{Style Scout} 9 Statement Necklaces that Won’t Bust Your Bank Statement

Summertiiiiime, and the styling is easy. Statement necklaces are a brilliant (and simple) way to pull any look together. Don’t keep yours hidden away in a drawer awaiting the next cocktail party! Pull it out and pair it with a t-shirt and jeans, your button-down, or even a slouchy spring sweater. Here we found 9 statement-making necklaces that won’t bust your bank statement.

Plus, enter to win a  this gorgeous piece from online vintage shop, Atlantis Dry Goods when you leave a comment below.

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A Powerful Pop of Color

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Pair these with a blazer, tshirt and jeans. Extra points for bold flats.Brass and acrylic beaded necklace, Modcloth, $49.99 (Currently out of stock, ModCloth will reorder this item based on demand).  Gold-plated iron, cotton and metal “Navala” necklace, Anthropologie, $68.

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A Twist on Tribal


Add interest to a flowy white shirt and linen pants. “Middle Eastern” necklace in metal with glass beads, Atlantis Dry Goods, $148. Seed Bead Purse Necklace, ASOS, $26.86.

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Short And Chunky

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Turn a collared shirt and sweater or cardigan into a style statement. Vintage Anne Klein Gold Chain Necklace, Atlantis Dry Goods, $32. Metal necklace, H&M, $12.95.

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Long And Layered

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These work with just about everything, from a basic white v-neck to a dressy silk blouse to a simple shirt-dress. “Republic Coin Necklace,” Soft Surroundings, $59.95. “Totem Poll Necklace,” House of Harlow, $85. “Beads & Chains Necklace,” Forever 21, $8.80.

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Enter to win a  this gorgeous piece from online vintage shop, Atlantis Dry Goods when you leave a comment below.

(See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes April 18, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

{Style Scout} The very BEST t-shirts for FOFs

Remember those days?  When a worn-in, fitted T (yes, even sans bra) was your sexiest asset? Well, for most of us, those days lasted for about 30 seconds. The rest of our lives are spent looking for t-shirts that are long enough, short enough, fitted–but not too fitted, thin–but not too thin, work-appropriate, soft but sturdy . . . you know what I mean. Well, relax, because this week, we did the work for you.  Our brilliant style scouts picked the best t-shirts just for FOFs–at every price point.

Plus, enter to win the fab scoopneck shirt from Fabrizio Gianni, below, in the color of your choice, when you answer this question in the comments below:  Do you have a favorite t-shirt?

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Lilla P

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FOF Style Scout Linda Cohen:
Lilla P is a company devoted to creating ‘the essential T.’ Their t-shirts feel deliciously soft but don’t grab you in those places where you feel you have back fat or belly rolls. They also have great ¾-length sleeve options and even some Dolman-sleeve cuts.”
Our faves: The Stripe Rolled Sleep Bateau, $76; Flame ¾-sleeve button boatneck; The Classic ¾-sleeve Scoop, $50

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Hanro

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FOF Style Expert Sherrie Mathieson:
“I have alway liked Hanro for the softness, stretch and lasting power.” Hanro’s Classic, Everyday Cotton Tee ($64) is a mix of Egyptian cotton and elastane, so it provides a little extra support everywhere without being too tight. A classic, tailored tee that’s perfect for layering.

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Fabrizio Gianni

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FOF Style Experts Jojami and Deborah,
The Glam Gals, from Fabulous After 40:

“We think women over 40 look best in a V-neck or boatneck that skims the body nicely. Of course the shirts need to be high quality to withstand washing. The tops from Fabrizio Gianni are tops in our book! The fit and feel is so yummy and they come in so many colors that are hot for Spring! Classic Cotton Short Sleeve V-Neck, $42; Long Sleeve Scoop Neck, $85

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Club Monaco & Fruit of the Loom

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FOF Style Expert Glenyse Thompson:
“For t-shirts, I specifically love to recommend Club Monaco, which luckily for us, just opened it’s online shop. I don’t purchase traditional women’s Ts, as they usually fit me too tightly through the bust and waist. I buy Club Monaco men’s tshirts ($28.50), with a bit of stretch. In a pinch I pick up a pack of Fruit of the Loom’s V-Necks ($13.49 for a pack of 5) at Target or Walmart.”

