Search Results for: label/Suave

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.


  • 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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Review and Giveaway: Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care

I was slow to the argan oil craze, but looking back I wonder why I waited so long. Known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, Moroccan argan oil is great for the body from head to toe. I know own many beauty products that include Moroccan argan oil and love how it penetrates deep, hydrates, and protects. When BlogHer and Suave asked me to review the new Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care line I was excited!

For the first time, Suave® Body Care is launching products in the Suave Professionals® line, offering women everywhere access to premium quality products with the finest skincare ingredients. Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion features authentic argan oil from Morocco and this new premium range claims to leave skin looking and feeling beautifully silky and and leaves skin radiant. The Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care line includes Body Lotion, a daily moisturizer that absorbs quickly for up to 24 hours of non-greasy hydration, and Dry Body Oil Spray, a non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly, locking in long-lasting moisture. I received one of each for this review.

I’m not usually a fan of dry oil, I worked for a beauty company many years ago that carried it and while it felt dry going on, it always left some weird oily residue on my clothes. I have to say Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil Spray truly is a dry oil spray. I can spray it on my arms and legs, rub it in, put on clothes and not be a smeary mess. If you want gleaming shoulders and knees, this is the product for you. It made my skin look so soft and supple, a perfect product for a winter getaway to a tropical locale where you can don sundresses and want radiant skin.

The Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion has a lightweight silky formula that really does absorb quickly. No need to apply to warm skin right out of the shower, I found this lotion could even be applied to dry winter skin and not just see results but have it absorb enough to put clothes on right away. While I did feel the lasting effects of the lotion and do believe it provides 24 hours of non-greasy hydration, this lotion didn’t offer enough hydration for the cold winter days we’re experiencing. I found it worked best as a layer over a heavier cream, or as a touch-up of moisture later in the day. I do feel it makes the skin look silkier and more supple than a traditional lotion, and it has the classic Moroccan argan oil scent.

I must say Suave® has yet again figured out how to provide quality at a nice price. If you are a fan of Moroccan argan oil, I suggest you try out the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion collection. Find more information about the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products at When you visit the Suave Beauty Facebook page, check out the tips for radiant skin as well as style advice from celebrity stylist Brad Goreski. Also be sure to enter the “Radiant Wishes” sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion products, a spa day or a trip to Los Angeles.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner notified.  Thank you for entering!

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Goodies Delivered from FedEx!

Thank you Becky Meisels!

Becky contacted me regarding this blog; she saw how much I adore the Suave Professionals line, especially Healthy Curls. She works for a PR firm that I guess represents Suave. I just received a big box of Suave goodies and just in time! My Healthy Curls shampoo is almost gone, my mousse ran out on Monday and I was thinking of trying a new hairspray. I also got the Sleek and Amplify shampoos and conditioners from the Suave Professionals line – products I have not used before. I also got the Healthy Curls Root Lifter – I think I will try this again, had it in the past but a different haircut – this time I may find it more successful. Also got a flexible hold spray that I haven’t tried before.

As I use these new goodies I will let you guys know how they work. I truly believe that you do not have to pay a fortune to have good looking hair. Leave the cost to the talented stylist who cuts and colors; you can still manage and protect your hair for just a few bucks. If you haven’t tried the Suave Professionals line I encourage you to try it; I know it’s all under $2.00 at my local Target – easy to fit into any budget!


Coral gauzy babydoll top from… some brand at Nordstrom (got last year). Patch-pocket jeans from gap Outlet, two coral chip glass necklaces from a boutique at Rehoboth Beach, teal suede wedges from Seychelles, silver hoops and silver cuff bracelet.

Hair was washed with Suave Professionals Sleek shampoo (very small amount at scalp), then ArTec Cherry bark color depositing shampoo, then Kiwi ColorReflect conditioner. Added FrizzEase Dream Curls to damp hair and a bit of Suave Professionals Get Curly mousse at the front. Let air dry most of the way, then used a diffuser for the rest and hit a few pieces with the curling iron and set with Sebastian Shaper Spray.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, Smashbox Soft Lights in Tint on the apples of the cheeks, covered with Nars Orgasm blush. Eyes is the Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis – ivory in inner corners and along brow bone, olive on the lid, chocolate int he crease and along lash lines. DiorShow Unlimited mascara in black on curled lashes. On lips is The Body Shop’s Sheer Lipcolor in Sheer Caramel.


White jeans from Caslon, raspberry heathered ribbed tank from Old Navy, navy cotton twill blazer from Talbots, tan thong leather heels from Mossimo. Silver hoops and cuff bracelet.

Hair is curly – Suave Professionals curly hair mousse, random pieces curled with iron, set with Sebastian Shaper Spray.

Makeup is Bare Minerals foundation, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer, Nars Orgasm blush, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral – ivory in the inner corners and khaki on the lids, on lips is Sally Hansen’s Diamond Lipgloss in Champagne Toast. oh, and L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in black on curled lashes.


