Shopping Tips for Buying Clothes

Clothes by Emporio Armani, one of the most lux...

Clothes by Emporio Armani, one of the most luxurious and famous Italian fashion houses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fall is a great time to go shopping!  Fashion designers love the Fall too – because you are shopping for all of the designs that are shared during Fashion week. Top designs from these shows present the colors of the season, the length of our skirts, the width of our trousers, materials, patterns and many more fine tuned designs.  Fall is a big shopping season for both designers and consumers who are done with the summer colors and want something new.

Believe it or not, we as consumers, really do drive the fashion industry.  Either we buy it, or we don’t. If blue was a big color during fashion week, then you will most likely see blue in your local department store.

Now, as the consumer, you have an opportunity to respond to designers by either buying their ideas or passing by the rack that does not catch your fancy.

Below are some great tips to keep in mind when you head out to shop for your Fall wardrobe this year.

  • Printed designs catch the eye and tend to make certain areas stand out.
  • Flowers tend to enhance areas.
  • Horizontal stripes widen areas.
  • Vertical stripes will elongate your body.
  • Solid colors tend to be more slimming and tend not to accentuate certain areas.
  • A darker background color and big pattern will provide a slimming effect with a distraction – this can hide body flaws.
  • A solid dark color will provide a slimming effect and focus will be on your face instead of your flaws.
  • If you would like to make your hip and thigh area look smaller, go with a solid color bottom and a printed top.
  • If you would like to enhance your bust line, select a pattern that is bright with a busy pattern on the top and a darker bottom.
  • V-neck cuts give smaller chests a boost.
  • Ruffles accentuate the bust area.
  • If you have a wide waist area, gathered fabrics in a solid color reduce the appearance of a thick waist.

Happy shopping!!


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,



Archived article: Fall 2012 Fashion Must Haves

Fall is a great time to layer your clothes and add textures, but what’s in for Fall 2012?  As we transition into the colder months, our wardrobe also makes a transition.  Not only is it a great time to clean out your closet, it’s a great time to add new pieces and update your wardrobe.  As we add scarves, boots and jackets to our wardrobe, we can also add some flare.  And flare is what Fall 2012 is all about.

The bold colors from the summer are being carried over into Fall 2012.  Colored jeans are all the rage, but, for the Fall, camouflage patterns and prints are being introduced.  

If that’s not your thing, how about a glossy vinyl skirt or jacket?  Maybe you prefer good old fashioned leather instead, but this year, black leather is big.

I have put together a list of my top ten essentials for Fall 2012.  My top ten list is based on my research of current fashion as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.  Although a glossy vinyl skirt may not make its way into my closet, a black leather jacket and boots are a definite.

Here’s my top ten 2012 Fall Fashion Must Haves List:

  1. Glossy vinyl jacket  or slicker
  2. Graphic design sweater or blouse
  3. Printed trousers/jeans
  4. Black leather
  5. Minimalist color block items
  6. Body contour dress
  7. Lace skirts and dresses
  8. Puffy vest or faux fur vest
  9. Skinny heel booties
  10. Gold jeans

Yes, gold and metallic is coming back; however, only the gold, not the silver.  You may see a lot of black and gold displayed together in stores this Fall.  Gold brocade enhances the solid black colors that we tend to gravitate towards in the Fall.  Enjoy shopping.

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.

Your Signature Boot Style

What style boot is it?

Black high-heeled boot. Image for 'Spike heel'...

Image via Wikipedia

Do you have a favorite boot style?  If you do, then you have found your signature boot style.  There are so many boot styles to choose from when you go shopping.  Do you know what the name of the style of your favorite boots are?

Perhaps you are a boot lover and have many pairs of boots. How many boots and shoes do you have in your closet?   Have you ever wondered who owns the most pairs of shoes/boots? I used to think that anything over 100 was a lot. Did you know that Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France from 1774 – 1793, was known for owning about 500 pairs of shoes? [1]

You may have heard that Imelda Marcos owns about 3,000 pairs of shoes[2], which are now displayed in a museum.[3]  But did you know, that Danielle Steele, the famous author now has them beat with about 6,000 pairs of shoes?[4]

You may have many styles of boots in your closet, but do you go for the same pair of boots each time?  Along with your favorite shoe style, boots are part of your signature style.  When selecting your boot style, you should consider these factors:

  • Heel height
  • Heel type
  • Boot height
  • Style
  • Comfort

Heel height is what you feel comfortable wearing.  You may choose to wear flat heels over stilettos.  The type of heel you wear is a personal preference.  You may be comfortable in a wedge, and not a stiletto heel.  The style you choose is also a personal preference as you may like boots that end mid-calf  instead of ankle.  You may be more comfortable in a mid-calf boot, but dislike ankle or over the knee boots.

To help you narrow down your signature boot style, you can use the above list.   Jot down your preferences next to each item, then go through the below list of boot styles.  Cross off each boot style that does not have one of your preferences in the definition.  Once you have done this, you have narrowed down your style preferences.  You may only have a few styles left to choose from, but these are your signature boot styles.  Now when you go shopping, you’ll know exactly what to look.

