“…cherish your human connections…”

What a powerful statement. It was spoken by Barbara Bush in the 1990 commencement address she gave at Wellesley College.

To many people, Mrs. Bush was an extension of her husband as First Lady. To me, she was a woman of substance. Her wit and her honest, spot-on comments and observations were so refreshing.

Out of one commencement address you can get words to live by for your lifetime.

“…believe in something larger than yourself…”

“Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you are talking about life and life must have joy. It’s supposed to be fun.”

“…cherish your human connections, your relationships with family and friends. At the end of your life , you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent…”

I think we can all say that Barbara Bush died with no regrets. She was a great woman.

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ANOTHER VISIT TO THE MOTHER SHIP

Nordstrom-THE Mother Ship for fashion.  It is always enjoyable to go to Nordstrom to see what’s new for the season.

Recently I was invited to a spring workshop. It was called “Laid Back Luxe”. This category appealed to me and I signed up for the workshop. As usual, Nordstrom did not disappoint. It was a terrific session with Jennifer Weiner who is the Styling Sales Manager at the Paramus store. Jennifer talked about this trend and showed us some really great looking merchandise which is on the floor now. She had merchandise that covered a variety of price points. There is something for everyone. This category encompasses soft dressing. Everything moves fluidly.

The pants are  fabulous. There are wide leg pants with paperbag waists. There is a wide leg pant with side slits all the way up each leg.  The looks carry over from designer labels to Nordstom’s own labels.

There is a crinkled skirt in a saffron color with a wrap asymmetric front that was really good.

Sweaters and tops in this theme are loosely knit and loose fitting. The colors are soft and spicy. Lots of natural and blush and, of course, black.

Floral dresses in beautiful dark prints are also part of this mix. Personally I love all the bohemian looks. Brings me back to the first time that look was huge in the 60’s.

There was also a printed Kimono in the items selected to show for this theme. This is one of my favorite looks.

Here are a couple of photos. The floor at Nordstrom looks really fresh.  Stop by your local Mother Ship. If you need to, see a personal stylist to help you pull together a few looks.

 

TOP IT OFF- Spring Part 2- Tops, Dresses And Skirts

The most exciting thing for Spring this year are all the shapes and varieties of  style in every category of apparel. I think that the biggest trend is in tops, specifically sleeves.

SLEEVES. The cold shoulder came on like crazy in 2016. Actually, the cold shoulder goes back to 1992 when Donna Karan released her “cold shoulder” dress which was a long sleeved jersey dress with the cut out shoulder. It has been in and out of the spotlight over the years, but in 2016 it started coming on strong again. This year it is on fire as is a lot of sleeve treatments. And why wouldn’t it be a best seller? Just about everyone has a good shoulder to show off. You can get cold shoulder tops and dresses in a wide variety of fabrications. There are bell sleeves, ruffled sleeves, ruffled bell sleeves, ruffled shoulders, peak-a-boo 3/4 sleeves (this encompasses slit sleeves as well as a variety of cut outs). It really adds a lot of fun and style to how you put yourself together.

HEMLINES. We can continue to enjoy asymmetric hems this season. Shark bite hems are seen on lots of tops, dresses and skirts. I think that the most popular is the high-low hemline. This gives you a great look coming and going into a room. There is interest added into the asymmetry on skirts by adding a cascading ruffle down the side, or high slits.

In dresses, the big statement is a floral print. There are soft pastel prints which cover the pinks, lavenders, mints and peach. The pastels are a beautiful story if you are happy being in pastels. In this category you will also see gingham checks in pinks and blues as well as navy. Then there are the Bohemian darker floral prints which bring you to a more free spirited, sensual period of dressing. There are many beautiful spice colors that fit in this category (think Morocco, think breeze-catching dresses).

Dots and Stripes.  Lots and lots of both patterns this season. In some cases the dots, stripes and florals are combined into patchwork  prints. Stripes are never out. Most visible are color and white, or color and black. Somehow stripes always look fresh.

Another look for the season is the lingerie inspired kimono. Soft fabrications of chiffon and crepe de chine in beautiful prints are a very good look over solid dresses (great if you are not crazy about showing upper arms) as well as a “jacket” over a tank or tee with pants or a skirt. Take one of these kimonos, belted or unbelted, and pair it with a high slit palazzo pant or an asymmetric skirt and you could be going out to a wedding or an important dinner.

