Sensai Studio Frayed Woven Straw Boater Hat With Striped Band. Brown. $165. http://www.modaoperandi.com.
I don’t know about you but, for me, packing for any vacation is something of a nightmare. Even though I was a flight attendant for a period of time, I never learned how to pack efficiently. I was always cramming my suitcase to capacity because I wanted to have options and also because I really did not want to take the time to carefully plan and coordinate outfits, shoes, and accessories. These days, I continue to work on my packing modus operandi. My goal nowadays is to pack everything I may need but not to over pack. This is a tall order for a fashionista who never wants to be poorly attired or caught without the right shoe or purse.
Here are the essentials that I believe a trip to Costa Rica, where the temps can sometimes change on a dime and rain can fall down in buckets, calls for. I’d love to hear from others who have been to Costa Rica to see what you found to be “essential” must-have clothing items for this trip.
I kind of dig the cowboy vibe of this dual-purpose sun/rain hat from REI. Because the sun is incredibly intense in Costa Rica and rain is quite common, particularly during the rainy season (of course!), I think it makes sense to bring one hat that can fulfill both needs. This Sunday Afternoon Twilight Canyon Hat is currently on sale for $22.73. http://www.rei.com.
Marmot’s Mattie Rain Jacket from REI is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. It also is long enough to provide coverage for much of your legs. Nothing is worse than soaked-through pants. Talk about a miserable feeling and a chill you can’t easily shake. $125.73. http://www.rei.com.
Keen’s Clearwater CNX water/hiking sandals feature covered toes for added protection against the elements and any fauna that might scurry or swim underfoot. $99.95 from Zappos. http://www.zappos.com.
The Mara Maxi Dress from Athleta works well for day and night and has pockets! I love a dress with pockets! Made for traveling, it is lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and made of Featherweight Stretch fabric. It comes in Navy (shown) and Wild Raisin. $118.00. http://www.athleta.com.
These silver platform sandals from Zara offer a chic daytime and nighttime look as well as comfort. And at only $69.90, they are a veritable steal. http://www.zara.com.
The Sunlover UPF Tank from Athleta offers sun protection, is lightweight, breathable, and rated UPF 50+. I love clothing that features protection from the sun–particularly for Costa Rica, where the rays are particularly intense. This will also stay dry in the most humid of climates. Major bonus. It comes in an array of colors. Prices range from $24.97 to $49.00, depending on the color. http://www.athleta.com.
The Bali Linen Ankle Pant is lightweight (nothing is worse than wearing a heavy pair of pants or jeans when it’s hot and humid, except maybe wet pants). Loose-fitting in a lightweight, washable linen fabric, they feel incredibly soft against the skin. I figure these will work both for some hiking action, trips to the beach, and even ventures into town. They come in Flint Grey Heather (Shown), Silver Grey, and White. $79.00. http://www.athleta.com.
Merrell’s Moab FST Hiking Boots are super cute. And, because they feature breathable membranes, they both seal out water and let moisture escape so your feet stay dry when you are in motion. These boots also have cush EVA foam midsoles, so your pads will stay happy all day. From REI, they are currently on sale for $97.73. http://www.rei.com.
The Sky Travel Wrap from Mer-Sea & Co. is perfect for plane rides, daytime adventures, and even evenings in the city. It packs up into a small travel bag and won’t wrinkle. It is made in Ecuador of 100 percent acrylic. $110.00. www.mersea.com.
I love this caftan from Zara. It’s so chic and yet so affordable. How perfect for a trip to the beach. $99.00. http://www.zara.com.
And for the piece de resistance…the swimsuit. For me, I need coverage and functionality. I also need support for the tatas. This High Neck Bra Cup Look Tankini from Athleta does all that and looks cool too. It runs in cup sizes up to 40D/DD. You can mix and match it with any of Athleta’s bikini bottoms.
This is what it looks like from the back and in a different color called Stop Light.
Athleta’s Kata Swim Short is perfect for me because it offers more coverage and greater functionality. I can see attempting surfing (ha ha) or maybe paddle-boarding in these. They come in a wide range of hues too and can mixed and matched with any of Athleta’s swimwear tops. $44.00. http://www.athleta.com.
No trip to the beach would be complete without a pair of flip-flops. My delicate feet require cushion, which is why I am digging Clark’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flops. Rated with five stars on Amazon, they cost anywhere from $19.35 to $55.00, depending on the color, size, or pattern you pick. http://www.amazon.com.
