All posts tagged: Style

18 Seriously Comfortable Shoes for Spring and Summer

My shoe predicament has become even worse. About two springs ago, when I was on the hunt for the bestest, comfiest, maybe even cute-in-a-certain-light pair of shoes, I wrote this piece and was pretty proud of myself for rounding up such stellar soles. Over this past winter, however, I’ve realized that I’ve become so picky and obsessed with cushion and easy-to-wears that I’m down to TWO — count ‘em, just TWO — pairs of shoes: These perfect comfort-and-support sneakers from Asics (The GT-2000 4) and these vaguely chic, utilitarian suede boots from La Canadienne (The Felicia). I toggle back and forth between the pair. I blame some of my choosiness on going through some big physical ordeals this past year or so that made me ONLY do what feels good and right. Anything that rubbed, pinched, pressed or made me hobble around was so far from ok that I would ONLY wear shoes that felt like heaven. Now that it’s springtime and the sun wants to shine on my toes, I need to expand my …

Not Going Gently Into the White (Blonde) Light

As I edge my way toward 50 — with curiosity, no fear and only a few regrets — vanity is on my mind. But I’m not fretting over wrinkles and the general softening of my flesh. I’m curating my look — as I always have, at every age. But what’s different now? I never think about my age in doing so. And, I won’t lie, I fucking love that beautiful irony. When I was much (much) younger and in leadership positions at a precociously young age, I felt compelled to dress for the respect I wanted to command from the businessmen (yes, mostly men) I did business with, which translated into bright-colored suit jackets with black skirts and pants, mostly, while keeping my youngish hairstyle. Once, I met a friend for dinner after a business meeting, and she greeted me with “God, take that thing off,” referring to my apple-green jacket with its teensy shoulder pads. But the bright armor and nude pumps did what they were supposed to — project that I was playing …

My War Against Mommy Frump

In six weeks of pre-adoption training, no one ever mentioned that I would lose the fight against becoming a frumpy mother. While I was prepared for the mental, emotional and physical exhaustion of dealing with social workers, birth families, teachers and cultural judgments, I had no inkling that my sense of style would crash and burn. Having skipped the required change in wardrobe demanded by pregnancy and with no post-baby weight to lose, my dress code was never supposed to change. I would remain sexy, current and not look like an 8-pound bowling ball had been dragged from my loins. My breasts would sag from maturity, not a tour of duty in the hands and mouths of babes, and lace would trim my dainty panty sets. Yes, sets, because that’s how one purchases undergarments, not piecemeal when panties get stretched out and bra padding goes limp from being machine-washed with Tide, rather than Woolite. In my new parenting days, I wore skinny jeans, willing to suffer through the squeeze marks left on my abdomen. I …

6 Gifts That Give Back — With Style

There’s no denying that the holiday season provides plenty of opportunity for self-defeating habits and thoughts: We eat too much, sleep too little, plan more than could possibly be done and then feel bad about all of the above. Really, though, the holidays are meant to be a time to feel joy and happiness and sweet relief from the daily grind. Fortunately, there is gift giving to help us correct the balance. There’s a particular thrill to getting just the right gift for a friend or family member you love—and we all know the simple trick of doubling your pleasure with a gift that “gives back” (with a portion of the proceeds supporting a cause you care about). But let me propose a third dimension of uplift and awesome: By buying one of these gifts that give back, we are also funding the thriving American ecosystem of idealistic entrepreneurs, the believers and doers who literally can’t sleep at night because someone is hurting, hungry or in need. Each of the below organizations is about helping …

The Daily Uniform: Is Anything Wrong With a Stylistic Default?

When I was in my 20s, I worked for a woman who wore the same outfit every single day. No matter the season, no matter her mood, Marian arrived each morning in black pants, a black turtleneck and a pixie haircut. Was she making a fashion statement or rather, a statement that she cared not a whit about fashion? My guess is that Marian, a wealthy art collector who, with her husband, ran a multi-million dollar business that employed hundreds of people, adopted her signature style by default. She simply went for the easiest option. As I think about Marian some 30 years later, I consider my own signature look of blue jeans and a black top (t-shirt in summer, sweater come autumn). I wonder: Do I wear some variation of this combination most days because it truly reflects my personal style or have I, like Marian, opted for brainless dressing? Perhaps a bit of both is true. On the one hand, I’ve got a foolproof formula: No chance of colors clashing, appearing passé or …

