Author Archives: vsantalesa

Step Up Your Footwear For Summer

Woman without shoes

Why does it seem like the most functional parts of our wardrobes are often the least practical? While scientists contrive to make organic fabrics and safe skin products, shoe designers seem determined to make footwear designed to cause twisted ankles, bunions, blisters and ingrown toenails. If history is anything to go by, it would seem that most women like their food products safe, but their heels dangerous and summer 2017 is no exception. Here are some of the latest trends in keeping it real and high at the heel for this coming season.

Platforms

Platforms
When it comes to looking sexy and keeping funky, nothing does it quite like some outrageous platforms. This year’s Salavatore Ferragmo’s open toed boots in monochromatic hues brightened the 2017 runways, while Erdem showed off a snakeskin combo with lacing at the ankles. Hats off to Miu Miu and Proenza Scouler of their artful takes on the vintage shoe style.

Flatforms
They may be flatter than their platformed cousins, but make no mistake about the heel height. Flatforms simply refer to the soles. A sort of a one piece version of the classic platform, in which the heel and toe are both elevated, the flatform is all the rage this summer. Gucci brought a taste of the east with Oriental detail while Balmain couldn’t resist keeping things glittery with his multi-toned contributions.

Kitten Heels
The name alone is enticing enough. As their handle suggests, kitten heels are the tamer gentler version of their bigger sisters and are always a lovely addition to a spring or summer wardrobe. Celine’s used her kitten heels to support her strappy yellow sandals and the Dior logo got its fair share of play on these low heeled steppers.

Thin stilettos

Thin Stilettos
Keep off the escalator when wearing these. As long as there are fashionable women, there will be a place for thin stilettos. Altazurra brought his version of chic with open toe sandals and stockings while Gucci went sky high and thigh high in leg-hugging boots.

Sandals With Socks
While we’re busy pairing our summer shorts with sweaters, why not put wool socks on our tiny sandals? Sandals with socks were all over the runway, including Givenchy yellow lace up sandals with thick brown socks, creating a boot-like look with practically invisible stiletto sandals. Celine had a slightly different take with her funky slider and latex socks, giving new meaning to the term “sock boots”, and Off-White paired sequined socks with black leather tie-ups for some to die for disco glamour,

Branded Footwear
Talk about creative advertising! Dior’s kitten heels with J’ADIOR labels bandage taped on the back strap were reminders that the Dior name is still making a fashion statement while Yves Saint Laurent simply turned the heel of his pumps into a three-dimensional YSL logo.

Boots and socks

Socks and Boots
This is a great look with minis and shorts this summer. This year’s runway saw some interesting combinations of the two. Anna Sui displayed her Western boots with Nightmare Before Christmas socks while DKNY footwear showed off a lover like a shoe mixed with over the knee additions. Versace’s athletic stripes peered out from funky platforms and Saint Laurent paired his black booties with anklets.

What will be on your feet this summer? Let us know what your investing in when it comes to summer footwear. Keep it hot, keep it cool!

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Summer Gingham Style

Woman in gingham outfit

Bridget Bardot was married in a pink Gingham dress, Taylor Swift wore a vintage gingham bikini to hobnob with the Kennedys at the Cape, and Shirley Temple will be eternally embedded in the public memory wearing a gingham dress. How is it that the original “French Sex Kitten” was able to wear the same pattern as “America’s Sweetheart,” both with tremendous success? It is true that gingham denotes innocence. When worn by a sex symbol, it becomes a study, in contrast, a link between innocence and sexuality, the good girl being naughty. When worn by a child, the connotation is a little more direct. But what if you are neither? Is there a way for the sensible woman to wear gingham without looking like a giant toddler? Read on to find out how to pull off a timeless look.