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Zara

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FOF Style Scout Lovey Dash:
This season, I love the striped t-shirts from Zara. The fit is great–plenty of room in the bust and hip area; classic boatneck–not too high; good arm length–and a trillion colors. Best of all, only $16 each. Go Crazy!

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Enter to win this fab scoopneck shirt from Fabrizio Gianni, in the color of your choice, when you answer this question in the comments below:  Do you have a favorite t-shirt?

Three FOFs will win. See all our past winners. See official rules. Contest closes April 13, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

20 Super Comfortable Shoes–that are Also Super Chic (Really.)

If we say “comfort shoe” what springs to mind? Birkenstocks? Crocs? Something black with a low, sturdy heel and a square toe? Something you mother might have worn?
We’ve all stood in the “comfort shoe” section and felt, well . . . uncomfortable with the selection. But in the last few years several companies have launched super stylish lines for women who also need to stand and walk without crying out in pain at the end of the day. We picked our 20 faves…all designed to keep a little spring in your step.

Plus, Naya is giving way a pair of it’s fab shoes to one lucky FOF! To enter, tell us in the comments below: Which Naya shoe do you like best, the Eternal, Zamira or Samara?

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Yes, you can find a sexy shoe that’s comfortable and won’t set you back $600. We found five.
1. Sofft Scala Pump, $109.95. “Sofft Shoes feel like gym shoes and are so damn stylish,”
says FOF Style Scout, Glynese Thompson. “One client wears hers to all her black-tie events,; she says they allow her to stand and dance all-night.”  2. Cole Haan ‘Mariela Air OT’ Slingback Pump, $328; 3. Cole Haan Vivian Air Sandal, $298; 5. Air Gilda Open Toe Wedge, $198. We know these three Cole Haan shoes are a little more pricy, but consider the immortal words of Oprah when she discovered them: “These are life changing. You can actually wear heels and not be in pain.” Designed by Gordon Thompson, a former Nike sport shoe developer, all the “Air” shoes boast “airbags” in the toe and heel that provide support and cushioning. 4. Isola Balta, $175. Isola shoes are all padded with high-impact Latex.

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Baby shower, wedding, luncheon . . . spring and summer bring a million reasons to dress up a little bit without busting out your stilettos.  Here, five lovely shoes for the ladies who lunch.
1. Born Gemma Floral Flat, $90. Super lightweight, hand-crafted leather shoes with a nicely padded sole.2. Naya ‘Eternal’ Sandal, $145. A spin-off of the Naturalizer brand, Naya shoes are designed with soft, breathable leathers and deep cushioning. 3. Genelle by Kelsi Dagger,’ $98. A classic shoe made comfy with a supportive wedge and padded leather insoles. 4. Gams by Butter, $110. Italian leather cradles your tootsies and a subtle wedge elongates your leg without adding too much height.  5. Naturalizer ‘Lulianna’ Wedge, $79. Dress up a T-shirt and cropped pants with this comfy burst of color.

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Ok, we realize it’s not 1952, and “work” can mean a lot of things. But here are five shoes we’d feel comfortable wearing in an office, on an interview or to meet a client.
1. J.Crew Biella Patent Loafer, $228. A slightly sleeker and chicer take on the preppy penny loafer. 2. Isola ‘Dore,’ $149. A super-cushioned sole and a sturdy heel make these heels work for work. 3. London Sole Simple SMO1, $165. Not all flats are created equal! These have a durable, padded sole, sturdy construction and contrast toe-cap that won’t show scuffs. 4. ASOS Slipper Vamp Kitten Heel, $62.67. ASOS isn’t particularly known as a “comfort” brand, but this shoe feels great, and the price is definitely in our comfort zone. 5. Michael KORS Low Flex Pump, $98. A flexible, rubber sole keeps these kitten heels snugly on your feet throughout the day. The pointy toe is super flattering and felt good to us, but probably not the best for those with wide feet or bunyons.

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Let’s make this the summer that we forgo cheap rubber flipflops (which wreak havoc on your feet) and opt instead for a wear-everywhere style that helps us look a bit more pulled together. Our five faves.
1. Indigo by Clarks Tres Belle Sandal, $80. Understated and neutral, this little sandal accommodates different widths thanks to its adjustable strap. 2. Splendid Malibu Slip On, $79. An espadrille style that works with jeans or a flowy summer skirt. 3. Naya ‘Zamira’ Sandal, $135. A gladiator sandal with support, adjustable straps and a high-traction sole. 4. Easy Spirit ‘Penning,’ $79. Can’t you just see these paired with straight-leg, dark wash jeans and a tailored white blouse? 5. Paul Green ‘Lola’ Sandal, $280. Drop these in your bag for your next vacay–you can wear them all day sightseeing and then pair them with a dress and dance the night away.

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Naya is giving way a pair of it’s fab shoes to one lucky FOF! To enter, tell us in the comments below which one you like best, the (1) Samara, (2) Eternal, or (3) Zamira.

One FOF will win. (See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes March 18, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

{Style Scout} The very BEST leggings for FOFs

[Plus, one woman will win a pair. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: What would you like our style scouts to find next? (tshirts? jeans? comfortable shoes?)!]

Paired with a tunic, big sweater, cardigan or even long, layered tees, a great pair of leggings can become a wardrobe staple. But the wrong leggings can result in muffin tops, panty-lines and jiggling. So we sent our fashion scouts on a search for the perfect FOF leggings. Here . . . their picks.

Lysse Leggings, $54 and up. (Recommended by FOF Style Scout Linda Cohen.)
FOF Beth Gold Cohen, 58, a longtime retail buyer for Macy’s, was 52 when she was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. The treatments caused her to gain a lot of weight in a short time. “I always liked to wear leggings,” she explains, “But now the waistband cut right into my stomach…or rolled down completely.” Her solution was to hand sew in a control top that smoothed her waist and eliminated the muffin top. Today, Beth is cancer-free and the founder and president of Lysse Leggings, a line with a cult following. “It’s 4-way stretch and 14-percent Spandex–which is a lot for a cotton legging. It really holds you in everywhere,” she explains. “The waist sits high, and there’s an extra shapewear component in the waistband that eliminates the muffin top.” Plus, leave a comment below to enter to win your own pair!


Apifeni Leggings, $78 and up.
Danielle Dobin, 38, designed Apifeni leggings with post-pregnancy mommies in mind, but soon after launch, she saw that over 50 percent of her customers were FOFs. “As we age, our muscles relax a bit–our skin isn’t as firm,” she says. “My leggings are ultra high-waisted–they go right up to the bra line–so they eliminate any rolls and smooth you out.” An added bonus: they won’t reveal your belly when you bend over to do pushups or downward dogs at the gym. To get the perfect fit, Danielle suggests contacting an Apifeni Style Director in your area.


Flexees Shapewear Leggings by Maidenform, starting at $24.
“They really suck you in, and you can still breath!” says FOF Style Guru Glenyse Thompson, founder of Styleosophy. “If you have some wobble in your thighs and backside, these conceal it. Tunics and sweaters just glide over them. My trick is to go up a size. I normally would wear a medium; in Flexees I buy a large to get the extra length at the waistline and ankles. Seriously, I own 6 pairs.”

One woman will win a pair of Tight Ankle Lysse Leggings [value: $58] in her size. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: What would you like our style scouts to find next? (tshirts? jeans? comfortable shoes?)

{Style Scout} The Best Clothing Brands for FOFs (That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of)

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Unless you’re walking around naked right now, you probably have a pair of go-to pants. You know the ones: They fit great, they get you out the door, and you secretly wonder if anyone has noticed that you wear them five times a week. Now, imagine a closet full of clothes like that. Pieces that fit well, work together and make you feel good. Reality check: You may not find them shopping the same old stores at the mall.

