was successfully added to your cart.

Category Archives: How To…

Can You Recognize Quality


By | Fashion, How To..., Shopping | 6 Comments

In the sea of fast fashion and ever-changing trends, it may seem that spotting quality garments is a daunting task, but if you know what to look for and you keep a keen eye out, you’ll soon spot them.

Check the Label

Before heading to the checkout, check the labels on the inside of your garments. While it’s easy to assume that all natural fibers such as 100% wool, cotton, silk, and cashmere are always the way to go, synthetic fabrics also have their own benefits. Polyester, rayon, or blended fabrics sometimes have the benefit of being wash-and-wear as well as being easy to maintain. However, natural fabrics can always be relied upon most especially when it comes to cold weather clothing. Wool sweaters will stand up better than knitwear made of acrylic fibers.

Checking fabric labels will also help you discern whether the fabric the garment is made of will suit your purpose. Synthetic fibers like Lycra is the best for athletic wear, while natural fibers are best for dressing for the weather. Blended fabrics are very common these days, and for good reason but try and look for at least 80% natural fibers to ensure the best quality possible. 


Hold the garment against the light

Unless a piece of clothing is expressly supposed to be sheer, it’s worth holding it up to the light and inspecting it for flaws and transparency.  While all the lovely ladies below purposely wore these outfits (go figure), there’s nothing worse than finding yourself exposed when do didn’t mean to. Cheaper fabrics are often thin and contain many minor flaws.


Loose threads and uneven seams are a no-no

A quick close look at a garment can reveal loose threads and uneven seams, which is always a tell-tail sign of low quality. Look inside the garment and gently pull the seams apart and if the seam pulls apart it means the stitch tension was too lose or the stitch length too long. Likewise stitching can be too tight or close which can cause buckling along the seam.  Either way the garment’s seams will be weak and likely to tear open after just a few wears.

Serged seams or double straight seams are generally stronger and, therefore, preferable to single straight seams.

Also look at the hemline; uneven hems are one of my biggest peeves. 

bad seams, loose threads

Look for lining and well made button holes

Closely stitched and reinforced button holes are signs of good workmanship and while it may be a trend that some items are unlined, a lined garment improves the look of the garment, slides on more easily and will hide lumps and bumps if  the garment is a little on the small side.

Another quality sign is the addition of extra thread and a button and also indicates that the manufacturer, brand, or designer cares about future wear.


Matched Patterns at the Seams

When buying a piece of clothing with a pattern or print, take the time to double check whether the patterns match up when it meets at the seams. This may seem trivial, but it is precisely this sort of detail that separate poor quality from good quality garments.


Zip and Unzip

At times, something as simple as a zip can make or break a garment. When trying on something, pay close attention to the ease that it zips and unzips. A quality garment will also have a quality zipper and closures that make getting in and out of the garment an easy task. Scrutinize the alignment and placement of the zipper as well.


Seam Allowance

Lastly look at how much seam allowance the garment has. Better quality labels have seam allowances that allow for letting the garment out without compromising the garment. The seams are also better reinforced.  Skimpy seam allowance especially when teams with poor over locking is a recipe for a wardrobe malfunction.

Seam allowance

There you are. Next time you hit the stores you should be a little wiser.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Hooray (1)


By | Coordination, How To... | 18 Comments

Each fall and spring we need to become more imaginative when creating outfits that can cope with cool mornings and warmer days. Clever layering is often the key. Cardigans were born for this time of year and most women have at least one in their closet, but far from being a grab and go item, the cardigan can also be a real outfit transformer.

So in this time, I want to share my favorite ways to upgrade the humble cardigan into something special. 

T + Scarf

Your standard white tee and denim uniform duo is great for casual days. But add a bright hued cardigan, and complement it with a fabulous scarf and your every day instantly elevates to wow. 

T and Scarf2

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Back to Front

I admit I learned this trick from Gok Wan and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s such a creative and unexpected way to wear a cardigan. It adds interest to the back of your ensemble and gives you a perfect canvas in the front for a statement necklace. If you have long hair, be sure to wear it in a sleek ponytail or a classy updo to showcase he back. 

How to Style a Cardigan _Back to Front2

Source: Image 1, Image 2


Cardigans are typically made of knit fabrics which are not usually associated with a tailored look, however, add a belt and the look instantly upgrades to tailored. An added bonus is that a belt helps to create a womanly hourglass silhouette. Accompany this look with sleek footwear and boxy bags.

How To Style A Cardigan_Belt Up22

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


A cardigan buttoned all the way up or worn completely closed/fastened radiates a more formal/serious style sensibility. This is a perfect look for the office, providing a level of seriousness without looking too bulky or too structured. A buttoned-up cardigan can be used as an alternative to a collared shirt and paired with a pencil skirt or tailored pants.

Since a closed cardigan veers more toward simple style, you can jazz up this piece with bold tops and shorts, statement necklaces, scarves or belts. When wearing closed cardigans, it’s advisable to look for cardigans with interesting visual details like faux pockets, contrast piping, or fancy buttons — this will add more sartorial to your look while maintaining the formality.

How To Style A Cardigan _Closed Formality22

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4


Wearing an open cardigan conveys a relaxed and friendly demeanor and casual chic appearance. Let the fuss-free and approachable vibe of this look lead you towards pieces that express the same aesthetic. Reach for flowing floral printed tunic tops, relaxed fit denim, simple yet chic flats, and feminine pleated skirts.  