If I had to recommend one update to your wardrobe this spring I would say that the Trifecta would be a cold shoulder top, with a bell sleeve and a high-low hem.

As I always say,  enjoy getting dressed!!

Saying Goodbye To Mom

Mom passed away on March 17th after a well lived life of 93 years, 7 months. The following is my “Reflection” that was read my my cousin Tom at the funeral last week. I thank Tom for reading this because I never would have been able to do it that day. It will be a huge transition for me to no longer have Mom here. I would like to think that we both will transition in style.

Mom…she had a lightness in her spirit. Her light shone from within. She was always positive, she was always supportive. She was fun to be with and was always excited to see us. Even as the dementia progressed, she never “lost” us. She always knew us and was thrilled to see us. She loved our daily cups of tea or coffee together. When we took our afternoon walks with her she would stop to say hi to everyone we passed. She was always complimenting someone on how they looked and asking how they were. Everyone would tell her how lucky she was to have her family with her. To her, we were the light in her life. For us, it was always her.

She championed all of our causes and never let us down. For her, the family was everything. Dad was the love of her life but he had to share her love with us which was not a problem because she had plenty to give.  Her parents, her sister Kay and her brothers Tom and Donald also meant the world to her.  Mom came from very poor beginnings but her love for family and her faith in God made her rich. That richness and her positive attitude, always a positive attitude, permeated her life and led her to the wonderful life with Dad that she so deserved. There was no love missing in our house. You could always feel it surround you and support you. She was generous, kind and loving.

If we are half the person that Mom was, we can consider our lives a success.

I am certain that on St Patrick’s day she and Aunt Kay were step dancing once again, and that Dad was watching and when they finished their dance he requested a cha-cha for them.

I saw a poem by Irene Conner that was perfect for us now.

Although you cannot hear her voice                                                                                                 Or see her smile no more,                                                                                                                   Your mother walks beside you still                                                                                                   Just as she did before.                                                                                                                           She listens to your stories and                                                                                                           She wipes away your tears,                                                                                                                 She wraps her arms around you                                                                                                         And she understands your fears.                                                                                                       It’s just she isn’t visible                                                                                                                         To see with human eye,                                                                                                                         But talk to her in silence and                                                                                                               Her spirit will reply.                                                                                                                             You’ll feel the love she has for you                                                                                                     You’ll hear her in your heart,                                                                                                             She’s left her human body,                                                                                                                   But your souls will never part.

Mom will be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPRING ’18 PART 1- PANTS

A new season is upon us. Let’s look at pants for spring-summer ’18, but first, here is a short tutorial on this category.  In the spring and summer the selection for pants is vast. Here are the lengths that one encounters for the warmer weather seasons.

Working from the ground up we’ll start with a full length pant. Inseam is between 28″ to 31″ depending on if the length is considered  petite, regular or tall. Next is an Ankle length which is self explanatory.  This length has become popular over the last couple of years.  Next is the Crop Pant which has a 23″ inseam. Crop pants are followed by Capri Pants with a 20″ inseam. Sharing in this length are pants that were popular in the 50’s and 60’s- Pedal Pushers AKA Clam Diggers. The difference here is that the Capri widens through the thigh to the leg opening and the pedal pusher fits close to the leg. Next is the Gaucho which has a 21″ inseam and is wide through the thigh and has a more generous cut. Culottes have an 18″ inseam and have a semi fitted wide leg. This is followed by shorts: Bermuda (13″ inseam), Walking Short (slightly shorter than Bermudas),  City Short (11″ inseam and a more tailored cut), Skort which is a skirt over a short, usually knee length for the skirted portion, and if you can carry it off, short shorts (these days usually in the form of cut off, cut up denim).

I think we can say that there is a length for every occasion and every body type!

This year there is a great selection of wide leg pants. The Palazzo pant was originally a trouser cut with the wide leg flaring from the knee. They were worn by trend setters in the 20’s such as Coco Chanel, then  Katherine Hepburn in the 30’s. Then in the 60’s they took off again. In the 80’s the Palazzo was part of the power suit. Variations on the wide leg pant are also “bell bottoms” and “flared leg”. This year you will see a cross section of fabrics for the Palazzo pants.  There are also long cropped gauchos. There are jogger pants elasticized at the hem. There are cargo pocket pants. A few great looking styles I have seen have either a side slit, a front slit, or a back slit. The slits are at varying heights on the wide leg pants.

