express tank

Express sequin tank

 About this time of mid-summer, nothing looks so effortlessly chic as the right, light touch of metallic — especially for day. I say DARE to try it – it’s great with the slight tan (or fake tan) you’ve acquired, and makes you look like you have that ultra-cool. spot-on innate fashion sense only the style-blessed seem to radiate. Mix metallic for day with denim, khaki, white, black or grey and you’ll have a hit. Even a color can look great – as long as it’s only one. Think of canary yellow and silver. And, come fall, metallic shines with darker shades like navy, charcoal and ubiquitous black.  There are some awesome pieces out there to take this fashion leap of faith with, so jump in. And remember to keep it a light touch — you don’t want people whipping out their sunglasses or a high SPF just to stand next to you…

The List:

  • JCrew has a super gold dusted metallic skirt for $198.00 that’ll look great with a khaki jacket forwork, or a white tee and flip flops for Saturday am. The same skirt goes out to dinner looking louche with a white silk tank or short-sleeved blouse.
  • I spotted a terrific silver sequin tank top at Express and for $29.50,it’s a superb style steal. Really dare to wear it to the office with a navy boyfriend blazer (no gold buttons, though) and navy slim pants or dark rinse jeans. It’ll liven up any gray suit instead of the expected white shirt, and worn with simple white pants, it’s an evening multi-tasker.

    jcrew skirt

    JCrew bubble skirt

  • Club Monaco’s newest summer collection includes a silver circle print lame short boyfriend blazer (and also shorts and a sheath dress) that’s a natural with jeans and a white tank for a casual Saturday lunch, shopping or cocktail party. Throw it over white shorts for a dressed-up bbq, and a white slim skirt and gray tee for work. Getting the idea metallic’s a lot more versatile than you thought?
  • Zara’s silvery white metallic tee dress is a no brainer for under a white linen jacket or thin gray cotton cardigan for day, and shines on it’s own for fancier moments.
  • Banana Republic has a really stylish silver shot cotton pleated bubble skirt for $45.00 that’s a winner for work with a neutral jacket or sweater, and
    dresses up nicely for night.
  • Bebe has a gunmetal sequin cardigan that they love over a sexy dress, but it’ll be an interesting accent piece for day and that quirky touch you want to add to your basic tees and trousers.$59.99.


    Bebe sequinned cardigan jacket

  • Accessories count as heavy metal-lica, too. Club Monaco’s silver beaded scarf and silver skinny belt are totally right as accent pieces day or night. MICHAEL Michael Kors has a killer handsome  gold flat sandal    for $178.00.  Kors’ silver leather ballet moccasins ($110.00) and JCrew’s silver ballet slippers ($98.00) are comfortable shine for closed toe moments, and Gap’s silver tee strap sandal for $19.99 is unbeatable. Banana Republic has a silver gladiator sandal for $98.00 that I need to own NOW. A great silver clutch is at Club Monaco , and JCrew’s large silver hobo ($149.99) may be all you need to get the style vibe out.

    mk sandal

    Michael Kors gold sandal


So, go ahead, DARE to try a metallic something and lmk if it’s worth its style weight in gold!


STYLED: New and Available

Norma Light

Okay – talk about summer light — on the wallet, as well as the heat. Norma Kamali’s summer ’09 line for Walmart has arrived in the big W and it’s a total winner. First of all, everything’s under $20.00 (this is not a typo!) and who wouldn’t want a chic, versatile summer piece for that? Best of all, Norma’s stayed on top of the quality control, design details, and her rep assured me, the real thing will look every bit as great as the samples.

The details: The capsule collection’s best bets are both basic and very individual looking, and you’ll want them all for different reasons. A snakeskin print stretch

Norma Kamali for Walmart snake print skirt

Norma Kamali for Walmart snake print skirt

pencil skirt is one of the most stylish finds I’ve seen this season. Wear it with a black tee or jacket for work, or a silver tank or top and silver sandals to a party. On Saturday — a denim jacket will do.

Next, take a look at two terrific dresses: The charming scoop neck henley tee dress

Norma Kamali for Walmart scoop neck dress

Norma Kamali for Walmart scoop neck dress

(right) that’s really super in every color, and the pretty poly jersey short sleeve peasant dress that looks ultra-cool and comfortable. The peasant version in black will take you out to dinner, with the right jewelry and sandals, or around the neighborhood on errands. The scoop in white looks right at the beach, and in taupe-y gray, it says work with a comfortable”T”.

Last, a marvelous cotton full short skirt in a black on black palm tree print is a

Norma Kamali for Walmart palm print skirt

Norma Kamali for Walmart palm print skirt

whimsical summer addition that shows you really know how to have fun. It’s a charming dressed up look with a tank, and a chic, feminine and different work look with the black safari shirt.

I picked out four pieces I’d love to own, but almost every item in here carries its style weight in spades. And, for a change – you can love a lot …and still afford the vacation you want to wear them on! See them all.

Prints Charming

I’m a stripes and solids girl myself, but every now and then, I’m captivated by an outstanding and unusual print, and I’ve just got to get it. This absolutely terrific abstract large floral in beige and yellow from J.Crew will add a sophisticated touch of individuality to anyone’s wardrobe. It’s just $98.00 and you can wear it with a straight slim skirt or skinny pants for work, a pair of white shorts for the weekend and even do something offbeat like pairing it with a metallic gold skirt for a party. It’s cool and chic in a big designer kind of way, no?

Working Cool

A sleeper hit for summer’s working crowd is the sleeveless vest jacket. It’s like the power suit with air conditioning! (That’s modernizing the stylish-again ’80’s.) It seems everyone’s got a version, including Banana Republic’s sleek and professional one at $149.99.

