Search Results for: label/IN PINK Jewelry

Pink and Gold

Top: eloquii c/o Gwynnie Bee | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Born “Myndy” | Bracelet: c/o IN PINK | Necklace: Belonged to my mom | Earrings: Argento Vivo

The problem with taking quick pictures before work is there’s no time to check proofs, no full length mirror for adjustments, just shoot, take the memory card, and go. The belt was supposed to be hidden. While this blouse is gorgeous, it’s a bit too long for me. I decided to use a belt to blouse it, and I knew the belt was hidden from view. However after hugging a child and a dog, putting things in my car, dashing back to the house to get my forgotten iPhone, the shirt shifted and the belt was in view and Karl didn’t know it was to be styled in any other manner. Oh well, you can get the idea!

I ordered this top from Gwynnie Bee thinking I could wear it to Forecastle with distressed denim shorts per this post.  It really is a perfect summer blouse – it looks dressy but it’s that crepey fabric that doesn’t cling, and it has an exposed zipper in back that really dresses it up.  While I paired it with white jeans, this would also look lovely with ivory or brown trousers or traditional indigo denim.  I know I wear a lot of dresses from Gwynnie Bee, but as you see they have all sorts of clothing to rent.  Click this link and get a free 30-day trial to check out the program for yourself!

I’ll be heading to NYC this week with Sally from Already Pretty to work on a really cool project for Foxcroft (I’ll be sure to share it here on the blog when it’s ready!) but I’d love to meet some of you if you’re in town. We’ll be at the Pig N’ Whistle on 36th at 8:00pm on Wednesday, July 24th and we’d love to hang with you!

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Pink Pops

Dress: Coldwater Creek c/o Gwynnie Bee | Belt: Hobo (similar) | Shoes: Mootsies Tootsies | Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick

Stretchy yet matte fabric that can easily dress up or down, looks good with wide or skinny belts, a good length even on my 5’3″ self, fun print, and POCKETS? This dress is pretty darn fantastic! On this day, it was hot, it was rainy, I was running late because I was making Emerson’s lunch for summer camp and I was thrilled to have one-piece dressing in my closet thanks to Gwynnie Bee. Summer is dress weather in my opinion – fewer layers, less fuss, and it’s awesome to have a constantly rotating selection because I have a Gwynnie Bee membership. I could keep this dress as long as I wish, or send it back for a different one. This dress is nice because I could easily wear it out on a date night with Karl, or if my off-white blazer was back from the cleaners I could pair it with that and have a pretty nice work ensemble. This day it was hot and muggy so I wore it as-is, though ended up throwing on the work cardigan since the A/C was kicked up an extra notch.

If you haven’t yet tried Gwynnie Bee and are a size 10 or larger, I encourage you to do so. It’s not easy finding fab fashion in our size, and Gwynnie Bee scours the earth for the cutest styles that flatter larger figures. It’s like Netflix for fashion – keep as long as you like or send back for a new option. Right now, mention Wardrobe Oxygen or use this link and get a 30 day trial of Gwynnie Bee for free. Do note I receive a commission on each person who signs up longer than the trial and mentions me, but I constantly promote Gwynnie Bee because I believe in it and am glad to support companies who support women who are cusp or plus size.

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That Pink Sweater!

My lipgloss was downstairs, so you see me with nude lip. Very 60’s, eh?

Date Day with Sister. We went to a museum exhibit, and then a semi-chi-chi restaurant for dinner in the city. Needed to look nice, yet comfortable for mucho city walking.

My pink merino v-neck from J. Crew. Black trousers from Ann Taylor with a nice crease down the front. My Liberty scarf that Sister bought me when in London. And my shoes?

Well, Dilly owns hiking shoes, trail running shoes, trendy sneaks. She owns stiletto boots, pumps, strappy heeled sandals. Yet for a bitter cold day in the city, she owns NOTHING to don her feet. There was a pair of black loafers with an uber comfy sole, but they went the way of the garbage when they got too scuffed and too stinky to mend.

So I wore my teal suede wedges. They didn’t go with the outfit, but boy are those shoes comfy! Call me eclectic, consider me starting a new trend… I just know that me feet felt fabu all day!

Thursday – Hot Pink and Black

DressOld Navy
Belt – Another Line (similar)
Bag - HOBO The Original (similar)
Booties – Miss Sixty (similar)
Bracelets - Nordstrom (these and these), Ann Taylor, Lauren by Ralph Lauren
SunglassesMARC Marc Jacobs

I saw this dress on Petite Early Morning Style and decided I had to have it.  Great color, great fabric, it looked versatile, and it has pockets!  The dress arrived… and I was underwhelmed.  While the fabric is very pretty and yes, there are pockets, the rest seemed off.  The placket is too bulky for the fabric, buttons weirdly spaced, and the elasticized waist even on the regular sized dress just seems way too high/short-waisted.  I decided to return it.

