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White Blazers for the WIN

Do you know how some people are bag girls? And others shoe addicts? Well, I consider myself more of a jacket junkie. In other words, I love me a great jacket, or any topper actually. It’s the third piece that really finishes an outfit. And my white blazer is on heavy rotation right now. 

And this season, my most worn wardrobe addition is my white blazer. There’s something about it that makes even my oldest and most repeated outfits feel fresh and new. Therefore, it’s my newest wardrobe MVP.

Really, you can wear a white blazer the same way you’d wear a black blazer. But in the hot summer months, it feels more seasonally appropriate. And even in the spring and fall, a white blazer gives an extra dose of polish to an outfit.

A few things to look for in a white blazer…

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: