Ten Tips from Tim Gunn

Image
Mindy, Tim Gunn, and me. The fashion show was outside which is why we have our sunglasses on. I am sure this is yet another of my fashion faux pas for the day!

I am Megan’s sister, Kara, and she has asked me to write today.  I live in Kansas City, and one of the advantages of living in a smaller city (as compared to Seattle) is that when fun things come to town, it is easy to get up close and take full advantage of them!  Case in point: one of our local and upscale shopping districts, The Country Club Plaza, hosted a fashion show yesterday featuring clothes from Kate Spade and Lucky Jeans, and it was hosted by Tim Gunn!  I was invited to the show, and I brought my good friend Mindy (who’s fashion sense if off the hook and totally inspiring!).  We made a girls’ day of it and had so much fun listening to what Tim Gunn had to say (if you are unfamiliar with who he is – he is the fashion mentor for Project Runway and writes for People Style Watch among other things).  He was very honest and funny, and had lots of great tips. (He also filled us in on great insider gossip with all sorts of fascinating insider tidbits about Project Runway and what Michael and Nina are really like as judges.  Such fun!!!) I frantically tried to memorize everything he said so I could avoid future fashion disasters (the horror!  what if I wore the cropped cargos he said were the worst mistake in the entire history of fashion??).  I was later telling this all to my sister, and thus here I am – sharing it with whoever wants to hear it.  Hopefully I am fairly representing what all he said.  So without further ado, here are the tips I took away from this fun experience.

1) Don’t try to overmatch accessories (purse, shoes, belts, etc), but go for complimentary colors. (note: I was wearing cork ballet flats and a matching cork clutch and was horrified when he said this, and spent the rest of the fashion show trying to hide my new purse that I had been so excited about 5 minutes earlier)

2) Only tall(er) and thin people should wear cropped pants as they make you look shorter. By tall, I think he means around 5′ 5″ or taller.  He reiterated that the short length just visually cuts off your leg. (note: I of course was wearing cropped pants as well.  Gee whiz – what more could I do wrong?)

3) Never wear cropped cargos as they make you look shorter and wider.

4) When mixing prints (which he loves!), keep the color scheme the same (as in every item is navy and white) and make sure the patterns are on much different scales (i.e. a small print on the top and a huge print on bottom).  When you squint to look at it you should not think it is all the same pattern.

5) A wrap dress is almost universally flattering. (they had a darling Kate Spade one in the show which was navy, Kelly green and white, and it was worn by a plus size model who looked absolutely amazing!)

6) If you have a lot of detail around your neckline, such as ruffles or a really intricate color, you don’t need a necklace as it will only compete.

7) Horizontal stripes are OK to wear as long as they are not too large or dominating.  You don’t want them to overwhelm you.

8) If you are petite, avoid big patterns as they will swallow you up.

9) Unexpected punches of color are always fun and playful, like bright pink shoes or purse, especially if paired with a neutral or conservative (like all black and white) outfit.

10) Always dress down a maxi dress – use a big hobo purse or something big and casual and always wear sandals.  Don’t try to dress it up.  A jean jacket is a great layer for over a maxi dress.

11) A great white shirt is a must have for every closet.  He showed several options – long sleeve, short sleeved, casual and dressy.  It goes with anything and can be dressed up and down.

12) When dressing, visually split your body in thirds.  He is an advocate of tucking in a shirt as a long shirt makes your body get split in half rather than thirds.  It is OK to have a shirt tucked in with a long cardigan or open shirt over it, as the inside, tucked in shirt will do the visual “thirds” trick while the outer and longer layer just adds interest.

13) Belts are the greatest accessory as they are versatile and can accentuate your shape.  He put belts on almost everything.

14) Anyone can wear skinny jeans!  Just make sure they fit right (and aren’t too tight or too big).  Their plus size model wore skinny jeans from Lucky and they were fabulous.  They made her legs look great as they didn’t add too much bulk, but just skimmed the shape of her leg.  He emphasized going somewhere where the sales clerks really know how to fit you.

