Monday, June 20, 2011

Makeover Monday June 2011

It's time to make over Jenny!
I am SO excited to introduce you to my dear friend Jenny.  Her story is a recent one as we just got done shopping this last week, but we were both so excited about her results we just had to post her right away.

So this is Jenny and her husband Tom in one of her "before" outfits. Jenny has successfully lost over 50 pounds in the past two years, so it was time to celebrate with a little makeover. Some of you may be thinking she looks great, which she does, but she will look even better once you understand her body shape and style.  Jenny is a "Ruby" which means her shoulders are much broader than her hips and her style is "classic" with a touch of "dramatic".  What Jenny is wearing here is a common outfit of a lacy undershirt (romantic) that is too short, covered with a boxy, square hemmed jacket that covers her form and makes her look bigger than she is.

Step one after we discover her body shape and style, is to go through the closet.  Here is Jenny ready to get to work.

You can see her closet is very mixed with colors everywhere and using all kinds of hangers from plastic to wire.  As you've seen in previous posts, the WHOLE closet is emptied and placed in large heaps on the bed.  Then one by one we go through every piece deciding whether it stays or goes.  And as pieces go back into the closet they are re-hung on the same type of hangers (I recommend felted hangers at Costco, box of 50 for under $20) and are hung together by color.  It's a wonderful, yet scary process to go through, but everyone will tell you in the end, it is worth it.

While we are placing pieces back into the closet, we are also making a "shopping list".  We discovered most of Jenny's jackets were very boxy with shoulder pads (a no-no for Ruby's), her t-shirts were old, too short and with hardly any neck opening (also a no-no for Ruby's) and many pants were too big and too baggy.

Two weeks later, we had a glorious day of shopping at the outlet mall, starting with Coldwater Creek and Chico's and we made some very interesting discoveries at each store.  Coldwater had lots of jackets to choose from with some very classic button downs, but most of the pants were baggy in the leg.  This was Jenny's favorite store and one that she did almost 100% of her shopping in until we visited Chico's.  Chico's is a store full of drama so you have to be careful what you pick out to try on, but to our delight, we discovered their pants were amazing on Jenny with hardly any bagging.   Here are a few of her outfits we were able to mix and match.

The idea behind "shopping your closet" is that you now see your closet like you would a store, and you are able to pull together outfits that are completely different day to day.  A common habit is to "match" your outfits, almost like the old day of "gir-animals" for kids clothing.  A common statement I hear when purging is "that skirt goes with that top" and that is literally the only way it is ever worn.  This type of closet gets old fast and causes you to feel you "need more", then guilt sets in because you have all these clothes that you are not wearing and you are wearing the same thing over and over. 

Here are a few words from Jenny, after she got home from her day of shopping... 
-Missy, Missy, have no idea how cute I look today - ha!  I just have on the tan denim long shorts, the blue tshirt with the pocket and some orange-ish shoes I didn't show you I had...some cool earrings and I feel like a million bucks!!!

-I have never had any help on how to dress my body-type.  Low necks, rolling up sleeves, using belts higher to make the eye go to lower parts of my body, staying away from gathers, etc. at the shoulder level have all been noticeably helpful to my overall appearance.  I feel more accepting of my body shape and less loathing!

-Most of the things we bought yesterday I probably wouldn't have tried brought stuff into the dressing room.  The t-shirt colors were new to me...the skirts and shirts etc. are all new to me...I feel pretty "snazzy" for a 58 year old woman!!  I felt gently "pushed" out of my comfort zone.

-Organizing my closet into colors has opened a whole new world for me.  I already have put together outfits I just didn't see before.  So fun!  I feel like I'm shopping from my own closet of old things.

-Clearing out so much stuff in my closet - dated stuff, old stuff, clothes that are too big for me was sort of an emotional cleansing.  Thanks for the help in this!

-I did not know that there was a store that would fit my body in pants and shorts, much better than the one I've been shopping at for years.  What a gift!

It was such a fun day!  After a good dinner, I ironed for an hour or two, cut off tags and put the new clothes on the hangers!  I had so many choices on what to wear this morning I was like a kid at Christmas!  I am SO EXCITED!!