Banana Republic's sleeveless vest jacket

Banana Republic's sleeveless vest jacket

Club Monaco’s long white or navy linen vest jacket that’ll wrap neatly with a great belt over a straight skirt or trousers. You can layer it over a tank, or, if you’re not arm-confident, over a short sleeved tee or blouse. Needless to say, it’s versatile enough to live over jeans or shorts for downtime. $119.00 Other terrific vest jackets are at http://www.banana in their Monogram collection and by Kenneth Cole.

Shipley Shape

It’s rare when a capsule designer collection hits a larger retailer that’s so spot

Shipley and Halmos for Uniqlo drawstringwaist dress

Shipley and Halmos for Uniqlo drawstring waist dress

on in terms of great wearable pieces in updated but not too trendy shapes that’ll take you into summer with ease and versatility. But that’s what happened when the Shipley and Halmos for Uniqlo collection hit the store here in NY. I was amazed by their dresses and shorts in particular. Here, a $39.50 black or gray shiny cotton drawstring waist dress can be one step chic, or give instant style over capri leggings, shorts or pants. Talk about summer made simple!

Summer Sweat-er

Sweaters and summer don’t usually get said in the same breath, unless, of

course, you are one of the millions of women who work in an office so cold you have to dig out your winter woolies to keep warm. Then you sweat when youBanana Republic short-sleeved cardigan step outside. Solve this with a great short sleeved cardigan from Banana Republic that comes in a kaleidoscope of colors. It can almost take the place of a jacket for work with a slim skirt or trousers. At $39.99. in a color that pops, you can add a lot of style. Gap also carries one.

STYLED: What and Why

Welcome to STYLED!
STYLED is a fashion blog designed to help REAL women find absolutely the best wardrobe pieces out there RIGHT NOW – clothing that adds personality, individuality, versatility and has lots of style value.
The coolest, most stylish pieces from stores, websites, catalogs and individual showrooms will be reviewed with a fashion editor’s trained eye, and a sophisticated point of view that’s right for grown-ups – simply chic and sometimes quirky and individual. You’ll get fresh, frequent recommendations from different resources that you can buy and use the minute you see them ,or save up for a rainy shopping day.

What can STYLED do for you?

The pieces we point out will help you break out of your style rut. They’ll be appropriate for all of us who aren’t teenagers anymore, at prices that won’t leave you speechless and won’t leave your wallet sucked into a bottomless style money pit. Most importantly, they’ll help you find your best stylist – yourself.

Why STYLED now?
1. BECAUSE we’re in a deep RECESSION, and thinking beyond this to a brave new and better future, we’ll need value and versatility for our money more than ever. We need to make every item of clothing we spend on count. Fashion for fashion’s sake is way dead, and I wont tell you to buy unless I see added value and a realistic price.
2. BECAUSE I HEARD YOU OUT THERE ! Every real woman I polled as fashion director at two top mass market magazines had these wishes and complaints about fashion:
_ I want to look appropriate _ for my age, my job, my move up in life, for a special occasion in my life.
_ I can’t find anything to buy in the stores. It’s all for the super-thin and/or teenagers, or way too old and boring. I’m still young (or young in outlook) and I want to look interesting.
_ I want to have more individual style.
_ I want to get out of my fashion rut, but I don’t know how.
_I need to dress well, but I need to do it at a price.
_ I need to find more clothes that are right for my figure.
_ I ‘m confused by all of what I see in the stores and how it’s presented- what is right for me?
3 . Personally, I decided to do this blog now because of EXPLODING PRICES. Take the “It” bag. You know, that bag that’s suddenly the one that every actress and model has to carry, the one that’s being copied everywhere.
Last year, as I zeroed in on my newest bag of desire (usually never bought, just identified and coveted), I nearly gagged and fell off my four-inch editor heels. I’ve been around luxury goods my whole life and know they command top dollar because of great design, quality materials and that indefinable prestige factor, but this was way beyond any price zone I could have imagined.
What were the handbag people thinking? $5000? (Five years ago, I paid $1000 for a bag from the new Marc Jacobs line- the most expensive bag I ever purchased. Had an “It” bag really jumped $1000 a year?)
Something just snapped right there with that price tag, and I said “Enough”! I could no longer defend my industry. This was unconscionable and unnecessary, and so, so unrealistic and unfair to make women covet what most could not hope to own.

STYLED is because YES,WE CAN LOOK GREAT FOR LESS. REALLY. My blog will be about helping you find great alternatives to the expensive fashion must-haves that we are told define style.

As my blog progresses, there will be rotating focuses on work, casual and evening clothes. There will be discussions of how to wear a fashion item and when; different ways to style an item for versatility; figure problems; stylist’s secrets; designer focuses and much, much more. Stay tuned.
So, here goes the first bit — relax, sit back and enjoy. And, by all means, comment. Welcome to STYLED.


Memo To: Fashion Public

Re: Weird Pants

Listen, guys, I am the last person not to try something avant-garde or new, but sometimes you can just see a a fashion disaster waiting to happen. That honor goes this summer season to all those shorter, baggy, pleated types of pants designers created because they were tired of all the classic choices. Fashion turns on change, so the lean, narrow, long and tight had been in, so now it was time for wider, looser and shorter. Okay. Sounds comfortable, right? What’s wrong with that you ask?

In my opinion, plenty. If you are wider or shorter, which most people are, compared to models, these extra pleats and drapey fabric will only add inches, and cropping pants shorter just cuts your silhouette at an unflattering spot and you’ll end up exaggerating your smaller frame. These pants looked awesome and louche-ly chic on the runway, but for real women, the trend spells big trouble. Any store that bought them for a large range of customers will have to get its salespeople to charm these pants on to any unsuspecting victim they can. Beware the salesvulture carrying ugly pants!!

Look for other fashion commentary here in STYLED: CC’D from time to time.