Splurge-Worthy: 12 Boots Made for Fall

I’ve reached a point in my career that I always fantasized about but never dreamed would actually come true: I work from home, full-time, all the time. Which means that pants are not a requirement for editorial meetings, as all of my editorial meetings occur on Skype. Which means that I don’t have to wear makeup (though I almost always do), and I rarely bother to blow-dry my hair. (Try this if you can; my curls have never been healthier.) Which means that my once fairly put together “look” — a look that I carefully curated during my years as a fashion and ladymag editor — has totally gone out the window in exchange for mock jersey crop pants and a wide array of tank tops, t-shirts and tunics. (If you haven’t already, check out Alternative Apparel. I now live in this brand.) If you told me five years ago that this kind of no-look look would eventually become my style status, I probably would have cried, assuming it a consequence of sobriety, a really …

Mandates of a Middle-Aged Man Repeller

“…I didn’t want to wear a sack dress myself; I just wanted to be friends with a woman who did. She’d be smart, sophisticated, witty, and brave, and together we’d bond over this haute hoot.” John Waters, “The Dress that Changed My Life,” Harper’s Bazaar, September 2014 Shapeless sacks. These are the two words that best describe my wardrobe, according to my always-natty brother. His next three words would be saggy diaper pants (AKA, harem or MC Hammer pants). Super sexy, I know. Tunics, caftans, sack dresses, oversized shirts, drop-crotch pants – if it’s large or voluminous, boyish or boxy, it’s in my closet. But it wasn’t always this way. You see, I spent my formative sartorial years working in retail, where the number one mantra was: Look. The. Brand. So my “style” was essentially dictated by what was currently in store and what I could afford. I went from saving up my $4.75-per-hour Foxmoor Casuals paycheck to buy Sasson jeans (no Levi’s allowed) to sporting a lab coat, chunky gold earrings and beaucoup de …

She’s Got The Look: Best of the Worst of Your 80’s Style

  As we were putting together this week’s LOOK issue, our thoughts floated back to the time of Guess jeans, Benetton sweaters, Zinc Pink lipstick and Aussie Sprunch spray. Oh, 1980’s. You were so special! No other era in fashion elicits “what were we thinking??” gasps in quite the same way. So, we asked you, our beloved TueNight readers, to send in your favorite photos of yourselves in all of your 80’s glory, and boy, did you deliver! Here are a few of our favorites: New Year’s Eve 1987. There’s so much wrong with this photo I don’t even know where to start. I am on the far left, in a Benetton sweater that was 10 sizes too big for me. I remember it being $85 and that was 85 percent of the money I had for the whole month at college. That was a leather mini skirt underneath. I do remember wearing ballet flats, as we were going out in the Cleveland flats. I’m not sure why we all dressed in such big clothes when we …

Playing Dress-Up: Forget Fashion Rules, This is Me

Spencer was the most glamorous person I’d ever seen. The first time I met him, he was in five-inch heels and a pencil skirt, his curly brown hair dancing around the crown of his head. His makeup was minimal, like he put in effort, but knew he was already working with a better-than-solid foundation. I was walking through the atrium on our college campus when I first spotted him. He was sitting alone at a table, reading, sipping a drink, and even doing that in an impossibly pretty way. Because I am who I am, I sat down beside him and said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I think you’re beautiful.” He blinked his bright blue eyes several times before revealing his equally bright teeth to bless me with a smile. “Thank you,” he said. We bonded over our mutual inclination to burst into song, appreciation for good off-campus food and enduring love for Dr. Maya Angelou. Despite my initial observation, it quickly became clear Spencer didn’t see himself as particularly attractive. He considered …

Merry and Bright: 5 Colorfully Chic Gifts

As I write this, it’s 27 degrees out and the sky is as grey as the sidewalk, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a very long winter indeed. One way I try and combat the seasonal gloom is to surround myself with bright colors and prints. The effect they have — on an outfit, a room, a stinky mood — can be truly transformative. For the holidays, I’m choosing only items that promise a happy pop of bright for the recipient.   1. Aurelie Bidermann Cotton and Gold-plated Cuff Aurelie Bidermann’s jewelry is an obsession of mine; this gold-plated and cotton number is such a chic, grown-up version of a friendship bracelet. $120, net-a-porter.com   2. Tatsuro Kiuchi’s “Tunnel” This print is pure sunshine on paper. It makes me think of old Pan-Am and TWA travel posters from the 40s and 50s — so bold and saturated and graphic. $60, 20×200.com   3. Comme des Garcons Embossed French Wallet It is possible that over the years, I’ve given more Comme des Garcons pouches …

