{Style Expert} Retro not ridiculous: How to achieve a “hippie chic” look

Two FOF style experts, Gail Garramone and Marilyn Kirschner, share secrets to looking hippie chic–not hippie dippy.

“The 60s had some great looks,” says Gail. “But it is important to know how to bring them back without looking like Joan-Baez-Gone-Bad or like you should be carrying around a lava lamp.”

Both experts agree that FOFs shouldn’t be limited to cliche fashion rules (“I am a firm believer that one can basically wear anything if one knows how to do it,” says Marilyn.) They offer these ideas–not commandments–for working Woodstock into your wardrobe.

6 Fab Hippie Chic Pieces and How to Wear Them

Examples:  Laguna Cuff by Soft Surroundings (left), $94.95 and Turquoise Buckle Leather Belt (right), $599 from Ralph Lauren

“Turquoise jewelry, whether in the form of a statement necklace or a cuff, makes for beautiful accessories.” says Gail. “Cinch a white button-down blouse with a turquoise belt. A big piece of jewelry slung low on the waist can make an unexpected statement–and hide a pooch!”

Foolproof pairings: A monochrome palette; shirt and pants or a dress in either brown, white or black.

Examples: Autumin in Philadelphia Tie Dye Silk  Fringed Scarf from Etsy seller, WarmFlashes (left), $29, Nepal Bag by Flora Bella from the FabOverFifty Shop, $412

“Tie-dyed accessories are fabulous because one piece can incorporate so many colors. A brightly tie-dyed pashmina shawl becomes a neutral that you can wear with just about anything,” says Gail.

Foolproof pairings:  Dark jeans and a dark-colored top.

Example: Declarative Peasant Blouse from Anthropologie (left), $58. Julietta Blouse by Trina Turk (right), $73.99

“Peasant blouses are great way to show a little skin without having to show your arms,” says Gail.

“What you don’t want is for it to resemble a maternity top, worn loose and unbelted,” says Marilyn.

Foolproof pairings: Wrist jewelry or slightly dangling earrings. Sophisticated high-waisted trousers or skirt.

Example:  Suede Tassel Boots in Brown from Soft Surroundings, (left) $159.95, Tessa Fringed Boot by House of Harlow (right), $350

“Hippie-style, over-the-knee boots in brown are just a fabulous essential,” says Gail. “They can have a hint of fringe but don’t overdo it.”

Foolproof pairings: A skirt that just skims the top of the boots or pants such as cords in brown or black or dark jeans. A slouchy leather or suede bag.

Example: “Karelia Coat” from Anthropologie, $248

“If you are FOF-fearless, a patterned coat is the ultimate,” says Gail.

“If you opt to wear a statement-making patterned coat, make that the one thing that is special,” says Marilyn. “Keep everything else solid, lean, clean and simplified.”

Foolproof pairings: A neutral monochromatic palette; off-white pants or narrow cords, army green cargos or indigo jeans. A knitted cap or fur or faux fur hat, suede boots (either flat or low wedge), and a timeless tote, satchel or shoulder bag (that are more sporty or casual than dressy).

Example: Faux Fur Vest from Eddie Bauer, (left) $99, Fur vest from Ebay, (right) from $20

“Fur vests may be a bit funky but are also classic enough so that it’s easily workable into a wardrobe,” says Marilyn. “It could easily add pizazz to basic separates. While they are always in style, they are even more so this season.”

Foolproof pairings: Neutral-toned (off white, ivory, cream, camel, brown) underpinnings such as a chunky turtleneck and narrow jeans or chino-type pants. Tall, brown, flat- or low-heeled boots.

Marilyn Kirschner has been Editor-in-Chief of the Internet Magazine Look-on-Line since 1995. She has appeared multiple times in Bill Cunningham’s ‘On the Street’ columns in The New York Times, and in February 2000, she was the subject of an 18 picture profile. Marilyn started her career at Seventeen magazine before landing at Harper’s Bazaar, where she remained for 21 years. She collects vintage fashion and is a personal shopper and wardrobe consultant. For more information, contact her at marilyn.kirschner@yahoo.com.

Gail Garramone has 15+ years experience in the fashion industry. She is a veteran V.P. at Liz Claiborne Inc. where she traveled around the country with Tim Gunn producing fashion events and fashion workshops.

Image of Ali MacGraw via I’m the It Girl

{Giveaway} A night of live music!