Below is a list of boots styles that has been added to my Fashion Library Section.

Happy Shopping!

Biker boots – black rugged leather look with a square toe. Leather straps go around the ankle and up from the sole and joined with a metal ring or chain.  These boots are low with about a one inch heel.

Chelsea boots – ankle boot with either a square or pointed toe with wide elastic on the side for pulling on and off.

Combat boots – very high cut work boots. Usually made from a thick leather, with wide rugged soles.

Cowboy boots – half calf high boots with pointed toes.  These boots have a heel approximately one inch high and are made of leather or exotic skins such as python, or crocodile.

Go-Go boots – shiny boots with a chunky square heel.  Tight fit with a zipper and ends just below the knee.

Granny boots – an ankle boot with a low heel and narrow toe.  These boots have either a lace-up or a button up front.

Over the knee boots – Stiletto boots that have a cuff cut over the knee.  The cuff cut in the material helps with bending and sitting.  Over the knee go only a few inches over the knee.

Riding boots – these boots are knee high, with a low heel and a flat sole.

Shearling boots – sueded leather, flat boots. Variations of fur lining and accents are common.

Space boots – lightweight boot, flat sole with a flat heel that goes half calf high.  Usually made with a weather resistant material.

Stiletto boots – these are boots that fit snuggly (skintight) with a stiletto heel.  Usually made of leather and variations are from mid-calf to knee level.

Wedge boots – this boot is a variation of stiletto and go go boots, except that it has a wedge heel.

Wellington boots – rubber boots that rise just below the knee.  They have a thick rubber sole and are pull ons.

[1] Stalder, Erika. Fashion 101 A Crash Course in Clothing.  Ed. Zest Books, San Franciso, CA, 2008, by Orange Avenue Publishing, p. 101.

[2] Stalder, Erika. Fashion 101 A Crash Course in Clothing.  Ed. Zest Books, San Franciso, CA, 2008, by Orange Avenue Publishing, p. 101.

Must Haves for Your 2012 Boot Collection

This season I cannot help but think of the song lyrics: “Apple Bottom Jeans, Boots with the Fur.” There are so many styles with faux fur accents this year.

Perhaps you already have boots with faux fur stashed away in your closet.  Pull out those fur lined boots, fold the tops down and show them off.

Of course, if you do not already have something like that, I have put together a list of my top ten favorite boots for Winter 2012 to help you update your boot stash.  Your signature style boot this year can be determined by three factors – boot height, heel height, and heel style. Your preference of these three factors determines your signature style.

First, you should decide if you want up to the knee, over the knee, mid calf or ankle height boots.  Second, you decide on the heel style.  The styles that I find to be hot this year are: a wedge, stiletto, flat, or a little bit wider than a stiletto.   And third, you choose the height of the heel.  This should be a height that you are comfortable walking in and could negotiate snowy sidewalks if necessary.

Next, you can combine your preferences with my top ten list and determine your signature boot style for this year. 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. Here’s my list:

  1. Wedge lace up ankle boot
  2. Platform lace up bootie with a stiletto heel
  3. Riding boots
  4. Shrug
  5. Shearling boots
  6. Snow shoe style boots
  7. Shearling ankle boots
  8. Boots with fur accents
  9. Stiletto boots
  10. Wellington boots

The above photo shows a picture of faux fur stiletto ankle shrug booties I just had to add to my wardrobe this year.  However, I have chosen a wedge as my signature style for the comfort and height.  A black lace up wedge bootie and some of my additional finds are shown below.

In addition to faux fur accents, buckles are on the rise this year. The below photo shows a tan buckle shrug bootie that can compliment your wardrobe.

The next photo is a pair of black stiletto booties that entice most skinny jean lovers.  Notice the fur lining and buckles.

Colourful PVC Wellingtons

Image via Wikipedia

My 1 pair calf- and 2 pair sheepskin boots

Image via Wikipedia

What are the Fall Fashion Must Haves for 2011?

As we transition into the colder months, our wardrobe also makes a transition.  We begin adding warmer items such as scarves, boots, and jackets to our wardrobe.  But what are the must have items for Fall 2011?  Do you already have them stashed away in your closet?

I have put together a list of my top ten essentials for Fall 2011.  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.

Since Fall is the best time of year to shop and clean out your closet, 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.   For fun, let me know what you agree with on my list by telling me about the magazine articles you find this Fall that mention the items on my list.  Do you think there is something missing on this top ten list?

Here’s my top ten 2011 Fashion Must Haves List:

  1. Faux fur purse or jacket
  2. Color block graphic design sweater
  3. Animal print boots or handbag
  4. Glossy top
  5. Cape (or blanket coat)
  6. Pea coat (classic look)
  7. Dress with lace
  8. Chunky bracelets and necklaces
  9. Penny loafer high heels
  10. Lace up booties

Here are some of my finds this year.  Happy shopping.