How To Wear Gingham
There’s no denying gingham is big this summer, and of course, if it’s on trend, you want it in your closet. However, it may not be that practical for everyday wear. According to Yahoo Style’s editor in chief, Joe Zee, “I think when you see something on the runway, I always call that sort of fashion trends on steroids. It’s really such an amplified version of what you see. But take a little bit of it and don’t be scared. ” Here are some of Zee’s recommendations for sophisticated denim wearing:

  • Look for sophisticated silhouettes and structured, clean lines. “Because,” as Zee says, “if it becomes too casual, it can look like a weekend picnic dress, and I think –that’s not what you want. I think it’s about that contrast.”
  • Do gingham in neutral. Says Zee, “You should try to, maybe, do it in a very sort of core neutral color – black and white gingham I love. You know, I think you want to stay away maybe from the blue and white, because it feels too picnic, too costume.”
  • Keep your gingham up to date. Don’t make it look as if you’re recycling your gingham from the 1950’s, and, if you are, it may be time for a trip to Goodwill.

Woman in gingham top

Gingham Looks

  • Swimsuits
    If you’re looking to get sexy at the beach or for just some lazing around the pool, try some gingham swim wear. You’ll want to show off a little with a gingham bikini bottom and off the shoulder tee or halter top for some seaside style
  • Bras
    Don’t know if you’ll want to keep this inside your shirt. Try an elastic trim gingham bra top with some Daisy Dukes for a 4th of July barbecue and bring the fireworks.
  • Dress
    Gingham can also be done preppy style. Try a short-sleeved number with a generously full skirt for some mod style sixties vintage.
  • Sunglasses
    No one will suspect you were being naughty last night if you show up with a pair of gingham sunglasses covering your eyes.
  • Cardholder
    Just think of how savvy you’ll look when you pull out your gingham cardholder when you’re asked for your Beauty Insider card at your favorite makeup store. You’ll be the envy of the cue.
  • A-line Two Piece
    Modernize your gingham look by pairing a sexy tank with a wraparound style ruffles skirt with an asymmetrical hem. The gold buttons and bows on the straps complete the picture for some added irresistibility.
  • Clutch
    If you’re doing your gingham in moderation this summer, you may want to jazz up your solids with a statement gingham clutch, Look for something in a red and white check due out from “Opening Ceremony” this summer.

How are you wearing your gingham this summer? Let us know how you’re making a splash in his classic material.

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Denim Does Business Casual

Woman at business

In 1969, a writer for American Fabrics wrote, “Denim is one of the world’s oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young.” In the 1950’s, denim it became the outfit of the “juvenile delinquent” or “motorcycle boy” in films and television, banned by school administrators who feared its very presence on the teenage body would lead to rebellion against authority. So, how is it, you may ask, that this Satanic fabric ever became anywhere near what might be considered respectable wear? Well, according to another writer for American Fabrics, “What has happened to denim is really a capsule of what happened to America, it has climbed the ladder of taste.” Has it also climbed the ladder of success?

Tips On Denim In Business Casual

  • Balance
    It’s important that you keep a line between what constitutes business casual and normal casual. Keep your denim classy by pairing it with pieces that are a little more corporate. Instead of a sweater with jeans, try a classy blazer and dress shoes. This will tell your fellow employees that you know where to draw the line.
  • Silhouettes
    Since denim tends to be a more relaxed fabric, the cut is very important. A little styling can go a long way. Look for denim pieces that make a professional looking silhouette, like skirts, blazers, and trouser jeans. This will give a more pulled together appearance than baggy, shapeless comfort pieces.
  • Accessorize
    Accessories always class up an outfit. If you want to polish up your weekend look, try adding a belt, designer clutch, or some dressy shoes. This way you can add a weekday flair to your Saturday pieces.
  • Dark Wash Denim
    Darker denim is a much better workplace wash than faded and distressed. Dark wash denim can be a great comfortable substitute for trousers, provided they don’t feature a lot of contrast stitching to make them look more casual. If your denim must be of a lighter wash, try to balance by dressing up the other elements of your wardrobe.