And then I forgot to return it.  Yesterday I grabbed it out of the back of my car to take to Old Navy and realized it had been over two months and Old Navy only gives you 45 days.  So I decided to try it.  I chose this belt because it hides the fact that this dress has almost an empire waist.  I don’t know if you will see me in this dress again… we shall see…

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Tuesday – Pink and Red

Dress – Calvin Klein via Marshalls (similar)
Belt - HOBO the Original (similar)
ShoesMossimo for Target
Coat - LOFT via eBay (similar)
Bag - HOBO the Original (similar)

Okay, so when I went to Marshalls this weekend for pillows I picked up a pair of shoes… and also this dress. It was on the clearance rack, it was missing its belt (no loss, usually the standard-issue belts suck anyway) and had a few stray threads and was $30 (original department store tag said this dress sold for $118). Calvin Klein dresses always fit me great, so I bought it without even trying it on, figuring that if it didn’t fit I could return it. I think it’s a fun dress that can dress up or down (imagine it with a sparkly belt for an evening affair), and the crepe fabric makes it work year round.

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Monday – Pop of Pink

Shirt -Foxcroft
Jeans – JAG (similar)
Heels – Nine West (similar)
Coat - LOFT (similar)
Sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bag – Banana Republic (similar)
Necklace – Ann Taylor (similar)

I am always on the search for a white button-front shirt that isn’t transparent, fits at the bust and the shoulders, and doesn’t cost 50 kazillion dollars. When I saw this shirt from Foxcroft on sale for less than $30 at Nordstrom I grabbed it, and glad I did. The front is a tad unexpected – little tucks along the placket which keeps it from looking like a uniform shirt. Wrinkle-resistant too!  Was a perfect choice this morning when I was short on time and wanted a very simple low-fuss look.  Looking forward to pairing it with pencil skirts in the coming weeks!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty fantastic. Friday night was pretty low-key – my husband had plans with friends so I hung out at home watching AbFab; Saturday got some errands and home chores done, indulged in a pedi (Essie Ole Caliente will be my signature color this spring – gorgeous!), and had friends over for dinner.

Sunday went on a long walk around town with the family, checking out all that has sprung with this mega-early spring; last night met with two fellow bloggers for some bubbly and girl time.

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That Darn Pink Sweater Again

So I washed my delicates last night. Two loads in Woolite, and hangers in every doorway of the upstairs. Bras in mesh bags, pants inside out, full load water, half load clothing. I have this routine down pat. I despise the dry cleaners – the price, the smell, the wait. I wash things I probably shouldn’t. Pretty much the only things I get dry cleaned are suits, dresses and thingies with crazy embellishments. Oh, and coats and leather. Gosh, I wash my nice trousers that say “Dry Clean” on the tag. They usually turn out quite nicely! Have only ruined one item from Woolite.

Anyway, I go to get dressed this morning. Really want to wear my new chocolate wool/cashmere cuffed trousers from Ann Taylor because the fit is divine, they make my butt look fabu, and they still have the tags on. I know I am not the only one who gets an adreneline rush from yanking the tags off a new piece of clothing!

So I have on the lovely trousers, my hair is freshly cut and styled nicely. Makeup is done, and I am topless. Damn, what am I going to wear? My stupid tissue weight cotton sweater from J. Crew that I recently bought got stretched out and misshapen from air drying, so I washed and dryed it halfway and now it fits the pre-teen next door. everything seems so summery and I can see my breath outside. Can’t really wear a summer top with cashmere/wool trousers. Ooh, my plum sweater would be nice BUT IT’S WET!!!!! MY WHOLE WARDROBE IS HANGING IN THE DOORWAY SOPPING WET!!!!

Why do I care? I work with techies where they wear computer logoed golf shirts and faded too-short chinos. It doesn’t matter to them.

But it matters to me. And I cannot disrespect my lovely new pants with an inappropriate top.

Pink and brown look nice together…. and I could wear my brown bead necklace and my brown croco pumps… ooh and that new pink lipstick I picked up would be so pretty….

But I wore the sweater Saturday. I wore it to work last week. I even threw it on yesterday for the quick jaunt to the hairdressers.

Slap it in the dryer with Dryel to freshen it. It will be just fine…..

But isn’t that… ghetto? Wearing a sweater four times in seven days? I will look like a freak, a bag lady, a fashion misfit! I can’t I can’t I CAN’T!!!!!

But I do.

And I look pretty cute, I must say. A lady in HR walks by and compliments me on my outfit. Hey you never know, I just may own two candy pink merino v-necks, right?

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

Allison Dayton Jewelry Design – Review and Giveaway!

Allison Dayton Jewelry Design is a handmade colorful nature-inspired line that was created for jewelry lovers from newborn to adult. Each piece is carefully designed and hand made to bring together the beauty of natural elements in new exciting ways.  Allison Dayton makes pieces specific for weddings, babies, kids, and for women of all ages, and most of it is under $100.  

I had a hard time choosing which piece from the line I wanted to review. I made a list of contenders, considering the upcoming warmer months and my spring wardrobe. I was sent the 64” of Turquoise necklace to review and boy was I impressed! This isn’t a cheapy necklace – it weighs a lot because it is made from real turquoise – gorgeous pieces in natural shapes – a real variety. Well fashioned from a durable string and silver clasp. This necklace can be looped three times at the throat and look great peeking out of the collar of a crisp white shirt, doubled and worn to dress up a simple fitted tee, or worn long with a shift dress. I always have loved turquoise and think it’s a great way to add a bit of summer to basic neutral pieces in ones wardrobe.

Well, now one of you fantastic readers will get the chance to win yourself this very same turquoise necklace from Allison Dayton, which retails for $198!

