PUSH THE ENVELOPE, PU-PUSH IT REAL GOOD!

That peplum top gives you the hips of a Tyrannosaurus.

Pastels wash out your skin and make you look like the main subject in an episode of Intervention.

The feeling of lace against your skin is reminiscent of that bout with poison ivy at summer camp.

Understood.

Every season does not bring trends that flatter every figure. Don’t run for the hills to live as a style recluse until fall!

Live above the trends!

Oh yes, you read that correctly, your eyes do not deceive you. Assert your personal style over the current craze.

It’s a great advantage to have clothing readily available to play up your innate femininity. But let’s be honest, sometimes you pass the menswear department and long for the cool comfort of their relaxed jeans as opposed to your suffocating skinnies! Revive your boyfriend jeans! You’ll breeze around town radiating a So-Cal vibe when you pair a sun-bleached cropped t-shirt with boyfriend jeans. Get on your never-out-of-style soap box in an Oxford button down and the relaxed jeans. Accessorize with a great pair of wedge heels.

Images from shop.denimrefinery.com & denimology.com

(Tip: You don’t want to take the borrowed from the boys look too far! Make sure your oxford has very feminine details and construction.)

Got an old jumpsuit from the Dynasty days in the back of your mom’s closet? Grab that relic and cut out those puff sleeves. Leave the edges frayed or trim them in an ethnic fabric. Now just roll up the pant to your calf, add a big belt (or two), chunky bracelets a pair of colorful Espadrilles and viola timeless and gorgeous!

Images from bebe.com 

If the current color blocking blitz is not your cup of tea, it’s always chic to don a monochromatic ensemble. Wearing one color head to toe gives the illusion of added height. It can also knock of ten pounds off faster than you can say, ‘Sign me up for a month of Zumba classes!’

Trends are guidelines, suggestions – not rules! Feel free to take them or leave them. Treat trends are like weather, if you don’t like ‘em wait ‘em out. They will surely change. On the magnificent occasion when your personal style and fashion trends eclipse, revel in your obviously elevated style choices! Tell everyone you predicted the return of (insert your favorite article of clothing here)! Remember trends start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to let them start with YOU!

Ready Set Dresss is on Facebook and Twitter!

Edited by Cheryl Y. Hunt

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MEN: CASUAL SWAG

I will dare to say that any man can look handsome in a suit or formal wear. It’s a no brainer. But if you are not certain about your taste in tailoring, there are throngs of professionals available in any department or formal wear store to get you correctly suited and booted! The real test of style for men is casual wear. Fellas, you can majorly flop or fly eagle high in your choices for day wear. Here are five must have garments that belong in your closet!

ONE- WELL FITTED STRAIGHT LEG JEANS

Images from truereligionjeans.com

Images from truereligionjeans.com

Jeans are an American classic you must have them. They are great for casual events for day or night. Your jeans have to have a great fit! No sagging! No drooping! Guys stick to straight leg or boot cut fits for a look that is modern without being fussy. Don’t take things to the extreme and start buying skinnies and jeggings. Unless, you happen to be Lil Wayne or a contestant in RuPaul’s Drag Race.

TWO – PANTS IN A HUE OTHER THAN BLUE

Images from levi.com

 Step out in army green, tan, white, brown or gray chinos, cargos and jeans. Don’t be afraid to add color to your wardrobe. If you are brave try a very trendy pair of red pants. Temper their brightness by wearing all your other articles of clothing in neutrals like gray and black. Step out of the box! You can’t wear blue jeans every day! Your casual look should not resemble a uniform.

THREE – CARDIGAN SWEATERS

Images from bananarepublic.com

 You need a nice sweater or two. For spring/summer days wear it in place of a jacket. Go for cardigans with detailed buttons, toggle closures or suede elbow patches. Pair your cardigan with a cotton V-neck t-shirt, chinos and deck shoes for a relaxed weekend look.

FOUR – A BOMBER JACKET

Image from gq.com

A bomber jacket reads polished and fashion forward. You can really express your individuality in the style you choose. Minimalist men, opt for a neutral shade in suede or leather. Attention grabbing gents, opt for colorful versions or letterman style bombers.

FIVE – CASUAL SHOES

The school of thought that gym shoes are only for the gym is dated. Take your queue from rappers Pharelle, Kanye and Wiz Kahlifa they invest in stylish gym shoes that you would never dare wear for a pick up game at the gym, as they are too special for the hardwood.