Businesswoman

Business Casual Outfits

  • Dark Wash Denim Blazer
    Blazers have a way of always looking professional, even in denim. You’ll create a professional silhouette, and the dark wash is perfect for the business setting. Pair it with a white knit top and some skinny pants in a contrasting color. Throw on a statement necklace and some brightly colored flats and you’re set.
  • Dark Wash Pencil Skirt
    If you’re lucky enough to find a dark wash pencil skirt that hugs your figure, grab it. Dark wash pencil skirts are ideal for work or play. For work, try combining a quality sweater or top and add a scarf and necklace with some out of the box flats.
  • Dark Wash Jeans
    You can never go wrong with a good pair of dark wash jeans. Keep the stitching low key for the office. Top with a blazer layered over a scoop neck top. Accessorize with a belt and necklace. You’re good to go!

How are you classing up the world’s oldest fabric? Let us know how you’re denim does business casual. We love to hear from you!

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Cher Has Turned Back Time

Cher

Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Before Madonna lost her virginity, before Kim Kardashian hit puberty, before Lady Gaga could say, “Gaga, ” there was Cher, and Cher was fabulous. Ever since she emerged, bellbottoms, bangs, long legs, and cheekbones beside Sonny, to warble out “I Got You Babe,” and “Bono Spelled Backwards Is Onob,” the world would never quite be the same. Uniting over three generations, Cher has become an icon for baby boomers, generation X-ers and millennials alike remaining openly opinionated, fearlessly fashionable, ultimately unapologetic, and inimitably herself. Now as the legend celebrates her 70th birthday, let’s take a moment to turn back time with the woman who’s turned back the clock.

The Life Of Cher
To say Cher is a survivor would be an understatement. Cher has survived multiple marriages to multiple men, the coming out of her lesbian daughter, disco, the 1960’s, the 1970’s and everything beyond. Her marriage to Sonny would leave her a single mom to their daughter Chastity, and her marriage to Greg Allman would end in a booze and heroin fueled divorce. But did the original Armenian superstar let this get her down? Heck, no! She just did what every hard up determined red blooded superstar would do! She got a role in a movie.

Cher the Movie Star
Never one to do things by halves, Cher struck gold when she was cast opposite Meryl Streep in the movie “Silkwood,” a movie which garnered such critical acclaim that she was cast in three more movies in the following year, including “The Witches of Eastwick” “Suspect,” and Moonstruck,” the last of which would earn her an Oscar.

Cher the Pop Star
Now Cher, at 41, had enough accomplishments in her belt to satisfy most people, but of course Cher is not most people. It seemed that while Cher had been acting, the times had given birth to a new phenomenon; the disco diva, and this presented Cher with a new challenge. She launched her career as a pop star in the 1980’s and eventually hit gold when her album,”Believe” hit the American Top 40. At 53, Cher became the oldest female to hit number one and hold it for a consecutive three weeks.

Walk of Fame Star

Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock.com

Cher Does Vegas
Fast forward through the tragic death of Sonny, a somewhat regrettable response to Chastity’s big reveal, a few plastic surgery procedures, and a few more albums, to Cher does Vegas. Her new show, Cher at the Colosseum debuted in 2008 at Caesar’s Palace, complete with eighteen dancers, four aerialists, and multiple costumes provided by Bob Mackie and is running still. She is also currently working on a studio album and two major motion pictures.

Cher’s Birthday
And now, on May 20th, Cher will be celebrating her 70th birthday. What can you say that Cher hasn’t already said? Happy 70th Cher, and many happy returns.

Do you have a Cher memory? Something you’d like to share about Cher? Let us know your thoughts on the original icon.

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Look Hot When You Enter A Room

Woman walking

Everyone wants to make a grand entrance; to be able to command attention as soon as you walk into the room. How do you do it? Pause briefly before entering, make eye contact, look as if you’re happy to be there, try not to fall, or recover gracefully if you do: all great ways of using body language. But while the importance of great body language cannot be underestimated, you don’t really need it if you already have a great body. You can shape up with squats to make a grand entrance effortlessly. Here are a few squat exercise routines you can do to turn some heads when you walk in a room.