How to Enter the Giveaway:
- Leave a comment on this post. Let me know how you would wear this necklace if you won it. Would you sport it looped or long? What would you wear it with, and where would you go wearing it?

Additional Entries for this Giveaway:
- Become a public follower of My Wardrobe Today via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment letting me know this
- Visit the Allison Dayton Jewelry Web site and come back and leave an additional comment letting me know another piece from the line that you love
- Add me to your blogroll and come back and comment with the link to your blog

Please be sure that either your Blogger profile or your comment has your email address. If there is no email address available, another winner will be drawn. If you do not feel comfortable posting your email address, please state this and immediately send me an email with your email address.  Winner will be chosen via random.org and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize (by responding to my email with their name and address) or another winner will be chosen. Entries will be accepted until April 29th at 11:59pm ET. Winner to be chosen April 30th, 2010. Sorry international readers, this contest is only open to those living in the United States. I will hope to have another contest soon that will include all readers.

Do know, I wasn’t paid to do this review, and I really do think this necklace is fab – no one is telling me to say that, and all opinions are strictly my own! :-)

Good luck!!

Friday – Pink Denim and Leopard Heels

Blazer - Limited (similar)
Tank - Caslon (similar)
Jeans - NYDJ
ShoesTarget
Silver pendant (similar)
Silver cuff (similar)
Bag – HOBO (similar)

Some popular trends I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Either they aren’t my personal style or I know they will be a flash in the pan. I started off not liking the colored denim trend – I did it back in the ’80s and don’t think I should repeat it. However as the trend has developed, I think it has become more wearable, not as much an alternative to regular denim but an alternative to chinos and casual trousers. I first went with brick red, but then seeing these pink beauts I had to add them to my wardrobe!

So what are your weekend plans?  Right now I don’t have any which makes me so happy.  I just want to be able to relax, get some things done around the house and chill with my family.  Maybe see friends on Sunday but love the fact that there are no major responsibilities!

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What I Wore and a Giveaway – Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Halogen (similar) | Necklace: c/o Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Bag: Brahmin (similar)

Accessories can transform the most basic wardrobe staples and make pieces a cohesive outfit. I just received this necklace from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design and while it is BEGGING to be styled with an LBD for the holidays or worn with a beautiful silk blouse, I thought it could really make a statement with a simple white shirt and dark jeans. I haven’t carried my Brahmin bag in a while, and I thought the bright blue really made the emerald necklace pop!

Giveaway:

If you like this necklace and the other beautiful pieces I have featured from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design, well today’s your lucky day! One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $100 store credit to Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design!

Ruth Barzel makes all her unique pieces in the United States and is a local-yokel to me.  Not only that, she’s an awesome human being!  While I love the Emerald Quartz Nugget Statement Necklace I’m wearing here, I also love wearing her Blue Quartz Pendant Necklace and wear her Mixed Metal Chain Bracelet on a weekly basis. Ruth has offered all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off her entire store, just use code OXYGEN20.  This discount will be in effect until the end of November, 2013.

How to Enter:
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This contest is open to both US and international readers. Contest ends November 30, 2013 at midnight ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
As a reminder, if you can’t wait for the giveaway to end and want to get yourself some jewelry from Ruth Barzel, use the code OXYGEN20 at checkout for 20% off your order!

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My Jewelry Armoire – More Than You Ever Wanted to Know…

I mentioned recently I would go into detail about my accessory collection…

As you guys can tell, I LOVE jewelry. I am not one to covet diamonds and semi-precious gems; I am the kind of girl that likes things modern, big and bold. I inherited this from my mom who has an amazing collection of mainly silver jewelry; she inherited much from my Great Aunt who was a jewelry designer specializing in big bold silver pieces.

I learned from my mom that if you properly care for and protect your accessories, they will last a lifetime. She still wears pieces from her school days, gifts from old beaus, pieces she even made with my Great Aunt before she passed. In her collection are pieces that originally belonged to my grandmother, Great Aunt and other relatives. I love how jewelry can tell a story – a trip overseas, a celebration of a lifetime achievement, a memory of a past relationship, a hot trend in fashion that is now seen as quirky vintage.

When I was younger, I was not good with my accessories. I would forget I had a necklace over my turtleneck, pull off my sweater and break the chain in the process. Jewelry would be thrown all over the house and I would eventually lose or break and earring or ring in the process. I would forget which sorority sister I loaned a piece to and never see it again. Let’s not even bring up the hundreds of dollars with of chunky silver rings I have lost when I worked retail – my hands would swell from too much caffeine and the dryness of cardboard shipment boxes and clothing fibers; I would take the ring off for JUST A SECOND and never see it again.

In the past several years I have made a concerted effort to purchase only that which I could see with multiple outfits, over multiple seasons and fit my true personality, not a trend I was trying to achieve.

I had several solutions for my accessories – various jewelry boxes that I would outgrow in a couple of months, fabric-covered storage boxes on closet shelves, a coat rack with hooks for necklaces, even velvet bags in one half of my sock drawer.

Not until last year did I have the perfect solution for my ever-growing collection – an armoire dedicated just to accessories.

My husband got me this piece for my birthday one year; he purchased it at Target though I know they sell similar pieces at Bombay Company, QVC and various furniture retailers. This one had plenty of storage space and fit the look of our bedroom. It is black stained wood, and I believe it was a little over $100.