And here is Jenny's closet now...

And here is the new Jenny...

This is one of Jenny's casual out fits, t-shirt from Eddie Bauer in a blue that matches her eyes and shorts from Chico's.  And we decided to bring in her "touch of drama" with accessories in shades of orange, one of her favorite colors.  We'll be slowly adding shoes, jackets, jewelry and scarves, all in orange, that she can have a ton of fun with.                                                                                    
This is an awesome orange linen jacket we snagged from Coldwater for only $15 that she is going to exchange today for a size smaller.  This was such a change for Jenny, having a jacket that drapes softly against her silhouette and without shoulder pads.  Stay tuned for another post in a few days of a fabulous outfit we put together for a speaking engagement coming up! (striped shirt from Coldwater Creek, pants from Chico's and thin braided belt from Ann Taylor)

Thank you Jenny for letting me step in to the intimate world of your closet and your clothes.  Your excitement and joy in getting dressed in the morning is what it's all about!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Help Me Monday!

What to do with all the styles of jeans?
I thought this week we would take some time to go over all the different styles of jeans out there and how best to wear them.  I love all the styles out right now.  They are versatile and can be so flattering when wearing them the right way, so let's dig in.

We'll start with the timeless Flared Leg:

With the flared jean you need to think about your body shape and how best to set off  your assets.  Wider hips will be balanced with a wider flare where as a slim hip needs less.  As shown here a tucked in soft button down looks great.  And like we talked about a  few weeks ago, hem length is very important.  Make sure your toes are peeking out while have having a soft break on top of the foot.  If this isn't happening, then change your shoes!

The Skinny Jean:

There are very important rules to follow when wearing skinny jeans.  First is that long loose tops are permitted with this cut of jean as it contrasts with the tightness of the leg and covers your bum.  Strappy flats are also ideal with this cut of leg.  They are so comfortable and are a great look for the summer.  This cut of jean is also very popular this summer in white denim or very bright colors.

The Boyfriend Jean:

I LOVE the look of these jeans but they are tricky to wear.  These jeans look amazing on you gals with the emerald/athletic or ruby/slim hipped shapes.  For us gals with more curves, it can be hard to find a cut that fits at the waist and is loose in the leg, but they're out there! Aubrey found a great pair at American Eagle on sale for $30!  Some other things to keep in mind with this cut is to keep your accessories feminine because this is a boyish look.  Tanks and other sleeveless tops will show off your feminine arms, along with stacked bracelets and lace up sandals or ballet flats.

And lastly, we'll finish up with the Cropped Jean:

This cut can be worn very similarly as the Skinny Jean but is a little more chic with its unusual length.  Be careful with the hem length and make sure the cuff comes in at the smaller part of your calf just above the ankle.  If you go too high, you'll look like a pirate and too low you'll lose all the drama and fun.  And to take this look up a notch, add high strappy wedges with a jacket and sleek tank and you can go to work even!

So we hope this helps freshen up these staples in your closet and maybe inspires you to add some new ones.  Have fun!
Missy and Aubrey
(Thanks to InStyle March 2011)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fashion Mission Monday June 2011

Cut offs are back and even better!
Denim shorts have been around forever but it seems they are everywhere these days in the fashion magazines.  I know for you younger gals you are thinking what's the big deal, I already have these in my closet, but for us moms this can be a stretch, so I thought I would make it our assignment this month, just in case there are any stragglers in the crowd.

The key to wearing denim shorts is to find the style that best suits you.  Here are some examples:

For you young gals, the cropped short is perfect, but you still need to be careful on how short you go, and for us moms I recommend the Bermuda length (lower left hand corner), just to the knee.  As far as fit, the looser in the thigh, the better, as it makes you appear slimmer.  And depending on what you put on top and wear for shoes, you can be very casual or even a bit dressed up.  It's all in the accessories!

This is a great college campus look.  With your young figures, tucking your shirt in with a great belt is perfect.  For moms, you might want to try this:

This is using the flattering trick of layering, with a long undershirt layered on top of your shorts (not tucked in) and a final layer of an a-line sweater on top.  Fun jewelry, strappy flats and some color blocking with the green top and orange shades, and you are all set for a day of shopping or lunch with a girlfriend.

