Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Gold shoes for piano recital

Last weekend my daughter had a piano recital and I needed to get her some new shoes. I really did not have time to shop around and went to the closest shoe shop which turned out to be John Lewis. My daughter, who is only 4 by the way, picked out a pair of gold shoes from the children’s wedding shoes section and wouldn’t take them off after trying them on. I got her a pair of bridal socks to go with her shoes but she was not interested in wearing any socks just her gold shoes. She wore a floral print dress and her gold shoes and won best dress at the recital. It just reminded me how versatile metallic gold is and made me think that I simply must get myself some gold sandals this summer.
gold shoes

My daughter played "Buttercup and Diasies" and "London Bridge".  And for those of you wondering how a child can be playing the piano at such a young age then check out the Suzuki Method.  The suzuki method is a method of teaching music by numbers developed by Shinichi Suzuki.  Following are some books on the subject you may find useful.

Studying Suzuki Piano: More Than Music - A Handbook for Teachers, Parents and Students (Suzuki Method International)

Ability Development from Age Zero (Suzuki Method International)

You know how sometimes you are concerned that children would grow out of clothes and shoes without having worn them much?  Well rest assured these gold shoes are being worn everyday as she jumps into them the moment she gets home and it does not matter where we are going these days, she puts them on.   Apart from the fact that they are gold, my daughter says they look like ballet shoes which is even more appealing I think.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Graphic dress meets minimalist look

When you think of graphic dresses you usually imagine bold designs, retro prints and vintage dresses from the 1970’s. Here are some graphic dresses from Calvin Klein’s spring summer 2010 collection which are simple, minimalist and chic. These dresses remind me of the art of Batik which involves the use of wax and a dyeing process followed by the removal of the wax to reveal stunning designs and colours.

The organic shapes and light-reflecting neutrals are simply appealing and classic and are gorgeous summer dresses perfect for those summer barbecues and that exotic summer caribbean holiday. Complete the minimal look with Munique's handmade leather sandals.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Choosing bridesmaid dresses

Gone are the days when bridesmaid dresses needed to look identical, which is great as your bridemaids will come in different shapes and sizes. Though I do know some people who factor in shape and size when choosing bridemaids as they want their bridemaids to fit into a certain dress.  But that is certainly not necessary these days.  Now bridemaids can wear different style dresses as well as different coloured dresses.  Here we see Carrie's bridemaids in Sex and the City all wearing different colour dresses and different style dresses with the only similarites being in the necklines and shoulders and sleeves to some extent.

So you can opt to go with a colour scheme for your bridemaids dresses or a style theme or neither just as long as your bridemaids are wearing dresses that flatter their bodyshape are looking radiant to be photographed.   It's easier when a bridesmaid feels that she is looking her best for her to smile for the camera.

For instance a floral theme for a spring /summer wedding can include a combination of skirt suits, strapless cocktail dresses and halterneck dresses.

floral print dresses

halter neck dress

floral skirt

floral bustier top

Be guided by bodyshape when choosing your bridesmaids dresses.  Remeber uniformity does not have to be same dresses but similar bridesmaids dresses along a unifying theme be it colour,  print or even floral or flower wedding necklaces. 

Wedding shrug

Getting married?  This ivory wedding shrug is the perfect cover up for your wedding dress if you do not wish to reveal too much skin at the altar or as an extra layer for those chilly spring summer weddings.  If you are attending a wedding, long sleeve shrugs are the ideal accompaniment to those strapless cocktail dresses or sleeveless cocktail dresses.  While this shrug looks like lace, it is actually a crochet shrug and is available in several colours making it ever so versatile to slip over your cocktail dresses and still look smashing.  Shrug is available in gold, silver, black and ivory.

Click here for the perfect wedding necklace.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Dressing for a job interview

What to wear for that all important job interview can be such a dilemna at times. But it needn't be if you follow a few simple guidelines. Keep it neat, simple and tailored and go for classic looks like this navy ladies pinstripe jacket which can easily be worn over a shift dress or with a crisp white shirt and knee length skirt or long trousers.
pinstripe jacket, navy pinstripe jacket, ladies pinstripe jacket
Pinstripe is a classic material that never goes out of fashion. Ralph Lauren as pictured below used pinstripe in his spring summer 2010 collection so this is a trend that never goes out of fashion but is constantly being re-invented.

ladies pinstripe trousers, ralph lauren spring summer 2010 collection
photo from

Certainly not suggesting that you wear this top on an interview but just making the point about the perpetual trendiness of pinstripe as you want to look current but not overly fashionista.