You also need casual shoes that are not gym shoes! Deck shoes are a great choice and they are clearly having a moment this spring. Don’t leave the house in those flip-flops with socks. Invest in a Manly-Pedi and a pair of sandals. Also consider loafers. They can add a bit of sophistication to your jeans, throw on a gray sport coat and t-shirt and you are ready for happy hour with your lady.

Ok Fellas, now that you have the basics there is only one thing to say… READY SET DRESSS!

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Edited by Cheryl Y. Hunt

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A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

@Crrristen captured a few of my favorite things on film.

 

Sunglasses & earrings – Forever XXI

Cream button down top- H&M

Cream belt- Besty Johnson

Gray Purse Alice + Joy (thrifted!)

Jeggings- Target

Orange Peep Toe Pumps- BCBG Girls

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From Cool Blue Jean Jacket to Haute Denim Vest

My denim jacket is a national treasure! Like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, its appeal never gets old. It also gets a lot of frequent flier miles because it’s spells cool in any country.  It’s a piece I love to wear over spring dresses or along with my neon jeans. I was elated when I ran across one on a vintage shopping adventure for less than $3!  This specific denim jacket was a stand out because of its collarless detail. Of course in my enthusiasm, I snatched it from the rack without following one of my own Seven Steps to Successful Vintage Shopping. (Cue the melancholy tune from violin quartet.)

 I didn’t try it on.

When I got home and tried the jacket on, I discovered the sleeves stopped two inches from my wrists.

I’ll just roll the sleeves.

Rolled sleeves worked for a few looks and gave my favorite colorful printed beaded bracelets the chance to take center stage.

Then EUREKA! After seeing my fellow blogger, Anuschka Rees in her denim vest I knew my jacket’s fate! My denim jacket was about to graduate to a new level of chic. Gone were those pesky sleeves, holding my jacket back from its full potential, to live it’s moment in the sun as- a denim vest!

You Can Wear a Denim Vest!

– Over a mini body con dress with flat t-strap sandals for a casual cute day look.

-With a midi or maxi skirt and a silk blouson tank for brunch with the girls.

-With a sporty tee and denim skinnies for an easy weekend look.

(Tip: When wearing denim twice, pick two very different shades in the fabric. Try a light shade on your vest and skinnies in a deep indigo shade)

-Over a chiffon asymmetrical dress to mix tough and tender for a flirty date night look.

Here’s how I wore my denim vest for a day of errands.

How will you wear your denim vest?

READY SET DRESSS!!

Edited by Cheryl Y. Hunt

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WHAT TO WEAR TO WORSHIP SERVICES

On the cusp of so many religious holidays you must carefully consider what you should wear to your house of worship. It’s a safe bet to leave your form-fitting pencil skirt and six inch stilettos in your closet. But don’t shy away from your personal style. Be true to your style sensibilities and tap into the modest maven inside you!

 

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You look Heavenly

The calf grazing midi length is very appropriate and fashion forward as well as the floor sweeping maxi. Skirts in these lengths look great with a well-tailored oxford shirt or a luxe t-shirt. Tuck the shirt into your skirt and add a wide or medium width belt. For more personalization try mixing prints. (Tip: Keep both the print of your skirt and shirt in the same color family and about the same size.) Take a page from the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States, come on, keep up!) and try a cap sleeve sheath dress or a classic shirt dress. Color choice is paramount on dresses of these shapes; opt for a hue that best complements the beautiful skin tone God gave you.

 

 

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Be pleasing in God’s eyes

Employ your accessories to further personalize your look. A striking hat is perfect with a simple chic dress (think Kate Middleton). I beg you, puh-leeze keep your look modern! Do not match your hat, shoes and/or belt; let them complement one another in shade and texture!  If hats don’t tickle your fancy try a pair of statement earrings or necklace. Keep your piercings down to one understated pair of earrings, and pick a great watch or a few bracelets.  And how about we cover that dragon tattooed shoulder and save it for the beach. If the locale calls for covered arms go for a ¾ length sleeve on your shirt or dress, drape a printed pashmina over your shoulder or sport a Chanel inspired jacket.

 

Cleavage Control

The main focus for worship service should not be your plunging neckline or your fishnet hose. If a certain piece gives your doubt, or stands too far out, you probably shouldn’t wear it. They have their place, and that place is Friday night. However for worship services, you want your look to whisper polished and refined while it still signs your signature.