For rain forest hiking, I think a pair of Athleta’s Trekkie Hikers is in order. They feature an abrasion-resistant Ripstop fabric that also offers UPF coverage. Four zip pockets and a loop for hanging keys means you can have your essentials near by. Another bonus–they won’t wrinkle. At $98.00, they come in five classic colors: Black, Flint Grey, Constellation Blue, Darker Forest Green, and Silver Grey. http://www.athleta.com.
Lululemon’s City Adventure Backpack 17L is water-repellent, durable, and easy to wipe clean. It comes in Black (shown), Tie-Dye Blue/True Navy, Dark Olive, and Dark Chrome. $128.00. shop.lululemon.com.
For city excursions, Lululemon’s Festival Bag II 5L is just the ticket. A crossbody and water repellant, it’s durable and easy to wipe clean. It comes in the usual array of classic colors and runs $68.00 shop.lululemon.com.
Hope these sartorial suggestions help when planning what to pack for your trip to Costa Rica.
As April’s milder temps whisper of the warmth to come this summer, fashion is enjoying what can only be called a “floral frenzy.” Petal fresh colors and glorious floral prints and shapes are sprouting up in everything from purses to mules to dresses and eye wear. Take a peek at my favorite floral frippery.
The floral jumpsuit in the main image is by Alice + Olivia. $595.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
Johanna Ortiz Cimarron Rose-Print One-Shoulder Long Cotton Poplin Dress. $1,995.00
Prada Paglia RicamoTote. $2, 250.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
Oscar de la Renta Clip-On Floral Earrings. They also come in yellow and turquoise. $490.00. www. neimanmarcus.com.
Dolce & Gabbana Floral Sunglasses. $1,230.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
Jimmy Choo Edina Floral Sandal. $695.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
I always want to look stylish when I’m out and about…particularly when I’m on vacation. Vacation is when I feel I have the greatest luxury of all in life–time. And with those added hours for fun comes the opportunity to plan my outfits more thoughtfully.
The challenge for me when planning a vacation look is meshing style with comfort. My clothes need to be fuss-free (i.e., wrinkle-resistant, not too tight, not too constricting, the right fabric weight for the climate, etc.), and my shoes need to be such that I can comfortably walk for hours. Having had four foot surgeries (I used to dance on pointe), I am a person with high-maintenance feet. I have to have cushion or I can end up feeling miserable as I go about my day. I know because I have found myself in that painful situation one too many times.
With that said, here is one of the outfits I conceived for a trip to Chicago. It hits all the boxes on my checklist. It’s chic, it’s easy to wear, and it allows me to remove layers if the weather is warmer than expected. It also features a pair of cool-looking shoes that feature a soft, cushioned sole so that I can walk to my heart’s content. The purse is a crossbody, which allows me to promenade hands free and keep my wallet tight to my body.
Plaid coat from Mango. $199.00. http://www.mango.com.
Sailor-inspired wide-leg jeans. $87.00. http://www.warehouse-london.com.
A simple white tank top which I will tuck into the sailor pants means I won’t be too hot if the temp rises during the day. $14.90 from Zara. http://www.zara.com.
Platform loafers by Stella McCartney. $579.00. http://www.gilt.com.
Topping it all off and lending a punch of color is this adorable orange crossbody bag from Tory Burch. McGraw Round Crossbody Bag. $248.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
It’s that time of year again–graduation time. This is not just a special occasion for the student; it’s also a life moment for the parents who launched that child. Now, while I’m a stepmom and cannot take much credit for the wonderful people my stepchildren have become (I came into their lives when they were pretty much grown up), I still want to enjoy the day and toast the child. Part of that for me is carefully planning what I’m going to wear to their graduation ceremonies.
I thought I’d share with you the special outfit I’ve pulled together. My aim with this getup was to look polished and pulled together and to celebrate spring and the freshness it brings. My color of choice is indigo blue. Indigo blue is the new black, in case you haven’t heard. Classic and really a whole lot more flattering to most skin tones, it’s here to stay. If you don’t have anything in this dynamic hue, what are you waiting for???
Here’s what I’ll be rocking on those two days–yup, same outfit for both events. I love it when I can repurpose a look. (By the way, I’m going to start taking photos of myself in these outfits–something I find incredibly trying to do. I am not one who likes to have my picture taken; I tend to nit-pick every perceived flaw. So it’s really hard for me to put myself out there. However, as part of my life growth process, I really want to “get over it.” Things to come…
Here are my outfit essentials.
