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Style & Fashion

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Start at the bottom and build your outfit UP.

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…

Summer is HERE

Next week is Memorial Day. Summer is officially starting. And our calendars are actually filling up, so we need to get dressed to see people, not just from the waist up!

I was invited into the J Crew store at Pinecrest (Orange, Ohio). And let’s just say, what I thought was going to be an hour stop, turned into a 3-hour try-on!  There was a lot of everything – swim, occasion dresses, day dresses, jeans, workwear, shorts – and it was all REALLY good.

We know J Crew has had its ups and downs in recent years. However, my feeling after the past few collections is that they are certainly on track. The pieces were, wearable, well made, fitting generally true to size (and btw, I’ll let you know what size I took in everything so you’ll know if it runs big or small). As well as pieces that mixed and matched to meet most aspects of a busy woman’s life.

I even Tried on Bathing Suits for you!

Because summer is basically here, and I love you guys. And know how torturous it is to try on swimsuits, I did the heavy lifting for you. I tried on a bunch of suits and even photographed myself in them – yikes! Yes, I want props for this! I don’t even have a tan!!

Anyway, if you’re able to get to the Pinecrest store, it’s worth the trip. The Pinecrest J Crew is one of 6 in the country to get a full assortment of merchandise – meaning more cashmere, more dresses, more new styles on the floor than most other locations. In fact, sometimes I find things in store that are not even online yet – like the rust jumpsuit – I can’t link it yet! When I can I will.

There’s a little of everything! And be sure to follow my Instagram Story today – I’m sharing the BTS of the try-on. Complete with fit assessments, tweaks I made or would make, and what else I’d wear it with.

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.

Can You Wear Suede in the Summer?

Three times this past month I’ve been asked if it’s okay to wear suede in the summer. Three times!  And you know what? That’s not uncommon. I file it under questions I get asked every April & May. Along with “Do, I have to wait for Memorial Day to wear my white jeans?”

Is it because suede has traditionally been known as a cold-weather material? Along with textiles like cashmere and shearling? Or is it because of certain fashion faux pas rules that have been ingrained into many of us through the years? You know, those combinations that, when worn, will send the fashion police after you with their sirens blaring.

Supposed Fashion Faux Pas

You CAN’T wear:

White after Labor Day
Blue and black together
Sequins during the day
Suede in the summer
I call bologna on all these cannots. And am here to assure you that the fashion police no longer give tickets for any of these offenses. In fact, I’d say, every single one of these supposed faux pas now falls in the category of a fashion DO. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Is It Seasonally Inappropriate?

But back to the subject at hand: suede in the summer…

The Best White T-Shirts

Last week I got another one of those SOS messages…

“Help Hallie! I’m headed on my first vacation in over a year and looking for some great white t-shirts. What are your favorite brands? Thanks!”

And it got me thinking… Like white jeans, a great plain white t-shirt is one of those items we’re always on the lookout for. They need to be replaced often (every year or two) in order to stay clean and bright. And if you’re like me you have a favorite that you’re holding on to for dear life and then others that you like, but maybe don’t completely love.

IMHO – a white t-shirt is a foundational piece in a wardrobe. And it’s not a one size fits all proposition (ha-ha pun intended!) I typically recommend having a short sleeve, sleeveless and long sleeve version in your wardrobe. Unless you have specific reasons for not wearing one of those styles (like modesty – no sleeveless, or hot flashes – no long sleeve) they each play a role in your wardrobe.

The Essential Elements to Look for in a White T-Shirt:

Do you Remember How to Get Dressed? We’re So Out of Practice.

Yes, it’s the best news ever that vaccines are plentiful, and travel is resuming. Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, general socializing, and gatherings are happening again! I’m cautiously optimistic. Are you? But in the same breath, the idea of getting dressed again and wearing going out clothes feels a little scary. We are sooooo out of practice!

I know I’m not alone in this because I’ve received emails, texts, and a bunch of DM’s asking for help dressing post-quarantine. 

“Hallie, we’re going out for the first time in over a year this weekend; I’m so excited but also confused. I don’t remember how to get dressed! What should I wear to go to [INSERT OCCASION HERE] Dinner With Friends, On A Date, Girls Night Out, My Friends Wedding, etc.”

Yes, we’ve gotten dressed this past year of covid/quarantine, but not in the same way. And it feels strange. Because we’re out of practice, big time. It’s like the runner that ran every day and then took 12 (ok 14) months off – it’s difficult to just pick back up where you left off. You’ve got to ease into it and build up that muscle memory and stamina again.

But don’t worry too much. It’s like riding a bike. Once you get going, it’ll all come back to you.

Hot Vax Summer = Going Out Clothes

Retailers are reporting that sales of “going out clothes” are on the rise! Hallelujah! The hope is that it’s signaling consumers are ready to kick their “comfy clothes” to the curb, or at least put them in the drawer for a bit. According to Marshal Cohen, retail analyst for market research firm NPD Group, “apparel and footwear sales are starting to show some signs of life.”

Some are dubbing Summer 2021 “Hot Vax Summer.” The feelings of hopefulness combined with the pent-up energies post mass isolation draw some parallels to the roaring twenties. Hot Vax Summer may be hedonistic for some, but it will be a good old celebration of life for many others. As Cohen states, people are saying, “I need a new outfit. I need to feel good again. I need to feel alive and refreshed.”

Get Ready for Some Peacocking

The other forecast is that there’s going to be a “peacocking effect.” According to Wiktionary, Peacocking is “Ostentatious dress or behavior employed by a man in an attempt to impress women.” But this summer, the prediction is that post-pandemic folks will be full-on peacocking – both men and women – for all to see. The belief is that there will be a return to dressing to impress. Get your going-out clothes ready. Not at the level of wearing ball gowns to the grocery store. But there’s excitement surrounding getting dressed up.

Don’t worry; I’m Here to Help.

Who Doesn’t Love a Shopbop Sale?

This started as one of those quick posts. A down and dirty roundup of the best white t-shirts. And then I realized it was the Shopbop sale. And not only do I love me a good sale, but the Shopbop sale is ALWAYS a good one. If you’re a long-time reader you might remember I snagged the Lela Rose dress I wore for my daughter Maggie’s Bat-Mitzvah at this sale a few years ago. And that dress is still one of my most favorite pieces in my closet.

So, next week you can look for the best white t-shirts round up. And this week are my picks from the iconic Shopbop SALE!

This is how the sale works this time around… the SALE ENDS APRIL 16 AT 12:59pm (PACIFIC TIME)