How To Style A cardigan _Open2

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4


The key to making your cardigan (and wardrobe) work for you is looking for ways to expand the possibilities. One way is to do this is to layer it underneath other garments such a pinafore, sleeveless dress or jacket.

How To Style A Cardigan_Under22

Source: Image 1, Image 2

As a Pop of Color

A bright cardigan is all you need to perk up your style, especially in summer. If you’re a woman who loves black and white, you’ll benefit even more from injecting a pop of color into your clothing rotation. Monochromatic is great, but it can get a little ho-hum, and there’s nothing like hot pink to break your streak of strictly neutral dressing. Color is one of the best ways to have fun with fashion!

How To Style A Cardigan_Color Pop22

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Closet Characters banner


By | How To..., Wardrobe Savvy | 16 Comments

There’s an alternate world within your closet, one that’s filled with as many characters as you’d see in any block-buster movie. Knowing who they are and what roles they play will give you a new take on your style and what items you allow into your closet.  

Most women dress for the day according to their mood, where they are going and what they are going to do that day but is that really enough? I don’t think so. As Rachel Zoe once said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”, so we really should be more considered about how we step out each day.  

One way to do this is to have a closet filled with items that support your goals and that means some time spent analyzing what’s in your closet. To save this from being a boring chore I’m going to show you how each item in your closet has a set character, ready to play their part in your daily image. 

This is who they are… 


The heroes of your closet are the flattering basics and classic items. These pieces are the no-brainers that you can rely on when you’re having an ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-wear’ day. They are timeless pieces that never go out of style, and are worth a higher price tag for better fabric and construction. If you find a hero item that you fall in love with, it’s even worth buying multiples of it in different colors.

Combinations of heroes will always lead to the sartorial promised land.

Heroes1 Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4


They say behind every good man is a great woman; likewise behind every hero is at least one sidekick whose job it is to support and add versatility to their hero. Your closet sidekicks are the interest pieces that stay inline with current trends and change the mood, status, and personality of or your hero items, allowing them to go almost anywhere. They include items like embellished cardigans, printed scarves, leather jackets, statement jewelry, eye-wear, vests and fashion pieces.


Source: Image 1, Image 2 ,Image 3, Image 4


Unexpected yet chic, dark horses are closet items that often have a story. They may be your thrift store finds, vacation memories, vintage favorites, heirloom pieces or anything else that can add a sartorial spice to up an outfit and your style. Examples of the dark horse are items like a cameo brooch, retro Pucci print skirts, high-waisted vintage denim, boho fringe pieces etc.Dark Horses

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


Magicians are transformative garments that make you feel instantly amazing whether it is confident, sexy or some other elevating or empowering feeling. These finds don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s a life-changing moment. Closet magicians are different for everyone. For some it might be a killer black dress, for others, it may be a pair of stilettos that are both sultry yet comfortable; the point is magicians are mood boosters that give your style the jolt it needs.


Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4


Lurking within every closet are the saboteurs. These items hide in your closet waiting for an opportunity to trick you into thinking they’re the perfect thing to wear when the truth is they’re going to ruin your look and/or your image. Examples are clothes that are too tight, weird fashion, items no longer age appropriate or things from your past that no longer fit your present. 



Closet misfits are items that are no longer consistent with your age, present shape, personality or circumstances. They might be torn jeans from your days of working at a record store or twinset cardigans from when you were more conservative. Whatever it is, if it doesn’t fit with who you are now, find it a new home.



It’s natural that over time you’ve explored and experimented with your personal style. You may even become enamored with the style of another person or trend for a period. It’s during these times that you’ll acquire the impersonators. These are items that you thought were ‘the new you’ but ended up becoming closet orphans. It’s time to expel these impersonators who only create closet clutter and confusion and make way for the clothes that make you the star.


In the end understanding your closet characters helps you audit your closet into a place of inspiration and options. Making space for your heroes, sidekicks, dark horses and magicians while eliminating your misfits, impersonators, and saboteurs. Once you get rid of the dead weight in your closet, you’ll be ready to increase the players in your wardrobe all-star team.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Meet His Parents


By | How To... | No Comments

OK, so think you’ve met the man who may be ‘the one’, and it looks like he’s thinking the same because he’s suggested you meet his parents – Eeek!

What to wear!

His parents liking you is often an important factor at this stage of a relationship, so you definitely want to make a good impression.  

How you look will form a large part of how you’ll be perceived and the first impression is that ‘all important’ one as it sets the tone of things to come. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the only thing that matters, there’s your behavior, body language and conversation to consider as well, but starting off with a great visual impression will certainly set the foundation for you to prove your other qualities.

Getting off on the right foot.

So, how do you know what to wear when you meet his parents?

Here’s some questions to answer before combing through your wardrobe:

Where are you going? 

If you’re having an intimate family dinner at home, you might want to dial the glam down and dress a bit more simply. This is also not the time to flaunt your figure or breasts with a sexy little number. Meeting at a restaurant will give more leeway when it comes to dressing up but keep the sexy numbers at home and opt for something a little sophisticated.

What time are you going to meet up? 

A casual brunch calls for a daytime, chic look. Evening occasions will be dressier, and this is where your LBD might be more well-suited.

How do you want to come across?

I suggest that it’s classy, friendly and likable. His parents will be hoping for someone who looks like she’ll be stable, reliable, friendly and easy to get on with.  To do that, you’re best to steer clear of pieces that are too structured, styled, revealing, trendy, or too conspicuous.

This_Not This Dresses

This_Not This Pants

How do you show a bit of personality?

Going for a classic, stylish look doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal style. In fact, it’s always good to show off a little of yourself.