Michael Kors Striped Georgette Shirt Dress in Blue. Currently on sale for $146.25 through 3/26 at www.michaelkors.com. I paid the full price of $195.00…bummer. It also comes in black, which is also incredibly cute.
I’m going to add a thick blue belt to further cinch in the waist.
For my shoes, I want to wear heels but I need platform soles to cushion the ride. My pads tend to hurt in really high heels with thin soles. Thus, I’ll be rocking these blue velvet platforms from Zara. They are surprisingly comfortable; just gotta make sure you watch where you step.
Topping things off will be this incredibly cute white purse.
Gucci white purse. Love, love, love.
I’d love to hear what you’re planning to wear to any graduation ceremonies you may be attending this summer. It’s always fun to share.
The color of rich merlot, this sumptuously soft and oh, so, yummy to wrap in faux fur scarf from Warehouse is the buy of the day. Get thee as fast as possible to Warehouse’s website if you want one. It’s seriously so soft, so thick, so high quality that you are going to want to snuggle in it all day. Whether you live in cold winter climes or the Southwest where days are warm but nights get cold (and indoor offices can be freezing throughout the year), you will love this wrap. Here’s the best part and why I’m saying you need to type fast…originally $87.00, it is currently on sale for $45.00. I bought one, and it arrived today. It is well worth the money. I love it. http://www.warehouse-london.com.
When selecting workout tops, it’s important to consider more than just whether it looks great on you. This is a garment where function plays a really key role….particularly for ladies with larger busts who want to bust a move whether that entails jogging or doing explosive plyometric moves. You gotta have the right amount of support! The fabric also can make a huge difference on the workout experience. Look for fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and vent heat. Thankfully active wear options abound for all our needs and preferences.
Check out some of the best workout tops for 2018.
Zella’s Taylor Performance Tank features a perforated back panel and high side slits to keep you cool and comfortable. It comes in Fiery Red (shown) and White. $45.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Alo’s Vixen Crop Tank is perfect for workouts and beyond with engineered cutouts and a sleek racerback for optimal ventilation. Gotta let that heat out and why not look oh, so, sexy doing it. Available in six hues–Rich Navy (shown), Black, Legion Blue, Marine, Red Velvet, and Starburst. $60.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Alo’s Vixen Cutout Tank also comes in this longer style. Available in Saltwater Heather (shown). $62.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Adidas’s by Stella McCartney Mesh panels and Climacool® ventilation join forces to keep you dry and comfortable during your workout by increasing airflow and wicking moisture. This is another trumpe l’oeil option, where cutout panels trick the eye into seeing a more curvy shape. Love it! Available in Dark Burgundy/Legend Red. $75.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Zella’s Asana Tank is cut from ultra-lightweight Zeltek Lite fabric with a cutout racerback to keep you cool during your most challenging yoga routines. I love the flattering neck line and cutout shoulders. The piping adds curve factor and visual interest. Available in Purple Plum (shown) and Black. $59.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Lululemon’s Full Freedom Tank “Light” Support can be worn long or cinched at the sides to make it shorter. Available in Black (shown), Nile Blue, White, and Luminesce Splatter White Black, it is currently on sale for $59.00. shop.lululemon.com.
Need lift? Check out Lululemon’s Ta Ta Tamer III. Designed to give you the heavy-duty support, separation, and coverage that you crave. Made with Luxtreme® fabric that is sweat-wicking and four-way stretch with a cool, smooth feel. Available in Black (shown), White, and Biggie Fleur Sombre Caspian Blue Black/Black. shop.lululemon.com.
Climawear’s dip-dyed See the Light workout top is designed to go the distance in four-way-stretch, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and comfortable. Currently on sale for the very affordable $30.82, it boasts really cool fingerless hand coverings (how else to describe that?). Available in one color–Icy Cantaloupe/Deep Sea. http://www.nordstrom.com.
