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#SavedBySkimmies: Jockey® Skimmies® Slipshort Review and Giveaway

A couple weekends ago, I attended an outdoor wedding. Our friends’ Big Day was hot – extremely hot, and extremely humid. There was also a chance of rain. Not only was I an invited guest, but Karl was the hired photographer and I was to assist him in organizing guests for posed photos. Emerson was also invited, so I would also be chasing after her. I knew I had to dress in a way that would keep me comfortable, mobile, yet festive. I chose a floral print silk maxi dress and flat sandals but knew my underpinnings would be just as crucial. The Friction Affliction, we’ve all been there. That bow-legged stride that aims to keep a dreaded thigh fire from ruining your day. Heat and humidity, sweat and running around plus curvy girl chub rub can quickly make a gal miserable. There was no way I was going to experience Friction Affliction at this wedding. And the Shake Down. You know when you wear a silk dress and it rubbing against your undergarments causes static cling? I had no time for the one part wiggle, two parts tug dance on this day. Thank goodness for Jockey Skimmies®. I’ve written about them before, I think they’re pretty darn fantastic and they literally saved my skin all last summer. So when Jockey reached out and asked if I’d like to try another pair this year and share how I was #SavedBySkimmies it wasn’t hard to say yes. And for this wedding, I wore my new Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts.

PicMonkey Collage

Some Instagram photos of the wedding: the hazy humid ceremony, me dancing between the ceremony and reception, with my sweaty daughter during the ceremony, my daughter and I taking a silly and very sweaty and rain-soaked selfie after the reception

No Friction Affliction, my thighs were happy campers all day and night, through humidity that felt like pea soup, sweat that rolled down my back and legs for hours, a torrential downpour I got caught in on two separate occasions, and all the dashes I did to help Karl, tend to Emerson, and enjoy the event. As for The Shake Down? The only shaking I did that day was my booty as I danced to live music from afternoon until dark. Jockey Skimmies aren’t control garments so there’s no muffin top, no gas pains from being squished for hours, no tell-tale thigh dents, and the shorts don’t roll or sag or ride. Honestly, with the combination of the dress and my Jockey Skimmies I didn’t have to think about what I was wearing all day. And honestly, if I didn’t receive these Skimmies from Jockey the week before the wedding, I would have worn another pair of them because I know they’re the best to wear for such a situation. Learn more about Jockey Skimmies by visiting or visit Jockey on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Do Jockey Skimmies® sound awesome to you? Are you ready to be #SavedBySkimmies this summer? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader is going to be Saved by Skimmies thanks to Jockey!


How would you like to be Saved By Skimmies? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Entry Instructions: 

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 6/10/2015 – 7/31/2015

Be sure to visit Jockey’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Jockey Skimmies Slipshort – An Unbiased Review

Jockey Skimmies Slipshort Review

I’m a gal who deals with chub rub (chafing between the thighs especially during hot weather); when I saw so many bloggers recently promote the Jockey Skimmies Slipshort I was curious. I receive free product in exchange for reviews on Wardrobe Oxygen and know how hard it is to be unbiased in such a situation.  I decided to buy a pair with my own money so I can be as honest as I like and share with you!

Truthfully, I expected to be disappointed in the Skimmies because I’ve tried the Jockey “Preferred by Rachel Zoe” line before and was not impressed (and had to write a sponsored review hence my desire to try on my terms). But my beloved black Kmart bike shorts from 2007 (have never found a worthy replacement) are getting threadbare and summer is here so I was ready for a replacement to wear under dresses and skirts to prevent chafing.

There are four types of the Jockey Skimmies – regular, anti-static, wicking, and short length. I decided to go with the regular, and because I’m petite, also grabbed a pair of the short length. I purchased both in Light (beige) and both in size Large (Jockey says this is equal to a 10-12 or panty size 6, but reviews online said these slipshorts run large).

Both are made exactly of the same material, and fit pretty much the same except for leg length. On my size 14, 5’3″ frame, the regular ended 2.5” above the top of my knee, the short 6.5” above my knee. As for the fabric, it’s opaque enough in case you have a Marilyn moment you won’t look as though you’re wearing cutoff pantyhose but obviously more lingerie than gym wear.

The Pros:

The fabric is awesome, it is silky enough to have knits slip over it, but doesn’t get gross with sweat and heat. The waistband doesn’t bind at ALL, they feel as though I’m not wearing anything. The legs don’t dig and there aren’t any visible seams; you could wear these under lightweight pants and slim knit dresses without any lines. “Light” is a perfect match to my light to medium skintone. They don’t stretch out at the waist or legs and they don’t make me feel hotter with an extra layer.  The Large is extremely comfortable from top to bottom.  I need to again mention how utterly comfortable these are, you truly feel as though you’re wearing nothing at all.

The Cons:

They claim to have a cotton gusset, but it doesn’t seem like it; it’s same color, nubby, and doesn’t breathe any better than the rest of the slipshort. This means on a hot day with a lot of walking, it can get a bit… swampy down there.

The regular length Skimmies didn’t ride. AT ALL. I wore them for 11 hours straight and they didn’t shift or sag or bunch, they stayed exactly in place, even when I got hot and sweaty, even after walking for 20 minutes straight. However they are so long on me that they can only be worn with midi and maxi skirts.  Even a knee-length skirt is too short if I climb stairs or cross my legs.

The short Skimmies… they ride.  When I stand from my chair I want to tug at them, when I walk a block I want to tug at them. The good thing is that it’s usually only one leg at a time that rides up so I still end up without chub rub, but if you don’t get a chance to tug down that one leg and sit again, both will ride up and they become useless.

Final Verdict:

Close… and closer than anything else I have tried but not perfect. I like them enough that I’m going to try the wicking version in black, and for long days and music festivals will likely wear a pair of cotton underwear under them. However for shorter dresses, I’ll wear my one pair of short Skimmies but I’m still on the hunt for something better.

Have you tried the Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts? Do you have another product you find perfect for battling summer chafing and chub rub?

Chub Rub: How to Fight it and Heal it This Summer

Wardrobe Oxygen: How to prevent and heal chub rub and the best products for the jobGirl, I see your Google searches and I feel your pain… literally. The dreaded chub rub. Thighs rubbing together is bad enough, but add sweat and you can end up with a rash, welts, zits, and more. I’ve tried a ton of products on the market and more fail rather than win. Let’s not focus on the negative, here’s the products I have used and have proven summer after summer to succeed in preventing chub rub.

The Best Products to Battle Chub Rub

Jockey Skimmies

I reviewed Jockey Skimmies in 2014 after I saw a kazillion bloggers write raving reviews that were sponsored by the brand. I had to see for myself, and see if I’d rave even without being paid. After using them, I was also raving. Last summer, Jockey sponsored me to try out Skimmies again and again I raved, but this time with a free pair. I now own four pairs of Jockey Skimmies. I find the Original to be the best; they can be a bit long if you’re petite or wearing a shorter skirt, but I find more success hiking up the Original size than the shorter ones, which roll up on me. These are not control garments, they may look like a pair of Spanx but they don’t suck, smooth, or restrict.  Don’t put these in the dryer, and wash them on gentle with as much care as a frilly pair of panties and they’ll last you for several seasons. As an FYI, I have them in both medium and large and both fit, especially after a few washings. The large looks more seamless under clothing (can’t see the band on the legs or waist). I think these run big, if between sizes go down.


I haven’t tried Undersummers myself, but many have raved that these are as great as Jockey Skimmies, but come in larger sizes. Lauren, a reader of Wardrobe Oxygen shared her review of them with me (thank you Lauren, you rock!)

“I tried the Undersummers. I love them! The sizing of the two pairs I ordered didn’t end up being quite right–a little large in the waist since I sized up for my hips. Since I needed them immediately for travel, I solve it by tucking in a cami or folding the waist over (if I wear them with a skirt). I’m going to order another couple pairs for summer and try going down a size, which I think will solve this and hopefully still be ok for my hips. They’re super comfortable and smooth. The only complaint I have is that because of the seam-in-front design (which means no seams on inner thighs for chafing!), the seam shoes a little in some clingier/jersey dresses. It’s not too much of an issue for me, but I could see that maybe it would be for someone who wore things where that seam would show more on the front of your thighs. Overall, I recommend them.”

