Are Your Shoes Hurting Your Health?

If you wear (fab) shoes like this, it’s all about the timing. B Brian Atwood Fredrique platform pumps via saksfifthavenue.com.

I’m an admitted shoe fanatic, but I also love writing about wellness. So the recent health story I wrote on 9 Footwear Do’s and Don’ts for USNews.com was really fun.

The truth is, our feet withstand lots of abuse (think long jogs and super high stilettos), and we need to take care of them to avoid pain, injury, and other ailments. Check out the story to learn the best time to go out in high heels—and if you should be wearing those flip flips.

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2011 Trends That Are Still Hot

Can you believe 2012 is here? (Happy new year!) This date change has me thinking about trends. I’ve always believed that if you like something, and it flatters you, you should wear it. Doesn’t matter if it was popular two months ago or two years ago. So, on that note, here are three trendy items from 2011 that I’ll be wearing into 2012.

Colored skinny jeans
I loved my cherry red and popsicle blue jeans in high school, so I was happy when they were easy to find again. In 2011, I scored emerald-colored skinnies (so fun), and I’ll definitely go green this year, too.

Current/Elliott The Ankle Skinny via RevolveClothing.com

Animal print
I’ve been wild about cheetah print, leopard print, and snake print for years (years), and I was thrilled to see it appear on everything from shoes to sweaters. I already had scarves, flats, cardigans, and…well, let’s just say I had a few things (ahem). This year I added cheetah print pumps and leopard print skinny jeans and have no plans to stop wearing them. (Don’t know the difference between cheetah and leopard? It’s easy.)

Majorly important note: Of course, I’d never wear this stuff together. Best to leave head-to-toe prints to the actual animals.

Vivienne Westwood silk-chiffon scarf via net-a-porter.com

Sparkly shoes
Calling all 12-year-olds: We have something in common. My obsession with shine is well documented, so of course I love sparkly shoes. I already had some in silver but added another pair in 2011. My opinion hasn’t changed: glitter is good.

Kate Spade New York Licorice Too via Zappos Couture

So what will you keep wearing in 2012? And do you always wear what you like no matter what’s popular?

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My Style: Fashion In Five Minutes—Or Less

Dresses are amazing. If you get the right shape and color (I’m partial to sheath styles that don’t need ironing) you look like you put major effort into your look—even if you got dressed in minutes.

And if the pattern is eye-catching, and the dress has some texture, there’s no need to stress about lots of accessories.

The perfect shoes? Pumps or slingbacks close to your skin tone. Just add a bag, and the outfit’s done in a flash. It’s a great style trick!

Dress, Trina Turk; shoes, Nine West; bag, Louis Vuitton

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Glitter Is Good

 

Pretty peep-toes from Badgley Mischka.

So, if I’ve never mentioned this, I have a serious obsession with all things sparkly.* And what’s the perfect sparkly accessory? Shoes!

If you’re afraid to really go for the gold (or silver) with a sparkly dress or top, metallic shoes offer a touch of polish that brings major style points. And if you love sparkles already, well you know how great it feels to prance around in shoes this cute and shiny.

Another great thing about metallics? They go with everything. So reconsider that basic black shoe for your next dinner date—instead, throw on something golden.

*You can find the Badgley Mischka heels in the photo at Piperlime.com, Zappos.com, or Endless.com. But move quickly—many sizes are going fast! [Update (9/14/11): These shoes appear to be sold out on some sites, including Zappos.com.]

Image Credit: Zappos

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5 Times to Say No To Short Shorts (and Mini Skirts)

These shorts are cool, but they’re not for every occasion.

Okay, I absolutely adore mini skirts and dresses. (I’m not as into shorts, though they can be nice, too.) But just like everything, these clothes have their time and place. And after seeing a few, er, missteps around town, I figured I’d go on the record about a few no-nos. Especially now that it’s just blazing hot outside and short shorts can be so tempting.

It’s a bad idea to wear micro shorts or a mini…

To church (or any other house of worship). This one is obvious. Just don’t.

To work. Co-workers and bosses do not need to be exposed to all. Of. That.

To meet his parents…or grandparents. This goes double if those bottoms are ripped, frayed, or otherwise altered. Why start off by giving them something to freak out over ask him about?

To a wedding. Let the bride have the guests’ attention. Please. It’s, like, a wedding law.

To go bowling. Or to work out. Or any other time you’ll be publicly engaged in lots of bending…or squatting.

I left a few places out, I’m sure. So what would you add?

Image: We Heart It

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Where To Buy Clothes (Especially Pants!) When You’re Tall

Thank goodness for Gap and Old Navy!

Even though fashion models are tall, shopping isn’t always easy for everyday tall gals. (I know: I’m 5′ 10″.) We often have to deal with pitifully-short sleeves—and pants that make us look like we’re preparing for a flood. And if we have smaller waists, things can get even harder.

Inspired by an awesome post from Tracey at notsuperhuman.com that mentioned the horrors of pants shopping—I’m posting my favorite places to easily find tall clothes. (There’s hope!)

Check out these nine great brands and sites. Their clothes fit well and are super cute, too.

TallCouture.com Great for designer lovers. You can find everything from extra-long designer denim—search inseams from 34 inches to 38 inches—to specially-proportioned tops and dresses.

Gap Inc.: Women’s “tall” collections at OldNavy.com, Gap.com, and BananaRepublic.com. If you visit one site, you’ll see a button for the others—they’re all linked. There you’ll find the online-exclusive collections that include pants with extra-long inseams (they can get up to 35 inches for long sizes and up to 37 inches for extra-long sizes). You’ll also find shirts, sweaters, dresses, and even jackets that are made to fit your taller body (the arm holes and waist lines are lower and sleeves are longer, for instance). These sites are amazing—my (tall) clothes in the photo above are from there. If you don’t already know about these sites, head over ASAP.* (But after you finish here of course!)

BCBG Max Azria. Pants are often long and the styles are fab. (Hint: If boutique prices scare you, check out the outlets—in malls and online. I once saw a really cute black cocktail dress at an outlet for $49. It’s now in my closet!) And BCBG’s long-sleeve shirts actually look normal on me, as opposed to some others that make me look like I’m wearing children’s clothes.

Zara. Pants here tend to run longer than they would at say, H&M. (Though I’ve found great dresses, skirts, and tops at both places.) The shirts and jackets may not always be super long at Zara, but I’ve often found them to fit pretty well. (These clothes are based on European sizing, though, so you may want to try on a few sizes to get the right fit.)

7 For All Mankind In general, I think jeans from designer brands (and online Gap brands, of course) are best for taller ladies with long legs. This brand is just my favorite. (Bonus: They sell other kinds of clothes.) You can get really nice styles and washes at online sites (including TallCouture.com). Or buy right off the rack for jeans that are long (and just right for flats) or extra long (to wear with heels).

For long pants, also try New York & Company and VictoriasSecret.com. You’ll find some great basics. Plus, you can often find things on sale.

And you can always try my trick for making “borderline” pants work: If pants are almost long enough, but not quite, have the hems taken down. This can often get you at least a ½ inch of extra length. You can do the same thing with some jacket sleeves. And a good seamstress (ask your local drycleaner) can even add more fabric to make inseams and some jacket sleeves longer. Note: This will not work if the clothes you’re trying on look like they belong to Steve Urkel!

I hope these sites, brands, and stores work for you. Happy shopping. 🙂

Do you ever struggle with buying pants or tops? And, by the way, if you know a tall girl who’s feeling frustrated, please let her know about these options. She may thank you for it!

*Here’s a tip for petite readers (hello, all!): If you’re having trouble, check out the petite collections on these Gap sites and at New York & Company and VictoriasSecret.com. Same cute styles, just different proportions for you.

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The Shoes Every Driver Should Have

Image: Zappos (Elie Tahari Frida Driver)

There’s one car accessory every fashionista should have (in addition to a valid license, of course). Driving shoes!

I was cruising around a while ago and noticed some of my favorite shoes were getting scuffed on the back side, where my heel rested against the floor. And the leather was getting slightly discolored. Not cool. So I whipped out my (then barely-worn) pair of Nine West moccasins—a rubber tread extends from the sole to the heel for protection, like many driving shoes—and never looked back.

I wore those mocs all winter and am wearing them into spring.  It’s so easy to slip them on as I leave the house, and I just carry my “real” shoes with me to the car. Bonus: I’m probably a safer driver (I don’t have to worry about my shoes sliding off like I would if I used a backless type) and my regular shoes look newer longer.

Here’s a look at the traditional loafer style.

Image: Endless (Amiana Slip-On Loafer)

 

Image: Endless (Amiana Slip-On Loafer, back view)

But some driving shoes can look more like skimmers or ballet flats (like the ones pictured first and below).

Image: Nine West (Nine West Delos)
Image: Nine West (Nine West Delos, back view)

And, hey, since these shoes can be cute, you may want to try them outside of the car. But they’re not made for hiking, so wear them for short jaunts only!

So would you wear a driving shoe? You can find them at every price point, and they can really help you protect the shoes you love.

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My Style: Silver and Polka Dots in the City

Today’s outfit in DC: A white sweater with black polka dots over a silver top and silver pencil skirt (two of three pieces of a suit). Ran into my dear friend Nicole—who’s an awesome photographer—downtown after work. She snapped a few pics of me. Inspired by her blog, I’m going to try to post my outfits sometimes. I’m so into fashion—why not bring more of it here?

By the way, this week, I’m trying a vibrant yellow nail polish for the first time. It’s such a cheery shade and sort of unexpected.

My style takeaway today: Breaking up a formal suit with a light cardi and skinny belt can be fun. Have a great evening!

Top, skirt, and belt, Calvin Klein; cardigan, Merona (a.k.a. a Tar-jay score); clutch, vintage; pumps, Maripé; nail polish, Sally Hansen

Images: Nicole Crowder

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What Happens When a Fashionista Gets an Xbox

I recently gained access to an Xbox Kinect. Since it’s controller-free and senses body movements, it’s supposed to give a fun way to work out.

A major to-do is setting up an avatar. That includes physical appearance—long hair or short? glasses or no?—and clothes. It’s possible to create an avi pretty quickly. But I spent a little more time. Okay a lot more time. I got caught up in choosing my outfit.

I scrolled through tons of dresses, tops, bottoms, and shoes. Finally, I chose a sea-colored frock and a pair of flats. That should work for light activity, I thought. Next was a casual look: a cardi, bright blouse, dark jeans, and flats again. That should be great for…um…walking or something. And, finally, a black sheath dress with heeled boots. My avi wouldn’t wear it to the gym, but it could work for…let’s see… a dance competition, right? Right?

After I saved my outfits, I found out I could I could buy more online. I admit: I almost considered it. But no. One reason: Games often choose clothes and add-ons for you. (So your avatar wears headgear when boxing, for instance.) Mainly, though, I passed because I have to stop somewhere. I mean, come on. I can only justify buying new clothes in the real world!

Have you worked out on an Xbox or a similar system? Did you like it? I ended up playing a game that day and look forward to (actually) playing more.

Image: Xbox

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4 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Clothes

I’m so excited to start blogging! This first post is just in time for spring cleaning season.

I recently looked through my closet and found a cropped brown sweater. With a hook clasp. And crocheted cut-outs. Um, it looked (a little) better than it sounds, but it was really old. As I sifted through the rest of my things, I discarded lots of stuff. And I realized clothes (and shoes) should go if any of these four things are true:

They haven’t been worn. Some people say if you haven’t worn something in a year, you should toss it. That’s a little harsh. But if it’s been a couple of years and that dress has stayed glued to its hanger, it’s probably time to give it away.

They’re ruined beyond repair. Some imperfections are fixable—and that’s when a relationship with a good dry cleaner is a must—but if your stuff has permanent pen marks or serious rips and tears, just let it go. (And probably not to a thrift store.)

They don’t fit. Okay, whether they’re too big or too small, if your clothes don’t work on the body you have now, don’t keep them. Life is too short to be sad about that skirt you can’t get into.

You feel like crap when you wear them. Not obvious—but very important. An item could fit well and look new. But if you don’t feel good in it—maybe it’s not your color or isn’t your style—say good-bye. Why feel insecure? Plus, when it’s gone, you can buy something fab.

By the way, when I started cleaning, I hadn’t made a firm decision about that brown sweater. (I was nostalgic—don’t judge!) But it completely fit in category one (and four), so I said farewell.

Is it time for you to thin out your wardrobe? And will it be hard to give things away—or can you discard stuff without a second thought?

Image: Barbie and the Closet

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