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The Art of Lingerie

I’ve loved lingerie for as long as I can remember. I used to steal borrow my mom’s slips and nightgowns¬†when I was little and when I got older she used to bribe me to go to the dentist with trips to the Nordstrom intimates section. That lasted through college actually… ūüôā

Vintage - Marilyn Monroe!

I’m not sure what first intrigued me about lingerie, perhaps it was the bombshell glamour evoked in the movies I grew up with. Grace Kelly’s nightgown in Rear Window,¬†Take Back Your Mink from Guys & Dolls,¬†Natalie Wood in Gypsy, or Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.

What¬†I can say for certain though is that my love affaire with lingerie was consummated, if you will, when I lived abroad. It was everywhere, much more prevalent and “acceptable” than in the US, and I¬†just couldn’t get enough. I¬†wandered into all the little shops I could find in Paris, Madrid, Milan, and Rome. I still have a handful of the pieces that¬†I found while I was there, including a gorgeous lavender dressing gown.

And regardless of what first inspired me this has been¬†a love affaire that’s lasted 29¬†fabulous years, and at this point I¬†have nightgowns, separates, slips, matching sets,¬†and dressing gowns filling up my¬†closet and an entire bureau stuffed satins, silks, and lace.

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In my experience lingerie can serve a woman in two distinct but interconnected ways Рthe way it makes her feel and the way it makes her look.

The right cut, color, fabric, and style can make you feel beautiful, glamorous, and sexy. And I’m not just talking about pieces that you’re wearing¬†for someone else, I’m talking about the simple pleasure of sleeping with the feel of satin against your skin or feeling soft lace wrap around your ankles when you take a step. It doesn’t have to be about anyone but yourself!

In addition to making you feel fabulous the right undergarments can make your clothes fit and look even better. It doesn’t matter whether you favor Lily of France, Victoria’s Secret, La Perla, or Agent Provocateur, it’s about¬†finding pieces that complement your body type, personal style,¬†and the clothes in your wardrobe. And for whomever invented shapewear (Spanx anyone?) deserves a medal, those glorious garments can hide all manner of sins.

However, despite my love of lingerie the “lingerie as clothing” trend is one that I must caution you¬†to be careful with. Outside of Halloween it can be hard to pull off wearing stand alone pieces as clothing a la Easy A.

Easy A

That being said, you can evoke the same boudoir feel by wearing a lacy cocktail dress, pieces with sheer panels, satin and silk, or even by layering a bustier in your look.

Needs some inspiration for adding a sexy, boudoir flare to an outfit? Check out Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2011 Boudoir runway show¬†or these sumptuous advertisements that were influences by beautiful, retro lingerie.

   

 

With the luxurious cuts, delicious fabrics, and just a hint of bedroom glamour, these clothes are a treat for the senses and a great way to indulge your lingerie fantasies in the real world.

Do you love lingerie too? How do you feel about daytime wear?

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Slowly catching up with the times…

Moi Contre La Vie now has its own Facebook page, so please take a look when you have time.

As you can see, I’ll be posting much more frequently and more informally on Facebook than on the MCLV blog. Expect interesting and provacative articles on food, health and fitness, tons of fashion ideas, photos, news and¬†sale notices,¬†as well as links to great blogs that cover topics that I think you’ll find to your liking.

Don’t hesitate to let me know what you’re interested in seeing or learning about, always happy to take requests!

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What NOT to Wear to Work

While there are a lucky few whose office is home to casual/street-clothes appropriate attire, most of us are subject to more rigorous prerequisites when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. If you’re workplace adheres to a business or business casual dress code (and you don’t work in industries like fashion, music or TV/Film where more creative fashion is expected and accepted) there are some very basic Don’ts to keep in mind when you’re considering what to wear.

(1) No tennis shoes

Unless you have an injury, there’s no excuse for wearing running shoes in the workplace.¬†Walking to work in comfort is 100% acceptable, but remember to change once you’re at your desk. And if heels are not your thing, there are plenty of other cute options that will¬†keep you stylish AND appropriate.

Workwear What Not to wear to work ballet flats Workwear Office appropriate Blogger Etiquette Ballet flats, loafers, Oxford’s, flat ankle boots, and smoking slippers¬†are all great alternatives to consider. (2)

No shorts!

Yes, there are very cute examples of summer shorts/romper¬†outfits out there right now, but those are for your much-deserved¬†downtime, not for the office. Even¬†“dressed up” with tights or heels,¬†shorts are not appropriate for the office. Dying for something cool to wear other than a dress or skirt? Try a pair of capris a la Jackie O, just remember to avoid pairs that fit like a second skin.

 

Capri

{Wool Capri – $35-$50 {on sale} @ J.Crew}

(3)  No. Open. Toed. Shoes.

Sandals, no¬†matter how cute, are not appropriate for the office. Peep-toed pumps can be acceptable depending on the height and style, but flip-flops and sandals should be left in your closet until its time to hit the beach.¬†Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to the office. Cute, summery totes excepted of course.

