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With the world opening up again (thank you Pfizer and Moderna), travel seems to be on many people’s minds. Travel and special occasions – but I’ll save party attire for another column – this one is all about travel shoe tips!

Some things have changed in the 18 months we’ve all been grounded. Getting back in the swing of travel, airline travel especially can be challenging. Even in pre-pandemic life, packing for a trip caused many people stress. And now, with being so out of practice, it’s even more so.

I help my clients pack for trips both big and small. Regardless of the final destination, a common theme (both pre and post-2020) has been the dire need for travel shoes. Another common theme is the desire NOT to overpack in the shoe department. Most people think they need waaaay more shoes than they do to go on a trip. Shoes take up A LOT of room in your suitcase (and your luggage weight restrictions). That space is precious – use it wisely!

In the past 16 years, my team and I have helped pack for NYC, Aspen, California, Arizona, Florida, Italy, France, Portugal, Ireland, Vietnam, Israel, Japan, Iceland –  you name the destination, and we’ve probably assisted in packing for it.  And, it doesn’t matter what the weather is at the final destination, hot, cold, humid, or wet, all of these traveling gals have had the same conundrum, what shoes to pack and how many are really needed? So, I figured, hey, if this has been the common theme, then why not put it out there for you, too. 

Travel Shoe Tips from the Pros:

Unrealistic Expectations  – the truth about off the rack clothes

Tailoring may not sound like the most exciting topic but it’s a chat we need to have. My inspiration for this blog often comes from conversations I have with my real-life styling clients. My “creative” process typically goes something like this…

On Monday, client A asks a question. It could be about a new style they’ve been seeing. Or an event or holiday on the horizon. Or even a fashion struggle they’ve been wrestling with. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, clients B and C will ask something similar. That’s when the bell in my head starts going ding, ding, ding. Ahem, listen up, lady – This topic is blog-worthy! I know if an issue comes up with multiple people in a few weeks, it’s one of those things that is actually on more people’s minds and therefore needs to be addressed.

This past week, the subject that kept coming up as a particular pain point was how frustrating and even tear-provoking it is to buy off-the-rack clothing as a woman. 

Although a very unrealistic expectation, many women have an expectation that mass-produced clothes should fit them perfectly when bought off the rack. And that if the clothes don’t work, straight away, there is, therefore, something wrong with them and their body.

This is SOOOO NOT True…

Golden Goose sneakers - are they cheugy?

Are My Shoes Cheugy? Everything You Need To Know About The Latest Gen Z Term

It started with an SOS text from a client… A fabulous woman I’ve worked with for over a decade.

“Shoot! Are my favorite shoes now cheugy? Can I still wear them? Ughhhh. Please advise”

To be honest, I had a mini panic attack. What the “bleep” is cheugy? I didn’t have a clue. Did she really mean cheesy? And her phone auto-corrected it to cheugy? 

A quick google search gave me the 411. There was a recent NY Times article about what is and what is not cheugy.

Before I elaborate, let me give you the low down… 

Cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) is another of those TikTok trends making the rounds on the social media platform. 

Remember a few months ago when the over-25 crowd was all up in arms? Because they were offended that the TikTok generation declared that wearing skinny jeans, side parts, and using the laughing/crying emoji meant you were old? And subsequently, many skinny jeans devotees felt they had received a spear to the heart. 

Well, the same nonsense is happening again, but this time with a broader net. There was an article about it in the NY Times, and with press comes traction. According to @JoeBergerTweets, cheugy is going to be one of the words of the year.

What is Cheugy?

What exactly is cheugy, and why should we care? Well, according to the NY Times article, cheugy is:  

“not quite “basic,” which can describe someone who is a conformist or perhaps generic in their tastes, and it’s not quite “uncool.” It’s not embarrassing or even always negative. Cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) can be used, broadly, to describe someone who is out of date or trying too hard.”

Rubber Sandals are So on Trend.

It might sound like a joke, but rubber sandals are completely en vogue right now. And not just for the beach and pool. They’re very on-trend and in high demand. And these rubber sandals have gotten a huge upgrade from the jellies of yesteryear. From Gucci to Target, they’re everywhere, and surprisingly fashionable, versatile, stylish, and utilitarian to boot!

These sandals give off an updated 90’s vibe, which is current in all segments of fashion right now. It’s almost as if your OG Steve Madden black platform sandal and your Candies sandal had a baby and then that child mated with your fun jellies – that family tree is what produced the rubber sandals of 2021.