And lastly, this is my "go to" look in the hot summer, with a sleeveless tunic that is just long enough to cover up your backside.  A belt doesn't have to be used with these longer flowing tops if they lay nicely against your silhouette.

And one pair is all you need.  Denim shorts are a bit like a good pair of jeans.  Once you find a pair you like, that cover your bum and are comfortable, you will wear them over and over again and they just get better over time.

So put away your scissors and go get some REAL denim shorts.  You'll be glad you did!
Missy and Aubrey
(Thanks to InStyle June 2011 and

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wild Card Monday (but actually Tuesday)

Just call us the Fashion Police!
Seems we lost track of time this weekend, with all the holiday festivities, so we apologize for our tardiness.  We are actually very excited to finally have a wild card Monday and be able to choose our subject, so today we are going to unload all those little things that make us crazy.  If we happen to hit a nerve, you can yell back at us (with a private email of course), but we hope when you think about them, they really do make sense.

Fashion Crime #1:  YOUR PANTS ARE TOO SHORT  We see this ALL the time and it makes us so sad because it is so easy to fix.  Over time your jeans and cotton pants shrink or perhaps you are trying to wear high heeled boots with jeans that really should only be worn with flats.  Either way this has got to stop.  There is nothing more un-flattering to a woman's leg than to wear pants that are too short.  Here are some examples.

When pants are too short, they create a "stumpiness" in the leg and draw a ton of attention.  Trust me, they are not looking at your shoes. Here is an example of what TO do:

I personally would rather see you error on the long side than being too short.  Having a natural break at the shoe is perfect and with skinny jeans it's okay for them to "scrunch" a bit around the ankle.  See how long and lean this leg looks compared to the one above?  Perfect.

Fashion Crime #2:  SAGGING CHEST  For those that have been blessed in this area, I find the natural tendency is to want to cover up and not draw attention by wearing saggy, loose fitting bras.  But what happens instead is your chest and waist become one unit with no shape and you look tired, heavy and bent over.  Before:
So much better. The girls are up and your delicate rib cage and waist are showing!

Fashion Crime #3:  LEGGINGS EXPOSED  This one makes me most sad as I see moms around town wearing their leggings fully exposed and incorrectly.  I think what happens is from the front, things don't seem too bad, but we forget to take a full look front AND back and this is what happens:

We have panty lines and cellulite and even on the most beautiful figure, this is just too much to bare.  You might as well be shopping in your swimsuit.  I have also seen the mistake of not understanding the difference between "leggings" and "stockings".  These are stockings:

You can see right through them.  Here is an example of leggings worn appropriately:

A long jacket, long top or short dress can all work with leggings.  They allow the leg to show but cover your bum.  High heels are shown here, but leggings are also great with flats and in the winter, chunky winter boots like Ugg's or tall riding boots.

Fashion Crime #4:  EYE SHADOW AND EYE LINER (too much or not enough)  I think if anything we probably don't wear enough make up when we are out running errands.  I know how much easier it is to throw on a baseball cap and sunglasses, but if you try a few of these tips I think you'll find that 5 minutes is all you need.  First we'll start with what happens when you wear too much:

Shimmer eye shadow and eye liner on the bottom are beautiful for formal events and evening attire, but it's just too much for the day.  I have found something about the shimmer on us "40-somethings" that just isn't right.  It amplifies our creases and makes us look tired.   Eye liner underneath can also get stuck on your upper cheekbone and no one ever stops to tell us.  You can see the difference to the right between "smoky eye" and "cat eye".  The smoky eye is romantic and natural all at the same time.  The cat eye looks painted.

Next is the problem of not wearing enough.  Especially underneath the eye.  Here, Uma Thurman has a beautiful evening look but someone forgot to finish her lower eye.  I know this was done on purpose, but again, she looks tired and her eyes are so small.

So hold on, the next one will be just right.