Black scoop tee from American Apparel. Black and white sequined skirt from Marshall’s. Black peep toe heels from Steve Madden. Silver hoops and silver cuff bracelet.

Hair curly thanks to Suave/Redken wanna be products for curls and a curling iron for the unruly pieces.

Makeup is L’oreal True Match foundation, The Body Shop concealer, Chanel pressed powder, Physician’s Formula Magical mosaics bronzer. The Body Shop shadows in Granite and Soft Black to have a subtle smokey eye. Two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black. On lips is Sally Hansen lipgloss in Lilac over The Body Shop’s lipliner (on whole lip) in Beech.


Here’s my look from Saturday – this was taken at our cousin’s fifth birthday.  It was a gorgeous day – a bit chilly in the shade, but warm in the sun.

Navy Scoop Pima Tee – Banana Republic
Denim Pencil Skirt – Ann Taylor
Oversized Scarf – H&M
Boots – Silhouettes (several years old and got from Sarah of the blog StyleIT)
Silver Cuff

Hair was washed and conditioned and dried very fast with a round brush.  I used Tresseme heat protector and Suave root lifter spray.  Makeup was my standard and done on the ride to the party as that we left about 6 minutes after my husband got home from teaching yoga and Emerson was sans nap and super hyper that morning – quite a feat to do your hair with an active toddler!


Brown merino v-neck sweater from Gap, brown and ivory and coral tweed trousers from Ann Taylor, brown leather peep-toes with wood heel from Maripe, silver hoops and cuff.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, concealer in W4-5, The Body Shop’s bronzing powder in Light, a bit of Smashbox Soft Lights in Tint on the apples of my cheeks, on eyes is Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis – ivory in inner corners and along brow bone, olive on lid, chocolate in crease and along lash lines. Revlon ColorGlide Sheer in Sheer Burgundy on lips.

Hair was washed, conditioned, and added Suave Professionals Healthy Curls mousse. Let is air dry for about an hour, dried the rest with a diffuser, then used a curling iron on the pieces in front that didn’t curl.


Tan canvas jacket with contrast stitching from Mossimo for Target, black ribbed tank from Caslon, Curvy Bootcut jeans from Gap, black city boots from Impo, silver hoops and cuff, black coral necklace from Mexico.

Hair was washed, conditioned, a bit of Suave Professionals Healthy Curls applied when damp and allowed to air-dry 90%. Then dried the rest with a diffuser and used a curling iron on the unruly pieces.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, concealer in W4-5, a bit of The Body Shop bronzing powder in light, with Nars Orgasm blush on the apples of my cheeks. Eyes is the Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis – ivory on inner corners and along brow bone, olive on lid, chocolate in crease and along lash line. DiorShow Unlimited mascara in black on curled lashes. On lips is Revlon ColorGlide Sheer in Sheer Burgundy.


Black cotton tank from Banana Republic, Denim trousers from Gap, Khaki canvas jacket from Mossimo for Target, black coral necklace from Mexico, silver cuff, balck round-toe high heeled pumps from Jessica Simpson.

Hair was washed with Artec color-depositing shampoo in Cherry Bark, then Kiwi conditioner. Sprayed in FrizzEase Dream Curls, and a bit of Suave Professionals Dream Curls mousse in the front. Allowed to air dry for about a half hour, then dried the rest with a diffuser, then used a curling iron on the pieces that looked rough.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, Nars Orgasm blush and a bit of Body Shop bronzer powder in light. Eyes is the Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in neutral – ivory in inner corners and along brow bone, olive on lid and along lower lash line, chocolate in crease. On lips is Revlon ColorGlide in Rum Radiance.

Saturday Afternoon

Holiday Open House at a friend’s house that started at 2. Too bad I am not feeling my best. Often when I get a vacation after a few stressful weeks at work, Miss Migraine decides to have a visit.

Black merino v-neck sweater from Ann Taylor, ivory wool cuffed trousers from the same company. White gold and diamond stud earrings received as a gift a few years ago.

The hair was washed, conditioned, and then Suave Professionals Healthy Curls mousse applied. Allowed to air dry 80%, then blew dry the rest with a diffuser. No curling iron this time.

For face, L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, concealer in W1-2-3, a bit of Physican’s Formula bronzer in light. L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black, and The Body Shop lipstick in Damson.

Sunday Night

Concert with the husband and a few friends. Black merino wrap sweater from Banana Republic, black tank from Banana Republic, curvy bootcut jeans from Gap, black city boots from Enzo, silver necklaces from Ann Taylor Loft and from Ren Fest. Silver dangle earrings from Nordstrom, silver cuff bracelet.

