Tag Archives | Fashion

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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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 Love: Health & Nutrition

While the blogroll on the right hand side of this page gives you a list of some of the websites and blogs I like to visit, I want to take a minute to give you a little background on how I discovered my favorites, what they’ve taught me and why I keep coming back for more.

Without further ado, and in no specific order, I bring you…

Gena @ Choosing Raw – This was the first blog that I stumbled upon while making the transition to veganism and it has been a Must Read for me ever since. Gena is bright, straightforward and exceptionally knowledgable about veganism, health¬†and cooking, and her recipes are creative and inspirational. One of the major things that I’ve learned from Gena is to be proud of my healthy food choices and to be strong and confident,¬†not embarrassed, when I end up in the spotlight over my diet (which frequently happens). And more importantly, without her I never would have discovered kale salads,¬†collard wraps or all of the amazing uses for raw cauliflower!

Kailey @ SnackFace¬†– Kailey’s¬†writing¬†is vivacious, cheeky and fun, you can really tell that she’s having a great time and¬†her blog is a joy to read! I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog when I stumbled on SnackFace. While many of my favorite sites cover the blogger’s daily life and all that it entails, SnackFace¬†is one of the first that I discovered that focused on multiple, seemingly unrelated, topics. While she is sharing her daily adventures in Cincinnati, her adoration for¬†both food and fashion come through loud and clear. It was reading her blog (and some gentle urging from a¬†coworker)¬†that really¬†motivated me to start MCLV. I figured that if I could do it half as well as Kailey, I’d be all set.

 

Elise @ Hungry, Hungry Hippie – Elise is a nurse and in every post she comes across as¬†well-informed and passionate about health and nutrition. She knows what she’s talking about and really cares about getting the message out there. She shares great recipes, yummy restaurant suggestions and¬†jealousy-inducing photos of Santa Monica. But what really keeps me coming back for more is her organization. Yes, I’m serious and yes, I know that I’m¬†a nerd. Elise works long shifts (12 hour night shifts, can you imagine?) at the hospital while simultaneously¬†keeping up an exercise regime, eating healthy, spending time with her adorable husband and making time for friends and family. Whether she intends it to or not, her blog is virtually a tutorial on how to get $&#t done! ūüôā It is nothing short of¬†educational to see how a busy, healthy, successful woman plans her life.

Jenna @ Eat, Live, Run – The first thing you’ll note if you head over to Jenna’s site is that she is not a vegan. At all. This Cordon Bleu¬†trained¬†Southern¬†girl lives for butter, eggs, ribs and chocolate. She loves food, LOVES it, and it is ridiculously¬†contagious. Her giddy excitement for cooking, breathtaking photographs¬†and hysterical anecdotes (read the one about the BBQ sauce, please) will make you laugh. And then¬†run straight for your kitchen. Whenever I read her site I’m galvanized to try something new, to go home and cook no matter how enticing delivery sounds, and first and foremost, to enjoy every single bite!

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Gina @ The Fitnessista¬†– While I love Gina’s recipes (you HAVE to try her Southwestern-stuffed Sweet Potatoes) and her adorable and optimistic spin on life, I have to admit that I am a total sucker for her fitness posts. This girl can dance, yoga, spin, aerobicize¬†and pump iron with the best of them! Not only does she teach professionally, she has put together workouts, posted videos and even created boot camps for her eager and oh-so-lucky readers. She’s a brilliant and enthusiastic teacher and always has a fun and interesting spin to keep you engaged. Summer shape up, woo woo!

romper

Evan @ The Wannabe Chef – I discovered Evan’s site when he did a guest post for Choosing Raw, but what made me fall in love with his site was his passion for all things delicious, his¬†humor and the fact that he’s a Classics major (hey, we classicists gotta stick together! ūüôā )¬†Evan’s writing is funny and relevant, and his almost daily recipes are creative, delicious and wholesome. AND he’s doing it all as a student! He loves good food and indulging his cravings, and some of the things he comes up with are downright sinful (chocolate peanut butter mousse anyone?).

EvanWannaBeChef

Angela @ Oh She Glows – If Angela wasn’t a baker (check out her Glo Bakery website) and food blogger, I would have to suggest that she become a photographer. This girl’s photos will make you drool with envy almost as much as her recipes will. And speaking of recipes… Wow. Her Vegan Mac n’ Cheese was one of my first forays into¬†“scary” vegan cooking and I’ve been¬†slowly but surely making my way through her recipe page since then. Her website is¬†stunning and well-organized, always a pleasure to read.