I realize that Megan has mentioned a lot of these tips before (go megan!), and think it is fun to hear them again straight from the fashion icon himself!  Hope you are all having a great Sunday!

Kara

April 28th, Sports Mom

I’m on the run!

My son has 3 games today, so I’ve opted for a casual, layered outfit of cargo pants, a tank and a cardigan (this seems to be my uniform these days).

On the right I have on my old loose black cargos. Paired with this baggy tank, I look frumpy- and large in the middle.

The bright pink cardigan is cute- but it’s lost in this outfit. Everything just looks too big.

On the left I have slimmed the look down. The first thing I did was match my tank to my pants (almost). This creates a long vertical line, making me look taller and thinner.

The cut of these cargos is skinny, which also helps create a more slimming look. This tank (in this cool shiny fabric) is also more fitted- and partially tucked in.  To add some brightness to the outfit, I topped it with an orange cardigan.

The small details of the belt and dainty necklace help create a more pulled together look.  To finish it off, I’ve got on my leopard ballet flats. It’s a fun way to add an unexpected pattern into the outfit.

Go enjoy your Saturday! I see sunshine in Seattle! Yippee!

Strange pose, I know- but I wanted to show this cute belt- from Target! It's also a great way to see how large my caboose is! My girlfriend commented the other day, 'wow! you've got junk in your trunk!'. Thanks to JLo I don't mind having a big butt!
Technically, my shoes don't match- but since they are leopard- it works. Think of leopard as a neutral- it goes with anything!

Pants: Michael Kors, Tank: French Connection, Cardigan: Target, Shoes: Target, Belt: Target, Necklace: made by my sisters!

By the way, you can still vote for me for Top Mommy Blogs! Just one tiny click at the top of the page, above right. Thanks!

April 27th, Pajama Day

 One of my daughter’s absolute FAVORITE days at school is pajama day! When we went to Hawaii the first day there she realized she was missing pj day at school and was completely hysterical.

Seriously, she would rather wear her jammies to school than be in Hawaii… What’s wrong with this kid?!

Luckily, she has another pajama day today! Thank goodness!

That being said, I decided if she gets to be all comfy and cozy all day- well then so should I!

But, since my office wasn’t really keen on the whole pajama day theme- I had to improvise. Hence- the maxi dress.

This is THE trend of the season, and if you haven’t already purchased one (or two or three… ahem) then what are you waiting for?

I have seen them at Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Gap, Target, TJ Maxx, Old Navy… everywhere. They come in all colors and prices. They are flattering to almost all figures. Please, take my word for it- you will not regret this purchase.

However, on it’s own- it can look a little like a nightgown. It is very important to accessorize your nighty, I mean maxi.

Today I have added ballet flats- but sandals or wedges would be really cute. I’ve also added a necklace and a bright green cardigan. This will help keep me nice and warm- and also covers my shoulders- making it more appropriate for the workplace.

It’s Fashion Friday– so be sure to click here for lots of other great blogs.

Also, if you haven’t come over to Facebook to ‘like’ me- please do! I’m lonely over there…

I can't decide if I like it better with the sweater buttoned or not. Thoughts?
Very original pose, huh? America's Next Top Model- watch out!

Dress: Target, Sweater: Thrifted, Shoes: Frye, Necklace: Forever 21

And a special thank you to my bloggy friend, MJ, who passed on the ABC (Awesome Blog Content) award to me. I am honored. Thank you!

April 26th, You Can Never be too Thin, or Can You?

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about my weight here- I’m referring to my scarf.

As you can see by this scarf on the right- being too thin can actually be a problem.

The scarf looks awkward and doesn’t really make any sense.

I have a few girlfriends who refuse to wear scarves- and I honestly wonder if it’s because they haven’t found the right one yet!

As you can see on the left, this bright orange scarf not only is a lot thicker than the one on the right, but is also has amazing texture due to elastic thread, giving the scarf some bulk and some interest.

Now it’s the focal part of my outfit, instead of a distraction.

When you are out shopping and you see a scarf- try it on! Loop it around your head twice and see if there is enough fabric to still tie it. I have turned down many amazing scarves because they are too thin- or not long enough.

