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.


Archived article: Cobalt Blue for Fall 2012

Bold colors carry over into Fall 2012, but what is the color of the season this year?

English: Cobalt blue Deutsch: Cobaltblau

English: Cobalt blue Deutsch: Cobaltblau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Fall, you may notice bold colors of summer are carrying over into Fall.  Many clothes you see in stores right now have a minimalist look to them.  Bold colors are paired with white, creating a stunning bright look.  Color blocking with crisp clean structured designs can be seen in many of the major department stores.  As Fall lines don the racks of your favorite stores,  be sure to include cobalt blue in your Fall wardrobe.  Upon review of the many fashion magazines and clothing store ads, you may have noticed, the big bold color for Fall 2012 is this deep rich hue of blue.  Enjoy your fall shopping.  Be sure to check back soon for my list of “Must Haves” for Fall 2012.  Thanks for reading.

What’s the Difference Between a Handbag and a Purse?

A brocade purse

Image via Wikipedia

Is it a purse or is it a handbag?  How do you know which is which? If you were at the Kentucky Derby, the difference would be great.  The winner of the race gets a purse.  The definition of that type of purse is a sum of money offered as a prize.  So why do so many people use the word purse when referring to the item they keep close to their side with all of their treasured belongings.? A purse is a small holder for money which is meant to be carried in a pocket or one’s hand.

As far back as Egyptian times, a purse was carried by men as a place to keep their money.  In the 14th and 15th centuries, men as well as women would attach their purse to their clothing.[1] In the early 1800’s women began to carry more than just money as they ventured out to see the world.  Somewhere in this time frame, a purse turned into a handbag.

The actual rise to the handbag can be credited to the development of the railroad.  People began to travel by rail and women needed a place to have their hairpins, gloves, compacts and lipsticks readily available. Trunk makers put together suitcases for travelers, but women wanted certain items by their side while on the train; hence, the first designer handbag was developed by a trunk maker.   And yes, it was no other than Louis Vuitton. [2]

The difference between a handbag and a purse is simply that a purse is meant to hold only money, while a handbag is larger and holds many items.

Handbags have developed over time and there are so many styles and designers.  Below is a list of common styles for handbags.

Baguette – small, oblong shaped purse with short straps.

Bucket – round bucket shaped bag, can be any size and usually has one long strap for a handle.

Clutch – small framed bag usually with a snap top or a metal clasp, and very limited space for items.  This bag is usually used as an evening bag.

Hobo – oversized, soft sided, slouchy bag with one wide strap.  This bag hangs off the shoulder along the middle of one’s body and when filled, the middle of the bag droops down into a half moon shape.

Messenger – soft sided flap front bag with usually two buckles.  A wide strap is adjustable and the shape is rectangular.

Satchel – flat bottom structured bag with double straps.  This bag looks similar to the old style doctor’s bags.

Wristlet – small thin rectangular wallet shape with a looped strap.

Please refer to my post Your Signature Handbag for tips on selecting a handbag that’s right for you.

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.

Is casual Friday a thing of the past?

Mark Zuckerberg, May 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Casual day at work used to be on Fridays.  Do you have casual day at work?  When did casual day begin anyways?  Isn’t it casual day every day now?

More and more, we see in the workplace young people going to work in a t-shirt and jeans.  Take Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook for example.  He gives corporate speeches in his casual clothes.  Since when do millionaires wear faded jeans at a corporate event? (Should I have said billionaire?) Modern day CEO’s have lengthened casual day to casual week.  Do we really work better in casual clothes?

My first big job in a corporate setting was like attending a fashion show every day.  A suit, shirt, tie or dresses were all part of a regular day.  In the early nineties, our company began providing internet access to employees and shortly thereafter came casual Fridays.  Yet, casual Fridays did not include jeans and a t-shirt.  We just dropped the suit for a day.  I was more comfortable.  My work didn’t improve though.