About 5 years ago I fell in love with the rubber Birkenstock sandals. They’re made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). A material that’s super lightweight with some cushion, making them extremely comfortable and waterproof. Truth be told, when I first purchased mine, I wasn’t sure if I looked like Fred Flinstone with really wide, flat feet. But since they were uber comfy and perfect for camp visiting day, summer soccer tournaments, and visits to the pool or beach, I decided to keep them.

All The Feels.

Not only were they easy to wear but everywhere I went people asked about them and where to buy their own.

 The Search for the Perfect White Jeans

It’s that time of year. The weather is warming up and we’re all beginning to think about our “summer” wardrobes.  And for many, that means the eternal search for the perfect white jean. BTW, this quest happens every year. This year it’s compounded by the fact that many of us didn’t get dressed or go out or shop in 2020. So we’re out of practice.

Summer clothes are a happy place for some people. However, for others, it is a stressful season for getting dressed. The weather is hot (hello sweat). And summer clothes are more revealing. So those (myself included)  that feel more comfortable camouflaging our perceived body imperfections in darker colors and layers are out of luck. Not really, but it can for sure feel that way.

A Warm Weather Staple

White jeans are a warm-weather wardrobe staple. They feel “summery” because they’re white. Yet they still cover. So that’s good. BUT finding the perfect white jeans is like the search for the holy grail.

And add to the equation the fact that white jeans need to be replaced more often than their blue denim counterparts, and we feel like we’re constantly searching for the perfect pair of white jeans!!

When to Replace Your White Jeans

White jeans, like white t-shirts, require more frequent replenishment. White is crisp and bright. It goes with everything. And it also yellows and stains more easily. When it loses its luster, it is time to say goodbye. Refreshing white clothes with OxiClean or Clorox is a good idea, but be careful. Those products break down the clothing fibers and then the pieces get holes or just look worn out.

Another white jeans issue is that they’re not extraordinarily forgiving. So gaining a pound or two (or ten) factors into the replacement factor as well.

So needless to say, every woman I know is always looking for “that” pair of white jeans.

How To Find Your Perfect Pair

The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Shoes With Different Pant Styles

Remember last time, we chatted about the longevity of skinny jeans? And the fact that some newer pant styles, with wider legs, are making their way onto the scene? And do you also remember that I said because of this shift, there’s an ongoing conflict about what shoe or boot to pair with these wider leg styles?

Well, this week, I’m addressing that very issue. It’s a subject that’s been coming up over and over again with clients, blog readers, and social media followers too. And for good reason. Shoe and pant combinations are an area many people struggle with. Even before the shift toward wider pant styles, it was challenging to know what shoes to pair with pants.

When the pants and footwear of an outfit are out of sync it feels off. It’s like having Froot Loops and filet mignon at the same meal. On their own, or in a different combination, they’re fantastic. Together, not so much. There’s an incompatibility.

Why is the shoe/pant situation so difficult? Well, for a few reasons…

How to Wear Any Color and Look Good Too!

Let’s start by addressing the question: Can I only wear specific colors? The answer is: You absolutely, positively, can wear any color you want and look great doing so! Questions revolving around color are THE most asked questions from readers, Instagram and Facebook followers, and real-life styling clients… “what color should I wear?” “what colors should I stay away from?” “can I wear red (or yellow or pink or olive or any color you’re unsure about)?”

People are seemingly consumed with what colors they can and cannot wear. And honestly, it doesn’t need to be that hard. Maybe it’s because people had their colors done during the color analysis craze of the 1980s and categorized to be a spring, summer, winter, or fall. That assessment then dictated ALL the colors they would or would not wear for the foreseeable future.

Trigger Warning – Unpopular Opinion Alert

In my opinion, the whole concept of the right colors has become just too complicated. It doesn’t need to be, and I’d like to suggest throwing it all out the window. I might get some hate mail about this. Or color analysis devotees sending me dm’s to say how having their colors analyzed was a life-changing event for them. And, if it’s done right by you, that’s great – keep doing it. 

But the majority of people I see are hindered rather than empowered by their color category – the rules they’re trying to follow have made things more complicated, not easier. And that’s just backward. It’s frustrating to see. So if it’s frustrating for me to witness, it must be even more disheartening to experience.  Please understand, this is coming from me!! I’m both a rule follower AND a rule creator (cough cough, The Rule of One, The Third Piece Rule, and The 2 Out of 3 Rule, to name a few). So it’s not that I’m anti-rules. Instead, I’m anti-complications. 