The top part of the armoire opens to have a mirror (that I never use) and a few velvet-lined compartments for small pieces. Up here I keep all my delicate things – nice necklaces, post earrings, brooches, delicate pendants and bracelets, and even my wedding tiara. :)

The next two drawers also have little compartments. The first one has smaller compartments so it became my earring drawer. Hoops are in the center because they are worn the most; rest are sectioned off usually by color or style. I do have one compartment for single earrings in hopes I find the match or am invited to a Cyndi Lauper lookalike party…

The second drawer holds all my bracelets and my lone watch (that I never wear). Again, that which is worn the most takes front real estate, and I organize by color and style. This may seem anal, but it makes it super easy to put away stuff in the dark and dress in a rush.

The next three drawers are of the same size and without compartments. As you see, I also sort of organize them by category – the first drawer are pearls, second one are colored stones, third one holds bead and more organic of pieces. Necklaces in these drawers are sturdy and not likely to tangle. Again, having them categorized makes it super easy to find an appropriate piece when dressing in a dash (no point in opening the pearl drawer if I am wearing my olive linen shift…).

This drawer is next – it holds all my hair accessories. Elastics, bobby pins, headbands, and yes that is a neon orange polka-dotted scrunchie in the corner (hey I did wear it to see an 80s cover band…). I adore having this drawer because it’s so easy to find random clips and elastics and just have a place to toss them. My husband also knows where it is and will toss them in there when he finds them on the floor or on the back of the toilet. Since having this drawer I have not had to go out and purchase a single hair accessory – in fact I seem to have more than ever since there is a home for them when they are randomly found around the house and car.

The last two drawers are far larger and hold those bigger accessories that never seem to have a good home – belts and glasses.

I don’t wear belts very often, and having them in my tiny closet was a pain and they were either super hidden deep in the back or in the way up front. I have taken the belts I occasionally wear and gently curled them into this drawer; those belts that are out of style or I don’t wear a also gently curled and stored in a canvas box on a very high shelf in my closet. I don’t really believe in getting rid of an accessory unless it is broken or in bad shape; you never know what will come back in fashion or even work for a Halloween costume. Accessories take up so little space, it doesn’t hurt to hold on to them for a while.

The bottom drawer holds glasses and sunglasses and extra cases. And no, I don’t wear my Bootsy Collins shades on a regular basis! :)

The armoire has two side doors that stay closed with magnets.

The door on the right of the armoire (first picture) is easily accessible and holds all of my necklaces that easily tangle. Again, they are hanging in categories – gold, silver, pendants, beads. The bottom rung of hooks holds shorter necklaces that aren’t worn as regularly.

The door on the left (second picture) is not easy to get to since that side of the armoire is flush with my bureau. Because of that, it holds my out of season/out of style/least favorite necklaces. I do open it up every couple of months to see if there is anything I may want to put into rotation, and place in there that which I have tired of.

The armoire is between my bureau and my closet so it is easy to reach, and easy to toss items back in it at the end of the night. Having it organized means my husband helps too – if I leave my earrings downstairs from falling asleep on the couch, he can bring them up with him next trip and know where they are to go. I don’t lose pieces and I don’t break pieces and it has been years since the vaccuum or my dog has consumed an earring back.

It’s funny, growing up I was a SLOB; my room is still never perfectly tiday and I am the queen of piles, yet I have become a bit obsessive with my clothes and accessories. When you are on a budget, it doesn’t make sense to be cavalier with what you purchase. If you properly care for quality clothing and accessories, they will return the favor with many many years of great wear!

A Bra Fitting with Soma Intimates and a Giveaway

Soma contacted me and asked if I’d like to come to their boutique at the Westfield Montgomery Mall and get a bra fitting and try their Enhancing Shape Bra. I heard about this bra through InStyle, who considers it to be the solution for “ski slope” (the gap at the top of bra cups). I’ve always been a busty woman, but after years of breastfeeding, age, gravity, weight loss and gain, I’ve lost some of my breast volume and was interested in a bra that would address this issue and improve the allover shape of my bust.

Soma Intimates Bra Fitting

In 27 sizes from cups A-DDD there’s a Soma Enhancing Shape Bra for many women; the padded comfort straps and cushioned hook and eye closure ensures the bra is comfortable all day, while the smooth style makes it invisible under fitted knits. In eight solids and four prints this bra is anything but boring.

Wardrobe Oxygen Soma IntimatesSoma Intimates Enhancing Shape Bra

Visiting Soma Intimates was a pleasure; though it was a busy Sunday afternoon, the boutique was well staffed so each of us customers received quality assistance and an unrushed experience in the fitting room. I was partnered with Karien, who took me to a spacious fitting room to determine my bra size. She had me remove my shirt but I kept on my bra as she used a tape measure to size me. Karien then went out to the sales floor and brought back bras in the size she determined and one a cup smaller since the Enhancing Shape Bra does occasionally run big for some. We found that a 38D fit me best, and as you can see from my fitting room selfie above, the bra was pretty much invisible under Soma’s Smoothing Seamless Cami. The bra did give a look of fullness to my bustline without making it look bigger (and without the dreaded “quad boob”), and the bra is super comfortable. No digging in the back, I can’t feel any of the hardware, and I wore the bra all day and there wasn’t any discomfort under the arms or in the shoulders. I was tempted to get the Light Nude which was very close to my skintone and would make for a perfect tee shirt bra, but sweater weather is here and I decided to indulge in the black and white Indulgent Lace pattern which is so beautiful and can be worn under thicker fall and winter clothing without showing. It’s fun to have pretty bras that are also useful!