The best way to show off your personality is through prints, accessories or clever styling. Not gaudy statement pieces or skin-tight garments. Think about how you can add an interesting twist or an unusual accessory to a classic outfit. Looks like these are often admired and can act as conversation starters that may show an interesting side of you or prompt a story about your lie or experiences.  

Show Some Personality
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

The Nitty Gritty

Tom Ford said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” Manners and etiquette are absolutely vital to making an amazing impression with his parents. Dressing appropriately is your first step to establishing a good relationship with his family.  

Before we get into styling tips and ideas, let’s first establish some basic ground rules:

  • Avoid high slits, low cleavages, and ultra low open backs. You want to wow them with your class and wit, and not show off your assets in a negative way.
  • Now is not the time to wear your platform party heels. Heels are okay, in fact, great to wear, if they’re of the more classic kind. I recommend pumps, low or mid heels, or simple ankle booties for the daytime.
  • Wear something comfortable. You don’t want to be fidgeting at the table because it may seem rude. Comfortable doesn’t mean dressed down. It just means that you should wear something that fits nicely and doesn’t constrict movement. A meet-the-parents dinner is not the time to break in new shoes or wear that dress you love but you can’t eat in.
  • Don’t wear heavy makeup or experiment with messy-chic hair trends. Prim and proper is best. Wear your hair down or wear in a neat ponytail during this pivotal occasion. As for your makeup, keep it natural looking and simply elect to enhance your natural features. Leave the messy bun, clumpy lashes, and smoky eyes at home.

OK, so now you have an idea of what NOT to wear, here’s a few guidelines for what to wear:

Daytime Rendezvous

Whether it’s a casual lunch or brunch at the hottest spot in town, it’s always a good idea to wear lighter and more feminine pieces for daytime. Don’t accessorize your look too much, and keep everything day appropriate. Dress casually, but make an effort to look a little bit more polished than usual. Skinny jeans (no distressed denim this time), a nice sweater, ballet flats or chic ankle boots are a great idea. Conservative yet feminine pieces like shirt-dresses, a pretty sundress worn under a cardigan or structured jacket, ruffled tops over cropped trousers are also other great options.  


Large Holiday Family Gathering

If you’re meeting the parents in the context of a larger family gathering, you should aim to stand out—in a good way. Embrace color and print, but like with everything else, don’t go overboard and keep moderation and conservative style top of mind. A red sweater over a knit skirt, or maybe a polka dot silk blouse with jeans and colorful flats are some ideas to stand out in style. A classy or interesting statement necklace with a monochromatic outfit is also a great way to get dressed and get noticed in a crowd.  

Festive Outfits

Intimate Dinner at Home

Since this is a more personal venue and space, don’t be too fashion forward. Be chic, but be simple and comfortable. Opt for understated jewelry, and show off some personal items. Wear soft the medium colors instead of anything too bold. Given the intimate setting, now is the perfect time to don jewelry or accessories that have a good story behind it. They can be an excellent conversation prompt.  

Dinner At Home

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Fancy Evening Party

Dress to impress everyone at the party, but never forget the number one people you’re trying to impress—your boyfriend’s parents. A little black dress always works for a fancy evening affair. However, be cautious in how you style your cocktail dresses. Don’t be too over-the-top with accessories, and let the elegance of your dress do the talking. Like I’ve previously mentioned, avoid revealing silhouettes or tight fitting pieces, dresses that drape and skim your figure nicely are best. A fit and flare dress that ends at the knee is a safe bet. Classic heels and jewelry should finish your look off nicely.  



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Reboot Your Style Banner


By | How To..., Personal Style, Psychology | 2 Comments

The start of a new year is always an exciting time. The air is filled with the sense of possibilities, and we are drawn to the idea that this is the perfect time to start afresh. Start that clean slate, make the future better than the past.  Your style waxes and wanes as circumstances ebb and fall accordingly to life’s unfolding path and too often our identity gets a muddled as our closets leaving us to wonder what our style really is. I believe that the beginning of a year is the perfect time to reevaluate all the areas of your life and align your style with your personality, shape, and goals. If you’re ready for a year that sees your style and life improve  - it’s a chicken or egg type of thing, here are some ideas to get you underway.


Know Your Goals

Just like planning a trip you need to know what your destination is. Finding the style that will work for you will work the same way.

Is your goal in 2017 to find a life partner, gain a higher position at work, be taken more seriously, gain more friends…. Before anything else you need to know what you want to accomplish.  You may also have different goals for the various parts of your life i.e., work, social, family etc.

Determine Your Style Labels

Early in life, we learn to give labels to people, e.g., she’s so tall and elegant, in fact, most of the time we don’t know we’re doing it.  

We often unconsciously react to what we see and feel about a person, and ultimately if enough people think the same way that perception can become their truth. It’s up to us to create and nurture the labels we want others to perceive about us. You can do this by determining all the adjectives that describe how you want others to see you.  This list becomes the foundation from which your style will emerge.

Here’s a list of possible adjective to get you going. Once you to select a group think about what characteristics each adjective conjures in your mind. For example, you may have selected ‘poised’. To me the characteristics would be; elegance, confidence, smooth surfaces, sophisticated colors, classic shapes etc.  By delving into the words you’ll get closer to knowing what you need to emulate it. 

Image Adjectives

Dress Authentically

There’s no sense forcing yourself into looks that rob you of authenticity – in fact, it’s downright debilitating. Choose your style labels and know your goals, but do it within the bounds of your personality. If you don’t you’ll find yourself just as unsatisfied with your style or life as you may be now.