A few more suggestions, i.e.:  note to self:

You might also want to get rid of your plain white long sleeved t shirts, and mom jeans…

There, now isn’t that better?

This t shirt has a cool hemline- and it's long enough to cover my bum, which is perfect since I'm wearing skinny jeans (in a very dark blue wash).

Jeans: Anthropologie, Shirt: H&M, Scarf: Boutique in Queen Anne (Seattle)

April 25th, Ain’t no Sunshine (Award)

 Yesterday I was nominated for a Sunshine Award- which was so sweet! Thank you Laura from Who Planned This. 

Since it’s another grey, rainy day in Seattle, it’s nice to have a little sunshine coming from somewhere!

I’m wearing jeans, a tank and a blazer today.

On the right you can see the original look-a bright blue zip up fleece.

I wanted to show that by changing 1 tiny thing- in this case replacing the fleece with a blazer- and the whole look changes.

A blazer with cropped jeans just looks so much more polished and put together. Don’t you think?

I’m linking up with Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday- be sure to click here to see other great ideas!

Adding the chain necklace gives a little 'edge' to the look.
I opted for flats to keep it real. I'm running errands today- and want to be comfy!

Jeans: Old Navy, Tank: Express, Blazer: White House, Black Market, Shoes: Cole Haan

Sunshine Award rules:

      • Include the award’s logo in a post on your blog.
      • Answer 1o questions about yourself.
      • Nominate 10 other bloggers.
      • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
      • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Answers to the 10 questions about myself:

  1. My favorite color: Pink… or blue. One of each!
  2. My favorite animal: My puppy, Sadie (Havanese)
  3. My favorite number: 10, I guess. Never really thought about a favorite #, but this is my son’s # for basketball.
  4. My favorite drink: Chardonnay
  5. Facebook or Twitter: Both! Come see me on Facebook or on Twitter.
  6. My passion: Husband, kids, reading, exercising, yoga, friends
  7. Prefer giving or getting presents: both!
  8. My favorite pattern: This is an easy one- stripes, of course!
  9. My favorite day of the week: Saturday
  10. My favorite flower:  Tulips

I now get to share 10 of my favorite sites for a Sunshine Award!

Here goes:

1. Accessory Challenge– online inexpensive jewelry auction. Love this!

2. A Happy Habitat– cool style ideas for the home!

3. Memoirs of an Evil Stepmom– this gal makes me laugh each week!

4. Pixiwoo– makeup tips/ videos. Love these sisters!

5. Cozi– online organziation/ calendar for moms

6. Living in Yellow– another really funny gal!

7. Hostess with the Mostess– great party planning ideas!

8. Seattle Boutique Blogspot- love this site for finding all the cool places to shop in Seattle

9. Gracefully 50– this is one HOT momma! She radiates elegance and class!

10. Passive Aggressive Notes– again, a great place to sit for 5 minutes and just laugh!

April 24th, Black Cropped Pants


I’m wearing… you guessed it, black cropped pants today! For some stupid reason I really struggle when wearing black on bottom.

I know, black is a neutral & EVERYTHING goes with it- and yet, it took me 20 minutes to put this outfit together.

What’s wrong with me?

On the right is a good example of what NOT to wear with them. This solid long sleeve t shirt is too blah.  I look boring!

On the left I have opted for a cute light pink top with a ruffle collar.  I’ve paired it with a black cardigan.

Now, to be totally honest, I originally thought I’d pair this top with this jacket (see below), but then I looked at the pictures and I think it is too boxy paired with this loose top- and the whole thing makes me look large in the middle.

A boxy jacket needs to be paired with slim pants- or skinny jeans.

The black cardigan was my before picture- until I actually saw the picture, and then I thought, ‘wait, that actually works…’ I like the fact the outfit is only 2 colors- tying the top and bottom together.

Even though I’m wearing black on top and bottom, I still look ‘springy’ because of the shoes, cropped pants and light colored shell.

This is a very simple outfit, yet perfect for work.

Pants: Nordstrom, Shell: J Crew, Cardigan: Nordstrom, Shoes: DSW