Don’t Box Yourself In…

Dr. Diana Ponsky – Such a Girl Crush!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve possibly noticed, in my stories, I’ve been taking you guys behind the scenes at my appointments with Dr. Diana Ponsky, Facial Plastic Surgeon. No, I’m not having surgery, at least not yet. But never say never. I’m not against it, and I’m not for it. I’m pro you feeling like the best version of yourself. The choice has to be yours, and yours alone. And if botox, fillers or surgery can help you achieve that (and it’s healthy and fiscally responsible for you to partake – I say go for it). And if it’s not your thing, then don’t.

But what I’ve found is that there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty surrounding the whole subject. Maybe even a stigma. And I hate that. So I want to open up the conversation, and take a peek behind the curtain.

Luckily my friend, client and personal doctor, Diana Ponsky, MD, FACS, has agreed to join me in an ongoing series about all things Facial Rejuvenation. Monthly we are going to sit down and have a chat (on Instagram – so be sure to follow us both there – The Wardrobe Consultant and Dr Diana Ponsky) where questions will be answered (in plain, everyday, understandable layman’s terms) and pros and cons discussed. We Weill even cover pricing and pain and recovery times. I’ll take you along as Diana assess the best path for me and my face. And as she  performs some of my procedures  too.

Olive Oil and Creams can Only do So Much

Ok, let’s get real… I love and adore JLo, however, I’m actually kind of perturbed that she claims she’s NEVER had ANYTHING done. I’m sorry, but she does not look that way from just using olive oil on her skin! I call BS on that. BIG TIME!

Dr. Diana Ponsky Tells it Like it Is

Dr. Diana Ponsky and I have had some frank discussions about celebs ( both those that look subtly refreshed and those that look like a plastic, overdone caricature.) For example Diana suggested adding a smidge of filler to a part of my face. My first reaction was NO WAY! I want to look slimmer, not puffier. But as she explained, one of the reasons a well known female, at 80 years old, looks so vibrant is because she has fullness in that region.  Diana was able to help me visualize and understand it and then  I was like “sign me up!” BTW, when I tried to explain The who and why, I suck. So, I’m asking Diana to do a quick video explanation – basically how she explained it to me. Look on my IG story, Wednesday (or it will be saved under the Dr. Diana Ponsky highlight.) 

So Girl Crush Worthy

Anyway that’s just one of the many reasons, I have a big, old girl crush on Diana. She’s warm and sweet. Crazy smart and talented yet very humble. She cares deeply for her patients and about her profession. And, especially, when we are talking about something like plastic surgery, she has an incredible eye and the ability to make subtle tweaks that have a great impact.

Another Easy Outfit Formula

The feedback I’m receiving from all of you, dear readers (did you catch the Bridgerton allusion there?) is that you LOVE these fashion rules! And I couldn’t be happier! However, there is a chance I may eventually run out of formulas to share. But until that time comes, I’ll keep cranking them out as fast as my mind can process.

The truth is that these fashion rules are somewhat intuitive to me. They’re second nature. I see the various elements of an outfit and what needs to be added or taken away. I don’t think a lot about it; it just IS until I’m working with a client and need to step back and explain. 

When I take that step back, out of my very active brain (it works kind of like a slot machine as I’m searching for outfit combos – a great outfit is like three cherries) and simplify the steps or reasons, I’m able to create the rules. No, I’m not saying this is fashion for dummies (I hate that name, it’s so condescending) – but the breakdown often makes it easier to digest. 

Dressing is Just an Optical Illusion

As I’ve said before and will probably repeat a zillion times, dressing is the ultimate optical illusion. No one, NO ONE, not even Jennifer Aniston, has a perfect figure. But what people that seem to have an ideal figure do, is use clothes to their advantage to create the appearance of balance and proportion.

These outfit formulas are the foundations for creating visual harmony and making most looks work. They’re the infrastructure of the ensemble. Once these basic formulas feel comfortable, and if you’re in the mood to step it up, you can build upon them to make outfits even more multifaceted and exciting.

When working with clients, I often refer to outfits as mild, medium, and spicy. The same elements and ingredients apply – but just like in a recipe, you are more heavy handed with some aspects if you want to get really spicy. The 2 out of 3 rule is a foundational outfit formula. Consider it mild in the clothing/food analogy. But once this principle is mastered, it’s easy-peasy to add some spice.