The good news is that you’re unlikely to go too outside what you are comfortable with unless you are being coerced there by outside influences.

Edit, Edit, Edit 

Once you’ve determined your goals and style labels it’s time to edit your closet by getting rid of items that don’t support where you’re trying to go and start determining what you need to purchase to build you desired look. Let go, or put away sentimental items that may be cluttering your closet and give away items anything you’ve hardly worn. 

Editing your closet is something you’ll need to do on a regular basis to get closer and closer to the look you’re after and will help you become familiar with the garments, silhouettes, and colors you naturally gravitate toward. Be sure to also discover all the outfit combinations you have – you’ll be amazed at how many different outfits can be discovered if you take the time to find them.


Invest in Fit

It is actually quite sad how many women underestimate the value of a good seamstress/tailor as well as the value of having a good dry cleaner. Rather than automatically going to cheapest or most convenient option within your area, take the time to research and cultivate relationships with these key people that will help you look your best. While you may buy from high street stores, a great seamstress will make it look your cheap and chic pieces are made-to-order since they will tailor it to fit.  


Plan and Prepare

Sunday evening plan what you are going to wear for the week. Look at the week’s upcoming events and determine what you want to accomplish day by day, then plan your outfits accordingly. Note each outfit down, piece by piece including the accessories so you can easily gather them up and lay them out the night before. You’ll find your mornings are less stressful and you’ll feel more confident knowing you’ve pre-thought out what you intend to wear.

PicMonkey Image


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP



By | Fashion, How To..., Style Clinic, Trend Tutorial, Trends | 8 Comments

Turtlenecks are seeing a resurgence as one of this Fall’s must-have wardrobe items. What was once a standard nondescript sweater for fall/winter has now become a full-on industry-wide trend. Celine and Jil Sander are the two fashion houses that initiated the revival. As modern and minimalist brands they heavily influenced the this season’s interpretation of the turtleneck. 


Turtlenecks were first spotted in fashion history back in the 1860s. English polo players pioneered this style of sweater which was known back then as the ‘polo neck.’ From the 1920s onward, those who are perceived to be against the grain, those who are unconventional, have adopted the turtleneck. From feminists to beatniks, artists, and philosophers, the turtleneck became an iconic fashion item that expresses rebellion from the norm. It’s no wonder why one of the most visionary creative of our time adopted the black turtleneck as his own personal uniform. Who am I talking about? None other than Steve Jobs, of course. Other than Steve Jobs, the turtleneck enjoyed an iconic fashion moment when Audrey Hepburn donned it in true gamine style in the movie Funny Face.


Turtlenecks have been around for years and have been consistently worn by the masses as part of a casual wardrobe. Though they have fell out of favor for a while being associated with 80s and 90s fashion, turtlenecks are now back with a vengeance and are chicer than ever.

When and Where to Wear

The great thing about turtlenecks is that they are a wear any time, any where item – it just depends on what you wear it with, and how you style it. Turtlenecks of the 80s and 90s were of a more casual style in loose silhouettes and oversized funnel necks. The turtlenecks of the Audrey Hepburn era, it’s sleeker and more sophisticated. These two depictions of how turtlenecks can be worn is a testament to the fact that this piece can be worn for day or evening, for formal or informal occasions, and for work or play. Take a look at the first set of two images below; both ladies are clad in black turtlenecks with one outfit being for evening formal and the other daytime casual. To make the black turtleneck formal, it’s paired with a lace pencil skirt. On the other hand, when paired with jeans it instantly becomes easygoing casual. In the second set you can see how the bulk and fitting of the turtle necks make a world of difference to the formality of the total outfit. Close fitting, fine gauge, close set necks will always trump loose, textured styles in the formality stakes.

What you wear Turtlenecks with

Turtleneck bulk
Source: Top Row: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3. Bottom Row: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Work Days

When cool weather prevails, a turtleneck is a great work wear wardrobe staple. Striped or neutral, the turtleneck can work wonders in elevating your existing office closet basics like trousers, blazers, and solid colored pumps. You can even try monochromatic work ensembles with your turtleneck for extra chic points. Opt for fitted styles since that tends to look more dressy than large, oversized silhouettes. If your turtleneck has a little slouch in it, pair with a sleek pencil skirt and sleek pumps to keep it office appropriate. Also keep the neckline in mind when selecting your turtleneck, avoid oversized necklines as well.

Work Turtlenecks
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Formal Events

Your trusty turtleneck can save you from having to freeze in a cocktail dress and comes in handy to make an even summery dresses transition into fall. It also adds a downtown vibe to your glitzy evening pieces. Take a look at how Zendaya styled her grey turtleneck to perfection for a red carpet event; you can learn a thing or two from her styling prowess.

Formal events Turtlenecks
Source: Image 1Image 2Image 3

Casual Days

Turtlenecks are a marked upgrade from a slouchy sweater, hoodie or long-sleeved tee. Elevate your casual and everyday uniform during the fall/winter season by swapping out those wardrobe staples with a modern and fitted turtleneck. A fitted and smooth turtleneck will add some more polish to your daily looks, and give it a bit of panache.

