Tag

What to Wear

Browsing

What to Wear When the Calendar Says Fall but it Feels Like Summer

My Jewish readers know the drill. Are the High Holidays early this year? Or late? It’s always a question, year after year. Because unlike Christmas that falls on December 25 every single year, the Jewish calendar is lunar. So our major holidays are always changing. For instance, in 2016, Rosh Hashanah began on October 2, and Hanukkah was on December 24. This year Rosh Hashanah falls on LABOR DAY!! Like, the actual Monday of Labor Day, AKA the official end of summer. According to some outdated fashion rule, it’s also the day you have to stop wearing white clothing (until the next summer, marked by Memorial Day). Just as an aside, I think that rule is total rubbish and you do not need to follow it. But that’s probably more for another column.

Anyway, Rosh Hashanna, for me, marks the beginning of autumn. It’s the big fall kick-off. The Jewish holiday version of the September issue of Vogue. In fact, as a girl, when my mom would take me on our annual back-to-school clothes shopping outing (because back then it was a good thing to outgrow your clothes each year – at my age now, not so much!) One of the most important items to check off the list was a new Rosh Hashanah outfit. 

Rosh Hashanah Usually Means Fall Clothes

Normally, my New Year’s outfit (Rosh Hashanah is considered the Jewish New Year) would be in a fabric or color that felt like fall – think wool, corduroy, or velvet and in colors like brown, camel, or burgundy. Nice rich colors and fabrics that are on point for colder weather. The same way there are distinct foods one associates with certain holidays that make it “feel” like that occasion, so too with specific garments.

I vividly remember the feeling of wearing my new outfit to every Rosh Hashanna family dinner and then to synagogue. And then I’d wear it again for the school holiday concert and any other colder weather events we had. Until, of course, it was time to shop for my new spring outfit (this time it was for Passover).

This shopping ritual to mark important milestones is not just a “Jewish thing.”  My Christian friends had similar seasonal shopping experiences. However, their touchstone holidays were usually Christmas and Easter. Ya know, same song, different tunes.

But, It’s Labor Day!

But this year, with Rosh Hashanah landing literally on Labor Day – a day I think of as reserved for pool parties and backyard BBQ’s – it’s throwing the whole what-to-wear, fall-debut, thing off. Big Time. Personally, as much as I might sacrifice comfort for fashion on occasion, wearing wool tweed when it’s 80 degrees outside is a definite NO in my book. Honestly, I’m sweating just thinking about it.

So the big question is what are we to wear for Rosh Hashanah 2021? The answer: something that’s covered but lightweight. Breathable for outside but can keep you warm in the air-conditioned synagogues. And is on the more modest side, because, let’s be honest, what we wear to a  house of worship should be slightly more conservative than what you’d wear to a club.

Ok, so let’s chat about how to ring in fall and the new year (this year it’s going to be 5782!!) and not melt…

And, BTW, this styling tip is not only for my Jewish readers… there are all kinds of events (work-related, family festivities) that happen when we think it’s autumn, but the thermometer says otherwise. This type of transitional dressing works really well for fall and for spring – the times when it’s usually the hardest to get dressed.

What’s The Best Topper To Wear With Your Dresses and Skirts?

As I was curating a client’s virtual closet for the summer months we talked about making sure to add a wrap, sweater, or jacket to all of her outfits – even her summer and Florida outfits. Why? Because even when it’s sweltering out – when you go inside the AC is blaring and it gets COLD. Or when the sun goes down it gets chilly. Another reason, some ladies want (notice I didn’t say need) to cover their arms. Or for modesty reasons, some need to cover their arms.

Yes, all valid reasons to need a third piece. In addition to the fact that a layer often adds an extra element of interest to an outfit (and ya know how much I love that). However, even though there are so many reasons to throw on that third piece, there is a perpetual issue when it comes to adding a layer to outfits with a dress or skirt. If it’s the wrong piece – or more specifically, if it’s a piece with the wrong proportion, the functional layer ends up looking dowdy and ruins the whole outfit.

Or the third piece looks like an afterthought instead of an intrinsic part of the outfit. Sort of like when someone is going to a black-tie event and throws their Northface puffer over it. Yes, they’re both items of clothing, but they don’t go together. It’s like eating Filet Mignon and Froot Loops at the same meal.

So what’s the best topper to fix this common dressing dilemma?

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.”

Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Consultant wears the Madewell, Ruffle wrap midi skirt in Spring Fling, two ways

Let’s Get Dressed Up – Spring Dresses for Passover + Easter

What a long, strange trip it’s been… With the one-year anniversary of the “two-week lockdown” to “flatten the curve”, it feels at once like both the longest and shortest year in history. Last year at this time, there was no thought of spring dresses. I was struggling to wrap my head around what quarantine meant in regards to the spring holidays (and life in general). And happily, this year, there’s hope.

There literally is an energy shift I’m feeling. Are you feeling it too? The weather is getting warmer, vaccines are becoming more available, people are joyful, and looking forward to connecting again! Just in time for the spring holidays too – Passover and Easter. Plus, the CDC said fully vaccinated grandparents can hug their grandchildren. So now we have a good reason to get dressed and celebrate!

Spring Dresses for Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and more

For many years I’ve written a post on spring dresses for these holidays ( knowing that type of dress can be worn again for Mother’s Day, Graduation, bridal, and baby showers). There’s something about getting a new dress for a holiday that makes it feel extra special. Maybe it’s a throwback to childhood and going shopping with my mom and grandma for Passover dresses.

When I was little I’d need a new dress because I was “growing like a weed”. And the previous years’ dress was too short. This year, I’ve also grown, but not in the vertical direction!! So if you’re like me, and some of your favorite dresses from years past might not be fitting like they used to… don’t fret. Think of it as a time to celebrate your new size and do a little spring shopping. That’s precisely what I’m gonna do!

