Archived article: Spring 2013 Fashion Must Haves


Asian model in green dress.

Asian model in green dress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year, think in color.


As the warmer Spring and Summer months arrive, so do the warmer colors like peach, coral, and tan.  However, this year emerald green and bright tones of blue are a big hit.  Many of us get the itch to go shopping with the change of the season. My annual top ten list of this season’s essentials are listed below.


You can take this list to your closet and see what you already have.  Perhaps you only need a few items, or venture out to buy everything on this list.   Just be sure to have atleast one lace item this year.  

red soles louboutin heels stilettos long lace ...

red soles louboutin heels stilettos long lace skirt (Photo credit: …love Maegan)

Here’s my annual top ten 2013 Spring/Summer Fashion Must Haves List:


  1. Lace dress
  2. Tank dress with a geometric pattern
  3. Printed capri pants
  4. Geometric mini skirt
  5. Sleeveless blazer
  6. Swing coat
  7. Hippi style long skirt
  8. Maxi dress
  9. Low rise sandals (clear heels are big this year)
  10. Top handle/attache style handbag

My top ten list is based on my research of the many fashion magazines one can refer to as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.

Thanks for reading,




Dress Styles for Your Body Shape

The dress?

Image by Leia via Flickr

What is your signature dress style?

There are many dress styles to choose from, so how do you choose which dress style is right for you? Your body shape is the key factor. Once you determine your body shape, you can narrow down the search for your signature dress style.  There are many online quizzes you can take to determine your body shape; however, my favorite body shape quiz is by designer Joy Wilson. The quiz can be found at:

You will find that most fashion buffs agree that there are five basic body shapes: hourglass, pear, apple, strawberry and rectangle.  When did we get so hung up on body shapes anyways?  Well, if you have been following my blog, you know how I love history, so guess what, I think I found the answer.  In the earliest part of the 20th century, artist Charles Gibson, drew a picture of  “ideal American women.”  This picture was called the “Gibson Girls.”[1]  The girls in this picture were drawn in dresses with high collars and very thin waist lines because of the corsets they wore in that time frame.  This may be where the perfect hourglass concept began.  Dress designs began to change during World War I when women began to work outside of the home while the men went to war.  Uniforms and factory aprons replaced the corset style dress.[2]  Flapper dresses, pencil skirts and poodle skirts were next to follow, and dress styles emerged.

Certain dress styles compliment your figure more than others, so once you determine which body type you are, you can narrow down your search for your signature dress style.  I have listed dress styles below under the appropriate body shape to help you determine which dress style is your signature style.  If you have determined that you are a pear shape, then go to the pear shape list to determine your signature dress style.


Look Of The Day 20100107 - Silk Blouse and Pen...

Image by Deirdre Boyer via Flickr

Lucky you, you can wear just about any dress a designer makes.  My preferred look for hour glass ladies are these dresses:

Baby doll dress


Pencil skirt cuts




Women that have a pair shape can disguise their bottom half with a flowing style dress and accent their necklines with rouching to enhance their bustline.  This gives a more evened out look. Pear shapes look their best with these style dresses:

Vintage Yellow Linen Tent Dress

Image via Wikipedia














If you have an apple shape, your goal is to have your body appear slimmer.

A-line skirt

Image by Ingwii via Flickr

A dress with a V neckline can help elongate your look, while adding an A-line skirt can offer the illusion of a waistline.  I feel these dress styles are best for apple shape women.


Coat dress

Shirt dress



This shape refers to the top heavy woman.

Pastel Rose Print Dress

Image by vintspiration via Flickr

I would recommend staying away from spaghetti strap style dresses and high necklines as they only accentuate the top heavy form.  To even out this body shape, I recommend:

Tank dress with wide straps

Empire waist




Rectangular shaped women need to add curves, therefore, dresses that have color blocking, vertical stitching and accentuated accents help create a curvy look.  I recommend these styles for rectangular shapes and adding belts to create a waistline.


Belted tank dress

1966 Spiegel catalog sheath dresses

Image by genibee via Flickr

Many dress styles have emerged over the years since the first haute couture fashion house in Paris was established by Charles Worth in1857. [3] These are not the only style dresses that can be found out there, however, these styles are my personal recommendations.  Have fun shopping for your signature style.

[1] Jones, Jen. Fashion History, Looking Great Through the Ages. Mankato, Minnesota, Capstone Press, 2007.  P. 14.

[2] Jones, Jen. Fashion History, Looking Great Through the Ages. Mankato, Minnesota, Capstone Press, 2007.  P. 15 – 17.

[3] Jones, Jen. Fashion History, Looking Great Through the Ages. Mankato, Minnesota, Capstone Press, 2007.  P. 12.

The Little Black Dress

Audrey Hepburn £7

Image by drinksmachine via Flickr

Have you seen the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffanys”?  Did you notice the “Little Black Dress”?  Do you have a little black dress in your closet?  Why a little black dress?  The little black dress is a staple item from which you can build a wardrobe.

Where did the term little black dress originate?  Coco Chanel was the creator of the little black dress (LBD).  In 1926, Coco Chanel came out with the first little black dress.[1]  Prior to this time, black was typically only worn at funerals, but Coco Chanel introduced her modern fresh ideas as women grew in society.  Women began to shed the full heavy layered dress of the early 1900’s and quite frankly get more comfortable.  As said by Coco Chanel “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.[2]

The uses for a basic black dress are endless; therefore, we all need one.  One can leave work and go out to dinner and cocktails in a little black dress.  One can wear their little black dress with a black jacket and go on an interview, wear a cardigan for a casual look, add a scarf and attend a funeral, dress it up with jewelry and dance all night at a wedding or throw on a wrap and enjoy the theater.  One can wear their little black dress in a pinch for any occasion that comes up last minute; however, you must be sure you own the right style black dress.

The style of your little black dress should be right for your body.  All body shapes look great in a black dress, as long as your little black dress complements your body shape.  Your little black dress should not be tight as it will be used for many types of occasions. The basic style of the little black dress is made up of straight clean lines free from embellishments.  This is a tank style dress with at least one inch wide straps.  The neckline of your little black dress should complement your upper body.  For example, a bustier woman may choose a scoop neck or a boat type neckline.  A smaller female should choose a V neck style.  The V neck should be high as plunging necklines are not appropriate for all occasions.  The length of your little black dress should be just above the knee.  The style of the skirt portion of your dress should complement your lower body.  A pencil skirt style may be right for thin women, and a heavier woman may go with a looser flowing A-line.  As you customize your little black dress, you are also customizing your signature style for future dress purchases.

The waist line of your little black dress should also complement your body.  You may choose a straight dress, an empire waist or a true waist.  Whichever you choose, be sure this is not a belted dress, as that is an embellishment.  The little black dress is meant to show you at your best.  Wear your basic black dress with basic black pumps for a clean look.  Basic black pumps are the next staple item you should have in your closet.

The little black dress you choose should not be trendy or a fad.  As your little black dress is meant to be a staple item in your wardrobe and never go out of style.

Your little black dress will not let you down.  Your little black dress is a part of your signature style and will always be waiting for you in your closet at a moment’s notice.  The little black dress is a simple classic look.