Dressing for an interview is probably one of the most important moments of power dressing that there is. Cliches like first impressions count, your first impression can be your last impressions, you have one chance to make a first impression are so appropriate to this moment when you first enter a room with an interview panel and they start assessing you even before you they start questioning you. Sad to say but the interview can be won or lost from this point and not because the panel is fickle but because the time and thought taken in putting yourself together for that interview is the first reflection of you the interview panel gets of your suitability for the job in terms of attention to detail, dress code and more importantly how serious you are about getting that job.

men's pinstripe suit, interview suit

men's navy pinstrip suit

Wear a simple crisp white shirt with your pinstrip suit or a another suitable plain coloured shirt.  If your jacket is already patterned like the pinstripe then stick to a plain shirt so that you are not wearing too much pattern to distract the interviewers from the job at hand which is to get to know you better and evaluate whether you are the best fit or one of the best fits for the job.  If they are distracted by your appearance it may be all they remember about you. 

red tie
red tie
wine tie, wine coloured tie
wine tie

Go for a red tie or wine coloured tie which many politians wear with a dark suit as red draws attention to the lips and they want people to listen to what they are saying so too you want your prospective employers to listen to what your have to say.

Power dressing for ladies
Ladies; to be taken seriously for the job especially when you are competing with male candidates, you must be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and be counted.  Don't over feminize your appearance by exposing cleavage, wearing short skirts or clothes that are obviously too tight.  Stick to knee length skirts or trousers.

jewellery pendant "mermaid"

You do not want to be wearing fashion accessories that dominant your outfit. Add a touch of femininity with unobstrusive stud earrings and simple pendant necklaces as shown above which are small and tasteful. Other feminine touches could be the use of a well matched scarf used as a belt in your trousers.   Choose fashion accessories that balances your interview outfit and do not overpower your look.

Personal grooming
Attention to detail from your head down to your socks, stocking and shoes is imporatnt.  Get a haircut, wash your hair, apply make up, wear shoes appropriate for the outfit in terms of colour and style. Avoid worn out shoes or get the heels or your shoes changed if they are worn out. There is nothing more annoying than the tick tock sound of ladies heels grating as they walk because the heel needs replacing.   These are the little things an interview panel remembers but you want them to remember the big things about you which relates to your qualifications, experience and suitability for the job.

brown leather handbag

Handbags and briefcases
Ensure that handbags and briefcases also look the part and are not suffering from wear and tear. Ladies no no animal print bags please!!!! While I love giraffe print handbags, the interview room is not the place to show off your keen fashion sense.  Keep it classic and conservative and go for quality leather handbags in black or dark brown.

brown leather briefcase

Dressing for a job interview is only half the battle, the other half is about what comes out of your mouth.  To help you plan, prepare and perform in the interview invest in books on interview questions and answers and search the internet for interview tips.

Knockout Interview Answers: 52 Brilliant Ideas to Clinch Your Dream Job (52 Brilliant Ideas)

You're Hired! Interview: Tips and techniques for a brilliant interview

Saturday, 20 March 2010

White cocktail dresses - spring summer 2010 fashion trend

If you were thinking of wearing a white cocktail dress to a spring or summer wedding then you will certainly be keeping up spring summer 2010 white beginnings trend.

minimalist design, fashion trend spring summer 2010 by calvin kleine
white dress in minimalist design, calvin klein spring summer collection 2010Calvin Kleine minimalist white designs for spring summer 2010. Pictures from
White beginnings as a trend refers to the fact that several fashion designers including Pringle of Scotland, Gucci, Fendi, Osman, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent all commenced their spring summer 2010 fashion shows with a succession of all-white ensembles.

white trousers, ruffle top, yves st laurent spring summer 2010 collection
white dress, white cocktail dress, yves st laurent spring summer collection Yves St Laurent ruffle and lady like looks for spring summer 2010. Pictures from

Osman in particular did an all white spring summer 2010 collection with touches of gold on some designs. What he lacked in colour he certainly made up for in architectural designs and shapes. Who said white is boring?
osman white collection spring summer 2010
Osman and models on the catwalk for spring summer 2010. Picture from
Other designers like Ralph Lauren may not have started their collection with a white ensemble but certainly interweaved them in their collection.
white shirt suit, ralph lauren spring summer 2010

white cap, white waist coat, ralph lauren spring summer 2010

white dresses, white summer dress,ralph lauren spring summer 2010Ralph Lauren makes use of white organza coats, white caps, white waistcoat and white dresses to put his white outfits together fro spring summer 2010. Pictures from