There are lots of printed pants out this season too. There are all over prints as well as placement prints or embroidery.

Going to be a great season for pants. Shoe accessorizing is a topic for another day.

CAN SPRING BE FAR BEHIND?

What better time than watching the snow fall to think about Spring 2018 colors?

The team at the Pantone Color Institute create the trend report highlighting the top colors shown by designers showing at the NY Fashion Week which took place in September. These colors will be featured in their collections and the colors seen at the show tell us what we can expect to see in all areas of design.

Colors for Spring are so POWERFUL! Laurie Pressman (Pantone)  says “The desire for colorful self expression is a key take away for Spring 2018. The color story is wildly divergent and we see a kaleidoscopic bounty of uplifting shades and feel-good tones.” The colors encourage experimenting with mixing the colors in all sorts of ways. Mixing of these colors can be fun or very dramatic.

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There is also a classic color palette, These four colors are the anchors for everyone. Sailor Blue, Coconut Milk, Warm Sand, Harbor Mist (dove gray)

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Ultra Violet has been named the color of the year for 2018. This color, and shades of, will be seen in the stores as the year progresses. Actual spring for most manufacturers had already been planned by this point. I think Cherry Tomato will be big for Spring. There will be lots of bright colors to enjoy this season.

Enjoy and have fun with it.

Hello 20-Great Teen!

Another year is about to start. I think that for this year I am wishing for a positive attitude to permeate all of the people I know and the zillions of people I don’t know!

20-Great-Teen! I love this! My 29 year old friend Carl shared this with me and I told him that I was stealing it because I think that if everyone had this as their mantra it would indeed be a great 2018.

Since it is a time for resolutions it is best to keep them simple and attainable. Here is a question for you. When was the last time you tried something for the first time? Think about it and come up with a list of things to try. It could be as simple as trying something new on a menu or learning about something that has always been interesting to you.

This year I am going to update my Bucket List and really work at chipping away at it! For me that means exploring places I have not yet been to or, in some cases, returning to places I have been to and explore them more thoroughly. Also high on my bucket list is spending quality time with family and friends and really get to know what makes them tick. I intend to spend time with elders at my Mom’s residence as well as spend time with my soon to be 4 grandson and the new baby that will come on the scene in May. There is so much to be learned from those on each end of the age spectrum.

I wish all of you a wonderful new year filled with happiness and perhaps some new beginnings. Try something new…you might find it incredibly worthwhile.

Happy 20-GREAT-TEEN.

Old World vs Modern

This summer when we were traveling in Europe I chose two distinctively different hotels for our extra days on each end of the cruise.

The first was in Lisbon Portugal. We fell in love with the pictures of Avenida Palace on the internet. It was so old world and looked like such a romantic spot to start our vacation. As exhausted as we were when we arrived I could not help wanting to look all around as soon as we got there.

The lobby at the entrance was glorious with a magnificent bouquet in the center of the room. The second photo was where you could have a cocktail in the afternoon while a piano or violins were playing. Our room turned out to be a living room, bedroom and bath. Outside of our room was a very glamorous staircase that spiraled up to the top. There was a sitting/reading area outside of our door too! In our room there was a writing desk in its own alcove. The second floor had large open seating areas perfect for meeting friends. There was a lovely dining room where breakfast was served and was included with the cost of our room. Far and away my favorite room was the bar. It was gorgeous and there was a friendly chatty bartender.  There was a very helpful concierge who helped to get us reservations for a restaurant with a Fado show (this is a must when visiting Portugal) and got a guide for us for a morning tour.  Without having to give it too much thought, I decided we could live happily ever after in this lovely hotel.

At the end of our trip we extended for a couple of days in Bilboa Spain. Bilboa is the home of The Guggenheim museum and the reason I wanted to explore this city. In looking for a hotel my mind switched to modern and a location that we could walk to the museum. I found Hotel Miro right down the street from the Guggenheim.