Casual Turtlenecks
Source: Image 1Image 2Image 3

To recap, here are a few styling reminders to keep in mind when wearing turtlenecks:

  • Fitted styles and tailored fits tend to be more flattering and appear dressier. Oversized turtleneck sweater styles and loose fit turtlenecks are more casual and can be less flattering due to its tendency to appear shapeless. This same rule applies to the fit of the neckline itself of turtleneck pieces.
  • When choosing the fabric of your turtleneck, remember that chunkier textures like large open weave knits appear more casual while those that have smooth body fitting materials will look more polished and formal.
  • Length, i.e. where the turtleneck ends on your leg, is another factor to consider. If you’re going for an evening formal look, select a turtleneck that ends above your hipline. Anything below the hipline will be seen as casual.

 How to Accessorize

Accessorizing turtlenecks are easy. The high neckline provides the perfect canvas for statement jewelry up top. Think bib necklaces or multiple layered delicate necklaces, or even a shoulder-grazing pair of statement earrings to accessorize your turtleneck with. Steer clear of wearing neck scarves since that will prove to be too much fabric around your neck area. Finish off your look with your necklace or earrings of choice; it’s all up to you.  

Turtleneck accessories
Source: Image 1Image 2Image 3

Modern Turtleneck Styling  

There are so many options on how to style your turtleneck. Allow us to shine the spotlight on 3 modern ways to style your turtleneck. Whether you prefer trendy or classic, these styling ideas can be your source of inspiration and outfit ideas too!  

Slip Dress

Commonly believed to be too racy to wear outside the house, a turtleneck worn under a slip dress is a refreshing way to style this trendy piece. The classic and conservative feel of the turtleneck balances the sexiness of the slip dress. Finish off this ensemble with either sneakers or boots.

Slip dresses and Turtlenecks
Source: Image 1Image 2Image 3


Fur is a definite must-have for the fall/winter, add a turtleneck into the mix and you’ve hit the sartorial jackpot.

Turtlenecks and Fur
Source: Image 1Image 2Image 3

Overalls/Pinafore Dress

Overalls and pinafore dresses can feel too youthful and it might skew a little bit too summery. When you wear it with a turtleneck, though, it tones down the playfulness of the overalls and pinafore and makes it look more polished and grown up too.

Turtlenecks and Overalls

Source: Image 1, Image 2Image 3

Are you excited with this trend?

Which styling tips you’re eager to try!


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP



By | Fashion, How To..., Wardrobe Savvy | 4 Comments

Fishnet stockings or hosiery have long held a somewhat controversial place in fashion history and trends. Stereotyped as a ‘sexy’, fishnet hosiery has the potential to be seen as provocative. However, the negative connotations of fishnet hosiery betrays its iconic place in fashion history as well as it’s real potential to be part of a chic or even elegant look. First of all, let’s define fishnet stockings. The term ‘fishnet’ pertains to the diamond shaped open knit of this type of hosiery or textile. Traditionally black, fishnets are available in a variety of colors and are available in a variety of weave sizes. The origins of fishnet hosiery is one of fashion’s mysteries. No one can really pinpoint the exact point in history when fishnet stockings started being worn or a specific inventor of fishnet stockings either. Although the beginnings of fishnet hosiery in fashion history can be disputed, one cannot dispute that fishnet stockings have stood the test of time and still remains an important piece of fashion today.


Historically the word ‘fishnet’ appeared around the 1880s, the word meant loosely woven material or fabric. In the 1900s, a stocking with a diamond knit appeared in a French advertisement. Pop culture imagery would have us believe that fishnet stockings were worn by cancan dancers of the Belle Epoque/Jazz Age Twenties era, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that fishnet stockings became widely used and worn. This can be attributed to Gypsy Rose Lee, the queen of burlesque at that time. The 1950s saw the popularity of Bettie Page and other pinup models, which further put fishnets into the limelight. The democratization of fashion and the feminist movement in the 1960s led to shorter hemlines and more variety in fishnet styles. In the 60s, fishnets came in more colorful styles and smaller sized diamond knits. From the 90s onwards, fishnet stockings became co-opted by different fashion movements. Goth, punk, avant-garde, Harajuku, and grunge: fishnets came to signify fashion rebels and edgy trend trailblazers.

More recently, Alexa Chung was photographed on the cover of Glamour wearing large whale net tights underneath printed trousers. This style of tight has been a massive recent success with Charlize Theron, singer Pia Mia and many other fashionista and street style divas being photographed in them. 

So, wearing fishnets today can lead to several different image outcomes:

  • provocative/lewd
  • sexy and playful 
  • retro glamour  

To gain the later is probably what most of us would prefer.

Fishnets Through Times


How, When and Don’ts 

Let’s start by looking at some general features of wearing fishnet hosiery:

  • The larger the fishnet weave, the more provocative and suggestive the style may be perceived.
  • Fine gauge fishnets are more elegant and sophisticated.
  • The soles of your feet and the tips of your toes become sore after a relatively short amount of time when wearing large open weaves.

Fishnet Weave Variations


To avoid any “hooker style” connotations when wearing fishnet hosiery (especially large open weaves) I suggest not coordinating them with more than one of the following: 

  • Open toe shoes
  • A seam at the back of the hose
  • Wild animal prints
  • High heeled platforms
  • Ankle straps
  • Exposed tops of stockings
  • Ripped clothing
  • Micro minis
  • Thigh high splits
  • Low cut necklines

This un-named celebrity has WAY too many of them!