So don't shy away from white this summer. You can look absolutely fab in this Ellos off the shoulder dress white cocktail dress from La Redoute. With white keep it simple, minimal and go for statement necklaces like this leather flower necklace for maximum impact. What better accessory to symbolize spring and summer but flower jewellery.

white cocktail dress, white dress
flower necklace, leather necklace

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Denim jumpsuit - hot on the catwalk for spring summer 2010

Denim was a popular favorite on the catwalk for spring summer 2010. American designer Ralph Lauren encaptured the rural working cowboy theme with denim overalls, faded, torn oversized jeans and three piece denim suit.

denim overall, denim jumpsuit, ralph lauren spring summer 2010
faded, torn oversized jeans from ralph Lauren spring 2010

saddle bag, leather saddle bag

Complete this look with a handmade brown leather saddle bag slung over the body.

denim three piece suit from ralph lauren's spring summer 2010 collection

denim jacket and denim news boy cap worn over paisley print dress from Ralph Lauren's spring summer collectionWe saw a bit of paisley dresses and two piece paisley and flower ensembles in Lauren's collection which was certainly reminiscent of the days of the Waltons with May Ellen in her paisley homemade dress off to Church in white turned down socks and shoes on Sunday and John Boy and his brothers running around in patchwork overalls and newsboy caps.

jean paul gaultier spring summer 2010 collection, denim trend, Pictures from

Of course it is a shabby chic look with Lauren's denim spring summer 2010 collection but if you are not into the shabby chic denim trend then go for Jean Paul Gaultiers cosetry trend approach to the denim jumpsuit. Bringing back his famous "rocket cone bra" designed for Madonna, Gaultier incorporates a pointed bra in his denim overalls which was a hit with pop star Rihanna.

rihanna in demim jumpsuit with cone bra by jean paul gaultier Picture from

large shoulder bag
Team this denim look with black leather handbag with multiple rivets on the flap to give an edge creating a biker bag look worn slung over the chest. Alternatively match up with Lauren's newsboy cap to create the messenger size bag slung across the body inkeeping with newsboy tradition.

Cocktail dress for spring wedding

cocktail dress for spring wedding That spring wedding is approaching fast and you find yourself with nothing to wear. You were thinking of getting an outfit with pastel spring colours but have not had a chance to look. Don't you just love this Spot Print Dress

It is absolutely luxurious and elegant and smartly tailored for that slimming effect. This Spot Print Dress is lined with added stretch in the fabric for a comfortable fit and so far has gotten great reviews. The hat adds another degreee of sophistication. The great thing about this dress is that it could be worn at anytime of the year and look smashing. Wear with an organza wrap, light cardigan, or tailored jacket for chillier weather. A simple chunky bracelet will finish this outfit off nicely.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Defining your body shape

To define your body shape you can seek professional help from a personal stylist if you can afford one. Alternatively you can book an appointment with a personal shopper at one of your larger or well established department stores. This service is free and is usually available to customers who want help shopping for special occasion outfits or are updating their wardrobe or simply want to shop the new trends. Your personal shopper should be able to assess your body shape and select outfits that are flattering to your size and figure.

But there is always the DIY method. For the do it yourself method, invest in books by known style gurus like Gok Wan and Trinni and Susannah. Even if you are seeking professional help in defining your body shape there is no harm in being proactive and doing your own research. Use the buzz words with your stylist so they know that you are not a complete novice when it comes to fashion. Once your stylist or personal shopper realises that you do seem to know something about fashion and body shape then the challenge is theirs to show you how to make outfits and looks work for you in ways you had not imagined or read about.

Check out the following books:

trinny and susannah body shape bible
The Body Shape Bible: Forget Your Size, Discover Your Shape, Transform Yourself

gok wan how to look good naked
"How to Look Good Naked": Shop for Your Shape and Look Amazing!
Work Your Wardrobe: Gok's Gorgeous Guide to Style That Lasts

gok wan work your wardrobe
Work Your Wardrobe: Gok's Gorgeous Guide to Style That Lasts

style clinic
Style Clinic: How to Look Fabulous All the Time, at Any Age, for Any Occasion