Most young people today do not even own a suit, unless they need to attend a wedding or a funeral.  They need to run out and get one, or better yet, just wear black pants and a charcoal button down top.  It costs less.  Maybe in today’s recession buying a suit for a young person is too much.

Do young people know how to dress up today?  Were they taught guidelines on what to wear and when?  This must have happened during the dot com bubble.  What if the internet never took off?  Would young people be wearing ties and jackets at work today?

It’s nice to see that the restrictions of a formal dress code at work have been dropped.   However, now, do we need new guidelines for the work place?  Perhaps the guidelines would look like this:

  • Leave the ripped jeans at home in the closet
  • Drop the ripped t-shirts also
  • How about a clean t-shirt free from swears
  • Don’t wear flip flops in the snow
  • Shorts aren’t quite right when it’s 10 degrees outside
  • Perhaps pull up your pants, at least to the hips
  • Yellow really doesn’t match teal

Do you have something to add to this list?  Perhaps the funniest outfit you’ve seen on someone at work belongs on this list.

The best way to dress is to remember that your appearance can make or break your success.  You can dress like a multi-millionaire CEO after you have made your millions, but while you work your way up the ladder, remember, people will remember how you looked during an interview more than how you performed on the job if you don’t dress appropriately.

The start of casual day has groomed a generation of young people with new traditions in the workplace.  Perhaps these younger people will start having Dress Up Fridays.

Have you counted the shoes in your closet lately?

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

Image via Wikipedia

If you have been following the hit series Weeds on Showtime, you may have noticed that the leading lady, Nancy Botwin was quite angry when she found her sister wearing her shoes.   Or perhaps you’ve noticed the array of shoes Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City owns, only to wish you had a friend who bought you shoes while you were away on vacation.  Shoes seem to be very precious to us.  Since when have women been so obsessed about shoes?

When did we start wearing shoes anyways?  We may never get an accurate answer to this question, but shoes have been traced back to as early as the Paleolithic times about 40,000 years ago. [1]  Ancient shoes began as sandals.  There were no differences in the shapes of the left foot and the right foot.[2]  Neanderthals and men wore these sandal type shoes to protect their feet from sharp objects, perhaps while they were hunting.  Egyptians began to make improvements to these archaic sandals approximately 5,000 years ago, making Egyptians the first shoemakers.[3]

Eventually shoes became a fashion statement – and still are today.  There are so many styles to choose from.  So many designers.  So many colors.  So many materials.

At one time, I owned 72 pairs of shoes.  There was a different style and color for every occasion.  Do we really need that many?  Yes, of course, and here’s why?  There are so many occasions to wear them.  We no longer hunt and live with basic Neanderthal needs.  We go to work, go shopping, go to the gym, go on dates, go to clubs, attend weddings, graduations, first communions, and all sorts of parties and occasions.  So yes, we do need many shoes for these occasions.  The Egyptians started the change for us with their lifestyle and here we are today still in need of many styles.

What kind of styles are there?  Here’s a basic list.

Ballerina flat



Flip flop

Gladiator sandal

Jelly shoes


Mary Jane




Peep toe









Now that you know the styles that are out there you can pick which ones you like to wear the best.  Wear that style often and it will,  of course, become your signature style shoe.  Just like “Carrie Bradshaw” who wears stilettos all the time, you can have your own signature style shoe.

The average woman owns approximately 19 pairs of shoes at one time and purchases over 450 pairs of shoes in a lifetime. (These numbers were taken from:

Please share with my readers how many pairs of shoes you own?

As always, thank you for reading. Please check back often for new articles on shoes and visit my fashion library as it develops.

What are the hot colors for Fall 2011?

JUST GO BOLD this year.  This year, many designers are showing clothes that are colorful, loud and make a statement.  These colors will enhance your wardrobe this year.

Fall 2011 Colors:

Royal Blue

Bold Magenta

Neon Orange

Loud Green

Shiny Silver and Gold

Classic Black and White

If going bold is not for you, try these classics:

deep purple