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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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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What to Wear for a High School Reunion

Homecoming is right around the corner and I just received notice for upcoming reunions at my High School Alma mater.   I survived both my 10 and 20 year High School reunions.  I stressed about my outfit, hair, which events to attend, and taking a date or going alone.

Here are my tips of what to wear and how to reduce stress to be comfortable and CONFIDENT!Reunion

10 Year High School Reunions are usually the first time seeing people since graduation.  Sure, you may keep in touch via Facebook, but this is the reunion to show off your grown-up, successful self!  The 10 year event can be very catty and judgmental.  The old high school cliques start forming as soon as people arrived.  I am glad that I attended, but it was a slow, painful beginning. Continue reading

Easy Ways to Add Straps to Strapless Tops and Dresses

I love the look of strapless dresses, but I hate being worried about a wardrobe malfunction.  Here are a few easy ways to add straps to strapless tops and dresses.

Strapless dress with matching straps

Strapless dress with matching straps

Strapless top with matching straps

Strapless top with matching straps

This dress and top actually came with their own matching straps!  Admittedly, that one one of the key selling points for both.  Attach the straps by inserting the hook through the attached loop – Easy!

The adjustable dress straps are even long enough to cross in the back.Strap_Top back

Most tops and dresses do not come with matching straps.  There are many straps available for purchase, or you can make your own.  These can be sewn into the lining for a secure solution, or add loops for a variety of options and styles.

Adding strap loops

Adding strap loops

Cut 2 inches of sturdy fabric for each strap loop.  Red ribbon shown for illustration only.  I used matching black bias tape for these black tops.  Bias tape and strap fabric can be purchased at any craft or fabric store.

While wearing the dress or top, use a straight pin to position the loops.  The loops should be below the edge so that the hooks do not show when attached.

Black bias tape for loops

Black bias tape for loops

Sew the loops securely into the lining.

Do not sew the thread through the front of the garment to prevent the stitches from showing.

You may want to practice on similar sample fabric before sewing the real item.

Sew 2 loops in front for halter style straps, or 2 in front and 2 in back for cross back or straight back straps.  The straps can be used again for several different outfits by using the loops.

Strap_Halter