“My FOF clients are looking for clothes that fit beautifully at a good price,” says FOF Linda Cohen, a retailer-turned-top-fashion-consultant and a stylist for hundreds of FOF clients. “But to find those hidden gems, you need to spend serious time looking through racks at local boutiques, visiting showrooms, trying everything on . . . Who has time? Well, I do.”

Lucky for us, Linda has agreed to open her little black book of FOF fashion finds: The items and brands she turns to again and again for her FOF clients. This week: 3 fab fashion finds you’ve probably never heard of. Plus, tune in each week as we reveal one more piece from style-scout Linda’s ultimate FOF closet.

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Designer: Peace of Cloth

Available at: Specialty boutiques and department stores.

Must have pieces: Casey (cropped 5-pocket jean), Vera (invisible fly front pant) and Lisa (side-zip pant).

FOF stylist Linda says: “A beautiful collection of suiting, pants and jackets for the woman who is willing to invest a little bit more–let’s say $150–in a pair of pants that will fit and last.”

The inside story: Launched in 2005 by retail veteran Alex Garfield, Peace of Cloth is the follow-up to Garfield–a popular women’s brand he ran for twenty years and sold in 2001. “I’m not trying to make the hottest style in the world,” he says. “I make something that fits and looks great whether or not you have the best body. My favorite customers are the ones who come to me and say, ‘I have all my Garfied suits from twenty years ago–I keep bringing them back to the cleaner to be relined.’”

Why it’s a hit with FOFs: “They have some money–but they’re careful with it. Over time, I’ve learned what works for them, and I’ve stuck with it. I make clothing for her ego–not mine.”

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Designer: Tolani Collection

Must have pieces: Scarves and wraps in silk, cashmere and linen (starting at $60)

FOF stylist Linda says: “Beautiful fabrics and easy tunics, dresses and jackets with that ‘boho-chic’ sensibility we never tire of.”

The inside story: Alka Tolani, 48, began designing silk scarves in 2004, inspired by her native country of India and her travels around the world. Then, serendipity: Mary Kate Olsen and Jessica Alba were both photographed with Alka’s scarves draped adorably around their necks. Suddenly, stores came calling, and Alka had a business. Now she also creates wraps, jackets and bags and sells out at small boutiques and top shelf retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman.

Why she’s a hit with FOFs: “We try not to target any age group,” says Alka. “But,” adds her husband and partner, Raj, “Our body styles are easy to wear and very comfortable.They work for a woman who is interested in unique prints and colors–not necessarily a woman who’s trying to show off her hip size.”

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Designer: Dizzy Lizzie
Must-have pieces: ¾-sleeve blouse ($98) and halter dress ($128)

FOF stylist Linda says: “Her blouses give you that Jackie O meets Tory Burch look, with pretty, bold prints and flattering stretch fabrics, for under $100.00 each. Plus, everything comes in XL.”

The inside story: Like Alex Garfield, FOF designer Elizabeth Lighton started her current company after decades running another popular apparel company, British Khaki. “I saw a niche in the market. Women were willing to spend almost $200 on jeans, but they didn’t want to spend more than $100 on a blouse to pair with them. So I kept my price point under $100, but added the little extras: darts and flattering stretch fabrics, generous sizing, great patterns. Plus, it’s cut straight across the bottom, so you don’t have to tuck it in.” Since launching, she’s also introduced skirts and dresses, all “inexpensive but full-lined in cotton.” Her clothes, which are mostly available at small boutiques in vacation areas such as Florida and South Carolina, have developed a cult following of women who buy the new patterns each season.

Why she’s a hit with FOFs: “Everyone has figure problems, no matter what age they are,” says Lighton. “My pieces are cut to flatter. My Charleston halter dress, for example, just fits everyone well. Once women find it, they want it in different patterns. That dress has paid my mortgage for two years!”