Thigh Society

After writing this post, Thigh Society reached out to me and offered to send me two pairs of their anti-chafing panty shorts – the mid rise in beige and the high rise in black.  I have to say they give Jockey Skimmers a run for their money!  Unlike Skimmies, Thigh Society runs from size 6 to 24.  Thigh Society’s shorts aren’t so synthetic feeling which I prefer.  They remind me of high quality athletic leggings.  The waist and leg hems don’t ride or dig, leaving a seamless line under clothing.  These are made to replace underwear and do a great job of wicking moisture so you feel cool and comfortable.  As a 5’3″ woman I find the high rise option to be a bit too high rise and long in the leg for anything other than loose or empire-waist maxi or midi dresses.  The mid rise option is my JAM and have been the most-worn chub rub fighting item in my lingerie drawer this summer!

Bike Shorts

In 2007, my friend Tiffany told me about these amazing bike shorts she found at Kmart.  They weren’t skin tight, they didn’t have rubber bands on the bottom of the legs to keep them in place, and they were cheap as anything.  They were long enough to cover the right parts of my thighs but not so long that they peeked out under short cheap sundresses from Target and Old Navy.  I bought two pairs.  Last year I finally retired one pair that literally fell apart.  I still have one pair and wear them on weekends with sundresses, but they are in a condition that shouldn’t be seen by the public.  I have yet to find a replacement pair, though I have snagged Karl’s Ellen boxers (yes, he’s an Ellen fan, I bought him a pair as a joke and he swears they are the best underwear in the world, better than Under Armor and now has a few pairs) and they are the closest in fit that I have found in all these years.  Shop according to the size guide, not the normal size you or a guy in your life usually buys.


My friend Erin turned me on to these, and I love wearing them under dresses to work on when I need to look more polished and I don’t have to worry as much about sweat dripping down my legs.  They’re a divided slip, so there’s nothing clinging to your legs, and they make you feel all ladylike and fancy.  Considering how hard it is to find even a slip at a department store, don’t expect to head to the Bon Ton or Dillard’s and find pettipants.  I get mine off eBay, where you can find all sorts of sizes, lengths, and styles.


I’m annoyed that Bodyglide has a ‘Her’ formula that they admit is exactly the same product except it has some moisturizers in it and it’s in a pink package. I’m also annoyed that for this bit of hydration and a pink package the product is more expensive (different sized package but per ounce it’s more expensive than the blue). I really wish I could promote an alternative that is gender neutral but I’ve tried alternatives and they’re just not as good. I buy the blue, I’m not going to pay extra for Barbie packaging, but you have the right to buy what you wish. The best thing is the three-packs of the tiny tubs of Bodyglide; I keep one in my purse and one in my beach bag all summer long for those days I wear a dress to the office and then unexpectedly go to outdoors happy hour, or when I’m at the beach and throw on a coverup to walk to lunch.

Other Products to Fight Chub Rub

You name it, I’ve likely tried it and if it’s not on this list it’s because it didn’t work for ME. However, many of you swear by these items:

Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel

I gave this product a good opportunity – Bonnaroo. It didn’t last the walk from my tent to the gates of Centeroo. But over and over Wardrobe Oxygen readers recommend this product in comments, email it to me, Tweet it to me, and in general swear by it. For me, notsomuch. However, it’s a cheap dupe for Smashbox primer, so while it may not keep chub rub at bay, it can help keep your makeup in place this summer!


Bandelettes don’t cover enough real estate for me, and I chub rubbed through the lace. However, many of you over the years have emailed me your praises for this product enough that it deserves a mention.  I know there’s non-lace versions and larger versions, but I’m a Skimmies convert and don’t have the need to try them again.

How to Heal Chub Rub

So your shorts took a hike up your legs while you hiked that forest trail.  Maybe you forgot your Skimmies at home on your weekend getaway.  Possibly one of the above-recommended products just didn’t work for you.  How to heal your chub rub?

  • Clean the area.  Once you get home, wash with a gentle soap.  The skin may be raw, so this isn’t the time for scented body washes and scrubby bath poofs.  I find a washcloth and some Dr. Bronner’s (NOT the peppermint!) gets the job done.  Pat dry.
  • Protect the area.  Got a kid still in diapers?  Have some leftover diaper cream from that point in life?  This is a good use for it.  If not, head to the drugstore and grab some.  It’s made to heal angry skin without irritation, and I found it works better than any “adult” product on the market.  Some use the same Monistat anti-chafing product above for this, but I find a tube of Desitin or tub of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste heals faster.
  • Keep it dry and separated.  This is a perfect excuse to slip on those funky-printed rayon wide-leg pants.  A non-fuzzy fabric (no sweatpants or fleece) that is loose and goes to your knees or lower is perfect while your skin heals.  Even if you’re one to sleep commando or in a pair of briefs, I recommend having some fabric between your thighs until you’re back 100%.

Is there a chub rub solution you swear by that isn’t mentioned in this post? Share it in the comments and help your fellow woman stay chafe-free this summer!

Review and Giveaway: Jockey Preferred by Rachel Zoe Collection

BlogHer recently contacted me and asked if I would like to try out and review a curated line of shapewear and intimates from Jockey that celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe calls “Major Must Haves.” I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes. I respect Rachel Zoe’s business decisions and partnerships, Jockey is known for quality yet budget-friendly intimates, and I believe quality shapewear can transform a woman’s figure and how her wardrobe works with her body.

Each carefully selected piece from this collection features Jockey’s trusted expertise in creating comfy yet stylish solution-based lingerie combined with Rachel Zoe’s well-known style and sophistication. This new collection from Jockey is supposed to mirror Rachel Zoe’s fashion aesthetic and is made to make the most of your curves and what is in your closet. I received the High Back Scoop Neck Tank, the Slip Shaper, the Tummy Short, the Modern Modal Thong and Bikini, and the Modern Nylon with Lace Boyshort.

When the box arrived I was immediately impressed. The fabric was high quality and rivaled shapewear I own from pricier department store brands. The shapewear has a patented 3-panel design to help slim the figure while staying comfortable. While the thong and bikini were pretty traditional Jockey, the boyshorts were adorable – a silky candy-pink body with berry lace trim. I was impressed by the modern silhouettes and pretty yet comfortable textiles.

The first day, I tried the Tummy Short, which I received in size Large and in a tan color. I should have sized down; it was so loose there wasn’t any control taking place. However, the legs kept rolling up on me. The fabric felt nice, my dress didn’t cling to it, and I didn’t have panty lines, but I wonder even with a smaller size if the construction would have truly slimmed my tummy.

The next day, I tried the High Back Scoop Neck Tank in black. This piece is supposed to control the midriff and get rid of back bulges. It has straps wide enough to cover a bra. This piece fit really well, was comfortable, and didn’t roll up like many control tanks I have tried before. However, I didn’t find it controlled my midriff, and the half-shiny/half-matte construction made me wonder what exactly I could wear it for (maybe as a camisole under a wrap dress?).

What I did like was the Slip Shaper, which I also received in black. I have always shied away from such shapewear, not finding it appropriate for my body or personal style. However, I found the Slip Shaper to be great under a pencil skirt because it didn’t ride up, didn’t add bulk, and smoothed the whole torso without causing a muffin top at the waistband. The silicone gripper at the hem actually worked to keep the slip from riding up. However, again, this wasn’t firm control and mainly smoothed my figure rather than changed my shape or minimized my curves.

This collection from Jockey is well made, good looking, and a great price, but it isn’t hardcore shapewear. I would recommend this collection for the woman who is just looking for light control – smoothing of lumps and bumps instead of sucking and streamlining. I found the collection to wash well and maintain its shape, and other than the Tummy Short, everything stayed in place without sagging or rolling throughout the workday.

Rachel Zoe’s “Major Must Haves” from Jockey are now available in major retailers,
Jockey outlet stores, and on


This giveaway has now ended and the winners have been notified.  Thanks for entering!

