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Fashion Fridays

June 15, 2012

5th Edition, June 15, 2012

In This Edition:

1…Couturing Your Look

2…Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Cheap When Shopping on a Budget

3…Fashion for Diabetics (Dedicated to my Mom)

4…Fashion 101:  Color Coordinating and the Misconception of Mixing and Matching Prints and Patterns

1…Couturing Your Look:  When you hear couture, you think top, high fashion that graced many fashion weeks catwalks, designed from some of the hottest designers in the business.  Even the RTW fashions that you’ll find in high fashion boutiques tend to leave you breathless, wanting for more, but does your wallet scream you can afford it? 

The greatest thing about fashion today and how it’s designed is that you can create similar looks that we’ve seen in recent fashion weeks through more simpler and affordable means, and can still create a couture look without breaking the bank.   The key is knowing where to go and what to look for.  It can be a satisfying as well as gratifying in the end and people will believe you paid a lot of money when you know differently.

Best way to set out in creating a courture look without the high price tag, first decide on the look you want to create.  I recommend knowing your designers, the styles, new accessories that are being or have been introduced, know the fashion cycles, stay current on fashion trends because they tend to change, and know how to mix and match.  A good example comes from an article I read at that gives you a broad idea/concept of how to create a couture look.

2…Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Cheap When Shopping on a Budget:  With the economy still in an uncertain state many of us remain loyal to establishing budgets and living by them, thus pinching pennies wherever necessary and where it counts the most.  But many of us are also finding that shopping in this economy remains problematic than before the economy crashed in 2008.  During that time consumers were faced with the daunting task of cutting back in order to maintain a steady flow of income and to preserve a savings to get them through.

Today times are not that much different where jobs are still being lost, jobs a little harder to come by, and even surviving becomes a job of its own, for some they mean seem a littler easier lived, but many still face the tight budgets and spending; having to constantly pick and choose what they can and cannot do during any given month at any given time.  For example, you may want to get your hair done and buy a new outfit.  While some can do both, others have to decide what they want the most, a trip to the beauty salon or a day out shopping for an outfit, or determine if they can even afford to do either of the two.  In the same scenario some are finding that to settle for less is always best at least their getting something rather than nothing at all.  In the same with shopping for fashion during tough times are you sacrificing quality for cheap just to say you went out shopping?  It’s a misconception that many of tend to make.  Unless we have a keen eye for fashion, what we’re looking for in quality, we can spend money on clothing that is not suited to last, whereas, if we take that same amount of money and go else where, we can pretty much get quality brand clothes that (1) doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, (2) is quality clothing and (3) we are getting what we paid for.

You have to remain true to yourself regardless.  If you start going with cheap, your look will start to show it.  There are several boutiques that are affordable and easy on the wallet and caters to your specific style and taste.  I’m here to tell you that you do not have to sacrifice quality if you maintain a healthy budget that will carry you a long distance.  Sure times it may be hard, but ask yourself if it’s worth it to maintain your fashion status.  This does not mean spending beyond what you can afford, but getting what you like at reasonable prices. 

So, you may not be able to shop out of Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom or even Dillards or Bloomingdale, but you can still stay on top of your fashion game just by shopping at smaller stores that gives you more of a bang for your buck like Marshalls, Kohls, and I’d even JC Penny is a safe bet because its prices are not up there like major, major department stores.

Consider if whether or not you can afford the luxury of shopping.  How you do that is determine how much is paid out on household and personal bills per month.  What I mean by personal bills are your credit card bills, cleaning bills (clothing you take to the cleaners), personal loans, groceries, estimated amount of gas in the car for the month, rent, auto insurance, etc; and your household bills consists of your cable, utilities, rent, etc.  Once you’ve factored in the monthly amount, look at what you have left over.  If you can take a large part of that and set it aside and still have a nice amount left over, chances are you should have enough to go shopping…treat youyrself to a nice day out; get your hair done, hang out with the ladies, or take yourself to lunch.  And if you don’t want to use that left over money to go shopping, then the smart thing to do would be to save it.

Consider buying your shoes at Payless and other shoe retailers outside of the expensive name brand shoe outlets.  Stores like Shiekh Shoes, Bakers and even Nine West; shoe vendors in swapmeets, local shoe boutiques, and online shoe sources like,,,, and, and Off Broaway Shoe Warehouse are good resources for buying shoes, too.  You can experience huge discounts that make you seem like you’re buying two pairs of shoes for the price of one.  So you can’t go and get pair of Christin Louboutin, go to and browse around to see if you can’t find a good enough replica.  You’ll be amazed.