For an subtle and elegantly alluring look:

  • Stick with black micro weaves.
  • Choose fishnets with subtle embellishments e.g. spots
  • Wear with classic closed-toe shoe styles such as a sleek pair of pumps.
  • Style fishnet hosiery with more polished pieces such as blazers, knee-length pencil skirts, a-line midi skirts, preppy sweater sets, or pea coats.
  • If you’re going to experiment with short hemlines, wear your fishnets with knee-high boots or an over-sized coat and show just a peek of your hosiery. 
  • Keep your makeup nude and natural or classic. A red lip and a smoky eye might be a tad too racy when paired with fishnets.
  • While it may be tempting to skip shaving your legs cause you’re wearing tights, hairs that are peeking out in between the weaves of your fishnet stockings is a major fashion disaster. Forgetting to shave signals a lack of self-care and confidence.
  • Formal and evening occasions are the very best times to wear fishnet stockings, although daytime wear is also fine.
  • Proceed with caution when wearing fishnet hosiery to the office, your work environment may frown upon this choice of leg wear. If you do, make them micro fishnets and ensure everything else you wear is classic, in good repair and polished.

Fishnet Dos

Styling Ideas 

Don’t let the controversy around wearing this type of hosiery faze you, like these women, you can still pull fishnets off with maximum style.

  • Gwen Stefani is one of the most stylish celebrities that has a clear love affair with fishnet stockings—she’s been spotted numerous times looking chic in them. This look in particular pops since it uses fishnet as an additional layer of texture to her ensemble. Notice how she kept her makeup and hair simple and straightforward to balance the sexy feel of her stockings. The long sleeves and statement print of her dress offsets the fishnet stockings perfectly.
  • Alexa Chung’s take on fishnets involves menswear style inspiration with a touch of vintage. The booties and the oversized ‘borrowed from the boys’ feel of her overcoat combined with the retro bandana prevent the fishnets from crossing over to trashy.
  • Salma Hayek knows that a surefire way to elevate her fishnet tights is to keep it monochromatic. Wearing one color from top to toe is a sure thing when it comes to looking chic, adding fishnets to the all black sartorial equations keeps things visually interesting.
  • Heidi Klum’s take on fishnet is more modern and gives it a more trendy feel. The floral dress plus the leather motorcycle jacket balances this daytime look from looking too sexy. Feminine elements like the floral print and fishnets married with masculine elements like leather and flat boots make for a pleasant sartorial surprise.

Celeb lineup

Here are more great looks:

 Fishnet Inspiration


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Banner Email_Day of Shopping


By | Fashion, How To... | 6 Comments

It’s the beginning of another fashion season and the stores are bursting with new and tempting new outfits and accessories. I for one am over winter and can’t wait to wear some new outfits and bask in the sun.

Each season I check out the trends and decide which ones I’m going to adopt. I plan a full day during the week – definitely, not a Saturday when it’s too busy, and I start early.

Over the years both shopping for myself and with clients I learned that there is a smart and dumb way to dress when shopping for clothes. The right outfit will set the stage for a comfortable and fuss-free day.  So in no particular order, these are my dressing suggestions.

Comfortable heels

Shopping days are usually long ones so comfort is  essential. Now you may instinctively reach for flats but resist the urge. Most outfits look better when you’re wearing heels. Heels and comfort are two words that don’t necessarily mix, but what you need to do is to choose just the right pair to wear. The perfect shoe is one that can be easily slipped on and off – no buckles or laces, has a mid-height heel, tapered toe and a classic to block heel.  Chunky heeled sandals or pumps are also comfortable choices but may not give your leg as nice a look that a classic heel will.


Stay-put makeup

Wear light daytime makeup that won’t clash with whatever you’ll be trying on. Having light neutral makeup is a great idea since you’ll get a clearer picture of how you’ll look overall. To ensure your makeup does not rub off onto the clothes you are trying on wear long-lasting, stay-put foundation and lipstick.


Make-up wipes.

I always take make-up wipes with me just in case I do accidentally mark the garments with my make-up. Good quality make-up remover pads will generally remove the mark with very little effort given the stain is fresh.


A good bra

To shop for clothes in a saggy bra is a crime against fashion and your body. You need to provide your body with the support it needs to look it’s best and for clothes to hang well.

Each bra you own can sit your breasts slightly differently and can have varying styles of cups and bands. Because of this, when purchasing special occasion items like gala and wedding dresses it’s important that the same bra that was worn on the day of purchase is also worn for the occasion.

There have been many personal shopping trips with clients where the second fitting room we visit is in the lingerie section for the purchase of new well fitted and right sized bra. For most other clients, a lesson in adjusting their bra straps to sit their girls in the right place has been their first fitting room lesson.

So, leave your old T-shirt bra at home, and wear one that makes you look your best in whatever you try on.


Seamless underwear

Ban the VPL (Visible Panty Line). Wearing seamless underwear won’t just save you from committing and embarrassing style no-no, it’ll also give you a better fitting experience without unsightly lines getting in the way of visualizing your final look.



If you’re shopping for an ultra-important dress, get a true feel for the fit by bringing your hip or thigh slimmer with you. And while you’re at it, bring heels, lipstick, and a hairbrush. These will help you get a better sense of your true potential in it.

the shapewear difference

A minimum number of easy to get off and on separates

I love a dress as much as the next woman, but not on serious shopping days. You don’t want the fuss of having to fully undress when you’re trying on a top or bottom item. Dresses are best left for shopping expedition when you are after items that don’t require undressing i.e. jewelry, makeup, or shoes.

When it comes to separates dress in as few as possible, you don’t want to go through the cumbersome process of shedding and redressing multiple layers every time you go into a fitting room. Choose pieces that are easy to slip on and off such as closed front tops, sweaters, pants, and skirts

Denim is always a good choice to wear when shopping for tops since it pairs well with almost everything.  Choose a classic pair of denim jeans that are not too distressed for maximum curb appeal.