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My Favorite Underpinnings

Wardrobe Oxygen: The best lingerie for curvy women and women over 30. Favorite bras, panties, shapewear, and more.When I was in my ‘20s, lingerie was chosen for its cute factor (or sexy factor). I had a drawer full of lacy frothy bras and slips of underwear, often in candy colors. As I have gotten older and my body has gotten softer, my lingerie drawer may not be as exciting, but I love it even more. Great underpinnings can really transform a figure, make clothing hang better, and give you a boost of confidence. Below are my favorite underpinnings – bras, shapewear, hosiery, and underwear of all styles.

Shop My Lingerie Drawer:

Favorite Bras

This is where I again tell you to get a professional bra fitting! Even with a tape measure and a friend, it’s better to put your girls in the hands of a pro who will not only give an accurate fitting but know which type of bra that would best flatter and support your specific figure. I always wore traditional bras of half satin or another fabric, half lace. They were pretty and they were what my mom wore when I was little and what I bought when I finally developed breasts. When my bust grew, I bought a lot of bras that were made of stretchy seamless lace or satin to have them invisible under knits. I never considered molded cups because I figured they’d make me look bigger but a salesperson suggested one, I tried it, and I never looked back. With weight gain and loss, over two years of breastfeeding, and a large cup size, a molded cup gives me a round perky shape without looking larger or fake. Molded cups also hide “headlights” and usually disappear under knits and light-colored tops.

Everyday Bra – Fantasie Smoothing Molded Cup Underwire Bra

I love this bra, it has been my everyday bra for over five years. I replace them every 6-9 months, around the time when the band gets too stretchy and a wire starts poking me in the armpit. This bra give a great shape, is extremely comfortable, and invisible under 99% of my wardrobe. I also like that the strap is simple so if it peeks out it doesn’t look weird.  I wear Nude with light colors, Black with dark, they disappear under everything and don’t look terribly frumptastic.  In fact, if I were the type to wear just a bra under a sheer top this would be a perfect choice.

Strapless Bra – Fantasie Strapless Underwire Bra

The coolest thing I learned with my first pro bra fitting is that it is possible to have a large bust and find a strapless bra that lifts, separates, and is comfortable for an entire evening. This is essentially the strapless version of my everyday bra. It’s not the most comfortable strapless I have ever owned, but it holds me up, gives great shape even under slinky pieces, and I can survive a day wearing it without wanting to tear off my chest.  This bra comes with straps, I have before worn one strap with an off the shoulder top but really this holds up well enough on its own.

Summer Bra – Chantelle Rive Gauche Underwire Bra

In the summer heat and humidity, molded cups can feel like encasing your breasts in sponges. Not hot. This is when I switch to more traditional of bras, and look for ones with thinner straps that won’t look as frumptastic if it peeks out from a tank top. Not only is this bra comfortable and flattering, but it’s sexy looking too (I have the matching panties to wear for special occasions).  Check out places like Amazon and Bare Necessities where they often have discontinued colors for cheap.

Sports Bra – Still Looking!

I have this one from Wacoal and for now it gets the job done, but it takes 20 years for it to get on and the straps unhook really easily, especially while I’m in some yoga-like position trying to get this thing on in the dark early in the morning.  But so far it’s the best I have found, I don’t jiggle and I don’t have monoboob.

Favorite Shapewear

I have no desire to make myself look or feel like a stuffed sausage or try to pour myself into a smaller size dress, but I do like wearing shapewear, especially under dresses for a smoother line and to have things hang better.  For transparency, I do sometimes double up my shapewear for outfit posts but if you see me around town I’ll be softer.

Control Panty – DKNY Lace Curves Shaping Brief

These control panties don’t suck me in as much as smooth everything out. I regularly wear these under dress pants because they don’t give me VPL (visible panty line), no muffin top, no gas pain, just a smooth look. They’re also super cute and have a vintage vibe, which is nice. These do stretch out after a few months, Nordstrom almost always has them part of their sales and you can often find them on sale at Amazon.

High Waisted Control Panty – DKNY Seductive Lights High Waist Shortie

This sucks me in more than Spanx, and far more than the Lace Curves Shaping Brief, but it doesn’t hurt. The higher waist prevents muffin top and on my petite self, ends only an fraction below my bra strap so there’s no spillover. There’s also plenty of silicone on the top which keeps it from rolling down (seriously, all other styles like this eventually roll down on me but not this one). Like the Lace Curves, the rear is lace so there’s no VPL and it’s prettier than traditional control garments. When I do an outfit post, more often than not this baby is worn under the dress.

Under Bust Bodysuit – DKNY Jolie Under Bust Bodysuit

This is essentially the same thing as their Lace Curves shaping brief, but with straps. The straps are adjustable and relatively thin so you can carry off wearing this even with a sleeveless dress. The satin is right up to my bra band so with a coordinating bra it gives a bodysuit effect and the back is high enough to not have a roll under the bra strap. No panty lines, and though there’s lace and seams it’s not visible unless your dress is a very thin material and quite fitted. The black is downright sexy, my husband thinks it’s lingerie. I got a hot pink one on clearance and baby the heck out of it because it’s my favorite to wear on Date Night with my hot pink and violet crossdyed push-up bra. Again, this won’t suck you in, it just smooths under dresses. My one issue is the hook and eye closure at the crotch; the bodysuit can ride up and you end up with metal in a very sensitive part of your body. I’ve become expert at shimmying the bodysuit down further than I think I need it each time I use the bathroom and it will ride up to a comfortable place and stay (unless I dance or anything like that… then I feel the pinch).

Firmer Control Under Bust Bodysuit – TC Fine Intimates Open Bust Torsette Bodysuit

This thing is NOT cute. It’s like a wrestling singlet as it’s a thick stretchy fabric that feels athletic. It is not something to wear under a bodycon dress as it will give you VPL, and the straps are wide and not cute so you don’t want to wear with a sleeveless outfit. BUT… it gets the job done without having you doubled over in pain or feeling too sucked in to have fun. The whole thing is seamless and stretchy, and there’s no hardware so it’s invisible under clothing, and it has a high back so you’re smooth from every angle. For going to the bathroom I do the same as I do with bathing suits – I move it to the side and hold in place. I don’t get sweaty or claustrophobic in it, and it holds up beautifully through multiple (gentle) launderings.

Favorite Underwear

I have small hips, a round booty, and a “mama pooch” so I look for styles that won’t roll under my belly, won’t segment my cheeks, and hopefully won’t give me VPL all while looking relatively pretty.

Thong – Hanky Panky Retro Thong

This thong is high waisted, it ends up just a bit below my belly button and has wide sides that stay in place meaning no wedgies! These never roll down on me, and I don’t wear lowrise pants so I never fear them showing. They’re super comfortable, come in a bunch of fun colors, and if you launder them correctly stay looking great for a very long time. I’ve been buying and wearing these thongs for years.

Everyday Panty – Hanky Panky Retro Vikini

This panty also has a higher front, so it doesn’t roll under my belly and the full back really fits my rear and never gives me wedgies. However with the v-front and full lace design it’s still a darn cute pair of undies. Even though they have a standard edge, I don’t get mega VPL with them. These are summer favorites as they’re cool and breathable but substantial enough to wear under sundresses.

Pretty Undies- Variety

I go up a size to prevent rolling and riding and buy designer brands on clearance. Since most of my bras are black or nude, I usually choose a black based style so it coordinates. Bikinis are often too skimpy, briefs are usually too full of coverage, I do best with a really general term of “panty” for underwear that is usually designed to coordinate with a bra that usually doesn’t come in a cup size big enough for me. I also have success with what some brands call a “bikini brief” and snag those when I find them on sale.

Favorite Hosiery

A good pair of tights are a gamechanger. I like them really opaque, with a matte finish, and a high waist that won’t dig in, segment, or give me muffin top. No sagging, no bagging, and no defined foot since that is always too big for me.