The Basic Squat
Squats are one of the best exercises for the lower body. They target all the major lower body muscles, including the glutes, hips, and thighs. The basic squat is good for beginners or those who are overweight, or suffering from knee problems.

  1. Stand in front of a chair with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Contract abs, keeping them tight while you bend your knees and squat in the direction of the chair.
  3. Move hips back, keeping head up and torso straight. Extend arms if you need help balancing.
  4. Sit on the chair and contract the glutes to lift out of the chair and begin to extend your legs.
  5. Extend your legs fully until your back to a standing position without locking your knees.
  6. Repeat for 1 to 3 set of 10 to 16 reps.

Wide squat

Plie Or Wide Squat
This squat incorporates a little more inner thigh action and helps target leg muscles in different ways.

  1. Start in a wide stance with toes pointed outward at a comfortable angle. Align your knees with your toes, so they don’t go out too far.
  2. You may want to hold two dumbbells on your upper thighs or a singles dumbbells in front. on the shoulders, or behind the head.
  3. Bend your knees and lower down into a squat, keeping your knees in line with your toes, and your abs tight.
  4. Push back to beginning stance without locking knees.
  5. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 repetitions.

Barbell squat

Barbell Squats
These are more intense types of squats which add weight to your shoulders and require more work form the gluteus.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the barbell just above your shoulders on the “meaty part,” or the trapezius muscles. Use a bar pad to protect your back if you are uncomfortable.
  3. Bend knees, lowering into a squat until your knees are at ninety degree angles.
  4. Contract glutes and legs, keeping your body stabilized with your torso tight.
  5. Stand back up slowly without locking your knees. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps.

Wall Sits
Wall sits are a great exercise you can do without any equipment. They require you to hold a static position rather than working through a range of motion.

  1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a wall and lean against it.
  2. Slide down and walk feet out until your knees are close to 90 agree angles and hold with abs contracted for 20 to 60 seconds.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat varying angles of squats to work the body in different ways.

One Legged Squat
This is an advanced exercise challenging your balance and stability. This version incorporates the use of an exercise ball to add more of a challenge.

  1. Put an exercise ball behind your lower back and lean against it.
  2. Lift your left foot slightly off the ground moving your right foot toward the middle to maintain balance.
  3. Contract the muscles in your right leg, keeping the left leg lifted, lower into a squat, resting your hands on the wall if you need extra balance.
  4. Return to starting position, repeating all reps on the right leg before switching to your left.

Tips For Safe Squatting
Keep your weight over your ankles and your heels not the floor throughout the movement. Knees should always remain in line with your toes. Send the hips back, not the knees forward. Keep shoulders back, maintain a natural arch in your lower back and keep the neck and head in a neutral position.

Are you squatting to improve your hotness? What are you doing to make heads turn? Let us know!

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You Can Be A Happy Working Mom

Woman working with toddler

Help Wanted. The STEM (science, technology.engineering, and mathematics) field is looking for a few good women. While women today make up half the workforce, there is a noticeable dearth of ladies in the STEM fields, and of the ladies intrepid enough to venture into these more scientific pursuits, very few remain beyond a certain age. Why? They leave to become mommies. Now nobody is knocking mommyhood, it’s an admirable pursuit, and definitely not one that should be done away with anytime soon, but we need girls in STEM. In fact, we need women to have a powerful voice in all areas of influence, and that means we need more working mommies. In that spirit, here are some tips for keeping ladies productive in more than one way.

Share and Share Alike
A family who shares is a family who cares, that’s why your family needs to share the chores. If you’re going to be working eight hours a day at a job, you certainly can’t be doing more work when you come home. Assigning the kids a few daily chores will not only lighten your load, it will also teach them a lesson about the value of responsibility.

Mom working with dad and kid in background

Reach Out
If you’re looking to take some weight off your shoulders, try and form a support network with other parents in your neighborhood. That way, you can trade off on bringing the kids to school and picking them up from soccer practice.