Soma Intimates Westfield Montgomery Mall Maryland

Karien (pictured above, I had to get a photo with her after such a pleasant bra shopping experience!) was so knowledgeable about bras in general, proper fitting, and of course knew the Soma collection inside and out. I loved how all the employees I interacted with were so friendly and professional, knowledgeable but not pushy. They told me about their Get Gorgeous Parties where you and at least three of your friends can schedule an event at your local Soma boutique to get fitted, all of you receive 15% off your purchases (or you can choose to donate that 15% to your favorite charity), and you receive a free bra for hosting. I also signed up for Love Soma Rewards, a free program where you earn points towards cash rewards, birthday gifts, exclusive offers, and free shipping when you shop online. After my experience at Soma, I know I’ll end up a regular customer!

Giveaway

If Soma sounds great to you, then today’s your lucky day! One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will receive a $60 gift certificate to Soma to use on their own Enhancing Shape Bra or any other merchandise from the brand. To enter, leave a comment letting me know what color of the Enhancing Shape Bra you’d choose if you won. Giveaway ends November 2, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. Winner will be chosen by random and must have a valid email address (in comment, signed in as guest in Disqus, or in Disqus profile). Winner will be contacted by email; if winner does not reply to notification email within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Winner may use gift certificate online or in Soma Intimates boutiques.

To learn more about Soma, click here to find your local boutique, click here to get their catalog, or visit them on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you live in the Maryland/DC area, I highly recommend you visit the Soma Intimates location at Westfield Montgomery Mall!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Soma via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Soma. The opinions and text are all mine.

Guest Post: Four Ways to Look Better in Photos Instantly

Guest post by Insana Collins

As a portrait photographer, it’s my job to make sure that the people I photograph look their very best. This means that every photo session becomes a mini lesson in taking better photos, and I encourage my customers to remember them for every photo they take in the future. Here are four ways that you can be better prepared for your next photo session.

1. Relax

Some people start off with the, “Do I look alright?” face, with body language to match. Sure, I’m over exaggerating by shrugging my shoulders in the photo below, but the point is: the camera can see how nervous you are about getting your picture taken. But if you relax as if you’re just talking to an old friend, your photos will look that much better. So how do you relax? Draw in a deep breath, and as you slowly let it out, your shoulders will drop. And bonus: your face will appear less tense.

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2. Smile

Sounds obvious, right? Well, for starters, this is a tip mostly for men. Let us see those pearly whites! Check me out below: I’m in exactly the same good mood in both photos, but in the first image, you’d never be able to tell. I look like someone ate my sandwich. In the second image, I look like I got it back.

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3. Turtle

Every person I’ve ever photographed is now familiar with this term and they remember exactly what to do in subsequent shoots when I holler, “Turtle!!” All it means is to push your face forward, like a turtle might. It increases the space between your jaw and your neck, which reduces chin fat and makes everyone on the planet appear thinner. Some people have naturally awesome jawlines (ie. models) but for the rest of us, we must remember to turtle. Push your face forward, then move your chin down, just a tad.

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4. Angle your Body

This tip is for anyone who wants to look thinner in photos. When your photo is taken, your first instinct is to stand square towards the camera. But if you angle your body at 45 degrees, and turn your face back towards the camera, your waistline will appear thinner. Check out the images below. It may be subtle, but depending on the outfit, the lighting, patterns in your clothes, etc., it can make all the difference.

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Guess what? Posting these tips has already got me thinking about Four More Ways to Look Better in Photos, so stayed tuned! If these tips have truly helped you look better in your photos, comment below, or send an email to insana@insanacollins.com.

Insana Collins is an award-winning photographer and has been working as a photographer and writer in the DC area since 1999. She studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and her specialties include portraits, weddings and events, and commercial photography. Clients include radio and TV personalities, realtors, business owners, musicians, newlywed couples, moms, dads, and children. She also mentors amateur photographers and teaches photography skills to local Boy Scouts.

Learn more about Insana Collins and see more of her work at www.insanacollins.com or on the blog at www.insanacollins.com/blog.

#Blog4Good: Suppporting Goodwill Come Rain or Come Shine

A while ago, to maintain balance (and my sanity), I decided to stop attending blogger events unless they were really worth it.

An event for Goodwill is always worth it.

Why Goodwill? Because this January, the unemployment rate in the District of Columbia was at 8.1% compared to 5.5% just six years ago; the unemployment rate in DC’s Ward 8 is 18.9% and is one of the highest in the country. The people Goodwill serves want to work, but lack the skills, education, resources or opportunity. A purchase from Goodwill can offer the resources to get these people back to work.

Last week I sloshed my way through a torrential rainstorm to the Pepco Edison Place Gallery for the VIP Launch Party of #Edited4Goodwill, a spring Trunk Show featuring some of the very best fashion from local Goodwill locations. Racks and racks of curated fashion for men and women, bags, and shoes galore.

Shocker, I’m checking out the shoe selection!