Everyday Opaque Tights – Spanx Tight End  Reversible Tights

I’m a big fan of these tights. Though I never wear the non-black color, the reversible version of these tights are nice and thick and hold their shape really well. I can walk on concrete, scrape against a brick wall, have them accidentally go in the dryer and they hold up. Usually I have to replace because the crotch has fallen apart, not because of a run or snag.

Fleece Tights – Oroblu Warm & Soft Tights

I bought these on Nordstrom but since then I can only find them on UK-based sites or Oroblu’s online boutique. They are the only fleece tights I have found that aren’t too long, too short, too saggy, not stretchy enough, don’t pill, and don’t stretch out. They’re a matte black finish and super opaque and unless you’re right on top of them you can’t tell they’re not normal tights. However they’re super warm.

Everyday Socks – Lands’ End Seamless Toe Cotton Blend Crew

I’m picky with socks. Even though I wear a size 8 shoe which is pretty average, most socks are too big for me. I have short toes and a seam always seems to be pressing on the pads of them. I have thick ankles and wide shins so many socks dig into my legs leaving marks and being uncomfortable. And my feet sweat, so I want a sock that breathes a bit, absorbs, but still looks professional enough to peek out between ankle bootie and trouser or disappear when wearing black pants and shoes. These accomplish all of that, and they’re often on sale.

Now Show Socks – Smartwool Hide and Seek Socks

These socks are awesome. They keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter, if you size correctly (I wear a medium and I am a size 8) they don’t slide around and they’re low profile enough to not be seen under my oxfords and brogues. In the winter I sometimes wear them under taller socks for an extra bit of warmth and I wear them over tights when I wear slim-fitting knee high boots. They’re not cheap, but they’re awesome.

Other Miscellaneous Lingerie

Things to add opacity, to prevent chafing, and complete a look. These are usually the things you don’t think you need until the situation arises and you wish you had!

Full Slip – Calvin Klein Icon Full Slip

This slip has adjustable straps, is thin and airy and free of adornment so it disappears under clothing. I have it in nude and in black. They’re great for adding an extra layer in the winter – really great for wind protection!  However, it’s not too sweat-inducing for sheer summer dresses.

Camisole – Random H&M Purchase

I know, very vague but I bought it at the Annapolis Mall H&M when Emerson was an infant. It’s essentially the same fabric as my Calvin Klein slip, has adjustable straps and is really long so it doesn’t ride up or slip out when tucked in. I don’t recall what department I got it from but I bet it wasn’t lingerie. I don’t like those stretchy body-hugging camis because they roll up on me and usually are too tight to work with my bra; before I had this I used a synthetic cami from Express. Though this may be considered clothing and not lingerie, I only use it as a camisole and keep it in my lingerie drawer.

Chafe Protection – Jockey Skimmies Original

These don’t suck you in, they are just made to keep a smooth line under clothes and prevent chafing. And they work, read my story in this post or this post. I’ve tried a variety of the Skimmies and prefer the original version the most. If unsure size down, they do stretch out with wear.

Long Underwear – Lands’ End Thermaskin Collection

You can read my review here. And I do use the cami from this collection in the same manner as my H&M cami, it’s just not as long so not as good under dresses and times when I don’t want a seam or it to ride up.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What are your must-have underpinnings? What has transformed your body or your wardrobe and you can’t live without?

Blogging Love – Interview!

I was honored to be interviewed by Elle of the new blog Label Ho. Elle’s discusses fashion and her personal style on this site. I love supporting fellow fashion and style bloggers so I jumped at this chance to have us get to know one another better!

You can check out the interview here.

I loved the questions she asked (and if you go back in her archives, you can see her answers to the very same questions!). The name of her blog cracks me up. It reminds me of when I was Editor of my high school yearbook. I had such the fight with the sponsor over the proper spelling of this word. “If you add an ‘e’ it’s suddenly a garden tool!” (Let’s not even get into why this word was in my yearbook – let me just state that my high school was a fabulous one where I learned Japanese and was in International Baccalaureate courses, but it wasn’t in the most chi chi of neighborhoods.)

Since she interviewed me, I decided to ask her a few questions as well. Get to know Elle!

Name: “Elle,” author of Label Ho, a fashion and personal style blog

Why did you start blogging? What could be better than writing and posting about something you love? I thought it would be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other fashion-minded people.

Favorite item in your closet: An authentic vintage Gucci handbag circa the 70s. I love that its suede and doesn’t have the GG logo plastered all over it. I found the bag at a thrift shop and its in immaculate condition. Best of all, I got it for an excellent price!

Favorite Web site to visit: They have pretty comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the fashion world, delivered in quick, short posts. I also like that they post great outfits that members of their community put together. I’m fascinated with seeing what people put together.

Top five items on your style wish list for this season: I can only think of three since I think I pretty much have most of my key pieces already:

1. Another pair of dark bootleg jeans. I’ve pretty much worn my favorite pair so much (Joe’s Jeans in the Honey fit) that the color’s faded significantly.

2. More dresses. I’ve purchased a few already, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so easy to pull on in summer.

3. A pair of wide-leg jeans. I’ve tried on a ton of different ones, but still haven’t found a flattering fit.

Outlet Mall Shopping

Yesterday I visited a major outlet mall in my area. Over a mile of stores – some with great bargains, some with great piles of crap. There have been many stories about discount stores – how some of the product is not on sale, the clothes are made specifically for the outlet and are not the same quality that the brand name usually delivers, etc. After all that, you find designer duds for less, when is it worthwhile to spend, when should a bargain be passed by?

If it doesn’t fit well for $300, still doesn’t fit well for $150 and even for $65, don’t buy it. Just because it’s a great bargain does not make the fit any better. Shoes that are too tight or too big, jackets that pull at the back, pants that would be lovely if you just lost 15 lbs., no matter the bargain these items should just stay on the rack.

If the jacket’s sleeves are too long, the skirt’s hem at an awkward length, the shoulders a bit too big, these things can be altered easily by a tailor. You must be in love with the piece and find multiple places and ways to wear it to justify the tailor expense. I found a cream silk linen suit at a discount store – the suit fit perfectly except for a broken zipper and too long of sleeves and legs. I bought the suit for $65, regularly $350, and for $40 had the zipper and hems all modified. I have worn the suit to work, to religious events and as separates for three years. That purchase was worth the added tailoring expense.

Often times the items at the discount store are there because they are leftover from last season. When it comes to classic pieces like suits, dresses and knits, this is not a problem. A blue merino v-neck is lovely almost every year, and more lovely when 50% off. The problem comes with the trendy p[pieces.

If Lindsay, Mischa, Nicole or Chloe was wearing it last spring, it’s a good chance that piece is passé now. Pass on the embellished jeans, the metallic leather bags, the rainbow-hued sunglasses and most other accessories. Just because it’s on sale does not mean it is a good buy. When it comes to scouring outlets, your best deals are the ones that will last through more than one season. Sweaters, suits, outerwear, cocktail dresses, leather goods and most shoes are great bargains if you find quality and value in the same item.

Name Brands
Just because you found a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $100 at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet does not mean they need to be purchased. Do they fit your current style? Are they comfortable? Are they current or classic?

We have all seen the label whores – those women with a Coach purse, Jimmy Choo shoes that JLo wore last year, Baby Phat jeans, a Bebe tee with the rhinestone logo, Chanel sunglasses and a Pucci scarf in her hair. These items weren’t bought for the quality or the style. They were bought because a stranger could spot the brand a mile away. She looks trashy, obvious and victimized by fashion. None of these are appealing. Labels do not suddenly make you well dressed or well liked.

If you can find a Furla bag for 40% off and it suits your style as well as lifestyle – then go for it. If you are buying a bag purely because it’s Prada and you don’t like the style, size or fabric… well you have become a label whore.

Don’t buy that jacket just because it’s designer. Pretend that it is an unknown label – do you still like it? Do you still find it attractive and necessary? If not, put it back on the rack. That goes for ill-fitting designer duds, last season’s “It Bag,” obvious logo advertising (if it’s that obvious, it will be that obvious from last season – not worth your time or money) and damaged designer goods.