3…Fashion for Diabetics (Dedicated to My Mom):  So, my mom and I have been having this ongoing discussion about her not being able to find good fashion styles for her since she’s a diabetic.  When she is shopping for clothes, she has to consider the following factors:

  • Her arms cannot be exposed:  She’s taking medication that has altered her skin, which makes her extremely sensitive to sunlight.
  • Shoes have to have a cushioned sole:  Her feet has to have protection, especially on the sole of her feet.  Shoes with wedges, heels or even a pancake sole are not ideal because they cause her to have issues with her legs and her back.
  • Anemia:  My mother is anemic.  When we are experiencing 80 degree weather, it feels like it’s in the lower 50’s to her.  Wearing fashion that serves as shielding her from the cold she feels and giving her relief from the warm days is key.
  • She wears a prosthesis on her right breast:  My mother is a 31-year breast cancer survivor.  She lost one of her breast during the ordeal in 1981.  Medical doctors have offered to have her set up to where she could have it replaced, but she’s opted to forgo the offer and live life the way she always has.  The main issue is finding the right bras to support the prosthesis she has to wear and make it look natural.

I turned her on to Ashley Stewart because they have a good selection in tank tops and shirts to serve as an over lay, while keeping her arms fully covered.  She can choose from solid, soft colors to pretty prints and patterns.  And because my mom is still a fashion diva at the age of 65, she’s still got a good eye for good fashion.  Torrid is another good place for a fashion resource as they cater to the plus size junior and woman as well.  But when it comes to sizing, Ashley Stewart is the best.

Stylish diabetic shoes are probably the hardest for her to find because, to her, they look like hospital shoes and she swears she can’t wear anything with them.  Mom being mom, right?  What’s done to compensate for the disappoint she’s experienced and the lack of available stylish shoes for diabetic women is she’s scowered the city of Los Angeles, gone in and out of Payless Shoes and have found workable tennis shoes that give her feet the support she needs that will not hurt her legs or her back and will not be tight on her feet.  She’s found flat sandals that have just over a half inch of sole that when she walks she will not feel the ground pounding against the bottom of her feet causing problems to her legs and back.  Mason and probably are good sources for finding stylish shoes for the diabetic woman as well.  The only thing with buying shoes from is that they are pricey in cost.  My mom has not had any luck with buying shoes from Macy’s or JC Penny.  It’s not surprising given the fact that she’s got a wide foot and has to wear a size 8 to 8 1/2 because her feet stay swollen.  I wouldn’t recommend her wearing wedges even though her doctor says it’s ok, the just do not offer the support she needs.

Diabetics have to be extremely careful with what they wear.  So far she’s been able to wear Liz Claiborne’s fashions — tops and pants, which she’s been happy with.

Ideal fashion resources for diabetics:

  4…Fashion 101:  Color Coordinating and the Misconception of Mixing and Matching Prints and Patterns:  There is the misconception that it’s ok to match certain prints and patterns to other prints and patterns.  In the fashion world it’s being done, tearing up the fashion scene and making a huge splash in the industry, thus where it seemed like a bad idea at one time, it’s being done tastefully with an edge.   In a sense it looks like outfits just thrown together.  Add some accessories, a jacket and a nice purse, throw on some makeup, do your hair nicely, who is going to think you look ridiculous?

Style Zap took the words right out of my mouth when growing up, mother’s number one rule (as a girl) was to not mix and match your prints to patterns no matter how you favored them.

It’s a misconception because we grew up all our lives believing it was a major fashion don’t to mix stripes with plaid or polka dots with color block patterns.  You’d find yourself sent back into the room and ordered to chang clothes or you got left behind.

In today’s iconic fashion scene designers have gotten clever in breaking the rules and doing the very thing mother always told us not to do.  But I still say you have to be careful when you on he daring side and want to create something out of the ordinary because it may not always work.   Ordinarily I would advise against it, but as we see from Style Zap, the designers have found a way to make it work, giving us the thumbs up to tastefully mix and match our prints and patterns.  But here’s the thing, the color tones need to be right in order for you to get away with it.  That would be my only qualm, is if they color tones did not match.

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