You see, worship wear can be respectful, colorful and fun.

Praise the Lord!!!

Photo Credits: banjoandmatilda.com, glitterdollz7.co.uk, newsfashiontrend.com, 1001churchhats.com and vougevibes.com

Edited by Cheryl Y. Hunt

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J-LO’S AMERICAN VOUGE COVER

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By now, I’m sure you have seen this month’s Vouge magazine. They chose the lovely J-Lo to cover this month’s issue. I love Jennifer Lopez’s style for it’s urban oppulance. Her style is constantly evolving and in that she reminds all of us not to get stuck in a style rut. She is a trendsetter in every sesnse of the word! (You know you had velour jogging suits in at least three different colors ten years ago.) Take a peek at her Vouge shots.

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Don’t you just love JLo?

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SPRING SUEDE Q & A

Q:Should I purchase these suede pumps now that it’s spring?

-Cris

Cincinnati, Ohio

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A: Purchase? Yes. Wear? Wait.

Don’t hesitate to buy the suede pumps! I’m sure they are on sale at this point so snatch them up and store them until fall. I would not suggest banishing suede from you spring wardrobe! Your looks can still benefit from the rich texture of suede through spring.  Consider purchasing suede sandals in pops of brilliant color or neutrals like tan, ivory or navy.

Here are some great shoes in suede that you can wear right now!

Target’s Mossimo Petene Heeled Sandal $29.99

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target.com

Steve Madden Warden $99.95

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stevemadden.com

Ash Colorblock Cork Wedge $235

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neimanmarcus.com

Giuseppe Zanotti Two Tone Color Block Swirl Sandal $1150

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neimanmarcus.com

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DANCEHALL DISASTER

All women want to stand out and look their most alluring when they head out for a night on the town. No matter if it’s girls night out or an evening of dancing with the beau you want to allow your femme fatale alter ego to strut her stuff, if only for one night. All of that is fine, good and appropriate but is it really worth it if it comes at this cost!? This is what you should not do!

Negril, Hanover, Jamaica , W.I.

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SEVEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL VINTAGE SHOPPING

You can create a luxurious look without cashing in your 401K! Making a strong style statement has less to do with price tags and more to do with creativity and taste. That said one of the best places to find unique clothing can be your local thrift store. So before you head out to scour for your prize winning find, note these seven tips to successful vintage shopping.

#1 SHOP IN GENERAL TERMS.

I find it best to go to the thrift store looking for a general article of clothing as opposed to a specific item. Your heart will be broken and your temper boiling if you go in looking for an orange sheer button down top with cream polka dots and one breast pocket.

#2 THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM!

You should arrive just before the doors open. Think Black Friday! The longer you wait to arrive the more opportunities you give other savvy shoppers to snatch your trophy piece. Additionally, the clothing is freshly organized and the store is in its best shape which can be a time saver.

#3 LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT ALONE…

No, seriously. I say this enough to make it my personal style mantra. If you don’t love an item, don’t buy it. There is a strong possibility you will be distracted by the insanely low prices but stick to your guns! You don’t need anything less than show stopping in your closet.

#4 CREATURE COMFORTS

Athletic wear is en vogue so step into your kicks and shop in comfort. You need to be in the proper attire to stand, walk and bend without restraint. Make sure you eat your Wheaties; it is after all the breakfast of champions.

#5 KNOW WHEN TO SHOP

Some thrift stores offer even more discounts on their merchandise certain days of the week. Don’t be shy, call ahead and inquire about special discount days! Get more bang for the buck.

#6 SEARCH HIGH AND LOW!

A lot of times shoes hide atop racks and purses are tucked away in alcoves. All it might require to score a new broach is a bit of elbow grease. Call it your barre class for the day, plié for those purses!

#7 TRY IT ON!

Take a few extra minutes to find the fitting room and make sure your finds have fantastic fit. If the piece is not perfect but can be made right with a bit of tailoring then go for it! If you are one of those people who swears to have items altered just to have it end up as closet décor, see #3!

Image from cute-wallpaper.com

HAPPY SHOPPING!

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Rouge Lips

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Images from funmiogunja.com, luxuo.com and elle.com

Finding the best shade of red for your skin tone may take some trial and error but it is oh so worth it. Experiment with intensity and texture; try matte, gloss or even a subtle tinted balm until you find the rouge for you.

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