Damaged Goods
Many discount retailers sell the irregulars from a label. Some irregulars can barely be seen by the naked eye – may be an incorrect dye lot or the wrong buttons sewn on a jacket. Some may work in your favor – pants cut too short or sleeves that are too long or too narrow. Often times these stores received the garments that were damaged in production, transit or through many jaunts to the fitting room. Broken zippers, missing buttons, fabric snags are all defects that can easily be repaired or covered up if the price and style is right. However there are other defects that are not worth the purchase, no matter how low the price. Runs in nylon, stains, button holes at the wrong height, linings that do not align with the trouser, two pieces stitched together from two different dye lots. Even if it is Versace, it will look like Gallo Clothing on you if it is this defective.

Buying in Bulk
I used to be a huge fan of buying in bulk – find a tee shirt you love, buy it in eight colors and three of white and black. Flattering trousers? Buy one in every color. I then found that my wardrobe was like one big uniform… one big boring uniform. Mixing basics with fun pieces offers versatility, ease but individual style.

At outlet malls, buying in bulk is a good idea. Yesterday I was at the Banana Republic outlet and found high quality stretchy tees in tons of colors – $9.99 each. I bought one in black, one in white, one in gray and one in red. These shirts can be worn with jeans on weekends, with a little skirt for happy hour with the girls or under a suit for work. I found a great pair of wool trousers at Off Fifth, bought them in brown, gray and black. They were so standard and fit so amazingly well (and were only $39.99 each) that it was worthwhile to buy every color I liked. I knew with my work and lifestyle I would find regular use for such trousers. Another time I found a pair of really cute studded pointy heels from NYLA. They were 75% off and tres cute. I decided to buy them in hot pink, ivory and black, thinking that if they fit well, they would get much use. I was imagining sparkly tops and designer jeans with the ivory, a sexy power suit with the black, and envisioned an outfit a la Carrie Bradshaw for the pink. I took them all home, have worn the pink ones multiple times, and have barely touched the other two. I don’t wear designer jeans with sparkly tops on a regular basis, and don’t own a single chic black power suit. Those two shoes have barely seen the light of day. Consider your current lifestyle when considering to buy in bulk – items that look too familiar may not be worn and too many of the same thing may make them all too boring to regularly wear. Also, if you don’t wear red patent stilettos now, you probably won’t after purchasing a pair.

In conclusion, don’t buy just because of a label, or just because of an amazing price. Less money for an item is still money, and money should be spent carefully. Be willing to take the time to find quality purchases, not pick up every shiny bauble that sort of resembles what Gwen or Jessica wore last Spring. Fashion is not about the specific item, but the allover look. A Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Chanel sunglasses will not make you a fashionista, the pairing with appropriate and complimentary pieces is what takes you from being a label whore or a fashion victim to fashionista status.

Ask Allie: What to Wear Under Fitted Knit Dresses

I have been following your blog for awhile now and bought many things from your recommendation; the latest one is a dress from Dobbin. However, I need the correct undergarments. I put on the Jockey shorts (also your recommendation) but the seams show. I have tried Spanx and they are a bit too constricting. Any advice as to what I can wear under dresses so I can incorporate them into my wardrobe?

fitted dress underwear control garment

As I write my response to you I’m wearing a wrap dress I bought from Old Navy that needs just the right light control garment to smooth my figure, gently hold me in without gas pain and without visible seams. Like you, I find I need underpinnings like this in my arsenal to wear under my Dobbin ponte dresses, my Karen Kane jersey dresses, and other frocks that need that special something. Here’s my favorite light control garments that I wear under fitted and knit dresses:

DKNY Under Bust Bodysuit

This is what I’m currently wearing with my dress. I have three of these babies – one in nude for light colored dresses, one in black for dark colored dresses, and one in the most gorgeous fuchsia because it was on clearance and I couldn’t resist. While this suit has seams, they are in logical places that match up with seams of most dresses. The rear has a wide lace band so there’s no VPL, and I LOVE that it can be comfortably worn with any bra from my lingerie drawer. The straps are adjustable, which is a perk for my short-torsoed self, and it’s actually PRETTY.

The crotch has a hook and eye opening that I find utterly ridiculous to try to maneuver, especially when in a public restroom trying to handle heels, strangers’ germs, and a fitted dress hiked up around my waist. I don’t unhook it with each visit to the lavatory but instead just slide the whole garment to the side, hold in place as I take care of business. But really that’s the only negative aspect of this garment.

This is not a Spanx-like control garment. In fact, it doesn’t do a lot of gut sucking. What it does do is smooth the figure. No indentation of a belly button, no segmentation from the waistband of panties or tights, no VPL. My body is the same size, but it appears to be firmer and smoother under clothing.

DKNY ‘Lace Curves’ Shaping Brief

I’ve written about this garment before because I’ve been a fan for many years. This is pretty much the same thing as the bodysuit, but it ends at the waist. Same lace back, same smoothing but not gut-sucking capabilities, and same ability to not look like Bridget Jones scary pants. Seriously, pair with a pretty bra in the same color and you feel retro bombshell.

Unlike the bodysuit, the shaping brief does have a waistband, and depending on your figure and softness, it may show. I find this piece best for skirts or dresses with a defined waistband. Also know they do stretch out with time; pairs I’ve had for a year still look great but slowly get bigger even with careful laundering. I buy a new one when Nordstrom has them on sale (not on clearance now but have been part of their Anniversary sale), and have found them at a nice price on Bare Necessities.

Spanx Tight End High Waist Tights

I’ll tell you a little secret; one of the perks of durable tights is that you can go commando under them. They’re opaque enough for it, and they can handle being laundered so often. This really reduces the segmentation and lines that can happen under garments.  I wear these tights on their own quite often because they suck in a bit but not nearly as much as the brand’s actual control garments, and the waist is high enough that it doesn’t cut me in the middle. If you’re someone who doubles up hosiery for extra opacity, control, or warmth; this is a great pair as they don’t shift and they can handle it without stretching out. And as I mentioned at the beginning, they’re super durable and can handle being machine washed on gentle in a lingerie bag (or even a run in your stockinged feet across concrete to catch a dog chasing down the mailman).

DKNY High-Waist Control Top Tights

I also like these tights from DKNY, and for all the same reasons mentioned for Spanx. These do run a bit tighter in the elastic top, but I actually like that because it gives an even smoother line from ribcage down. DKNY’s tights come in Plus Petite which is a nice feature that I wish more brands would embrace. But these tights are durable enough that this fall I’m wearing a pair I purchased in 2012.

So now I ask you readers, what do you find works best under fitted knit dresses?

Summer Lingerie Must-Haves

When summer arrives, I don’t just switch out my sweaters and long-sleeved shirts for tanks and shorts, but I also switch out my lingerie drawer. Sweat, heat, and lightweight fabrics just NEED different underpinnings. My lingerie drawer must-haves for when the temperature rises:

Summer lingerie essentials

Tee Shirt Bras

Slub knits, linen and linen blends, and cotton voile are brilliant in the heat and humidity, but are prone to transparency. Tee shirt bras are a must with such fabrics as they are slightly padded, molded in shape, and free of adornments to virtually disappear while providing modesty. I always have a couple in a color close to my skintone for white and light shades, and a black one to wear under dark colors. My personal favorite is the Fantasie 4510 Smoothing Balcony T-Shirt Bra.

Nude Slip

Warmer weather is far more comfortable with lighter weight fabrics, but these fabrics (even in darker colors) can be quite transparent, especially on a bright sunny day. Having a nude slip can prevent embarrassing exposure, and if you choose wisely it won’t add too much weight or heat. I love this slip from Calvin Klein, which skims the body without adding bulk under slim dresses and doesn’t cling even in high humidity. Free of adornments, it won’t ruin the look or line of your summer frocks. Adjustable straps and plenty of stretch make the slip comfortable and well-fitting.

A little tip: For years, my favorite summer slip was the cotton lining of a dress I thrifted but didn’t like. It came with a beige cotton slip only stitched in at the shoulders, so it was easy to snip it out. It was breathable, the right length, and virtually invisible under my dresses and cost about $4.

Another tip: Check eBay for traditional slips. I find gently used, vintage, and never worn half and full slips of all colors and styles for pennies on the dollar.