FOF Jan Daley is giving away two tickets to her tribute to Bob Hope concert, and a copy of her new CD, “Where There’s Hope.” The winner can choose from two shows: a concert at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency Hotel in N.Y.C. on the evening of Sunday, April 3, 2011 or at Vicky’s of Santa Fe in Indian Wells, Calif on the evening of March 21, 2011.

To enter, comment below and answer: Do you sing in the shower? (Please indicate in your comment whether you would like to attend the California or New York show.)

FOF Jan Daley traveled around the world entertaining troops on the Bob Hope U.S.O. Tour during the Vietnam War. Now, forty years later, she has put together a tribute to Bob Hope, an album of love songs from his legacy.

“It was an amazing research project because I had no idea how many beautiful songs came out of Bob Hope’s wacky movies. In the 30s and the 40s, all the great American composers, like Gershwin and Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, came out here to California to write music for his movies…just wonderful songs.”

Watch this vintage video clip of Jan singing to troops in Vietnam in the 1970s, then enter below to win tickets to her show plus her new C.D.

Read Jan’s entire interview here.

To enter, comment below and answer: Do you sing in the shower? (Please indicate in your comment whether you would like to attend the California or New York show.)

Contest closes November 18, 2010.

(See all our past winners, here.)

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

{Music} 3 Sites for FOF Music Lovers

If you’ve had Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” on repeat since 1972, it’s time to get out of your music rut and visit these 3 must-visit sites for FOF music lovers:

1. Pandora – Imagine a radio station that plays all your favorite songs–and finds you new artists based on your personal taste. Here’s how it works: enter in your favorite song or artist, and Pandora’s genius technology, the Music Genome Project®, creates a custom radio station chock full of tunes with similar musical makeup (melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics) to the one you entered. Pandora is free but has ads and is limited to 40 hours of listening per month or $36/year without ads and unlimited listening.

2. Pitchfork – A snarky, highly-influential online music publication launched in 1995. Top notch music journalists review new albums as well as reissued albums and box sets. Albums are reviewed on an extremely precise scale of 0 to 10, to the tenth-of-point. Those looking to discover new music can troll Pitchfork’s constantly updated best-of lists. Pitchfork is free.

3. Last.fm – The ultimate social music site. Last.fm scours the music libraries of you and your friends to give you new song recommendations, custom radio stations, upcoming concerts in your area and perfect strangers who are your perfect music matches. The site works using a technology called “scrobbling”: You download the “Scrobbler,” which monitors the songs you listen to most frequently. The Scrobbler compares what you play to the “scrobbles” of millions of users worldwide to help come up with music and concerts best suited to your taste. Last.fm is free or $3/month for ad-free listening and other perks.

Image via Millie Motts

{Music} The Ultimate FOF Playlist

We asked a few of our FOF members–musicians, music execs and even a 69-year old  club DJ–what they’re listening to now. The result? Music to our ears…the ultimate FOF playlist.

Plus! Win a CD compilation of all these songs. To enter, comment below and answer: What musician should every FOF know about?

Polly John

55, Duluth, Minnesota

“I sing with a 6-piece dance band called Park Avenue.’”

“Realize” by Colbie Caillait – Her music is light, fresh and makes you want to tap your feet. It evokes the questions, “What if we never connect?” “What would have happened if I’d met THIS person at THAT time?” and “How could our lives have been different if we’d married THAT person instead of the one we did?”

“Baby, Now that I’ve Found You” by Alison Krauss
– Her voice is sweet and clear and makes my heart happy. Any song by Alison is lovely but I like this one because she took a hit up-tempo song by The Foundations, and made it more of a ballad. The violin provides a haunting lilt, and her gentle spirit makes me want to close my eyes and sing along.

Sheri Nadelman

52, Tampa Bay, Florida

“I play guitar, sing and write. I am working on my first CD. Besides playing solo, I front two local bands; a 4-piece rock band, ‘SHERI AND THE VISION’  and a contemporary 5-piece soft rock and jazz band, “soulRcoaster.” I sing everything from Etta James to Lady Gaga!”

“Home” by Sheryl Crow – My idol. I got to meet her at one of her concerts and tell her so!  This song speaks to me because there’s a message of finding solace in your life.

“Free” by the Zac Brown Band – It’s a beautiful tune and I hear Zac is a real down-to-earth, nice guy.

“Lost in You” by Michael Wainwright – I discovered him when he opened for ‘Tears For Fears.’ He blew me away.

Anne Leighton

53, Bronx, N.Y., Publicist and owner of Anne Leighton Media and Music Services. A former DJ and editor at HIT PARADER magazine.