Scale Back
Forget about FOMO. Keep it simple by doing less. If the kids have too many outside commitments, scale back on a few. According to Parent’s Magazine, two extracurricular activities are more than enough to keep kids happy. Career expert Eve Tahmincioglu says, “At the beginning of the school year, find out what school field trips are being planned and then choose maybe two that you’ll chaperone.”

Schedule “Me Time”
The only way to truly maintain for sanity is to set aside some time for yourself. Even as little as a half hour can make a big difference. You’ll find yourself feeling more balanced and less resentful about all the sacrifices you make on a daily basis. If thirty minutes seems too ambitious, try breaking it up. Take ten-minute breaks to meditate or take a quick walk around the block.

Couple spending time together

Schedule “Us Time”
Make sure to take a few nights to reconnect with your spouse. If you can’t find time for a weekly date night, there are alternatives. Tahmincioglu says, “After the kids go to sleep is a good time to spend some quality time together.” Whatever the activity, just make sure that you are doing it in a way in which the focus remains on one another.

Keep A List
Keeping a list will help you to prioritize and stay focused. Just jot down what needs to be done over the next few days, and don’t make it too demanding. Motherboard spokesmom Maureen Petrosky says, “I find lots of moms are sunk before they even get started for the day by placing too many demands on yourself. I always say at the end o the day, if we got nothing else done besides keeping everyone alive, it was a great day.”

Are you a working Mom? How do you keep everyone happy, most importantly yourself? Let us know! We need more like you out there!

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Hip Fashion Trends For The 40+ Crowd

Woman in field

You may have heard the expression, “Forty is the new 20,” ad nauseum by now, and of course, it is true that middle-aged women are looking and feeling better than ever. However, as most over 40 women know this expression not a license to use Forever 21 and H&M as the sole source of your wardrobe. Sure, you can look young and lovely, but sophistication must not be sacrificed. If you are struggling to toe the line between cut out leotards and muumuus, this article may be helpful.

No-no’s For Women Over 40

  1. Don’t try to look too polished, or too perfectly matched. Show your creative side. A two piece suit will always be interpreted as ‘safer’ fashion choice. Pairing the blazer with a more out of the box choice to look will show off your inner confidence and highlight your maturity in a more positive way.
  2. Don’t buy cheap fabrics. They will not flatter your body well, and will not last. While you may still wear “young style,” you have graduated from cheap.
  3. Don’t wear a tight top with a tight bottom. It is always better to leave something to the imagination. Keep it classy with by choosing a loose top with a tight skirt or pants.
  4. Here are some clothes that might be better left hanging on the racks at Charlotte Russe: Super short shorts and minis, mom jeans, baggy sweats, and unfitted blazers

Woman leaning against wall

The Over 40 ‘Do’ List

  1. Do be aware of your personal style. It is important to dress in a way that showcases your body and personality.
  2. Wardrobe essentials: Here are some wardrobe staples for every over 40 sophisticates: A long coat, a white button-down dress shirt, a well fitting blazer, a good pair of dark denim jeans, and an elegant dress
  3. Mix designer pieces with non-designer pieces. This will upgrade your non-designer items while helping to dress down fancier pieces.
  4. Try not to look too overdone. Aim for an effortless look. If you think you look too done up before you leave the house, leave something off or choose a more casual replacement.
  5. Make sure to wear a good bra and no panty lines. Shapewear helps to skillfully hide some of the bulges.
  6. Wear fashionable shoes. Shoes can make or break an outfit. Mid-high heels are a great bet and there are plenty of current choices especially designed to provide comprehensive arch support to maximize comfort.
  7. Wear skirts that grace the knee. Go too far over the knees, and your calves will not be shown to their best advantage, providing for an older overall look. Also, try not wear anything too shapeless. Pencil skirts are a very stylish flattering choice.

Woman in coat

Are you fabulously over 40? Let us know what your wearing and what you’re not.

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