I eyed an amazing embroidered silk caftan but knew I was too short to even consider it; my friend Alison tried it on and even Catherine Meloy, President and CEO of Goodwill Greater Washington and Debbie Jarvis, Vice President Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility of Pepco told her she HAD to get it, it was so perfect (see on my Instagram). My friend Deb went home with adorable pink studded Sam Edelman flats and I was thisclose to buying a buttery soft black leather jacket but held off knowing it’s not the right time of year for such a piece. I saw brands like Victor Costa, Cynthia Rowley, and Ralph Lauren, and amazing vintage one of a kind pieces like the caftan Alison got, as well as an adorable navy summer dress.

Check out her fab pink heels – Goodwill score!

A clear example of how a purchase from Goodwill was shared at this event. A representative from Goodwill Young Professionals Council stated that the adorable pumps she wore were purchased from Goodwill for just $20; that one shoe purchase can provide an hour of one-on-one resume building (and by the way, those shoes mentioned were a still in stock style from J. Crew!).

A view of the crowd socializing and scoring great fashion.
Perusing the racks with Alison and Deb holding the leather jacket I almost purchased

It was fun to connect with other fashionistas and fashionistos who know that you can have great style and make a difference at the same time. I will always make time for Goodwill, come rain or shine because Goodwill is a way to look good and do good at the same time.

May 4th through May 10th marks Goodwill Industries Week, an annual celebration of Goodwill’s mission to provide free job training and employment services to people with disabilities and disadvantages. In support of Goodwill Industries Week, I am participating in #Blog4Good – a social media campaign designed to help put the most vulnerable members of our community back to work by devoting a blog post this week to explain how Goodwill impacts lives and communities in the Washington, DC area.

We support #blog4good to help end unemployment

Images via the Goodwill of Greater Washington Facebook page .

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What I Wore: Simple Isn’t Easy

mom fashion personal style blog handbag heaven molly review wardrobe oxygen

instyle essentials shirt NYDJ hayden jeans

Shirt: c/o InStyle Essentials | Jeans: NYDJ ‘Hayden’ | Shoes: Vince Camuto ‘Effel’ | Necklace: Tasha | Watch: Citizen | Bangle: Rebecca Minkoff | Stretch Bracelet: Nordstrom | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: ‘Molly‘ c/o Handbag Heaven

Isn’t every woman supposed to have that crisp white shirt and dark pair of jeans in her wardrobe? Aren’t they supposed to be simple, versatile pieces you can throw on in a pinch? Yeah right, how many of us have actually found those things to fit and flatter not only our body but our lifestyles? Yet in the past year I have found both, and it’s pretty darn exciting. InStyle Essentials sent me one of their shirts last year and while it fit… it justfit. I learned that if you’re not just busty but soft and curvy, it’s good to go up a size to make it truly work. This year they sent me another one in the size up and I have been wearing the heck out of it. And as for the jeans, I adore the Hayden style from NYDJ. The petite is too short, the regular too long, so when I saw the Resin color on clearance and Neiman Marcus for $40 each (see don’t judge a department store by its reputation, deals can be found everywhere!), I bought two pairs of regulars and took them to the tailor to be shortened. Having these “simple” wardrobe pieces hasn’t been simple, but very much worth it!

As an aside, this necklace is more awesome than it looks. You may recall I mentioned it was a good buy at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and how I wanted to buy it but was “good” and saved my money. Well a reader I have been emailing with for a while contacted me asking my opinion on some pieces she was considering for the sale including this necklace and she went and bought it for me as a thank you/get well soon gift! Not only is the necklace such an incredibly sweet gesture, but her card with it brought me to tears.

I wrote you a number of years ago because you revolutionized getting dressed for me. You made it expressive and showed me that a curvy woman could be fashionable and classy. I love getting it together to go out, no matter what size I am. Especially having lived in Europe for 9 years, everyone is always dressed up upon stepping out the door. Thanks for helping me give up the sweats and inspiring me on the daily.

Well S, thank YOU for inspiring me to keep blogging and loving it! This necklace, and your whole letter will be items I will treasure. I feel blessed to have connected with you, and with all of you who read Wardrobe Oxygen on a regular basis. THANK YOU!

P.S. I almost called this post I’m My Sister’s Sister because I couldn’t believe I had a picture with one eyebrow up. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did and I look JUST like my sister in that photo!

What I Wore: Pleats Please

Shirt: c/o InStyle Essentials | Belt: Vintage – Belonged to my Mom | Skirt: J. Crew Factory | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff | Shoes: Vince Camuto

I gotta say, style rules be damned, I love me a pleated chiffon maxi skirt.  I’m short, I’m overweight, and I don’t care.  I saw this one at J. Crew Factory and felt it was a perfect replacement for my beloved Ann Taylor maxi skirt, which now has a broken zipper, stretched to twice its original size and hasn’t held up well with time.  This new skirt is a 14, and I didn’t have to have the length altered.  I wore this skirt with the brilliant InStyle Essentials shirt (hello shirts sized by bra size!) for a more work-friendly look, but found it also looked fab with a simple gray Old Navy Vintage v-neck tee (see here on Instagram).  I love how skirts like this can dress up and down with ease and are nice and breezy for the upcoming warmer weather.

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Contest: Tolani Scarf from chickdowntown.com

jessica alba tolani scarfTo celebrate me coming back to work and to blogging, I have a great contest for you readers!