“I combine publicity with career development.  So I do both media and industry relations. I reach out to media, fans, businesses, government, charity, and show business for my artists.  You never know how a career is going to grow.”

“(You Should Be) Doubly (Gratified)” by Mike Doughty — Infectuous. Mike fuses a lot of musical genres into his sound and does it well. His voice is flexible and warm. He loves to use word sounds, hooks, and the studio as an instrument.

“Beautiful Dream”  by Jann Klose —  The best pop song ever with a brilliant melodic hook that everyone relates to, “I don’t want to wake up from this beautiful dream.” The verses flow from one thought to another, kind of like an Escher graphic.

“No Fool No More” by Jessie Galante — I love the power and attitude of this one. It’s about making your own decisions and not falling for lines.

“Perfect Storm” by Susan Barth ––  I seem to admire songs about the lazy lifestyle.  Susan’s got a ’60s/Karen Carpenter style in her voice. This arrangement borrows a bit from the Beatles’ SGT PEPPER LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.

Ruth Flowers A.K.A. Mamy Rock

69, Bristol, U.K.., Euro Club DJ

“…I’d rather sign a contract with a record company than sign up for the nursing home.”

“Still Rocking” (BasicSkack Remix) by Ruth Flowers (her own song) — I made it for the younger generation to dance to. It has a great guitar line which is a tribute to Queen and Freddy Mercury (my favorites).

“Something alla Mode” by Rondo Parisiano featuring Karl Lagerfeld — A cross between classical and electro-sound.

“Begging You For Mercy” by Duffy — “A great beat. I just love Duffy, she is different AND beautiful!”

“The Boy Does Nothing” by Alesha Dixon –Love it because it’ so true (men do nothing around the house)!

“Dance Wiv Me” by Dizzee Rascal — Very lively and great for dancing.

Valerie Day

50, Portland Oregon, Jazz/Pop Vocalist

“I’m currently singing with the NU SHOOZ Orchestra, a band I co-lead with my husband John. I also perform with a jazz quartet, big band and have produced a performance piece that I sing and act in called “Brain Chemistry For Lovers: Where The Art of Song Meets the Science of Love.”

“Overjoyed” by Esperanza Spalding — “A mighty force in a new generation of jazz musicians. In “Overjoyed” (which she played at the White House) she exudes such joy while masterfully playing upright bass and singing.”

“Nothing Runs As Deep As You” by Marv and Rindy Ross — “It’s one of my favorites on their record. It is beautifully and hauntingly sung by Rindy; a gorgeous piece of work that shows what happens when talent and many years of musical experience come together.”

“Jammin’” as recorded by Elaine Elias
— “This song helps me get my groove on when I’m having a hard time getting going. Originally written by Bob Marley, Elaine Elias’s dance party rendition is full of blazing and brilliant piano solos. Her Brazilian accent adds a wonderful vibe to the track.”

Holly George-Warren

53, Phoenicia, N.Y.,  Award-winning writer, editor, Grammy-nominated producer, and music consultant. Her projects include Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) and two editions of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster)

“I’ve authored a dozen books. I’ve recent published ‘The Cowgirl Way’ and am currently working on a biography of the musician Alex Chilton which will be published by Viking in 2012.”

“Firecracker” by Frazey Ford –– “Love her unique voice with its distinctive trill and the song’s old-timey instrumentation.”

“Princess & the Frog” by The Jim Jones Revue — “These English rockers are fantastic live, which is captured by this kick-out-the-jams track.”

“Tomorrow is a Long Time” by Bob Dylan — “Hearing the young Dylan at his most fragile is a very emotional experience.”

“We Die and See Beauty Reign” by Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan –– “Their voices blend beautifully on this haunting duet — perfect for a rainy day.”

“If It Wasn’t for Bad” by Elton John & Leon Russell — It’s great to hear these two veteran piano-men sound reinvigorated on this catchy song with attitude.”

Win a CD compilation of all these recommended songs. To enter, comment below and answer: What song are you loving right now? (See all our past winners, here.)

{Quiz} Which musical celeb DOESN’T wear a hearing aid?

Thirty-million Americans have hearing loss, but only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.

Three of the four musical celebs listed below have reportedly worn a hearing aid. Can you figure out which one has NOT?


National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 2008, USA Today, PBS NewsHour.
Images: Dan Winters for NYMag
, The Age, Life, and The International Review of Music

{Inspiration} Sound Off

It’s music week here at FOF. Tune in each day for some legendary posts…

Images via Art.com