How lovely is this Lark Mesh Yoga Top from Alo? It comes in six colorways, including Citrine, Black, Dove Gray Heather, Gravel Heather, Hunter, and Rosewater (shown here). $74.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Nike’s Gym Hoodie looks sweet and offers just the right amount of warmth post workout. $60.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Innovative fabric and perforated panels flatter your figure and vent excess heat in this smooth seamless tee from Zella. Love the lines that sort of “trick the eye,” creating nice curves in their wake. $39.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Smartwool’s Merino 250 Drape Neck Hoodie brings chafe-free comfort to a lightweight merino wool hoodie that helps regulate body temperature during intense workouts. $130.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Here’s a fun hoodie to throw on post workout for warmth and style. Alo’s Slay Slashed Long Sleeve Hoodie comes in Black, Dove Grey Heather, and Gravel Heather (shown). $98.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
It’s the new year! And with that new year come new goals. One that tends to be on everyone’s list is getting in shape. I know it’s front and center of my goals for 2018 and what spurred me on to sign up for a six-week workout challenge at my gym. And while I’m headed into the gym with my head hung low, feeling bummed about all the sugary foods and glasses of wine I enjoyed over the holidays…I still want to look good as I work up a sweat and contort my body into all those squats and lunges.
I think that going to the gym is sometimes really intimidating for many women and men too. We feel like everyone is going to judge us, check out our muffin tops, or snicker about our naivete when it comes to the correct form for a lat pull down. The truth is…most gym goers are more obsessed with themselves and their own bodies and form to notice anyone else. The other truth is that, for the most part, most regular gym rats admire anyone and everyone–large, small, tall, short, old and young–who dares to step through those doors and break a sweat. There’s a sense of camaraderie among workout folks, and they are often incredibly supportive and even willing to share advice and tips when approached.
One way to make that journey to the gym more palatable is by wearing workout gear that makes you look and feel good. That big, baggy T-shirt over big, baggy pants is not going to cut the mustard! Oversized T-shirts and “lose-yourself-in-them” sweatpants neither flatter nor fool.
Believe it or not, it’s actually more enhancing to wear something a tad form-fitting…and maybe even tuck in that tank top. And as you work out each week, you will be able to see the lovely changes that occur when you exercise regularly and eat right (remember, it’s 20 percent workout and 80 percent diet).
If you, like me, are planning to spend some quality time at the gym and want to do it looking good, check out my top picks for workout wear.
Love these Wonder Leggings from Zella. Currently on sale for $38.98 from http://www.nordstrom.com.
Moto-style jeans and leggings are on trend at the moment, and I’m especially loving these from Alo. $114.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
They also come in white…so cute.
This pair from Goddess is enhanced by the leg warmer-like bit at the bottom. They come in white/tan, blue/black (shown here), and rosewater/rosewater heather. $102.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Like flowers and not afraid of a large print? Try these Pure Floral Ink Leggings from Zella. $79.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Not in the mood for a legging and leaning more toward comfort and some wiggle room? Try these classic sweatpants from Nike. I love these, and the price is also to be celebrated. Only $60.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
These navy Cambridge Crop Sweats are so cute that you’re going to want to wear them to Starbucks, the grocery store, Trader Joes, and more. From Sub-Urban Riot, they cost $68.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Here’s a pair with a flare…Sundry’s Stripe Flare Sweatpant. $98.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
Socialite’s Cinched Jogger had me at the cinch and the price…only $39.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
I’m never one to shy away from a rip…love these ripped sweatpants from Alo. They just exude a sense of cozy comfort. $104.00. http://www.nordstrom.com.
And now…for my all-time favorite workout pants, the Unlined Dance Studio Pant III from Lululemon. They cost a tad more, but will last a long time and will become a staple of your daily casual wear. $118.00. http://www.lululemon.com. They come in 10 different colors, ranging from wine berry to dark olive to navy and on to black.
Tomorrow we will head into the land of workout tops and bras. Until then….
Although you might be unfamiliar with the name, in all likelihood you have worn or will wear a gilet at some point during your lifetime.
Back in the day–say the 18th and 19th centuries–gilets were fitted and embroidered. Women wore them as dress bodices shaped like mens’ waistcoats, as shown below.
Riding jacket, 1750-59. From the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Women’s jacket from the mid-18th century.
Today, the gilet has been transformed into a sleeveless jacket or vest. Either waist- or knee-length, gilets come in myriad fabrics for all seasons. Some are lightweight and some heavier.
Popular in autumn, when temperatures begin to dip, the gilet is worn over long-sleeve tops.
The gilet in the featured image is by Alexander McQueen and retails for $4,995.00 at www.net-a-porter.com.
Here’s one from Mountain Warehouse. It’s currently on sale for $14.99. www.mountainwarehouse.com.
When snowflakes fall, the gilet appears as a puffer vest…often stuffed with goose down for added warmth.