This is my favorite.  Taylor Swift has got it just right.  Here are the tips:  First, wear only matt finish eye shadows on the upper lid.  Pick skin tone colors like taupe, rose or beige.  Next, using a pencil or gel, place a line at the base of the upper lashes in either charcoal, brown or navy, getting thicker towards the outer edge of the lid.  And last, use a chocolate brown shadow with a thin brush and paint in a soft line under the lower lashes.  Shadow won't smudge, run with tears and it creates a soft definition to the lower eye without looking "painted on".  And personally, I only use mascara on my upper lashes now.  I have found with this trick of using brown shadow on the bottom, I don't need the mascara and again, I don't have to worry about it falling on my cheeks or smudging as I go through the day.   You'll have to try it and see what you think.

Fashion Crime #5:  CLOTHES THAT ARE TOO SMALL I know it may seem difficult to get rid of the tight shirts or pants you used to wear in high school (college girls, this goes for you too!), but actually going a size up will make you look smaller!!  Always dress your size.  When you flatter your body with the correct size, it doesn't matter how big it is!  Plus, every store is different in terms of sizing.  For example, when I (Aubrey) ordered my wedding dress, I was wearing a size 4 in regular clothes, but I had to order the dress in between a size 6 and 8!  Whether or not designers agree on sizes should not affect our buying the size that fits!
Chloe not flattering her figure...
Here is Chloe wearing a couple outfits that flatter her correctly.  In the jean outfit (trend we mentioned in earlier blog), her legs look so much thinner!  

Forget about the label, and dress your body type to get the looks you see in the magazine onto yourself :).   

Next time we have a Wild Card Monday we will focus on our fav's.  We know these examples are at the extreme but we hope they helped.  We really don't want to be the fashion police but instead encourage you to double check so no one does a double take when you head out into the world!
Have a wonderful week!
Missy and Aubrey
(Thanks to polyvore,com and the internet.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quick Pick Monday!

It's the "little things" that count!
We just spent a very fun weekend in Austin with Aubrey and her new husband Trevor to celebrate Aubrey's official graduation from the University of Texas.  Texas is deliriously hot this time of year and oh so muggy so we knew we needed to dress cool yet dressy all at the same time.  So this is what we came up with....

I purchased this dress recently from Anthropology's sale room and it is all colors that are good for me, ivory and navy blue.  This dress is called a "maxi" which means its length is suppose to hit right around the ankles.  I love this length of dress in the summer when you don't have a good tan quite yet or you don't want to wear hose or fish nets.  With this length of dress anything goes from flats to high heels.  BUT as pretty as this dress is, it's just kind of "blah".  I just needed a pop of color so this is what I added.

This sweater was also in the Anthropology sale room and came in ivory, grey and this bright orange.  Back in the old days, I would have gone right to the ivory, thinking orange would not look good on me.  But during my stylist training, my mentor redid my colors.  Orange is her favorite color so she tries to find suitable oranges for all of her clients.  I can't tell you how much fun it is has been slowly adding this into my wardrobe and wouldn't you know I get many compliments when I wear it.  This look also shows off the "color blocking" we blogged on a few weeks ago and polka dots which are very "in" for the summer.  My outfit:  dress, sweater and fun ring - Anthropology,   shoes - Ugg,s found at the Rack (they have the sweetest little tie around the ankle and are so comfortable).  So enough of me and on to Aubrey's cute outfit.

I borrowed this dress from my best friend Meredith and she is shorter than me so I had to add some extras so that it fit me perfectly.  Since the back had this cute black strap, I added a black full body bandeau under the dress that came out right above my knees so that I didn't have to worry about the dress being too short.  It tied in with the black strap on the back and I added some black jewelry and heels to bring it all together.  The rhinestone straps you see are actually bra straps!!!  I rarely ever wear my strapless bra without these anymore because it is so much more comfortable!  These straps go with everything and look so cute when they poke out and no one even knows!  Outfit: Dress- Francesca's, Jeweled Straps- Dillard's lingerie department, Body Bandeau- California boutique $10, bracelets- compilation of gold and black jewelry from Forever 21, Sam Moon, and other inexpensive places, shoes- Steve Madden (from high school!  They have lasted me years as my simple black heel).

Next week is our first Wild Card Monday and we have a list started of "What not to Wear", so stay tuned!   Have a blessed week and remember, it's the little things that count, especially when you get dressed!
Love from Texas,
Missy and Aubrey

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Help Me Monday!