Hair was washed, conditioned, but of Suave Professionals Healthy Curls mousse, hair curled where unruly (gave up on the bangs), and some Jonathan Dirt.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation and concealer, Nars Orgasm blush, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral, L’Oreal Voluminous mascara and a touch of Body Shop eye liner in slate. On lips is Revlon Sheer Lipglide in Sheer Burgundy.


Green stretch v-neck sweater from Banana Republic, white ribbed tank from J. Crew, dark denim pencil skirt from Gap, brown leather peeptoes with wood heel from Maripe, silver bracelet from Ann Taylor Loft.

Hair was washed and conditioned with Suave Professionals Color Care, a touch of Sexy Straight Balm applied, and dried with round brush.

Makeup is MAC MoistureBlend foundation, Body Shop Concealer, MAC Blot Powder, Nars Orgasm blush. On lips is some Maybelline Diamonds lip pencil in a berry shade (do not have it on me). Eyes are very subtle, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in neutral, ivory in the corners and khaki on the lid. Two coats of Body Shop Define and Lengthen mascara in Black.

(darn Blogger not uploading pics)


Black tape-yarn scooped neck top from Ann Taylor Loft, denim trousers from Ann Taylor, my beloved new leopard peep toe heels from BCBGirls, gold chain from Express and gold bangles from Claire’s.

Hair was dried in a dash. I forgot it was election day and wanted to vote before I got to work. Washed and conditioned with Suave Professionals Color Care and then a touch of Biol Silk was added, and hair was dried as quick as possible with a paddle brush.

Makeup is MAC MoistureBlend foundation, Body Shop concealer, MAC Blot Powder, Physician’s Formula mosaics bronzer in light, the Body Shop’s sheer lipcolor in a rosey color. Eyes is The Body Shop’s Shimmer Cubes in Warmth – peach on the lid, chocolate along the lash lines and in the crease. Two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on curled lashes.


Black stretch v-neck sweater from Banana Republic, white denim skirt from Ann Taylor Loft, red stone necklace from a boutique at the beach, black leather strappy thong heels from Mossimo.

Hair is Suave Professionals Healthy curls shampoo, conditioner and mousse. Unruly pieces curled with iron.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation, MAC Studio Stick concealer, Physican’s Formula Magical Mosiacs bronzer in light, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in neutral – ivory in the inner corners and along brow bone, khaki on lid and along lower lash line. lashes curled thanks to Shu Eumura, two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara and thin line of black Ultra Liner from Maybelline on the top lash line. On lips is L’Oreal’s Endless Kissable Shinewear (without the extra gloss) in color 530.


Green stretchy cotton v-neck sweater from Banana Republic, white cuffed cotton cropped pants from Casual Corner, black leather thong sandal heels from Target, silver hoops and cuff bracelet.

hair was washed with Suave Professionals Sleek shampoo and conditioner, Sexy Straight hair balm and Pantene thickening spray added while damp, and blown dry with a round boar bristle brush and ionic dryer.

Makeup is very light. I was having allergy issues and didn’t want to pile it on. L’Oreal True Match foundation, MAC Studio Stick concealer, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer in light, Revlon ColorStay shadoq quad in Neutral – ivory in the inner corners and along the brow bone, olive on the lids and lightly along the lower lash line. L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on curled lashes. On lips is Lancome’s Juicy Tubes in Exposure.


Black silk/cashmere shell from banana Republic, denim trousers from Ann Taylor, red stone necklace from a vintage boutique, black pointy pumps from B.P./Nordstrom.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation in C3, MAC Studio Stick concealer, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer in light used as powder and color. Touch of Nars Orgasm blush on the lips. On the eyes is The Body Shop’s Granite on the lids, Soft Black on the crease and along the lower lash line. Maybelline’s Ultra Liner in black on the top lash line. two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black on lashes curled thanks to Shu Eumura. On lips is Sally Hansen’s Diamond Lipgloss in Champagne Toast.

Hair was wahsed this AM with Suave Professionals Healthy Curles shampoo and conditioner, then a large amount of the matching mousse in damp hair. Dried with a diffuser, curled a few pieces but mainly left as-is.


Black knit v-neck sweater from Banana Republic. Fatigue ripstop cotton skirt from J. Crew. Red stone necklace bought at a beach boutique. Red paisley wool/cotton bandanna in hair, tied at neck so looks like a headband. Red pointy flats from Bronx. My silver cuff bracelet.

Hair was done curly, thanks to Suave being the cheap version of Matrix. I let the bangs be sideswept in front of the headband, the rest is curls.

Makeup is L’Oreal True Match foundation, MAC stick concealer, Chanel powder. Bare Minerals Warmth as bronzer. On the lips is Lancome Juicy Tubes in Exposure. Eyes is a touch of The Body Shop’s shadow in Pink Champagne, lashes curled with two coats of MAC X mascara and a thin line of black Ultra Liner by Maybelline.

I think I look cute, very collegiate, very springy. Several compliments ont he headband.

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.