Sunday, March 5

It's Time to Don Your Robes Baby

Think Exotic. This Nicole Miller frock is perfect for any event. Day or night. Red is always a plus especially in a black clad room.
If the shoe fits, then wear it! These are by far the best shoes of Spring 2006. Works with anything and everything. Dress up those jeans or make that sheath dazzle!
The Little Black Dress. This is one of my favorite little black dresses. Well Done Alberta.
Great for Work. Think clean. No frou-frou in the work force please. Unless you're trying to mimic Elle Woods. Narciso R knows how to Work it!

Cocktail. Tuxedo jackets are always oh so delciious at night paired with cropped jeans. Make sure your jeans are dark. Light jeans would just make u look look like, for lack of a better word. Trailer Trash.

Don Your Robes: The Guide To Formal Dressing
By Mel, Fashion Editor at Large

Do you feel dazzled, frazzled and lost when you have to attend a fabulous event and are in need of a new knockout outfit? Well, not to fear. I have the inside scoop on how to find that special outfit for that very special night. No matter what the event, my guidelines will make sure you are the most stunning person in the room.

Rule #1- Occasion, Occasion, Occasion
To begin your search for the killer outfit for a special fete, you need to know exactly what the invitation entails and exactly what's going to be happening. A proper invitation will mention the appropriate dress code. To ignore the dress code can lead to you feeling awkward when you reach the venue and is also an insult to your host.

Dress code Lingo Deciphered-
White tie- reserved for extremely formal weddings, award shows and political dinners. If your invitation reads white tie, consider yourself lucky because you're going to the wedding of the year or attending the White House for dinner.
Females: Full length dresses and long gloves are required. White tie events are always traditional and never trendy.
Males: Black tailcoat, black tuxedo pants, white vest and stiff winged collared shirt (Ask the sales person) is required. Do not forget the ever-important cuff links.

Black Tie/ Formal- not worn before 6PM. Evening weddings, galas and fundraisers call for this attire.
Females: traditional etiquette calls for floor length dress, but in today's world you can get away with a fancy knee length sheath or wrap dress. A great alternative for a dress at a black tie event is tuxedo pants paired with a dashing silk blouse. If you go down the pant lane remember to pair those pants with skinny stilettos, not chunky heels.
Males: A tuxedo with a white dress shirt is called for. Do not forget the quintessential black tie. For a more contemporary and urban twist, try a satin silver or white tie.

Black Tie Optional- gallery openings usually follow this dress code, as do soirees.
Females: follow the rules for black tie
Males: a tuxedo or black suit
Semiformal/Cocktail- cocktail parties and more intimate occasions insist on semiformal/cocktail attire.
Females: The little black cocktail dress or any little dress for that matter. Pair with big, funky jewelry in vivid colors and don't forget your ravishing heels and makeup bag.
Males: A dark suit or a chic blazer with a dress shirt and khakis are a go.
(Classic Wisdom: light suits need light shoes and vice versa)

Rule #2- Dress your body
Now that you know what kind of outfit your event requires now it's time to analyze exactly what will look best on you. Dressing to flatter your specific form is as important as hiding your not so flawless assets just as it is about playing up your favorite features! Do your research on what looks best on your body before shopping. Only showcase one of your assets at a time.

Rule#3- When style met color
Color and style is essential to your big night outfit. You can always pick basic black and accessorize but why not experiment with different colors and bold prints? Gold and sparkly fabrics look stunning at night, while floral dresses are simply gorgeous for day events like graduations. When in doubt, I say wear red. Style goes side by side with color. Before picking out what you'll be donning on the big night read up on the latest trends via magazines and the internet. This ensures you'll know exactly what's out there in the boutiques. You can pick out which styles and cuts flatter your body and eliminate the ones that do not. You'll also be fully aware of fashion designers' vision of how one should dress formally. They are the best source of what's in and what's out.

Rule#4- Toa of formal Shopping
Here's the fun part. By now you've decided exactly what you’re looking for. Bring magazine clippings with you to the boutique to keep you on track. You must set a budget and stick to it. In the moment you'll be justifying your purchase but you'll feel retail remorse when you find the dress hanging in your closet, untouched. Choose a boutique and or designer who suits you. If you’re flirty, frilly and exotic independent boutiques should work for you. For more elegant and refined clothing large department stores and couture rooms are the way to go. No matter who you are there is a boutique out there for you. Make sure to bring the heels you'll be wearing the big night or a pair that emulates them. Another great alternative is online shopping. It's innovative and there are no lines. Be careful to measure yourself correctly and that the website has a great return policy. Invest in the services of a great tailor for a fit all your own.

Rule #5 Accessorize
So now you've found your fabulous new outfit, it's now time to complete your look by adding accessories. There are many ways to accessorize. Hairpins, flowers, scarves, and glitzy jewelry always add a touch of glamour to any outfit. The trend in Paris is not to match your jewelry but to find pieces that co-ordinate with one and other whether in color and or design. Accessories should reflect your personality, so have fun and express yourself. Keep in mind though; too much of a good thing is almost always, bad.
(Mel’s tip- your evening bag should be large enough to only fit lipstick, tissues, your mobile, keys, I.D. and money.)

There you have it, five easy steps to making your all dolled up look absolutely unforgettable. There’s just one more thing. No matter what you wear or how you look it's confidence that really makes you shine. Stay fabulous! Ciao.

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