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.

Chloe

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!

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Fashionable Giving

The world of fashion is a hardcore business.  To succeed within the industry you must know what you want, how to get it, the who’s who of the industry, and have a drive in you like no other.  Almost every successful designer wasn’t handed a fashion line and an endless bank account; they had a vision to create, inspire, and help change the face of fashion.

These designers are inspiring in more ways than simply the collections they develop each season.  They defy the lines separating fashion and charity and prove naysayers wrong in that the fashion world is simply for the vain.  I for one love the idea of caring, sharing, and doing so fashionably!  Supporting do-gooder designers helps empower charities and foundations that set out to help the youth, impoverished countries, education, and world disasters among countless others all while giving you the added bonus of looking stylish!

My award for all around charitable designer goes to Rachel Roy, one of my favorite designers who incorporates more than just clothing into helping others.   She is a firm believer that “charity = clarity” and that by helping others, you ultimately gain balance in your own life.  I don’t know one single person who doesn’t feel better about their life after volunteering a few hours to an organization in need.  What’s better is that Rachel Roy takes helping others to the next level by incorporating the ideas and creativity of everyday people.  She asks people through her website how they could improve the lives of others by creating their own charity if they had a $1,000 grant, then chooses a set of winning ideas and gives them the $1,000 seed money to help change the world.  Even take a piece home such as her “Kindness is always fashionable” charity tote that supports UNICEF.

Rachel Roy Kindness tote

My next “award-winning” designer goes to an all American designer who, if I could put everything she has ever created into my closet, I would.  Tory Burch wins for her American empowerment for women to succeed in business while helping them obtain the small financial push they could use.  Her non-profit foundation started in 2009 and strives to help women all over the United States be able to support their families with basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, and education.  Tory’s foundation partnered with ACCION USA which helps provide small loans and services to help these women succeed. Choose from numerous tops, bags, bracelets, or even sandals to wear to help support the Tory Burch Foundation.

Tory Burch Foundation Scarf worn as a top

Tory Burch Foundation merchandise

Tory Burch Foundation Bracelets

The youth is our future.  These young minds are loaded with creativity and knowledge that will lead our society, country, and world into the next century.  At least that is what Burberry, also my award winner for most creative and charitable corporation, believes.  The Burberry Foundation began in 2008 in an effort to help young minds realize their own dreams and potential through their own creativity.  Let’s face it, we don’t’ live in a clear, concrete, and easy world.  By helping these kids build connections, take opportunities, and establish confidence, Burberry is opening doors and creating positive changes themselves. My favorite new development of theirs is called Burberry Acoustic, where the company finds the unheard of artist and gives them a platform to be heard.  Soon, the infamous tartan-décor company won’t only be known for their 90 degree angled stripes.

Fashion and charity many times cross paths when an item of clothing is designed for a cause.  Probably one of the most memorable ones is Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation which helps aid to those struck by cancer.  Others would be the t-shirts created to help with relief after the tsunami in Japan or the hurricane that ripped apart New Orleans known as Katrina.  My last award goes out to the organization that thoroughly integrates creative fashion, designers, cities around the world, and everyday people into one.  Fashion’s Night Out is an initiative to bring together elements of the fashion industry that normally wouldn’t mix to celebrate the world of fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the economy, and simply bring fun back into shopping.  It started in 2009 with the greats of American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the city of New York but has become such a hit that has since expanded to 100 cities in the U.S. and 15 countries total!  Much like England’s Red Nose Day, be on the lookout in August for the exclusive Fashion’s Night Out collections created by our favorite designers.

Fashion's Night Out

Whether you purchase a Gap Red shirt to support the Global Fund for Aids or a Cartier Love collection bracelet to support numerous causes, make your next purchase one that benefits more than just your wardrobe.