The hotel was very sleek and modern. There was total use of space, and you did not get much space in your room.  At first I though there was no closet but then I found it behind a curtain that served as a room divider between the sleeping area and the sink/shower area. The toilet was separate and had a door off of the sink/shower area. You better not be too shy about sharing space!  Breakfast was not included.  There was a small bar that was geared to coffee and non-alcohol drinks, but you could have wine. Local restaurants and bars in the area were good. We had terrific pintxos and drinks in the afternoon and really good Spanish wines with dinner.

So, which would you chose? The Avenida Palace was about $100 more a night, but it did include breakfast for two. Cost aside, which would you go for? I like to mix things up when we travel so it was fun for us to experience both ends of the  spectrum.

The Color for 2018 Is…

For months there has been a buzz about Purple having “a moment” in 2018. Well, the Pantone Color Institute has made that official with the selection of Ultra Violet (18-3838) as the color of the year for 2018.

What is the difference between Purple and Ultra Violet? Purple is a mix between equal parts of blue and red. Violet has its own measurement on the visual spectrum of light. The basic difference is that Purple is closer to red and Violet is closer to blue.

According to Pantone, Ultra Violet is “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade…communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points toward the future.”  This color represents royalty, magic and mystery.  Prince wrote about Purple Rain, Jimi Hendrix about a Purple Haze and David Bowe seemed to love all things purple. Purple represents individuality and creativity.

As Jenny Joseph says in her poem titled Warning,   “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.” Why wait? 2018 surely will bring on lots of beautiful clothing in Ultra Violet and other shades of purple. I am a firm believer in the psychology of color. Go for it! We can all feel royal and creative.

FALL AND HOLIDAY 2017

For me, the only drawback to the change of season is that I have to put my sandals away until spring.

Fall…I love the clean, crisp air and getting my closet transitioned for the season.  Time to reevaluate what I have and what I need (well, really the word is want) to add for this season.

For most of the women I know there are a few really good trends for fall and holiday that will update your look. One key look for this season is lace. You will see lace dresses, shirts, jackets, tops and tees. It is trimming everything-jeans as well as the hems on many styles of knit tops.  Open work detail is also popular this season in burnout velvet for tops and dusters. You will also see lots of velvet in pants, tops and jackets. The look is very boho and is very attractive. There is also a strong presence of embroidery. Embroidery is on jeans, tops, sweaters, jackets.  The motif is primarily floral which ties in to another big look for the season. Something in a floral print is a must-have. Having been intimately involved in selecting and editing prints throughout my career, I can tell you that the floral prints being shown this season are really beautiful and very wearable. Bold and cold shoulders continue. Good thing because that was an addition I made in 2016!  Along side of shoulders being exposed are cozy tunic sweaters. The look is best with midi length skirts. Sweaters are not just pull-overs, look for drape front cardigans (which have been trending for several seasons) and fit-and-flare styles.  Sleeves are center stage. Bell sleeves (both modified and exaggerated) are the biggest design feature for the season. There are also lots of ruffled and pleated sleeves for you to select. Leather is another factor for this season. If you really want to make a statement, go for a double look- top and pant or top and skirt. A finishing touch would be a silk scarf to soften the look. And, a more affordable approach is faux leather which has been gaining in popularity and acceptance for many years.

Boots deserve a separate paragraph. If you really want to “kick” up your look buy a pair of boots! Ankle boots continue to dominate the category but this year there are many styles available in over-the-knee and a ’70’s slouchy look. Heel heights vary quite a bit so there really is something for everyone. There are even boots that sparkle and there are winter white boots (As I write this I am hearing Nancy Sinatra singing “these boots are made for walkin’ “).  The love of embroidery and prints this season reaches all the way down to your toes. There are some beautiful printed and embroidered styles out there. These fall into the pricier category though, and obviously won’t be worn with everything.

In articles I’ve read they talk about a “statement piece” in high shine and cited that a trench coat translates this best. This brought back so many memories for me! My Dad was in the fashion business and when I was starting college he saw a red vinyl maxi trench coat and brought it home for me! I was so excited I could not wait to wear it! Needless to say you could spot me across campus. Wish I had  kept it. Gee, we always get rid of the wrong stuff.

To sum up, for a quick style up date consider lace, velvet, embroidery, floral print, and a new pair of boots!