Nude Thongs

I know some of you despise thongs, but I find nothing better to prevent visible panty lines (VPL) with white or lightweight pants. The Godiva Thong from Hanky Panky is a new favorite; the nude color is a perfect match for my skin and the fabric seems to mold to my body, preventing shifting, wedgies, or cutting into my waist without feeling grody on a sweltering summer day.

Black Briefs

If I’m not wearing a pair of bike shorts or slip shorts under my sundress, you can bet I’m wearing a pair of black briefs. Also my undies of choice with denim shorts. My favorite is Hanro, they really are worth the hype and the money. They hold up great and last eons longer than cheaper versions from Target meaning it’s a better value in the long run, also they fit like a dream.  Another favorite is Knock Out! Panties, which have a moisture-wicking cotton gusset to keep you dry and comfy even if the rest of you is a sweaty mess.

Nude Briefs

Same deal, for white and light colored shorts and sundresses.  I forgot to mention Hanky Panky’s Retro Vikini Briefs, some of the most comfortable undies I have worn, and pretty lace that doesn’t dig or chafe even on the hottest summer day.

Black Bike Shorts

Bike shorts are brilliant under dresses and skirts for preventing chub rub and offering modesty. I recently reviewed Jockey’s Skimmies Slipshorts which are great for this, but you can also use most any bike shorts. Check out the comments on this post for a ton of great options.

A little tip: Pettipants are a pretty alternative and easily found at online lingerie shops. I have found many on eBay; there are sellers who offer overstock and sellers who make brand new product.

Bra with Pretty Straps

I don’t think it’s stylish to purposely show your underpinnings, but summer clothes often cause bra straps to show no matter how careful you are. I’m not talking about wearing a straight bra with a racerback tank (PLEASE don’t do this, wear a racerback bra or buy one of these gadgets), but traditional tanks and camisoles sometimes slip and you get a peek. Instead of showcasing your nude tee shirt bra, having a bra in a pretty color and with attractive straps can make it less awful. This spring and summer I picked up this bra, but love the leopard straps on this one.

Strapless Bra

Comfortable and supportive strapless bras DO exist, check out my post on a bra fitting to see proof! Since realizing this, my summer wardrobe has grown exponentially. I recommend getting one similar to a tee shirt bra – very simple, smooth, one that will disappear under your clothing. As for color, it depends on your wardrobe. I choose one in nude (the Fantasie 4530) since I wear more light colors in the summer, but if your wardrobe is mostly dark colors a black one would be wiser.

What are your warm-weather lingerie must-haves?

What I Wore: It’s Myne

myne heidi dress hobo bags clutch zippers myne heidi dress review

Dress: Myne | Bag: Hobo Bags (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Glasses: Zenni Optical | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon ‘Certainly Red’ | Ear Cuffs: Etsy (here and here)

I wrote about this dress in this post. A lot of you wanted to see me in it since I am a very different shape from the model, but it has been too cold to bust out this lightweight silk dress until now. When I bought it I figured I’d style it with peeptoe ankle booties and my wide silver metal plate belt, but once spring arrived I decided I liked it a bit more stripped down. The dress is by the brand Myne, and each time I read the label I say, “It’s MINE!” in the whiny voice I use when I read Emerson her book, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share.  As an FYI, this is a size 10; I originally got a 12 but found it too long for my petite stature.  The 10 fits comfortably but the belt that came with it is too small (no biggie, the belt is kind of ugly and cheap looking).

If you signed up for my monthly Style File newsletter you know that I recently got these glasses. They’re huge, they’re bright, and they’re a lot of fun for a very low price (hello prescription lenses under $30!). I’ve been wearing a lot of red lately – I’ve been doing a red lip almost all winter and have been choosing OPI’s Big Apple Red as my nail polish of choice for almost a year. It made sense if I was going to buy some funky glasses to have them in my current signature shade!

Little Bits of Luxury: The Series

With age comes wisdom. It’s taken a while, but I have learned to truly buy quality instead of quantity. I unsubscribed from most retail emails so I am not wooed by 50% off (if I didn’t need it at full price, I don’t need it now), I rarely enter a mall because I know myself and I will leave at least $100 poorer with bags full of things I don’t need and will likely collect dust. When I visit a store like Target or TJ Maxx I have a written shopping list that will be a visible reminder to stay on track. And in the past year, when I have added to my closet I have looked for what I can remove – to store for the future, to donate, to sell, to admit defeat and cut up into rags.

And the things I purchase are better quality too. Now I am no Martha Stewart, so for me quality is likely Nine West, Etsy, L’Oreal. But I have learned it’s not about the name on the label, but how the piece works with my life and performs in the long run. Be it bras, BB cream, baking dishes, or boots I research, save, and buy the best within my budget. This also goes for luxury items (and items that are luxurious just to me). I have never admitted being a minimalist, and with age I have learned that some luxury items just make life better (and are far kinder to the body than cupcakes and nachos). I’ve also learned that luxury can come at all pricepoints, and some of the best indulgences are quite kind to my wallet.

I’ve found that series on this blog are some of my most popular posts on Wardrobe Oxygen. And so my newest series will feature little luxuries I indulge in, and how I budget for them, and why they are worth it. I hope you enjoy!

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What I Wore: Real Red

Dress: Belle c/o Dobbin Clothing | Bag: “Erin” Satchel c/o Fossil | Tights: Nordstrom | Boots: Ros Hommerson  | Bracelets: had forever, Nordstrom (similar) | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Coat: Via Spiga

Fossil was kind enough to send me this bag and I immediately fell in love with the color. It’s not cherry, it’s not tomato, it’s not ruby or oxblood or any other fancy terms. It’s as clear and true of a red as a crayon. I checked the bag’s label and it’s called Real Red. I like that, no crazy made-up name, just what is exactly is. This bag is pretty phenomenal, and perfect for a commuter like me. Two side zipper pockets to hold things like farecards and lip balm, and inside there is a zipper pocket on one side, and the other side five different pockets to hold anything from a Smartphone or your keys to business cards and a pack of gum. And in this bag I have my wallet, Kindle (did you enter my Kindle giveaway?), makeup bag, myAgenda, sunglasses, gloves, journal, and two reusable containers to hold my lunch. Impressive! The crossbody strap is adjustable to become a shoulderbag, or it can be removed. I know this bag is going to be used quite a lot this season!

I never understand why street style models and bloggers wear their coats on their shoulders like a cape.  How can they move their arms?  Why not just put on the coat?  Then I realized on cold days I do this very thing – I wear the coat like a cape from the house and over my shoulders until Karl gets ready to take pictures.  This way my outfit doesn’t get as rumpled and I’m less likely to mess up my hair.  Karl got this picture of me in the coat at the beginning of the shoot and it showcases the coat I bought last winter on a whim and still adore a year later (and it’s still available at Nordstrom and now on sale!).

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What I Wore: Issa for Banana Republic

I’m not a fan of designer collaborations. I don’t understand clamoring for a cheaper version of a designer piece. I don’t want a glued-together pleather bag or ill-fitting polyester blouse no matter what name is on the label. However, once the Issa Collection came out for Banana Republic I was intrigued. Banana Republic already has good quality and fits me relatively well, and the pieces in the collection were things I would buy no matter the designer. I liked the kimono dresses, and felt this print was one I would wear now and five years from now, in spring and in winter. For those considering this dress, I chose a 14, and yes, they do run short (it’s veering on not work appropriate and I am 5’3″). However it’s made extremely well, a heavy matte jersey that feels good and is a style that I think would work if I gained or lost weight. And you know me, I waited until it was on sale, Banana Republic was having a big sale, and I had reward dollars!

And how great is this bracelet? Wearing gold jewelery? No problem! Silver? No problem! Everything goes with this piece from Ruth Barzel, and I love that it’s rock and roll while still being elegant. I’ve been wearing this bracelet a ton lately (check my Instagram for proof), I like it mixed with other bracelets, but with such a bold dress, I felt it looked best all by itself.

