Crimped and Pleated

All the Pretty Birds

I seem to be in a bit of a, let’s say, “crimped” conundrumand since I share bits and pieces of my life in fashion with you all each week,suggesting the latest trends and what to wear, I figure why not share myfashionable problems as well!

Just like about 99.9% of you, I do not have the body of Gisele or Heidi, do not walk the runway, and pretty much always wish I could change things about my body – shape, size, and that individual freckle I wish was just not in that one, you know, annoying spot; but, plain and simple…God made me as I am and I’m just going to have to do best with what I’ve been dealt.

Back to my “crinkled” conundrum – I happen to love the look of pleated skirts.  I find them classically stylish, ultra feminine and just plain gorgeous! But how do I wear one without looking like a wrongly ballooned animal?! While you could never tell on the models because they happen to be skinnier than your average fire pole, taller than most men, and have legs for days, knife-pleatskirts love to show every bump on your from your waist down. No hiding that big lunch you had anymore while wearing one of these it seems! While knife-pleats are obviously creased, the problem(s) seem to show as they flow over your troubled areas when the pleats expand to form your body and unfortunately, I have yet to find a knife-pleatskirt with the magical fiber content to help resolve this issue.

Therefore, if I wish to ever successfully wear this glamorous piece, I must find a fitting solution. As for those of you out there who share my pleated trials and tribulations, I hope this shall be beneficial to you as well.

First things first – must find an appropriate top to pair with said skirt while also coming off as flattering.  Thinking about what tops I love to wear most often helped narrow down my search quite a bit. I’m not very much of a t-shirt gal but instead usually opt for a silky blouse that has a very nice flow to it and is lightweight. For me, I would choose a long-sleeve bold colored blouse or patterned blouse depending on the looks of my pleated skirt (prints vs. no prints). For those of you who might actually be more of a classic tee lady, try matching your classic tee with a classic cardigan; possibly one with some decorative buttons or an unusual fabric.

All the Pretty Birds

Since, my goal would be to take the attention up/down from the skirt so passersby’s wouldn’t wonder how a ballooned animal actually got loose on the street (wearing a pleated skirt none-the-less) I’m going to opt to wear some statement pieced jewelry and an uber femme heel. I happen to be a huge fan of both earrings and necklaces but it’s important to remember to not overdue it on each, especially when each is making a statement of its own! If you choose a pair of dynamite earrings, keep the necklace simple. If you would rather wear the chunky necklace, then it would be wise to wear a simple pair of drop earrings that day. As for your finger jewelry, well, rings are always a goin my book and it seems like no matter what, I can’t give up wearing my favorite rings each day no matter what my look.

Rachel Roy

Heels are an important part of any woman’s wardrobe. They elongate your legs (and for me, this is crucial), make you appear taller (again, crucial), and are a magnificent way of taking your outfit to the next level! Since heels are necessarily comfortable to walk in all day, it’simportant to find just the right pair for your foot. You might be better suited for a wedge heel instead of a stiletto for extra support, need to choose the ½ inchheel height instead of the 5” heel so your poor arches don’t kill you the next day. Whichever heel you choose, just make sure that it is absolutely the right one for you. There are too many fashionable heels in every shape and size to not be able to find one with your name on it.


As I’m not ready to let this fantastic trend pass me by, I’m willing to take on the challenges it will face in wearing it properly. It might take some time, but I am destined to make it work…and without the shoulder pads circa 1980’s!


StyleMax: Fall Forecast

In these frigid days of blizzards, rapid winds, and negative temperatures, it can be difficult to imagine the upcoming warm, sunny days filled with beach outings, picnics, and outdoor concerts.  Beyond that, the fall season strikes again where we begin to gradually layer our clothing again and bundle up for the next few months, of what can feel at times, like hibernation.

From last week through the weekend, it was time for another StyleMax fashion market, held at the Merchandise Mart, in downtown Chicago.  I truly enjoy working these markets for numerous reasons, mainly because I get to preview what designer’s trends are to be for the upcoming seasons.  To give you a bit of background about what StyleMax is and what I do there, I will fill you in on the basics.  StyleMax is a women’s apparel and accessory tradeshow where designers and well-known brands showcase their latest and greatest collections.  Buyers from boutiques, spas, and larger stores from all around the world register to enter and walk around to their favorite exhibitors where representatives, like me, show them our latest collections.  Buyers then decide whether or not pieces from those collections will sell to their customer base in their stores and if it will coincide with other items already purchased from different exhibitors.  From the early start to the day to when the show floor closes down, it is a constant selling atmosphere and is difficult to view other designer’s collections and speak with them.  Therefore, I usually forego taking a long lunch and instead choose to walk the aisles of fashion and fun.

Burberry Prorsum Pre Fall 2011

Chloe Pre Fall 2011

This fall, the minimalism trend carries over.  Focus lies more on detailed stitching, cut, and the overall quality of the garment.  Be on the lookout for warm color tones such as heather beiges, browns, and grays.  Also, the line for jackets and sweaters becomes a bit hazy as the two create a hybrid leading to heavier sweaters that double as a coat if you were to go outside.  Think oversized, longer, cozier outerwear.  Details of large ribbing, cable knit, and tie-waists are visible along with the idea of “looking chic without trying” by adding some fur trimming to a number of its’ pieces giving off a sense of luxury.  As most exhibitors were not showing fall quite yet, still focused on spring and summer wear, one of the lines I represent is always ahead of the game and blows me away with the inventions and creations made with each fall collection.  This show, Katherine Barclay focused on asymmetrical cut sweaters, trapeze cut tops, and dresses that could be worn from day to night while allowing for comfort with its knit fabric.  Other labels are welcoming back the wide-leg trouser with easy going tops.  In terms of accessories – the more unique the better.  Accessories will be the way to make your statement in terms of dress this fall.  From chunky to ruffled, bubbled or absolutely absurd, you’re options are endless with these upcoming items!

Chanel Pre Fall 2011

Givenchy Pre Fall 2011

Vera Wang Pre Fall 2011

Even though days like this week make me never want to see a snowflake or put on a goose-down parka ever again, it is trends and collections like these that have me waiting in anticipation and excitement for my favorite stores to decide what to purchase and make available for me and other customers.  Until the next StyleMax fashion market where we will feature holiday 2011 looks, I will leave you with happy thoughts of intimate sweaters and novel accessories.