One of you can win a Tolani scarf that has been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba (pictured), Sienna Miller, Vanessa Minnillo (pictured), Halle Berry and Mary-Kate Olsen.

The Tolani scarf is courtesy of chickdowntown.com, an awesome site that sells hip women’s designer clothing from the likes of Black Halo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

I am so excited, because you KNOW I love scarves, and these beauts from Tolani are fabulous!

vanessa minnillo tolani scarfHow to enter:
Send an email to mywardrobetoday@gmail.com with the word “TOLANI” in the subject.
In the body of the email, please provide your name and mailing address (I promise these addresses will only go to me – except for the winner, and will be deleted once the contest is over). Winner will be chosen by random.

Contest ends Friday, March 20th, 2009 at midnight ET. Winner will be contacted by email. Scarf will be mailed out from chickdowntown.com. Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know chickdowntown.com:
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
Twitter (twitter.com/chickdowntown)
YouTube (chickdowntownTV.com or youtube.com/chickdowntowntv)

Good luck!

What I Wore: Winterized

Dress: Issa for Banana Republic | Tights: DKNY | Shoes: Nine West “Lottie” | Bracelets: had forever, c/o Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7014 | Lipstick: NARS “Hyde Park”

I wore this same outfit on the blog before, even down to one of the same bracelets… but last time it was warm enough to run around with bare legs. This dress is a nice heavy weight that doesn’t cling to tights or any of my curves, and is a bit warm. The neck is high enough that I can wear a v-neck cami underneath, and these tights are super thick; paired with a knee-length coat, scarf, hat, and gloves I’m good to go this winter!

And yes… new glasses!  Coastal.com has some deals that are just too good to pass up.  They have a few styles that are free to new customers (look at the top of the site for the promotion), and once you buy from them they send you 50,000 emails, but most have good promotions.  With a $49 Derek Cardigan promotion they were having and a promo code I found on RetailMeNot these ended up being about $20.  And if you go through Ebates, you get 5% cash back on purchases from Coastal.com!

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Saturday

In the morning, I ran to get my hair cut and colored in the nearby town, and then run a few errands. Olive ribbed tank from J. Crew, white ribbed tank from Old Navy, Joe’s Jeans in “Provacateur,” brown stacked flops from J. Crew, silver hoops from The Icing, silver cuff.

Hair was brushed out but on the second day; blew the bangs straight.

Makeup was Body Shop bronzing powder in Light as face color, Max Factor Lash Perfection mascara on curled lashes, Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Afterglow.

Kathleen did her magic – all I told her is that I wanted to go darker and that I wanted heavier bangs. I trust her, and was not disappointed. Choppy layers that can work straight, wavy or curly, fun sideswept bangs, and a very rich multi-tonal color of dark brown that looks closer to what I was born with.

Got home and had to dash to get dressed. Friday night I had a friend over so I didn’t have time to play dress-up and figure out my theater outfit. Thank you soooo much to everyone who wrote in suggestions, you guys are awesome and have good ideas! For the one who suggested my Old Navy dress… I completely forgot about it. I had set to wear my black cashmere tank from Banana Republic and my orange-red shantung full skirt also from Banana (seen here), but when I saw how spiffy and sleek my husband looked (flat front gray tropical wool trousers from J. Crew, white tailored shirt from some brand sold at Mens Wearhouse, black blazer from… J. crew? Not sure…, black slip-on sleek shoes from Ecco) I decided my outfit may look a bit like a costume. I tried a few different skirts, but settled on the black matte jersey dress from Old Navy, my red stone necklace, my leopard peep-toe heels from BCBgirls,silver hoops from The Icing, and silver cuff natch. :-)

Didn’t have to do my hair since it was done by Kathleen my talented stylist. She used the Pureology line on me, and swears by it for protecting color. I bought the shampoo and conditioner and once I can wash my hair (was told to go as long as humanely possible without washing) I will be using it and let you k now how it is.

Same makeup as earlier, just a re-touch of the bronzing powder, a bit of Smashbox Soft Lights in Tint on my cheekbones, a medium line of Maybelline Ultra Liner in black on the top lash line, a quick swipe of Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara in black over existing mascara, Body Shop Lip and Cheek Tint with Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Afterglow over it.

We took the Metro and it was not even a block to the little restaurant (I don’t know if there are even 20 tables in the place). The menu seemed different from the one online and the only entrees that were vegetarian were spaghetti with tomato sauce (yawn) and a risotto with corn and truffle shavings. My husband and I chose the risotto, we shared a bottle of Pinot Grigio (not sure the label, our friend chose the wine) and had a nice, yet not inspiring or overwhelmingly unique meal. We then walked not even three blacks to the Kennedy Center where my friend and I sidestepped grates in our heels (she too wore a black sheath and heels) while the men tromped over everything and got there in time to marvel at the acre-sized curtains in the lobby and get a cocktail in the Terrace Bar prior to the performance.

The performance was great! As I said, I had never seen The Phantom of the Opera other than the movie. Back story – 1992, for Christmas I got my first boom box with a CD player in it, and with it two CDs – Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. For several months until I got my high school arsenal of REM, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam and Nirvana, I listened solely to these two soundtracks. Come 2007, I am silently singing along to this performance and even a tear came down my cheek at finally seeing live what I had in my head 15 years ago. I think also seeing Shakespeare in Love the night prior made the theater experience that more intense.