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My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Skirt – Ann Taylor (bought on eBay 5 years ago for $14.99, no clue how old, label style unfamiliar to me)
BootiesCole Haan
Scarf – c/o Nordstrom Rack
Silver cuff

I forgot to set my alarm last night. My body woke me up at 7:15 (glad it wasn’t 8:15) and I had 45 minutes to get myself together and out the door. I had pulled this skirt out of my stash of potential winter things and a month ago it was just too tight, too short, and I thought I would re-eBay it. I pulled it on this morning since it was sitting on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed… and it fit! Only thing wrong is I guess the hem dry rotted and has fallen out while wearing (easy to fix). Very excited to have another leather skirt in my arsenal!

New bag – I had $40 in Nordstrom rewards, saw this bag for $129 and decided to try it.  I have wanted a bigger bag to carry my netbook and such, and wanted a soft black purse (currently have my Banana Republic one which is that textured hard leather like a football). Love the bag, so soft, holds so much, necessary front pocket (with magnet closure) and hey… gotta love such a quality bag for only $89!

Sorry for the delay in posting, work has gotten really hectic. Glad I stocked the office fridge with Lean Cuisines because that’s the only way I get to eat anything. The only time I have left my desk is to hit the printer or the bathroom (and refill my water bottle!). Whew, what a crazy couple of weeks!

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Contest: Tolani Scarf from

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, 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 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 Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
Twitter (
YouTube ( or

Good luck!


Black cashmere tank from Banana Republic, black ponte jacket from Banana Republic Outlet, Chinese red shantung skirt from Banana Republic (definite theme here!), leopard peeptoe heels from BCBGirls, gold necklace from Express, gold bangles from Ralph Lauren.

Hair was washed and conditioned, dried with my Croc wet-to-dry iron. No products.’

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match concealer in W1-3, Benefit’s That Gal, philosophy The Supernatural in Beige, Nars blush in Orgasm, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis – ivory over whole lid. Lashes curled, two coats Cover Girl Lash Blast and one of Imju Fiberwig. Maybelline Ultraliner in black on top lash line and on lips is some Revlon Shiny Sheers in a sheer red that I left at home by accident so do not have to read the label.

I am not really sure what is going on with the layout of my posts; I have not done anything different so it must be that Blogger is being stupid again.

This outfit is inspired by Catie’s contest at Cuffington. This outfit makes me fabulous inside… though notsomuch when I walk past my reflection in a window. I adore this skirt, it is so much fun and the color is awesome. The cashmere tank is really thick and I have had it for years and got it for like $10 on the clearance rack. Jacket has given me many miles and I love its versatility and the shoes… oh I love these shoes so much I have two pairs of them! All that is missing is my silver cuff, this great green ring I bought at a Ren Fest and my wedding tiara and I would be wearing almost all my favorite things! 🙂 Too bad this skirt isn’t the most flattering (the one my husband says makes me look like Mimi from Drew Carey) or I would wear it every week! 🙂


Black stretch v-neck from Banana Republic, white twill cuffed cropped pants from Casual Corner, black leather thong heeled sandals from Mossimo, multiple skinny silver bangles from Ann Taylor Loft, black leather and silver necklace from Chico’s.

Hair is weird. In the shower I was considering loose messy waves and the front feathered out. Yeah, I watched Jessica Simpson’s stupid new video and was slightly inspired. So I added Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Spray, blew hair straight letting it do as it pleased, twisting some pieces. It ended up looking damaged and gross. I continued blowing, using a paddle brush, that made some difference. I then blew the front with a round boar bristle brush and then applied bioSilk so it didn’t look as much like straw…. not my best hair day.

Makeup is L’Oreal True match foundation in C3, MAC Studio Stick concealer, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer for color and powder, a bit of Nars Orgasm blush. Eyes is the ivory shadow from Revlon’s ColorStay Neutral shadow quad, then The Body Shop’s 08 (Granite) in the lids and along the lash line. lashes curled via Shu Eumura and two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black applied. On lips is Sally Hansen’s diamond lipgloss in a hot pink (the label with the name fell off).

No Apologies

I am writing to let you know after three years I am unsubscribing from your blog. My friend recommended it as a fashion resource for women over 40 and while I have gained some benefit from your capsule wardrobes, I can no longer support a site that will sell out to the highest bidder. In just the past month you have sold articles to promote cookies, men’s watches, a dress from a retailer I have never seen you before promote, and now underwear to prevent as you put it, chub rub. Obviously you care more about the almighty dollar than your self-respect or the approval of your followers. Good luck to you, you will need it with the direction you are going.

And good luck to you, for you too will need it if you feel that your fellow women shouldn’t be compensated for their work and instead should worry about gaining approval from others.

In the past month (May 10 – June 10) I have published 22 posts on Wardrobe Oxygen. Five are outfit posts; while these posts may feature some gifted merchandise I chose to feature it because I like it and wore the merchandise in real life. Four are straight-up fashion advice posts, two are reviews of clothing or beauty products I purchased with my own money, three were by my monthly columnists, four were on non-fashion or outfit content (about blogging, retail, my arm surgery and one about weight), and four were sponsored content. Less than 20% of my content is sponsored.

Cookies? When I accepted the sponsorship, I was told the piece would be about self-care and “me time,” which I felt was completely relevant to the blog (I had recently written about coloring, written before about self care).  And while the final contract requirements expected photos and specific wording about said cookies, I didn’t feel the final post was in poor taste because I legitimately love those cookies. In fact, I had two Tuesday night with a glass of wine while finishing my newsletter.

Men’s watches? I may not write regularly about men’s fashion, but I do on occasion. I have also provided gift guides in the past and I truly believe a watch to be a great gift. And to be honest, the pay was really good for that one and I really like partnering with Nordstrom because while I am given guidelines (write about men’s watches, write about flats for summer, etc.), I am allowed to write whatever I want in whatever format feels authentic. I shop at Nordstrom, I love Nordstrom’s customer service and selection, I featured Nordstrom a TON before I ever was offered a sponsored post from them and I work hard to provide quality content, advice, and details in every Nordstrom-sponsored post I write.

Christopher & Banks? I think it was a smart partnership. When they approached me I was thrilled. The pricepoint for their collection is good, and many of you have complained in the past that I feature brands that are too expensive for your budget. The brand offers a broad range of sizes, which is refreshing to see. And honestly, that dress is amazing. I’ve worn it a half dozen times, thrown in in the washer and dryer and it still looks great. Many of you let me know you ordered the dress after my post and also adore it. I wouldn’t have known about Christopher & Banks if they hadn’t reached out to me; many of my favorite brands are ones I learned about thanks to this blog.

As for the Jockey Skimmies I will not apologize for getting paid to promote an that I love. Come on, I wrote a completely unpaid review last year and raved, why should I say no to being paid and given another pair? I legitimately wore them to that wedding and they legitimately saved my skin during the event. And while you may not approve of me discussing chub rub, I’m not ashamed to admit I experience it and I’m thrilled to offer a reasonably-priced product that battles an issue many many women deal with.

Writing this blog takes time. Time I could be spending with my family, hitting the gym, working my way up the career ladder, gardening, writing the next great American novel, sewing the dropped hem in Emerson’s favorite skirt (I really need to get around to that…). Being compensated justifies the time I spend (and enjoy) on Wardrobe Oxygen. If I were a professional wardrobe consultant I’d be paid by the hour. If I were a book author people would purchase my book. If I were a teacher I’d be paid a salary.  I have a day job so I can’t do most speaking engagements or have time to write e-books and freelance content.  I’ve made a choice to put my family first so I decline most sponsored activities like hosting events, going on trips, or speaking at conferences so I can be home to put Emerson to bed.  Sponsored posts and affiliate links are my income for the service I provide, and I work hard for the money. I strive to have quality content and a good balance of sponsored content and regular posts.

In the past I have taken on too much sponsored content, and I will admit some of the sponsored posts weren’t the best fit. I also had a few of you upset that you couldn’t tell posts were sponsored until the end so I have made a concerted effort to be clearer with the partnership.  I’m learning as I go, working to constantly improve this site and my processes to run it.