Anti-Fads: 13 Women Share the Style They Won’t Retire

We all have that one piece of clothing that has stuck with us despite changing styles and tastes. For me it’s pointy cowboy boots, simply because they look and feel good, in a flashy-dusty Tanya Tucker meets Lucinda Williams kind of way. Yeehaw. So we asked our contributors and friends to tell us the one piece of clothing or beauty item that they will never let go of — or, something they brought back to life — and why. Interestingly, there were a few people who can’t let go of the very same things. Big Hoop Earrings I’ve been wearing big hoop earrings since the ’70’s and am grateful they’re back in style. They’re back in style, right? — Wendy Goldman Scherer Pencil Skirts I never throw them out. They are the Phoenix of the fashion world, always coming back, always red hot. — Cat Weaver A Black Cardigan There is nothing more indispensable to an office dweller than a trusty black cardigan. They never go out of style and they never lose their utility.  — …

Why My Cleavage is My Ultimate Accessory

In high school, my friend Steve nicknamed me “Cleavage.” Or, more accurately, “CLEEE-VAGE,” which he shouted down the hallway or across the cafeteria in his deep, booming voice. Sometimes he’d try to throw French fries into said crevice, which wasn’t hard to do as I often sported outfits that put my boobs on display. Over 20 years later, not much has changed, except that Steve and I have lost touch, nobody else has picked up the nickname, and I’ve gotten better at shopping for pushup bras. I still love to show off my cleavage any chance I get, meaning just about every day. Now, I should clarify: I’m not talking about a Kim Kardashian or even Christina Hendricks amount of cleavage — i.e., when a woman’s boobs are the only thing you see because they are totally front and center. Rather, I go for a less over-the-top look. It’s not about smushing my breasts together as much as it is about gently suggesting what the rest — what you can’t see — might look like. …

Borrowed From the Boys: Me in My Dad’s Jacket

The photo above was taken of me when I was about four or five. My mom and dad were getting ready to go out for the night, and I wanted in on the action. Which is when I threw my dad’s jacket on over my housecoat and announced that I was coming with them. If I remember correctly, I also had my mother’s silver silk pumps on at this time, but you can’t see them in the photo. This makes sense because I was always trying to walk around the house in my mother’s shoes. The desire to wear men’s jackets stuck with me at that point. I’m always buying men’s jackets and blazers and having them tailored to fit me. As a curvy, duck-billed platypus version of both my parents (I have my paternal side’s hourglass torso with a long waist, I have the maternal side’s long, lean limbs), buying women’s blazers right off the rack is really hard for me. Which is why you always see me at thrift stores, nabbing men’s jackets …

In the ’80s, I Was Lori With the Big Hair

I was born bald as a cue ball and stayed that way until I was almost two years old. Both my mother and grandmother tell me stories of how they scotch taped bows onto my bald head for parties and pictures. But once I turned two, something happened. My hair took off, with a vengeance. A thick, wavy and wiry vengeance. I have vivid memories of tearing up at the kitchen table as my mom struggled to brush my insane mane into giant pigtails or what was perhaps the world’s biggest ponytail. As a young girl I was so envious of my blonde-haired, fair-skinned girlfriends. I admired their ability to wear braids, tortoise shell headbands and effortlessly run a comb through their soft, shiny hair. I kept a giant lavender comb in the back pocket of my Jordache jeans, but it was more for decorative purposes; there was no way I could ever run a comb through my unruly hair without major incident. But then came the 1980s, — the decade my hair was born …

Yes, You Should Go Short. Here’s Why.