Light, simple accessories

The same principle applies when choosing accessories for your day of shopping – easy on, easy off should be your mantra. Stick to classic accessories that can be left on because they won’t fight too much with whatever you try on, or those with a simple clasp or long enough to just slip over your head. 


Earrings that can’t fall off

Avoid losing earrings you love, and make sure that they stay in place during the process of trying on multiple pieces of clothing. Earrings with solid backing and studs are your best bet. Chandelier earrings are too tricky and might get caught on items.

s-l1000 (1) 

Smart phone to photograph items

Although your smartphone isn’t technically a piece of clothing, it is an item you carry everywhere. Having a smart phone on hand to take photos is clever when on a shopping trip. Not only can you take photos to remind you of the items you liked best and what store they were in, you can also take photos of how you look in the pieces so that you can better assess their suitability for your body type and personal style.

 photo 1

Hands-free bag

Trust us, you’re going to need all your hands for looking through merchandise and more importantly, you’re going to need your hands for holding those bags filled with your new wardrobe looks. A hands-free bag can save you the hassle of having to mind your purse constantly. A crossbody bag or one that’s slung on your shoulder is a lifesaver for shopping trips.



If possible wear an item you aim to find a coordinate with

If you really have to find a particular item to match with something, if you can wear it on the day. But not if it’s high heels (that’s just dumb). It can really help save time. 


There you have it, a simple formula for what to wear for a serious day of shopping. All are very doable and will make you day go so much smoother.

Happy shopping! 


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP



By | Figure Flattery, How To..., Wardrobe Savvy | 9 Comments

There’s a variety of names for them.

From clam diggers, three-quarter pants, cropped trousers, cigarette pants, pedal pushers, Capris, and culottes, cropped pants (aka pants that end above the ankle) may go by many names but one thing is for sure, every summer we love to wear them.

Historically women started wearing pants on mass during WWII as they worked on farms and in factories to support the war effort. Before this time only a few women dared to cross the skirt line especially if it was outside of sport or manual labor, one of them was Canadian-born actress Norma Shearer. 

In 1948, fashion designer Sonja de Lennart created a stylish, sexier alternative to pants for women. Her tight, three-quarter length style usually included a short slit on the outer-side of the pant leg. They were called Capri pants, named after the designer’s Capri Collection (which took its name from her love for the island of Capri, as well as the song “Isle of Capri”).

The Capri Collection caught the eye of iconic costumer designer Edith Head in 1952, and she proceeded to utilize de Lennart’s designs for Audrey Hepburn’s Academy-Award winning costumes in Roman Holiday and Sabrina. The Capri pants, in particular, resonated within the world of fashion, becoming popular with notable names like Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Tyler Moore and Sophia Loren. These events and women shaped the history, popularity, and influence of the Capri pant silhouette.

History Capris

Today we see four main types of cut-off pants:

  • Culotte: True culottes mimic a skirt. They are usually of soft fabric and designed to reveal they are pants only when walking.
  • Cropped: Pants above the ankle which have a straight or wide leg.
  • Capri: Tapered pants with a hemline that sits close to the leg.
  • Legging: Skin tight pants.

Different types

Who wears what best


These are flattering and comfortable for most women and you can follow the same rules as you would for skirts.


Besides a good fit, width is the biggest factor to consider when thinking about which cropped pants to buy. Because they are cut-off above the ankle they visually shorten your height which in turn can make you appear fuller-figured. The taller and slimmer you are, the more latitude you have to play with width.

For those not blessed with height or a waif figure try the following:

Cropped pants styling 1Cropped pants styling 2 

Cropped pants styling 3Cropped pants styling 4
Cropped pants styling 5


Once again a good fit is essential and given Capris sit pretty close to your leg the potential for uneven leg flesh to show through the fabric is pretty high. If your legs are untoned (yep, I’ve raised my hand too) either look for thicker / more solid fabrics or wear shapewear underneath. Another equally effective home hack is to buy flesh colored control hose and cut the feet end off approximately 8 inches / 20 cms above the ankle. Put them on and check they sit up under your Capris. If they don’t cut them higher and try on again.  You’ll be amazed at the difference they will make when it comes to smoothing your thigh.  They’re a little hot but work like a dream.

Where your Capri pants end can make a big difference to the look of your legs.  Altering them when necessary so they end on a curve in your leg and not the widest point will always be most flattering. This could be above or below your calf or at your ankle. 


Source: Image 1 and 3, Image 2
PicMonkey Collage



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP


STATUESQUE STYLE: the art of dressing to impress when you’re tall

By | Body Basics, How To..., Personal Style | 5 Comments

Do you admire statuesque women? I do. Their height has a regalness, and legginess can leave those of us less endowed us a little green around the gills.

I’m glad too that the days of tall girls being made to feel freakish have long gone and today they stand tall and proud.

However, it’s not all fun and sunshine for them. Like their diminutive sisters, tall women have a unique set of style challenges that make dressing and shopping something needing to be mastered. 

In my experience, the top concerns of tall women are: finding the right fit, length, looking pleasingly proportioned and strategies to look less tall. With that in mind, as you read through this feature when you see an * next to the sub heading or text, it indicates that this tip will also make you appear a little less tall.

So, what height is considered tall I hear you ask? Generally, it’s considered being 179cms / 5’10” or taller.

The three-quarter sleeve hack

A major problem when shopping for sleeved garments is arm length. Folding or cuffing sleeves to create a three-quarter sleeve is a great styling hack whenever the sleeves end at an awkward length on your forearm. An added bonus is that not only are three-quarter sleeves universally flattering, they add more dimension to your midsection.