Our friends live in Virginia and parked at the theater; it was a gorgeous night and declined their offer to drive us to the Metro and decided to hoof it. All in all a lovely evening!

One-armed Style: What I’m Wearing

Man it’s hard to look stylish with only one working arm! The cast is too thick to work with any blouse, shirt, coat, blazer, or many sweaters and knits in my wardrobe. Dresses ride up with the sling or when brushing against the cast. I can’t button jeans or pants that are fitted, can’t maneuver a belt or sash or shoe laces, and can’t tuck or blouse a top without looking as though I got caught in a tornado. Yeah, all of these things are standards in my wardrobe.

After a couple of weeks of just trying to function and heal, I began to care about my looks. Here’s what worked:

Bottoms: I bought NYDJ ponte pants and the NYDJ Hayden straight jeans in petite (to work with flat shoes) and a size larger than I need (extra fabric to be able to zip and button closed on my own). I also have worn my Spanx Star Power leggings quite often; pants with built-in slimming features help me look a bit more pulled together (literally and figuratively).

Tops: Boatnecks with elbow-length sleeves have been perfection; the longer sleeve covers the top of the cast, keeping it from riding up into my armpit or having the entire shirt twist. Lightweight v-neck tees have also been great and regularly worn as a base layer. A simple black ribbed tank is a lifesaver, especially when shirts shift and ride up and necklines get stretched. I have two sweaters – a slouchy black merino and a slouchy marled gray tunic that fit over the cast; both are oversized so they work with leggings and jeggings and also fit over base layers.

Dresses: 99% of my dresses are unwearable, but I do have a bracelet-sleeve stretchy black and white dress from Ann Taylor (seen here) that fits over the cast. It is fully lined which helps prevent riding and shifting. I wear it with leggings and tall boots or flats.  Not pictured but terribly awesome has been a brightly-printed caftan I thrifted; one-piece dressing and far more cheery than faded stretched out sweats!

Outerwear: It’s darn cold outside, too cold to throw a coat over my shoulders. My mom made a thick wool cape back in the late ‘60s and loaned it to me during this time. I also have a black packable down vest that I wear over tees inside or under the cape for extra warmth.

Shoes: Shoes should to be flat for security and balance, have decent grip, easy to slip on but unlikely to slip off. I’ve been wearing tall boots with dresses, jeans, leggings, and jeggings, but recently got these stretchy Mary Janes that aren’t subtle and don’t really match, but will work this spring and summer after the cast is removed.

Accessories: A pashmina is excellent as a wrap to ward off chill, especially since I can’t fit a lot of sweaters. I then loop it around my neck to make my winter scarf. A beanie traps body heat… and also hides bad hair days. There’s no way I can lug around my heavy day purse; I switched to my Rebecca Minkoff purse which is light and is a crossbody. Finally I recommend a bold lipcolor which makes all the cozy knits look cohesive and shows you’re stepping up your style!

One of my favorite accessories are my two CastCoverZ, they hide the grody cast and show my personality.  Also great for sleeping since a cast can be scratchy.   Get two so one can be in the wash; I got leopard and a sparkly gold but sort of wish I also got something more subtle to blend in when I’m wearing a print or don’t want strangers to ask about my injury.

Tips:

  • A molded cup bra is easier to get on by yourself.  For the first couple of weeks  I had Karl help me with my bra, but I hate feeling helpless so I figured out how to do it myself.  Using a piece of furniture about hip height to hold one side against your body, wrap the bra below your breasts, hook in front.  The furniture holds that side in place, and then use your good hand to do the hooks (you’ll get better with practice).  Then rotate, pull up the straps and wiggle breasts into place.
  • Necklaces are a pain in the neck… literally.  With a sling, necklaces get tangled and dig into your skin.  Scarves are a great alternative to add interest and not sacrifice comfort (or a delicate chain).
  • Go up a size.  Be it a dress, top, pants or underwear, extra fabric means more give over a cast, less riding up, and easier to put on and take off with your non-dominant hand.
  • Consider a caftan.  A couple weeks before my accident I bought one but never wore it.  Then I broke my arm and wore it all the time.  It’s easy to pull on and off alone, you can get away with going bra-free, it’s easy to slip up when you use the bathroom, and doesn’t stick to the cast.  It was the BEST right after the surgery when I spent most of my time on the couch.  There’s plenty on eBay and at thrift stores; choose a heartier fabric like polyester or cotton so it doesn’t cling, won’t snag on the cast, and can be tossed in the washer and dryer.  Go shorter than you think (calf to ankle bone, not a true maxi), you don’t want to trip or have it tangle around your ankles. 
  • With this, a kimono-style robe is also nice to have.  The only robe that fits me now is a shortie, I was super temped to cut the sleeve off my terry robe so I’d have SOMETHING since I can’t even wear a cardigan or sweater coat.  Someone wants to buy you a get well soon gift or want to give one to someone who broke their arm?  Simple jersey calf-length robe with wide kimono sleeves will make their month!
  • If you have long hair and want to tie it back, I got this tip from my neighbor who broke her wrist shoveling snow this summer… take and old-fashioned scrunchie and loop it around your hair.  Then stick a pencil in the middle and twist around and poke into the new knot to keep it in place.  Not terribly elegant but times like this you gotta do what you gotta do!

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