“Oh, I wish I could do that.” Hundreds of times I’ve heard this lament directed my way. Why? Is it because I can solve a Rubik’s Cube while holding it behind my back? Speak in numerous near-extinct tribal languages and dialects? Bend my thumb all the way back so it touches my wrist? Nope. It’s because I have short hair. Setting aside the obvious (oh, but you can do that — just let me get these massive shears out of my handbag…), I’m constantly amazed not so much by the fact that women envy short hair, but that they actually believe it’s somehow a hair style that’s totally beyond their reach. “You should cut it,” I urge them. “It would look great on you!” “Oh no, I could never pull it off,” they always reply. Pull it off? For the record, let’s create a short, but entirely comprehensive, list of reasons one could not “pull off” short hair: 1. You are Samson. 2. You have a wildly offensive neck tattoo. 3. You suffer from a goiter the size …

Why I Share My Closet with Other Women — The Story of Gwynnie Bee

“I’d size down, for sure — it runs big,” says Mara, a Gwynnie Bee staffer. She sits behind a makeshift checkout table eyeing me as I hold up a sheer, floral-patterned top. “We’re about the same size I think?” I’m trying on a handful of shirts, at bargain basement prices, here at Gwynnie Bee’s 2nd anniversary party in founder Christine Hunsicker’s Manhattan apartment. I can’t resist a good deal. More often I’m perusing online, on Gwynnie Bee’s near-revolutionary shopping site for plus-sized women. The two-year-old company (three if you count the years Hunsicker spent conceiving it) is like Netflix for clothing; your “closet” is akin to your “queue.” You choose a one-10-piece-out-at-a-time plan and closet the clothes you like. (Yes, in the GB community parlance, “closet” is used as a verb.) When you’re done wearing an item, you toss it back in a USPS, pre-postage-paid blue bag they provide (no washing necessary) and they’ll ship you your next item. They launder everything meticulously and retire clothing when it’s even slightly worn, so if you don’t mind …

You Should Know: How to Buy Better Leather

In “You Should Know” we tackle the stuff you think you probably should know at this point (but probably don’t). There was a day, before I started working in the world of design accessories, when I looked down at my “Genuine Leather” handbag and noticed that it just didn’t look like a hers. That classy lady who sat across from me on the N train had a bag that looked relaxed but kept its shape, a handle that looked firm but soft, and a charismatic patina that attested to years of service. Mine looked like a lump of dimpled plastic, honestly! What made the difference? Fine leather represents an investment that should reward the wearer with years of great first impressions. Yet with so many gussied up fakes competing for our attention, and tags that say “Genuine Leather” sewn into veritable road kill, how can one choose leather that looks beautiful and ages with character? Having worked as technical designer for companies like Coach and Baby Phat, I can now help you answer that question. Use …

Cataloguing: The L.L. Bean Backpack

When it comes to shopping for my kids, thank goodness for the wonderful world of the Internet. There are a dizzying variety of colors, hipster styles, Euro shapes and eyeball-searing prints to choose from. But it’s overwhelming. And personally, I long for the simpler styles of the 80s. That’s, of course, about the time I was buying my own backpack as I entered high school. I already owned one — a nylon Eastpak that my mother bought for me at the Jewelcor showroom. It was fine for junior high, but it didn’t have the cool factor a freshman truly required. Back then, there was really only one place to find the “must-have” backpack: the L.L. Bean catalogue. But this required some work. It’s hard to remember a time when catalogues did not fill our mailboxes unbidden, but back then, you had to request to be on the mailing list, and our family was not. I think I must have cribbed the L.L. Bean address or phone number from The Official Preppy Handbook and ordered a …

Packing It In: My Perfect Purse

Let’s be clear: I’ve never really been a purse person. My checking accounts or credit cards were never stretched to the breaking point in pursuit of a soft, buttery clutch or Swarovski encrusted tote; I’ve never gazed wistfully at the accessories on display in the windows of Barneys, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf or any other number of the luxury goods palaces that line the streets of the Upper East Side or Soho. I had a hard time identifying with the more consumerist themes in Sex and the City. I don’t like Marc Jacobs and I strongly believe that the term “hardware” belongs in the aisles of retailers like True Value or Home Depot. I’ve owned bags, yes – canvas totes, small leather purses, maybe a pocketbook or two picked up from Forever 21 or DSW – but the particular sort of  “must have” style statements that found popularity in the mid-to-late ’90s and retain a relentless grip on the Western female imagination never got my pulse racing. Still, I am a creature – and product – …