sense of style and humor, appearing trendy and whimsical, simultaneously. The plaid shawl collar coat makes a strong statement and the length is perfect on her. The hat is also in proportion to her face and the shape is quite unique.  My only peeve is the 2-tone polka dot hose–she should opt for solid black opaque instead.  Right now, with the animal printed handbag, the two patterns are clashing. It’s not easy to pull off this look, but she has the confidence to make it work.”

Susan Hersh is a Ford model and the host and executive producer of Meet The Experts.

Terry Gibralter: “I really like this lady’s look. At first glance she appears a bit too kooky to warrant a serious second glance. But, when I really examine her pieces I see that they are quite beautiful and Japanese-inspired.  Perhaps the mismatched socks are a bit too over the top (although I like them) and she could probably lose the animal print bag but I really like everything else. I think she can really pull off this extreme fashion look. I would love to see what else she has in her closet!”

Terry Gibralter is the Sr. Vice President and Creative Director at Grey advertising as well as a fashion stylist and the creator of these clever work accessories.

Lovey Dash: Yes, she is fab and yes, she is frenetic! The shoes are the only things that I would have changed but she is walking in New York and they are sensible and very much in fashion. She looks happy and has a fun sense of style. That red, red hair matches her bag. Love this.”

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.

{Style Expert} Black Friday–Everyday!

A discount doyenne shares her treasure map.

While you’re clawing your way through the crowds this Friday, FOF Diana Tenes, author of 90% off Every Day, will be cozy at home in her living room, sipping peppermint tea and browsing online.
The discount-shopping expert saves thousands each year, but she opts out of frenzied “sale days” like black Friday.
“I appreciate the value you can get on that day,” she explains. “But I think it’s a lot of work–I don’t like to fight with people.”

Here she reveals, step-by-step, how she gets fab fashion deals without stepping into the fray. (Plus, check out the slideshow at the bottom of this post for great deals we found using her methods.)

1. Start with a specific item in mind. “I work as a stylist, so I’m usually looking for a very specific piece–lace boots or a leopard-pint sweater, for example. That’s much more effective than browsing sales for whatever catches your eye. Go to a store you like–Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s–and try stuff on. Make a list of the specific items you love. This is your seasonal shopping list–keep it in your bag.”

2. If you don’t have an item, start with a brand. “I love the look and style of Anthropologie, Betsey Johnson and Free People. I always carry a list of those brands so whether I’m on ebay or at a garage sale, I’m looking for certain labels.”

3. Speaking of eBay . . . start there. “I do a lot of my shopping online, and eBay is still my favorite resource. Once you know exactly what you want, type in every search variation you can think of. For example, if you love a leopard-print cardigan from Diane von Furstenberg, type that in. But don’t forget that not every seller is savvy. You can get the best deals by searching more anonymous terms such as ‘leopard sweater,’ or ‘animal-print cardigan.’ Also consider, ‘vintage leopard-print cardigan.’ This part takes time, but I love it.”

4. Set low limits. “I try to set a spending limit of $30-$40 for any one item on eBay. That may seem low, but it forces you to look harder and save more. I’ve found boots for $15 that cost $450 in a trendy boutique. I found a Lucky Brand sweater on eBay for $40 and it cost $150 in the store. Challenge yourself to save big.”

5. Bookmark these sites! “For well-priced alternatives that aren’t vintage or secondhand, I like to check Overstock.com, shopstyle.com, thefind.com, nextag.com, polyvore.com, etsy.com. Just like on eBay, use different descriptions or combination of words to search on these sites, such as “animal print, cheetah, leopard, faux fur spotted or jacket, coat or outerwear.”

6. Make second-hand your first love. “I always shop Goodwill, where I find the very best deals. Find the one closest to your home and visit shopgoodwill.com. Search craigslist for local flea markets and garage sales–another goldmine for truly cheap finds.

7. Shop vintage coats. “Certain big-ticket items–coats and bags, for example–are just better when you buy vintage. I type ‘vintage coats’ into eBay constantly–you never know what gems you’ll find.”

8. Sign up for Fashion Vault from eBay. There are a lot of discount shopping emails, but this is my favorite. It’s created by eBay and it’s all designer brands at 60-70 percent off. I mean, this stuff is really cheap.

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{Style Expert} What Do You Think Of This Look?

This FOF is a former Ford model who now works in real estate. We spotted her outside Barney’s in Manhattan in these fab glasses. (“I got them used–just $22,” she reports.) She explained that her “Eye Test” shirt was designed “by a friend” named Kenneth King. Back in the office we got to googling and, wow, Kenneth is a friend we wouldn’t mind having!

Sandra Soich: “When I first looked at this ensemble, I was confused! I said, ‘this is wrong, that’s wrong….’   But in the end, it wasn’t so bad after all. The only thing throwing it off is the need to ‘camouflage’ with the button-down shirt. Without that, it would be just fine.”

Sandra Soich is wardrobe stylist to the stars and founder of YourFashionTherapist.com.

Sherrie Mathieson: “This woman is a mix of good and bad style instinct. I love that her hair and makeup are quite natural to offset the sparkling glasses. I like that her palette is low-key and unified by navy. Her jeans are a current style, and I like the horizontal line created by her boatneck t-shirt. The shoes are a bit off in style and color (black ballerinas would have been better)–but I’m glad they are flats.

Sherrie Mathieson is a leading style expert and Random House author of Steal this Style and Forever Cool.

Lovey Dash: “This look does not work for me at all. What does work is the gorgeous face on this woman and her sexy curvy body. She should take off that baggy jacket and put on something a little more fitted. The glasses are cute and retro looking but have nothing to do with what she is wearing.”

Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills stylist to the stars. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.

Linda Cohen: “I appreciate a woman who can wear a colorful jacket. I like the eye chart print and the bold colors. She is confident, and this is one of those pieces that will create conversation. The t-shirt and jean create a slimmer, pulled-together look. Her rhinestone sunglasses and scarf over her natural tote tells me she likes to have fun. I would consider wearing the jacket over all white in the summer.”

Linda Cohen owns her own consulting business specializing in retail merchandising.