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I hope that if you have time you’ll check out these sites, I really can’t recommend them highly enough!

What’s your favorite food blog?

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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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Fitness Motivation

Personally I find an external motivator to be great incentive to keep up with an exercise¬†regime.¬†I wish I could say that I have all the internal motivation that I need¬†in order to¬†meet all of my goals, but unfortunately that’s not always the case.

On days when I’m tempted to skip my workout, knowing that I’ll have to admit my lapse out loud¬†to someone else¬†is usually enough incentive to push through. Usually.

So here’s some Fitness Motivation so we can all stay on track to meet our goals!

I’m registered to run the San Francisco Half Marathon on July 31st and haven’t run consistently for months so I need to begin training… Now!

It just so happens that one of my best friends¬†is¬†training for the Death Ride (which I lovingly call The Ride of Death)¬†a 129 mile bike race with 15,000 miles of climbing through the Sierra Nevada’s¬†near Tahoe. Her race is July¬†9 and although we’re training for different types of races in different cities (she’s in Sacramento), she has been acting as an unofficial sponsor and motivator for my last-ditch training efforts.

Monday mornings¬†I email her my proposed workouts for the week (subject to scheduling changes)¬†and each morning I send her a confirmation of what I accomplished the previous day. I’m going to include various¬†types of exercise in my training program in addition to running, specifically circuit training and Pilates.

Below is a draft of a proposed schedule for one of the weeks of training:

Monday:

  • Run to work (1.3 miles)
  • Mini cardio session (2 miles stationary bike & 1 mile elliptical trainer)
  • Pilates Mat class (5pm – 6pm)

Tuesday:

  • Jog to work
  • 15 minute circuit training workout
  • Run (pm)

Wednesday:

  • Walk to work
  • High intensity interval training on the elliptical
  • Pilates Mat class (5pm – 6pm)
  • Yoga Flow (6pm – 7:15pm)
  • Walk home

Thursday:

  • Walk to work
  • 25¬†minute circuit training workout
  • Run (pm)

Friday:

  • Jog to work
  • 15 minute circuit training workout

Saturday & Sunday РRest & stretching (maybe a massage if I can be convincing enough) and long walks or a hike

Hooking up with a workout buddy who you can share your plans with or a like-minded friend who you may not workout with but who has similar goals, can be a great motivator.

If the idea of sharing your workout goals/plans with someone else isn’t appealing, or if you’re just getting started and want to hold off until you feel like you’ve made some progress, there are other external motivators that may help you when the odd lazy day rears its ugly head.

(1) A kick-ass play list can do wonders. Put a super charged playlist on your MP3 player or blare it over your computer/sound system. Everyone has their own style and different beats that get them pumped up, and I personally refresh my Nano weekly, but here are some artists/bands that never fail to get my heart rate going, regardless of my mood: Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Chemical Romance, Finger Eleven, Breaking Benjamin, My Darkest Days, Jason Derulo, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, K$sha, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Sean Kingston.

(2) Sign yourself up for a class on a day when you don’t think that you can make yourself do a work out. You’ll feel guilty not showing up after having reserved a spot in the class and even guiltier¬†when you see the charge on your credit card! The two days of the week that are the hardest for me to get off my booty are always Monday and Wednesday, so I’m getting into the habit of doing at least a Pilates class at Glow Yoga¬† each of those days. And now that I’m getting to know the other students and the instructor, there’s even more motivation not to play hooky!

(3) If you have a movie or a book that you find extremely motivational, that can be a great way to get yourself going. If hearing¬†Jillian’s commanding voice shoots you out of your seat, start your workouts with some Shred, even if you don’t plan to do the video it can give you¬†the push you need. Personally¬†I’ve found that popping in a dance¬†DVD¬†before my¬†5:30pm¬†after-work runs¬†or reading a few pages of Born To Run are a sure-fire way to get myself going.

(4) Finally, one of my favorite pieces to read when I need to stoke my motivational fires is The Better Man, about the (then) 75 year-old fitness guru & health nut Don Wildman (my friend Jim sent me this YEARS ago and I saved a PDF in case of emergencies). This always gives me the kick in the pants that I need to get off of the couch.

Good luck getting yourself onto the trail, treadmill or into the gym. Make me proud!

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