Here is a super cute one from Moncler. It comes in navy and blush. You can find it at http://www.neimanmarcus.com. $995.00. If that is above your budget, head over to The North Face where they have the most adorable puffer in six gorgeous colors (one is called petticoat pink; another is sequoia red) for only $99.
Gilets are also worn simply for fashion sake, offering visual interest in the way of layers. Here are some that are currently in stores and that I find utterly fetching.
This one from Neiman Marcus is clad in leather. This is a classic piece that you will wear for many years. It is currently on sale for $192.00 and comes in both military (shown) and black. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
Prefer fur? Check out this beauty from Belle Fare. It is made of dyed fox fur and is reversible!!!! Love that–two looks for the price of one. It sells for $995. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
Wear it like this:
Or like this:
Here is one with faux fur detailing. Currently on sale for $59.99. http://www.zara.com.
Here is a highly wearable one with a cool side vent from Mango. It’s currently on sale for $59.99 but sizes are limited. shop.mango.com.
Something of a clean freak, I have declared my home a shoe-free zone. I discovered shoe-free homes when studying for a year in France. There, people walk their dogs and do not, I repeat “do not,” pick up the dogs’ poo. Sorry to be so blunt but there it is. Seeing all the piles of doggy do, I could clearly see the value of having outdoor shoes and indoor slippers.
I have adopted this mode of living stateside and even ask my guests–I know, I know…it’s not the greatest–to remove their shoes upon entering my sanctuary.
Of late, I have become increasingly frustrated with having to remove my slippers and put on my “outdoor” shoes simply to check the mail or grab something from the garage. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be swell to have a pair of slippers with a removable/changeable sole?” It would be one more way to make things a tad more efficient in my life. So I Googled “slippers with removable soles” and lo and behold, there is such a thing.
Introducing Mahabis Slippers. Lightweight with a soft wool lining, the slippers feature a detachable sole. How cool is that?
Mahabis’ Classic Slipper comes in light gray and dark gray and offers the choice of seven different colored soles…everything from plain white to skane yellow and more.
skane yellow soles
That way, you can have your “indoor” sole and your “outdoor” one. I love it!
This classic pair of Mahabis Slippers sells for $110.00, which includes one set of soles. Additional soles cost $20. Find them at http://www.mahabis.com.
Ageism (n.) prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly.
In my fifties, I do not consider myself old. I buy into the “fifty is the new thirty” mentality, preferring to not let my age define me and still striving to better myself and learn. So it really shocked me when a family member (not part of my so-called nuclear family by the way) said, “Terri looks OK for an old gal.” Completely caught off-guard, I said nothing. Inside, however, I was both hurt and seething. (If only I could rewind time and take the opportunity to let that person know what I truly think.)
I believe that family should be a nurturing wagon circle, a place where family members feel safe, cared about, supported. I know that is probably unrealistic due to family dysfunction, jealousies that take hold, and the like. But wouldn’t it be nice if…
The question I am also asking myself is “Why do women attack other women?” We should be helping each other to fly, excel, and discover the talents we possess that are far more gratifying and enduring than beauty and youth.
To the person who said this to me I say, “You wounded me but I am resilient and will use your negativity to fuel my journey to greater things.” Shame on you.
Ever wonder how movie stars and royals–even newly arrived and not yet official royals like Meghan Markle–are able to wear new designer gowns to every event? The sheer Ralph & Russo gown Markle is wearing in this official engagement photo apparently sells for $75,000. Now, I am not sure if Harry’s new fiancee or the queen had to buy this gown…doubtful though.
It turns out that celebrities have two options when it comes to getting an outfit for an awards ceremony. If they are important enough celebs (i.e., A-listers), they can either pick from a designer’s collection or have a dress or tux custom made. Technically, they can purchase a dress or tuxedo but that isn’t what normally happens. Generally, the celeb does not pay for the outfit, nor does he or she own the outfit. Thus, after the awards ceremony is over, the item is placed back into its bag and picked up by the stylist or the designer’s “people.” Pretty nice little arrangement, no?
If an actress is picking from a designer’s collection, then the actresses who are nominated often get the first pick, followed by the show’s presenters. Things can get a little competitive because only one lucky lady can wear any one dress.
Some designers want to dress certain celebrities and will go to great lengths to get that person to wear their clothing. For example, a designer may fly multiple dresses directly from the runway in Paris to the client in New York or Los Angeles in a bid to win over said actress. Oh, to be so popular!