How To Choose The Best Swim Suit

high-waisted bikini - Orchid Boutique

It’s officially swimsuit season and, as usual, I feel excitement and a little dread when thinking about what bathing suit I’m going to buy. Thankfully, Marisa of Orchid Boutique laid my fears to rest by answering my most pressing questions about how to choose the right swimsuit. She even shared a few tips on how to take care of my swim suits too!

SB: I’ve been working on flatter abs for a while but haven’t gotten there yet. Are there any tricks to distract from a midsection that isn’t perfectly toned?

MR: Definitely. We get this question a lot and we always suggest a high-waisted bikini! Why not add that extra fashion flair with a retro-style swimsuit? You’ll have more coverage around the belly area, and in turn it elongates the torso. High waisted bottoms are super stylish right now anyway, so it’s a win-win.

Create The Illusion Of Flat Abs

green bikini – Topshop, ruffle bikini – Orchid Boutique, red color block bikini – Marc by Marc Jacobs, blue bandeau bikini - Orchid Boutique

SB: Underwire or no underwire – how do I know which one is best for me?

MR: Underwire tops are so popular because you have that added benefit of lifting up or pushing up the cleavage area. You also have that extra support on top. I would say the ultimate factor of whether or not you want an underwire is if they are comfortable to you. A lot of women find underwires either extremely comfortable, or not at all. So make sure you know your comfort level before choosing that extra push up. Read More

Corporate Branding Expert Marisa Gouda

Marisa Gouda, Founder and Style Director of creative styling consulting firm, Dressed Up + Down, LLC

When I went on my first job interview straight out of college, I was at a loss for what to wear. I was going to a large fashion publishing company whose employees dressed fashionably but there didn’t appear to be a formal dress code. I wanted to look like I’d fit in, but I was afraid of appearing either too casual or too stuffy. Marisa Gouda outlines what to wear in this situation as well as what to wear to a more conservative corporate office. She also shares her advice on how to inject a little of your personality into your work wardrobe. Marisa is the Founder and Style Director of Dressed Up + Dressed Down (creative styling consulting firm). She is also a Certified Wardrobe Stylist, and has worked in the field of branding/brand management for half a decade.

SB:  What should I wear to an interview for each of the following jobs: (a) corporate conservative (b) corporate business casual (c) creative? 

Read More

If you don’t take care of your bags and shoes, they’ll end up looking more cheap than chic, no matter how much they cost. Now that you’ve invested your hard earned cash in well-made classic accessories you can wear forever, make sure they last that long by cleaning and storing them properly.

Leslie Fuller, the founder of Bagadocious, walked us through how to make sure your accessories stand the test of time. (Bagadocious’s dust covers not only protect your bags and shoes but can be printed with images of their contents – ensuring you’ll be able to find your items quickly in your closet.)

SB: How should I clean my handbags before storage?  Read More

Alterknit studio in New York

J.Crew sweater, Alterknit studio in New York, sweater in need of repair

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my sweaters for as long as I can remember. I love the way they look, love the way they feel, and love how warm they are – especially since I’m perpetually cold in the winter. On the other hand, I hate that they never last longer than one season because they wind up with holes, pills or various forms of destruction from my laundry routine. Alterknit’s owner Miriam Mades educated me on why these problems occur, how to prevent them and even how some of them can be fixed.

J: What is the best way to avoid problems from storing sweaters?

AK: Washing is the number one most important thing to do [before storage]. People feel they don’t want to wash cashmere or whatever else. You need to wash it – either by hand or in a gentle cycle in your machine. Or dry cleaning. Some people are anti-dry cleaning; I personally alternate between hand washing and dry cleaning.

You have to be careful if you do something by hand or in a machine that the water temperature’s cold enough because [with] wool and cashmere, the fibers will felt if the temperature’s too high, which is Read More

Lindsey Griffin, of Posh & Poised, has a great eye for fashionable work outfits that incorporate color, prints and youthful shapes – yet are right at home in any corporate environment. I’ve long admired women who can put together these kinds of looks (like Kerry Washington, Norah O’Donnell, or Michelle Obama) but now I won’t need to spend so much time scouring the web for celebrity photos, since Lindsey has shared a few of her secrets to looking chic and work-appropriate.  She explains how to pull off prints, what colors are good for the office, how to inject a little personality into your looks, and how to put together the perfect work outfit when you’re low on time.

by Jess Atkins

SB:  Which 10 pieces does every woman need in their basic office wardrobe? 

  1. Silk Blouse  - This classic staple goes with anything and everything.  When I look back at my favorite outfits, they all started with a gorgeous silk blouse.
  2. Classic Blazer -  A tailored blazer is a timeless professional piece that will never go out of style.  I wear mine whenever I need to be at the top of my game.
  3. Power Pencil Skirt -  A pencil skirt is the trademark of a professional woman’s wardrobe.  It achieves a sharp yet stylish look and is incredibly versatile.
  4. Wool Trousers - Different lengths, styles, and fits will come and go, but a pair of tailored wool trousers will stand the test of time.
  5. Statement Necklace -  A statement necklace will take your basic work outfit up a notch.
  6. Black Pumps -  I suggest investing in a high-quality pair that is comfortable and will last you for years.
  7. Carry-all Tote - Every working woman needs an oversized, neutral tote that you can throw your work life into and still look chic.
  8. Sheath Dress - A sheath dress is another classic option that works in any setting and is super easy to style.
  9. Oversized Watch - An everyday, oversized watch throws a menswear element into your look.  I never leave home without mine.
  10. Clutch - You can take your work outfit from day to night for a happy hour or dinner meeting by simply trading your tote out for a chic clutch.

SB: What kind of heels can add personality to an office look without looking too sexy?

L: Never underestimate the power of your shoe choice!  Shoes are a great and easy way to express yourself fashion-wise at work.  I am currently loving ankle-strap heels as a sassy but still sophisticated option.  The ankle strap adds a little personality to the shoe and also makes the heel more Read More

TrunkClub

The men in my life often ask me how to buy good-looking clothes without putting spending hours at the mall. Since I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to go shopping, I normally don’t have any good advice for them. Well, that was until heard about Trunk Club –  an online personal styling and shopping service. They select merchandise based on a survey about your taste and then the clothes are shipped directly to you. You can try everything on at home with your existing wardrobe and decide what to keep with no pressure. Michael Barkin, Head of Sales at Trunk Club, gave us advice on how to start a great wardrobe!

by Jessica Moore

SB: What are the ten basic pieces every guy needs in their wardrobe and why?

  1. Navy Blazer – the single most important piece of clothing in a man’s wardrobe.  Infinitely versatile with jeans, cotton pants and slacks alike.
  2. Crisp white dress shirt – Because there’s no better shirt to wear under a suit, blazer or any other Read More

Stylebook_Closet_Makeover11

Creating an appealing, organized and functional space for your wardrobe doesn’t require the budget for custom built-ins. This guide will help you save space and display everything you own so it actually gets used. The best part? The grand total for everything will be less than $250!

1. Purge!

You’ll be much happier when you get dressed if everything in front of you is something you’ll actually wear. Your old sweatshirts and the ugly bridesmaid dresses you convinced yourself you’d wear again definitely don’t belong in your new fabulous closet – get rid of them!

Stylebook_Closet_Makeover2

2. Make Your Foldable Clothes Easily Accessible

What You Need:

The folding board will help you make neat, even stacks of sweaters. The clear drawers make it easy to see what each drawer contains. Keeping everything visible makes it less likely that clothes that are on Read More

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