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Jump aboard the jumpsuit trend

Jumpsuits look great on leggy ladies. These one-piece style stunners have been on-trend lately and they’ve got a classic and elegant curb appeal that means they are likely to be around for a while. Experiment with bold patterns and sexy low-cut neckline jumpsuit silhouettes. But if you invest in purchasing a jumpsuit in a solid classic color, you’ll be wearing it for years to come. Jumpsuits are great for creating a great silhouette since it most often cinches your waist in while calling attention to your long and lean shape. It is the one-two punch; making you look even more statuesque than you are, and balancing your proportions at the same time.

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Invest in brands made for you

Do your research and seek out brands that make clothing specifically for the proportions of tall women. Basics like T-shirts, jeans, pants, straight and tapered skirts, and blazers, will serve as the foundation for a lot of your looks. Any time spent researching specialty stores and/or collections that cater to your height will be time well spent. Brands include: Long Tall Sally, Asos, Search By Inseam, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J Crew, Tall By Design, Height Goddess, and Missguided just to name a few.  I also have not forgotten our plus size tall gals with this website chock full of brands and tips just for you.  

For the tall curvy girls here is a link to your best brands and bloggers.

Brand Group

Know your measurements…by heart

Knowing your measurements will make for an easier time dealing with store sales associates and online since you already have specific length and sizes in mind. Store sizes may vary, but knowing the proper and correct measurements of your body and proportions will help you in determining whether a certain item fits properly.


Go wild with wide

You’re blessed with height and with that comes the ability to indulge in all things wide, especially anything that sits below your waist. From skirts and pants to dresses and jumpsuits – dive right in and have a ball.

 Wide pants group
Source: Images 1 & 2, Image 3

Have fun with layering, color, pattern, and texture

You have the height to really let your creative juices flow when it comes to outfits. From color blocking, large prints and strong textures you’re the one to really carry these off and make your friends envious.  Wearing multiple blocks of colors can give you the illusion of shape and when used horizontallycan break up your length.  My only word of warning is not to add a bold pattern, light or bright color over an area you feel is your largest – I know I don’t need to tell you more.

Color_Texture_Layering,Print group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Look up, look down, look all around 

There’s no limits to where you can place focal points on your body. From your head to your feet the world’s your oyster; while your shorter female counterparts are constantly striving to attract all the attention high on their body to look taller and slimmer YOU, can play up your hemlines, legs, and feet your content. 

Look Down Group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Become a shape shifter

Your height is often accompanied by a straight body shape and that means you’re the perfect candidate to add a punch of style to your look via interestingly shaped garments. From amazing blazers, A-line skirts, bell sleeves, peplum tops, there are heaps of garments that are not only fun to wear but will also give you shape or curves. 

Interesting shapes Group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Belts, belts, belts*!

The taller you are the more likely you are to be proportionally long legged and short torsoed (high waisted). Belts have the power to add emphasis to a particular area of your torso and by doing so create a pleasing break line to balance your torso and leg length.

If you know you have long legs or a short torso (high waist) wear either narrow belts on your waist, medium width styles at your hips or belts in the same color as your skirt/pants.

If you’re tall and plus sized wear slimline belts.

If you tend to have a more evenly balanced, body to leg proportion waist belts will be your best choice. 

Belts group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Show off your ankles with this short pant hack

Pants that are too short are a common tall girl problem. But you can use this for your sartorial gain if you get creative, cuff those jeans that fall awkwardly around your ankle. The ankle-cropped pant has been given a new lease on life this season. One of spring/summer must-haves, the ankle-length pant gives you the opportunity to show off your shoes too!

Show off Your Ankles Group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Only you rock this footwear

That’s right, it’s thigh-high boots and flats. OK, so thigh-high boots aren’t for everyone but if your young and bold enough you are the only ones who wears them well.

When it comes to flats you can wear them with almost anything and not suffer even one style demerit – now that does leave the rest of us really envious. 

Flats and Boots group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Embrace large baubles and oversized bags

Here’re another two trends that were made for you; from statement necklaces and earrings to large totes and purses, you can pull them off spectacularly.

Large accessories group
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Cultivate a great relationship with a tailor

Being tall, it goes without saying that you’ll often find yourself in a situation where the fit of a garment is not perfect. This is where a tailor comes in handy. When it comes to style, fit is everything. It may not be picture perfect at the time of purchase, but a great tailor will make everything fit you like a glove. This is a relationship worth working on. It is something that will pay dividends when it comes to your overall image, style, and personal appearance.

Alterations group

Consider tailor made

If you’re a stickler for fit, have high expectations (and why shouldn’t you), and you have specific ideas of what styles you want, then custom-made may be your way to go. Alternatively, there are websites like Sumissura that offer a custom-made service at a very reasonable price.    

Custom made

Take a few hints from your tall celeb style sisters

When in doubt, look to celebrities that possess a similar tall body type. Here are some names to watch out for: Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Elle MacPherson, Ivanka Trump, Kate Middleton, Ciara, and Blake Lively. You’ll be so inspired when you see how these ladies style their svelte body types to perfection.

Tall Celebrites group

As always, I want to inspire you to embrace the skin you’re in. You may notice that there’s no tip saying not to wear heels. Rock those heels if you want to! While flats are great, if you’re a girl that loves heels, don’t let what others think you SHOULD wear get you down. As long as you love yourself and work on your style, your confidence will grow and flourish.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP