What to Wear to a Graduation Party

Graduation is right around the corner!  Many years has passed since I graduated, so this edition of What to Wear is written by guest writer, Lisa Griffin.

Soon you will be spending your last days at your university or college. Besides final tests and thoughts about your future perspectives, it means a memorable party! Are you excited about the day when everyone can forget about assignments and devote attention to choosing dresses for the graduation ceremony? All the seniors impatiently wait for this major event. Staying in trend might be difficult in everyday life, but when it comes to graduation, it’s even harder. So, what shall you wear to look fabulous? Continue reading

How to Pack the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe for Travel

Many times while traveling, things do not go as planned and my trip is extended (cancelled flights, opportunity to stay longer, whatever).  My first reaction was to add a couple new items to my wardrobe (yay, excuse to go shopping), then I learned the secret to extend my original wardrobe for another week (or more). I discovered how to pack the ultimate capsule wardrobe for the most mix and match options with a limited amount of luggage.  A little preparation while packing can give you loads of outfit combinations during your travels!

I spent many years traveling for work, and many more years traveling for fun.  Here are a few of my top packing tips to build the ultimate travel capsule wardrobe.
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Practical Side of Fitness Fashion

2015-12-29 15.46.16Looking good may be your motivation to start a workout, but comfort during your workout will ensure that you will want to do it again.

I am fairly brand loyal when it comes to clothes and shoes, except for fitness fashion.  When it comes to exercise clothes it is all about fit and fabrics!  I do not care what celebrity is endorsing the brand, or even what brand it is.

Since there is specialized equipment for many sports (golf cleats, soccer shin guards, etc), I am going to focus this discussion on gym athletic wear.   There is plenty of crossover into other sports, so this is a good foundation to build a practical workout wardrobe. Continue reading

Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

  1. Know your budget.
    • Determine your absolute maximum (including tax) amount for your dress.  Nothing will ever compare to the gorgeous twice-your-budget dress that you know you cannot afford – so do not try it on.  It will only make finding YOUR dress that much harder.
    • I really like the dress budget as a percentage of the overall wedding budget.  10% of your budget for attire is a common starting point, but this is entirely up to you.  This keeps the dress purchase proportionate to the entire wedding.  Evaluate the entire budget and allocation to each item, this will add perspective to your spending and identify the real priorities.
  1. Most bridal salons take reservations. When you book your reservation, tell them your wedding date (if already set), state your price range of dresses, and confirm that they can work within your budget.  Typically they will pre-select dresses for you based on size and price before you ever see the inside of a fitting room.
    • Bring a trusted friend or family member to take photos (if allowed), keep you within budget, and provide an honest opinion.
    • Remember to cancel any reservations that you are not going to attend.
  1. Bring a few different style bras with you to try on dresses (at least 2).  There are different levels of padding, coverage, and adjustable straps or strapless. Leave your sports bra at home.  You might need to buy a new low back bra or full-length shapewear, starting with a good bra for fitting will make a huge difference in appearance.
  2. Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 7.13.38 PMBring at least one pair of dress shoes with you that coordinate with the location; you will wear different shoes for a fancy church wedding, outdoor garden venue, versus beach wedding.  Most likely you will buy wedding shoes after you pick the dress, these fitting shoes are to better visualize the complete outfit.
  3. Wear good panties. When I owned a Bridal store, I was horrified at the number of women that did not wear panties to try on wedding (and even Prom) dresses.  Almost as bad, do not wear panties that will bunch up or wild prints that will distract you.

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Homecoming Dress

Summer is coming to an end and it is time to go Back to School.  That means Homecoming is just around the corner.  Homecoming is the weekend where former alumni visit their High School or University.  There is a big sporting event against the local rival school, tailgating activities, and a DANCE!  It is the first big event of the school year, and really the only event that alumni participate in.

Ann Taylor dress

Ann Taylor dress

High School Homecoming dances tend to be semi-formal and far more casual that Prom. Meaning dresses that have a short or half length skirt.  Fabrics can be more casual, and simple jewelry.  Guys can wear dress slacks and a nice shirt, possibly with a tie.

College and University Homecoming dances may be formal attire, full length (long) dresses are worn.  Guys will definitely wear suits and possibly a tuxedo (at some posh schools).  Last year’s Prom dress can be a great option for this year’s college Homecoming formal.

One way to save money on a Homecoming dress is to buy a gown previously worn. Short Prom dresses are very popular, and perfect for Homecoming!    There are still many Prom dresses on eBay from last season, or borrow from a friend or family member (if that is an option).

Nordstrom sale dress

Nordstrom sale dress

If this is your first big dance, here are a few shopping tips.  Stores start stocking Homecoming and Holiday dresses 2-3 months before the event.  Some stores (like Nordstrom) run big summer sales, and you can score a dress on sale.  Retailers are so desperate for summer shoppers, dresses and clothes are often less expensive during summer.  Then stores raise the prices in October, which is right when most Homecoming events are held.

Buying a dress is very different than shopping for jeans.  This may be the first time shopping in Misses or Missy department, which is not the same sizing as Juniors.  Hold up the garment to make sure it is close to the right size, then take a couple sizes into the dressing room.

Remember you will probably eat before the dance, so make sure you can comfortably sit and eat in your dress. If this is your first dance, consider flats or low heels – your feet will thank you.  Most importantly, have fun!