Once I made What Every Woman Wanted in Her Wardrobe dot Blogspot dot com into Wardrobe Oxygen, I considered it a business. That doesn’t just mean I made money, it meant I made a decision to be more professional with how I handled the blog.  More regular content, more on-topic content, higher quality images, a more consistent schedule.  I do that because I take pride in my job, and I consider Wardrobe Oxygen a job. Just because I don’t have a book deal or storefront doesn’t mean I should have to work for free.

I wish you the best in finding a resource that is a better fit for you. But please consider the effort put into making that advice that you benefit from; don’t you think everyone deserves to be compensated for their work?

Shop My Closet – On Poshmark!

WardrobeOxygen on PoshmarkI’ve been saying for a while that I needed to get off my tuchus and sell all the clothes I don’t currently wear. While I may clean out my closet I do have a dirty secret… I have bins and bags full of clothes in my attic (and there were a couple full contractor bags in my home office). I regularly donate career wear to a charity and have Freecycled and donated all my maternity clothes and clothes that are in “well loved” condition, but the nicer stuff I’ve been holding on to.

No more. All this clothing is doing no one favors being boxed and bagged up in my attic. A couple weekends ago, my best friend came over and for eight hours we dug through three bags. All pieces were photographed, packed up, labeled, and ready to ship. While I have used eBay and a Shop My Closet blog in the past, this time I decided to use Poshmark. My friend Alyson has raved about it for a long time and many of you have told me you use it with great success. It seemed simpler than eBay too.

For the past two weeks I have been using Poshmark and I have become as big of a fan as my friend Alyson! It’s an app-based program; while you can visit Poshmark on your computer, to buy and sell you need to do it on your phone. As a seller, I think this makes the process uber easy – my pictures are already on my phone so I can easily upload them, write a quick description, and even answer questions and negotiate counteroffers. I’ve found the customers to be more… reasonable than on eBay. You’re not usually expected to offer 5,000 measurements for a $6 LOFT tee, people are super friendly and quick to share and comment, and while I have had a couple ridiculous counter offers (no, I will not sell that NWT original retail still in the store $250 item for $15), in general it has been a friendly and painless experience.

Tips for Selling on Poshmark by Wardrobe OxygenA couple of you saw on social media that I was on Poshmark and have joined to buy and sell. If you’re interested, if you use this link and code PMZYS you’ll get $5 off your first order and I too will receive a $5 credit (find me, I am wardrobeoxygen).  There’s no auction or bidding, you can counter-offer and some sellers (myself included) offer  “bundling” where you can purchase multiple pieces from a seller at one time and save on shipping ($4.99/order).  If you’re interested in selling on Poshmark, here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Be Honest.  Like other selling sites, Poshmark has a rating system.  Buyers can give you up to five stars for orders.  It’s not worth it to ruin your reputation by trying to pass off replicas, lie about the condition of a garment, or its original price.
  • Provide Details.  Is it an XL but fits more like a L?  How did you style it?  If you recall the original style name or number or even color name, include it.  While Poshmark won’t let you write a novel, you can offer quite a lot of information.  The more details you provide, the more likely the item will sell and the more likely the buyer will get what she expected and leave you a favorable rating.
  • Take Good Photos.  I use my iPhone 6s and take the pictures in natural light near a window.  For Christmas I got this dress form; it’s not high quality (in fact I cracked the base the day my friend and I were on a Poshmark selling spree and it’s now held together with packing tape) but it gives a better idea of how an item will fit than lying a sweater on your bed or floor.  If you have a photo of you wearing the item, include that too.  I also search the internet for stock photos of the item.  A mix of all three is a great way to get an item sold.  Poshmark lets you upload four photos per item with the first photo being your cover photo.  I’ve found the most successful cover photos are those with me wearing the piece.  If you don’t have a photographer taking your picture in items for a blog, a mirror selfie in a well-lit room is still good (and you can cut off your head in the photo if you wish to be anonymous).
  • Stock Up on Free Priority Mailers.  Your post office has Priority Mail Tyvek envelopes and boxes for free; these are perfect for shipping out your orders.  Included in the cut Poshmark takes from your sales (20%, or $2.95 if the item sells for $5 or less) is a shipping label.  When you make a sale, Poshmark emails you this Priority Mail label.  You can order shipping bags and boxes from for free but know it takes up to two weeks to receive your order.  If you have a post office nearby, grab a few to get your sales going.
  • Take Care with your Sales.  I fold nicely, wrap in tissue, tie with a bit of curling ribbon, and carefully slip into the box or bag.  I got a pack of cheap tissue paper; you only need 1-2 pieces per order.  The curling ribbon I purchased when I attended a baby shower where all presents were to be wrapped in blue.  That yet-to-be-born baby is now 5 and as you see in the photo above, there’s still plenty left even though every shower and birthday present since the shower had turquoise ribbon on it.  I bought some rolls of packing tape, and because I’m a dork like that, ordered some cheapy business cards from VistaPrint (this is a referral link that will give you $10 off your first order) that thank the buyer for her order, have my name and my Poshmark address on them.  The overall cost is minimal, but it makes the experience much nicer for the recipient.
  • Raise Your Rates.  Poshmarkers LOVE to counter-offer.  Consider this when making your prices.  It’s worth it to up the price a few dollars to be ready for a counter-offer (if you accept a counter-offer the item sells immediately to that individual).  Also, if you have stagnant items that don’t want to sell, you can then lower the price without too much heartache.  A plus to lowering the rate is anyone who “liked” the piece will end up receiving reduced shipping.
  • Be Quick with Communication.  If someone asks for additional details or makes a counter-offer, be polite and reply within 24 hours.  Since Poshmark is on your phone, it’s easy to quickly type in a response and move on with your day.
  • Follow the Rules.  Don’t accept sales through PayPal or offline.  Don’t try to sell used makeup or clutter Poshmark with items they don’t allow to be sold on their app (home goods, electronics, health and wellness products, used underwear and makeup).  Don’t label something a blouse when in fact it’s one of those belly wrap things that spam social media.  And don’t call something Chanel-esque or like Louis Vuitton – that’s a trademark violation and such names can only be used if the item is legitimately from that brand.
  • Be Part of the Community.  Share other people’s sales (I only share that which I actually like), follow other accounts, leave comments and reply to comments.  Poshmark is very social, and by being part of the community you’ll get a larger audience to see your closet, resulting in faster and more sales!

Are you on Poshmark?  I’d love to hear your experiences and feel free to share your closet in the comments!

Don’t Let Purchases Haunt You

nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy

Have you seen this quote floating around Pinterest? I have and every time I see someone I know pin it I cringe.

I believe in the power of clothing. A great outfit can be a suit of armor that helps you feel confident during a stressful or difficult situation. Wearing a certain type of clothing can show respect to your workplace, to a house of worship, for the deceased, or those hosting an event. And sometimes just the right cut of a dress can take you from schlump to sex goddess.

However there isn’t a single purchase you can make for your closet that will change who you are. I don’t care what name is on the label or how amazing it makes your boobs or ass look, it’s not going to change your brain, your heart, or your soul. And maybe I sound like your mom, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

clothing is only the book jacket to your life novel

Clothing is only the book jacket to your life novel. Choosing clothing that fits and flatters not just your figure but your lifestyle and personality help better represent your novel and may attract more interested readers, but they don’t affect the plot or the outcome.

I’ve caught myself many times doing what I know many of you have done – shopped for a new self. This year I’m going to wear more power colors, I’m going to embrace my femininity, if I start over with a new minimalist capsule wardrobe my life will be simpler, I’m not going to be “that” mom, “that” corporate drone, and yes “that” blogger.

And the closet gets new additions, but one’s core, one’s self is unchanged. Because money can’t buy happiness, and it can’t buy a new soul. It’s easier to throw money at a closet than do self-analysis and work to improve our selves, but it doesn’t work. You have to do the work, not your wardrobe. Life is more than clothes, don’t let purchases define you, don’t let that which was unpurchased haunt you. You’re so much more than what you buy and own, so much more precious and interesting and beautiful. Believe that, and remember that a book jacket is just marketing; the plot of the novel is what really matters.