Spring 2021

Spring 2021 it’s here, and I’m ready for it, sort of. I have to be honest, in normal years I’d have spent weeks, even months getting my thoughts together about the upcoming season. It’s historically a process I love and one that energizes me. I look at all of the runway shows and read up on fashion editors’ trend reports.  Taking note of what retailers are showing for the season. I then scour street style to see it in action, off the runway. And I observe people, on the street, at the airport, at restaurants – like creatures in their native habitats, lol!  And THEN, I compile my lists – what is speaking to me, what I saw showing up in multiple places, what’s looking modern, and what I think real people (not models or influencers) would and could actually wear.

But this last year has been anything but normal. Some days it takes all of my reserves just to get dressed and to be pleasant (note I didn’t say nice or happy, just pleasant, as, in not a raging B word) to my family. Fashion, style, and pretty things in general, traditionally lift my spirits. But, this last year has been a challenge for all of us, and hitting the pandemic 12-month mark, leaves spring 2021 feeling like a conundrum to me…

Feeling Hopeful, but Confused for Spring 2021

On one hand, I’m hopeful. The days are longer. The weather a bit milder, at least this week. And the vaccines are providing optimism. A glimmer. We can go out and get dressed in the near future!

Yet, on the other hand, it’s confusing. When we go out, what will going out look like? Will the clothes I have even still fit? Have styles kept evolving this past year even though we’ve all been wearing lounge sets? Will I even remember how to get dressed?

To put it in perspective, these are questions some my clients have shared. And if I’m being authentic, they’ve crossed my mind as well. Dressing up is a happy place for me, not typically one of worry. So for those that have a complicated relationship with clothes and getting dressed, this season can feel like getting dressed stress, on steroids!

Don’t Worry, I’ve Got You

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.

What to Wear for the Holidays at Home – Outfit Inspiration

I mean, who the F knows that the holidays are going to be like this year. Thanksgiving was waaaaaay intimate over here (hello 3 people and a 15 lb turkey!). But it was still a holiday and I think there is something to be said for getting out of my grungy sweats and putting on my “dress up” sweats, or even a pair of jeans to make it feel like a day that’s more special than others. Holiday outfit inspiration is desperately needed this year to help make the holidays feel like, well, holidays.

So, whatever holiday(s) you’re celebrating – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years’. And however many people you’re celebrating it with. I’m sharing a few outfit ideas to help make the days feel a little out of the ordinary.

It’s About the Outfit Inspiration, Not About Having to Buy New Things

I also want to keep in mind that while all of the items I’m showing and linking are available in stores, I never want people to feel pressured to buy. Hopefully, these serve as holiday outfit inspiration and you can re-create similar looks from pieces you already have in your closet. I mean, I do that all the time when I’m feeling uninspired. In fact, I keep a folder on my phone of screenshots from outfits that appeal to me. And I encourage my clients (especially new clients) to do the same.

Girls Night Out (GNO!!)

A few weeks ago I had my first, in ages, thanks to Covid, girls night out dinner with friends. We sat outside, under heaters, and next to a fire. We ate, drank, and laughed It felt amazing and normal, and amazingly normal. Boy, did I need it! And as we were discussing getting our homes ready for us to have the “night off”, the consensus was the thing that caused the most stress was deciding on what to wear for a GNO. Under normal circumstances, night out outfits can be stressful. But after 8 months of sweatpants, it’s downright exasperating.

Then with a virtual client last week we needed to focus on what to wear when she goes out with her girlfriends or on date night. She struggled with her going out looks feeling different than a typical daytime outfit, but not so overly fancy (or hoochie – her words) that it seemed she was trying too hard.

And today I received this message in my Instagram dm’s.

Hey Hallie! I am so glad I found you! Your style is everything I hope for 👏🏼 a group of friends and I are headed to Vegas in 2 weeks. And I don’t know what to wear?!?!? Do you have any posted looks that can help inspire me? I want to feel currant and sexy but not trashy 🙊

And that’s the slippery slope – wanting to look different than every day yet still appropriate for your age and environment. And I might add, also not feel dowdy.

Whenever a question comes up three times, I know it’s time to write a blog post about it!

My Simple GNO Formula…

The Conundrum of Fall Fashion This Year

I can’t believe it’s already October, and I still haven’t posted about fall fashion trends. Scratch that, I can believe it because nothing in this year has gone as planned, So, this is just par for the 2020 course.

When thinking about fall fashion, there’s a balance to strike, and right now, I feel like I’m walking a tightrope. Historically, when working with my one on one styling clients, I look at what they have on their calendars for the season, specifically the next 30-90 days. Then I help them purchase items strategically and plan their outfits according to what’s on the docket. But in 2020, that’s kind of a joke, right? How are we to plan when we don’t know if kids are going to school? If we can attend weddings or bar mitzvahs? Or even if we can eat inside restaurants and feel comfortable doing so?

In a Typical Fashion Cycle…

The Vest-a Common Conundrum Piece.

When we meet with a client for the first time we always ask about their conundrum pieces. And lately, the vest seems to be the conundrum culprit for quite a few clients. A conundrum piece as we call it is one of those pieces that every time you put it on it makes you say, “how am I supposed to wear this” or “what am I supposed to do with this”. Oh, and by the way, we aren’t talking about a sporty, Eddie Bauer type, fly fishing vest. There’s a place for those but that’s not the topic today.

We’re talking about a longer wool/cashmere, sweater, or fur vest. And the challenge of how to wear them for effortless style. But the answer isn’t as easy as a quick explanation. It’s more of a visual thing. So, instead of giving a quick answer, we’re offering up some quick style inspiration and how to’s…