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Style Tip of the Month -
Big, statement-making jewelry is very hot this season, and with colder weather approaching, think outside the box - or in this case, outside the coat. Don't hide a big necklace or great-looking pin under your winter coat - wear it on the outside of the coat.
One of the big trends for fall is statement jewelry, and one of the best-kept style secrets of great jewelry and other accessories is craft shows. If you think craft shows are all about your Aunt Beatrice knitting tissue-box covers, you don't get out enough! There are skilled, talented artisans all over the country that make beautifully crafted jewelry, leather goods, clothing, and other "wearable art," probably right where you live. Check it out!
Well, the economy is down and prices are up and you don't have much to spend on clothes, but you want to look good. (Who wants to look bad?) Take some time to shop in your closet.
Spend a couple of hours trying on everything (yes, everything). See how each item fits, and how it looks with other things. Clothes that don't fit properly are the number one fashion faux pas - just because it fit well when you bought it doesn't mean it still does. Clothes that are too tight can make you look cheap or worse, fat, and clothes that are too big and baggy can make you look sloppy and like you don't care. A nip here and there can make a huge difference, or can update a favorite piece. (If you can't sew, most dry cleaners do alterations.) For example, maybe that black-and-white batik print full skirt you had way back when would look fresh if you hemmed it up a few inches. And look for new combinations. You've always worn that black-and-white skirt with a white blouse and black pumps? Try it with a lime green T-shirt, woven leather belt, and flat sandals.
Lastly, if you do go shop the summer sales, don't spend a lot of money on something that you won't wear next year.
Espadrilles are terrific summer shoes and are on sale now. They come in lots of styles, from flats to tall wedgies, with or without ankle ties, colors, prints, and endless variety. Try lace-up espadrilles in a bright color with a peasant skirt, or a floral print with jeans. Espadrilles are also a great alternative to flip-flops, which, if worn too often, can cause foot problems.
The sun is out at last after the cold, rainy spring, so PUT YOUR SUNSCREEN ON and protect yourself from insects!
New sunscreen ingredients (such as AvoTriplex in Banana Boat and Helioplex in Neutrogena products) provide improved UVA and UVB protection and help the protection last longer on your skin. That said, put it on every day before going out, use plenty of it and reapply often, especially if you are outdoors a lot or go in the water. If you carry sunscreen with you, good for you, but don't leave it in the car - the heat in a parked car will break down the ingredients. Wear a hat and sunglasses (both are chic and functional). There is also a laundry additive now that adds sun protection to your clothes when you wash them - look in the laundry section of the supermarket with stain products and fabric softeners.You can get a lot of sun damage just running around doing errands or even leaning against the car chatting to your neighbor.
Some insects are attracted to dark colors or bright prints (they think the flower is real, I guess) and in any event, insects are easier to see on light fabric, so when you are out and about where the bugs are, wear lighter clothing and use insect repellant. Look for the ingredient DEET to repel mosquitoes and deer ticks, both of which can cause serious illness.
You don't look good when you are red, peeling, and scratching huge bug bites!
If you don't have room in your closet for all your clothes, but have to swap things around for winter and summer, here are several tips:
1) Try to keep hanging things on hangers and protected from moths. I have a closet-rack on wheels with a canvas cover in my attic for my off-season clothes. These are available at places like Bed Bath & Beyond, the Container Store, Lowe's and Home Depot.
2) Wash or dry clean clothes that have been worn before putting them away for the season. Soil and perspiration attract insects.
3) When storing something away, ask yourself "Did I wear this, or am I just packing and unpacking it every year?"
4) When you hang up your clothes on the rod, hang them so that everything is facing the same way. When you wear something, face it the other way when you put it back. Then you can easily tell what you are and aren't wearing.
Bright colors are very "in" this spring. If you fear looking like a spilled Crayola box, get a bright accessory and wear it with a neutral - maybe a yellow floral shirt with your jeans.
Bright colors and bold prints are in stores for spring, and they really do lift the spirits after a gray, dreary winter. Just make sure the print is in proportion to you - a huge bright print can be overwhelming on a small person, while a dainty pastel floral can make you look like a character out of "Mama's Family." Happy spring!