Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Regime Change

All was going along fine with my anemic skin care regime. Sort of. My magnifying mirror is illuminating age spots and sun damage along with the errant chin hairs I'm chasing. The retinoid I'm using is a little harsh and leaves me scaly. I'm getting weird pimples. Enough.

A friend of mine from early improv days, Debbie Pierce, is a Rodan & Fields representative. Debbie is funny, smart, and discerning. She shares my skincare woes and found succor with the Rodan & Fields products.

(Full disclosure here (as is my way): Debbie has provided me with the Reverse collection of skincare. I'll be lending a hand in Debbie's closet soon. I'm not advertising for Debbie or the company. I'll give an unvarnished review of this product.)

You should totally go see the befores and afters at the Rodan & Fields site. AMAZING.

My new routine ...

I've never had a skin routine with so many steps. It's a challenge for me and the products: I'd better stick with it and the products had better deliver. (The product will only deliver if I stick with it ... that old song and dance!)

I'll be posting periodic updates on my Facebook page. And when the last drop of product is squeezed from its tube I'll share my very own before and after pictures.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Seriously Guys, Your Chest is Not a Shirt

When I'm in line at the food cart behind a shirtless dude (no matter how impressive the physique), I gag a little. I'm wearing a shirt, in fact, almost everyone is wearing a shirt, except for shirtless dude.

What compels a man to reject his shirt on a sunny day? To take clothes off without a pool, boat, beach, running group, hard labor, or Playgirl photographer anywhere nearby? Does he seek reciprocity from women?

If so, there's a movement afoot to make this a reality. Topfreedom is a thing. A quote from the Wiki page:
  • "In North America, the Topfree Equal Rights Association assists women who have been charged for being topless, while GoTopless organizes demonstrations to protest against the legal and public attitude to the inequality."
Bummer that women are charged for being topless and men aren't, huh?

Social inequality for women persists, persistently. 62% of single mothers are employed in the lowest paying jobs in the US, our reproductive rights are still in the hands of a mostly-male legislature, sex shaming and sex crimes continue to plague campuses, workplaces, homes and streets. We're up in arms about the racist comments of a gazillionaire white guy when half of the world population - of all races - is still struggling to get adequate pay, healthcare, and social equality. Mothers, sisters, daughters. Tragic.

So, does a man take his shirt off on a hot day to flaunt his social superiority? Gosh, who knows. Maybe on some reptilian level. Frankly, I think a man's internal convo goes like this: "It's hot, I'm going to take my shirt off."

Regardless of why a man ditches his shirt on a hot day, I deem it ICKY. It's a don't.

So here's a tip for the guys. Grab a cold drink, wear a tank top (if you must), or get yourself to a pool/beach/boat/waterhole. Your mothers, sisters, and daughters thank you in advance.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seriously, Leggings Are Not Pants

I indulged in some commercial air-travel of late. As usual, the experience didn't disappoint in the people-watching department.

It's a miasma of humanity at the airport. The veteran traveler with a tidy carry-on, buckwheat neck pillow, and appropriately small toiletries. Strictly-business-travelers with all manner of electronic ephemera and a determined, get-there-on-time-dammit attitude. Families with bursting-to-full bags of all shapes and sizes with children risking life and limb on the people movers. It's a good show.

What's not good is the clothing choices by my fellow travelers. (I've ranted about this before!) It is absolutely possible to be comfortable and presentable. On my flight home there were no less than ten female travelers wearing leggings. Leggings as pants.

Technically, leggings could be considered pants because they occupy space on the lower half of the body. Here's why they aren't pants: they're footless tights. Neither the fabric nor the construction of leggings flatter the pelvic area. It may look like your leggings are thick enough to conceal your cute printed panties (and your anatomy) ... but bend over and that fabric stretches to show everything.

Leggings are not pants, even on the most toned backside.
Excellent reference material here.

And if those images aren't convincing enough. Try Googling "Leggings Are Not Pants." You will get almost 49 million related links. That's right, 49 million.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Shoes - Women's Edition

Spring dressing can be complex. While it looks warm enough to trot out a sundress and sandals, it's actually freakin' cold out there. Hypothermia sets in fast with a peep-toe. Winter's black boots and autumnal colored oxfords look drab and heavy next to Spring's light colors and wispy layers. What's a girl to do?