Suitable Swimwear!
It's that time of year where we have to confront the dreaded swimsuit season, so I'm hoping some of these samples will relax and inspire you to try something new this year.  I will admit that I personally have a love/hate relationship with this line of clothing.  I think swimsuits are so pretty and so beautiful... on everyone else but me.  For you gals that have athletic, boy figures, this is your time to shine.  And for those of us with curves, there is no hiding or camouflage that will ever be enough.  But with the choices being so abundant these days, I think we might have some styles that can really work on all of us!  So let's begin!

We'll start with tummies:
Patterns that keep the eye busy, fold over waistbands and ruching or shirring are your friends. 

And with the invention of "slim wear" suits, controlling the tummy is even easier these days!  (now if they could just make slim wear for thighs and upper arms, ha ha)

For the full hips and thighs:
Anything to draw the eye upward and off your lower half is perfect.  Accent pieces, ruffles and suits that create broad shoulders and enhanced bust lines will all help create more balance and cause the eye to go upward.

This type of bottom is called a "brazilian" bottom and is actually better for the full hip than a ruffle, a skirt or even a full coverage bottom.

The straight figure:
With a boy figure, you have nothing to hide, but instead you want to create a waist.  High waisted bikinis, enhanced bust lines and details at the waist like stripes and belts are all perfect on you.

And we'll finish up with the large bust and shoulders:
I realize with a large bust, you are still needing to keep in mind your body shape, so be sure and pick a style that not only has great support and coverage, but also flatters your shape.  These days you can find tummy control slim wear and bikinis that will just about fit all figure types and give you great support.  And MOST IMPORTANTLY, straps are your friends.  I know it sounds nice to go strapless, especially when tanning, but there is no way to get the support you need without at least some strings!
Just a few more tips for the swim season, especially when packing for vacation.  To save room in your suitcase, try bringing clothes that can double as coverups, like long tunic tops or maxi dresses.  And if you are a bikini lover, bring two, a solid and a print that can be mixed along with a one piece for water sports.

Now is the time to get some deals too.  Suits have been out since March, so you may not have as big of a selection, but now that you know what you are looking for, I bet you can find just what you need at a great price.  Have fun "surfing" the internet and stores!

Missy and Aubrey
PS  Next week, we'll be out of town, so we'll see you in two weeks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fashion Mission Monday for May!

Your Assignment:
Chambray and Shirt Dresses!

I have a HUGE soft spot for chambray (a lightweight denim blue cotton) and I am so glad to see it coming back this spring and summer.  Another hot trend right now are shirt dresses so I thought I would just combine them both into one blog, since finding shirt dresses in chambray is such a natural combination.

As we go, you'll see styles that are short, to the knee, strapless, sleeveless, waisted and non-waisted.  Think about your body shape, the areas you want to highlight and the areas you want to conceal and I know you'll find a style perfect for you.  We'll start off with the youngin's this week.

This strapless dress is a steal from Old Navy for only $35.  Paired with a jacket or scarf or a piece of statement jewelry, this chambray look is great for day or evening.

I love this cute mini mixed with strappy sandals and the bright yellow flower pin.  That is the beauty of chambray denim, it looks good with so many colors and/or neutrals.  Here are some more examples for you to see.

Chambray mixed with coral reds and browns....

And our most popular stripes combined with neutral browns and layering shown here.  (PS I might even add a pop of floral to this combination above.)

Now for the moms.  Again I recommend dresses that hit just above or to the knee or the fabulous shirt/dresses that can be worn over leggings or skinny jeans.  (And don't be pulling out those old thick denim jumpers from the 90's thinking you've got this one nailed.)  Here are some samples:

And how they can look as an outfit...

I'm sure you are getting the idea by now.  Any of these dress or shirt/dress additions will be pieces you will wear over and over again this summer and can always make look different with your layering and accessories.  And best of all there is chambray for every age, every style and every body shape.

So get out of your closet blues and add some "chambray blues" to your wardrobe!
Next week we'll be talking about swimsuits.  Self tanner and cover ups here we come!
(Thanks to Real Simple May 2011 and