Lacoste

{Lacoste Shopper Р$95 @ Zappos}

(4) Be cognizant of hemlines and necklines. Nothing too short, nothing too low-cut. Put your hands down at your sides – At no time should your hemline¬†rise above where your fingers are. For necklines I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast rule. Everyone has a different style that looks best on them and I believe that you should be true to that {boatneck, sweetheart, scoop etc}. As a v-neck girl I do two checks¬†when I wear¬†sweaters or wrap dresses: first, look straight-on in the mirror to be certain that your bra doesn’t show and¬†second, lean forward and make sure that you between your top/dress and undergarments you’re not exposing anything unexpected.

PencilSkirt

{AGB Pencil Skirt Р$25 @ Macys}

(5) No T-Shirts – While I’m hesitant to issue a blatant ban on t-shirts, I will say that graphic, logo,¬†or burn-out shirts are a no-no. A well-made shirt with a basic or conservative cut is fine (tuck one into a high-waisted pencil skirt and add booties for¬†a fun high-low look). Before giving a T the go-ahead for office usage be sure that it’s not see-through, the fit & cut are suitable (no midriff baring tops!) and that it’s thick enough to hang where it should.

Top

{Ann Taylor Wrap Top Р$30}

As for my male readers, let me pass along my number one workwear related pet peeve for men. I work in a predominately male office where slacks and a button-down are the worn by one and all.

Please note, khakis are not slacks. Yes, khaki/tan colored slacks are a great option to beat the heat, but Dockers or khaki cargo pants ARE NOT SLACKS. Sorry for the caps, I just needed to get that off of my chest.

I know that for many people¬†“rules of fashion” is something of an oxymoron, as the goal of¬†the industry and those that love it¬†is artistic expression, but work is one of the places where you need to adhere to someone else’s rules. So take a look at¬†your company’s dress code and keep that in mind when you’re shopping for work clothes.

A great tip is to separate your closet into work and play clothes, hang the dresses, slacks, sweaters and blouses appropriate for work in one section so you and can get in and out in a hurry each morning!

Bonjour for now, I’ll be back to show you some great looks to try out at the office soon.

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Blogger Confessions {III}

  • The most important people in my life¬†are all outside of¬†my home city of San Francisco –¬†They’re in Albuquerque,¬†Palo Alto, San Diego, New York,¬†Southern California, Alaska…

  • It took me a very stubborn year of running {and I’m using the word “running”¬†loosely} before I started enjoying it.¬†Then I signed up for a race and¬†now¬†I can’t remember why I ever liked it…
  • I LOVE DANCING MOVIES. It doesn’t matter what age the intended audience is, it doesn’t matter how cheesy it is, and it certainly doesn’t matter what number in the series it is. Center Stage. Own I & II.¬†Step Up.¬†Own all¬†three. Save the Last Dance. Stick it. Burlesque. Bring it On. Fame. Take the Lead. Honey. I clearly have a problem… Or do I?
  • I’ve studied French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin over the years but most days I still have trouble with English…
  • My favorite color is green though I went through a phase where I wore nothing but black for YEARS!

Related Reading: Blogger Confessions & Blogger Confessions II

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Fashion Inspiration

Fashion isn’t just about what you wear, what goes on your body. It’s truly an expression of yourself that extends beyond your clothes.

‚ÄúFashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look ‚Äď all those things go together to make a moment in time.‚Ä̬† – Tom Ford

And just as fashion isn’t limited to the cloth that we wrap ourselves in, inspiration can also be found in many forms.

I began clipping pictures from magazines as a pre-adolescent, not necessarily fashion inspiration per se, just pictures that caught my attention, things that I found eye-catching, or memorable, or mesmerizing.

As I became interested in fashion however, my clipping habits¬†became more focused. And while¬†I don’t confine myself to¬†photographs of¬†clothing and accessories, I’ve found¬†that my love of¬†fashion gives this activity more direction and purpose. I’ve found that even without context, pictures can serve a creative function.

They excite. They encourage. They inspire.

The beauty and artistry captured by a photographer can be moving, regardless of the medium. Advertisements, promotional materials,¬†editorials, art, beauty, home decor…

I’ve found that by keeping these images available to myself¬†I¬†can¬†stay out of a fashion rut. They provide new ideas and inspiration,¬†get my creative¬†juices flowing, and motivate me to grow and evolved sartorially.¬†I highly recommend creating and maintaining a Look Book, a collection of images that make you smile, that invigorate you, that make you¬†push your boundaries.

Whether it’s a physical book filled with clippings like mine are, or Boards on Pinterest, this is a great creative and inspirational outlet.¬†Keeping pictures of looks that you like, styles that call to you, photos that take your breath away, can all be great tools¬†to keep¬†your approach to¬†fashion fresh and interesting.

What’s YOUR favorite way to get inspired?

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