First thing: check your closet. Reacquaint yourself with shoes you haven't seen in a while and get rid of anything that looks tired or out-of-date.

Dust off those metallic flats, brightly colored pumps, and espadrilles that have some miles left in 'em - these are all totally current and wearable. Toss out square-toed anything (it's all about round or pointy right now), hopelessly worn shoes (no matter how much you love 'em), and espadrilles that are unraveling.

This quick chore will free up both closet and brain space for future purchases. Deep breath, now shop.

Light colored shoes in traditional silhouettes are excellent additions to a Spring wardrobe ... and though these are "trendy," they aren't likely to go out of style anytime soon. They're just too darned useful.

A tidy bootie in buff/sand/palamino is an instant update - this is from Piperlime. (I am also obsessed with this one from Rag & Bone.)

This is SO cute with super-feminine dresses. Nordstrom.
Here's a new look for an old favorite - a lady-like skater sneaker! Love the texture here. Vince at Piperlime.

Often it comes down to knuckling under and replacing the shoes you've loved to death. Every spring I replenish flip-flops (Old Navy are my go-to), Chuck Taylors, and a low espadrille. There, lurking in the shadows, are my worn favorites that I'll ... just ... stretch ... one .... more .... season.

Alas, no. They're goners. Here are some just-right replacements.

Black flats. Essential and often worn 'til their bitter end. Upgrade now, before your favorite pair dies. Chloe flats.
Metallic flats are a spring/summer must, and are even spring-y-er/summer-y-er with cut-outs. Shorts, dresses, cropped pants ... everything goes with these. (That's why I wear mine out so fast.)
A chunky, 70's inspired wedge is an instant leg-lengthen-er and super-versatile ... at any height!

Stay tuned ... next I'll tackle Spring shoes for men. (And no, I won't be writing about cleats.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Men! Let's Talk Pants.

One would assume that buying and wearing pants would be pretty easy for most guys. After all, pants are the bulk of a man's lower-half-of-the-body wardrobe and they come in easy-to-understand waist and length measurements. Not everything is as simple as it seems, however, and pants atrocities abound.

First and foremost, there are the hem problems.

And then there are fit problems.

And sometimes there are style problems.

Hem confusion is rampant. Too short a hem on a man is very awkward (see the photo at the top of the page). I'm not talking about intentionally-too-short, like this:

This is a (now) classic Thom Browne look. Super-clean lines, flat front (always), with a nod to the '60's. This intentionally-too-short hem is definitely a fashion forward choice, sported by gentlemen in creative fields, and those who aren't afraid to dabble in trends.

The Thom Browne pant won't translate for most men, and that's fine. Regardless, hem length is so important that it should be executed with the same intentionality that trendy gentleman in creative fields employ. This is excellent reference material right here:

Men, when a pair of pants fit well you will feel fabric against your thighs. A belt will be a stylish accessory, not the only thing keeping the public from knowing your underwear brand.

Watch for pulling through the crotch and back seam (the fabric will strain horizontally), this means your pants are too tight. Bagging through the crotch, vertical pooches on the backside, and bagginess through the thigh are signs that your pants are far too big. That and having to constantly hitch up your waistband.

Personally, I prefer a flat-front pant for both casual and professional wardrobes. The look is tidy and attractive on pretty much everybody.

And now for the rise. The rise is the measurement from crotch to waist. Typically, a well-fitting pant's waistband settles around the top of the hip bone and the rise has ample (but not too much!) room for the "package." (Apparently this rule changes with age and related weight gain/underwear choices.)

Embrace your style! Explore, try new things, and enjoy. But, for the love of all things holy, DO NOT PULL YOUR PANTS DOWN BELOW YOUR BUTT.

And finally, here are some pants that have been universally flattering on my clients (and my husband).
Joe's Classic Straight Leg Jean. Excellent denim and perfect not-trying-too-hard fit.
AG Protege. A super-versatile jeans-that-are-also-chinos pant that can be casual or dressed up - great fit!
Hugo Boss "Sharp" Flat Front Trouser. No better dress pant, in my opinion. Superior fit, quality, and appearance.