In preparing this post I discovered that I forgot to let you know that my husband and I were going to be celebrating our 6th anniversary by taking a trip to Seoul, Korea!
Hence, the absence of the last several weeks in preparing for the trip, taking the trip, regrouping after the trip. It was absolutely incredible and our first real vacation since spending Christmas in Germany the first year we were married.
I've never been west of Hawaii, so Asia was like nothing I've ever experienced. Here's a little taste for you...
Adorable Korean school kids on a field trip wearing traditional outfits- hanbok.
Old traditional street (gorgeous restored homes!) with the new city rising in the background. The tower you see way back right in the middle is Namsang tower.
Part of Seoul stretching out from the top of that Namsang Tower I mentioned.
Just on small section of market area Myongdong that really gets hopping at night. This is early evening and NOT busy.
Now that I'm back in the saddle I have more fabulous Seoul pictures and tidbits for you, as well as the pictures from the circle skirt sew along I mentioned before I left. (It turned out so great!) The next part in our Defrumping Your Man series that I didn't get finished before I left and other holiday-related info. Hope you had a great Halloween!
It's that time of year again folks, let's all say the pledge!!
Click the sad sweater vest below, raise your right hand...
I'm nearly finished with my gorgeous Circle Skirt... and I'm a little obsessed with it so that's where my little bitsies of free time are going right now.
I love the ultra feminine silhouette of a circle skirt and I've always wanted to learn how to make one. The fabulous Casey of Elegant Musings is doing a sew along and it has been so much fun. Click the button above to link to the whole series and her awesome vintage sewing/style blog.
My fabric is an awesome blown-out black and white houndstooth with a hint of silver sparkle in it. It'll be awesome for fall/winter. And I'm already planning another one in a spring/summer weight fabric. (This houndstooth is pretty heavy!)
I'll post the pictures as soon as I'm done. Working on Part 2 of Fighting the Man Frump that'll be up this week as well!
As you know, this blog isn't about my personal style, per se, it's about modest style in general. As such, I don't feature my daily outfits and therefore don't have long lines of folks banging down my door to test and feature their clothes on the site. I do get the occasional request but so far the items have never suited my style and there is no way on this good green earth I'm going to give a positive review to something I don't like and wouldn't wear. But a while back a different request appeared in my email. I got really excited about this one because it would allow me showcase an item we would all make good use out of and from a TOTALLY unique place. Israel!
I was contacted by Kosher Casual, an Israeli based company that makes, "Modest Clothing for the Modern Lifestyle." The company was started by an American who moved to Israel. And they have some cool stuff. They asked me to pick anything I liked (Refreshing!) and to please post a review of it. I accepted because they have a good range of items, some unique things I've never seen before, and I'd get to introduce you to a company you've probably never heard of.
I was initially drawn to these. Sleevies.
Think leg-warmers for your arms but in a thin stretchy material. They're 3/4 length (my favorite sleeve length) and you just slide them up under your shirts for an instant double-layered t-shirt look. (or to hide the underarm waddle many of us like to camouflage!)
They come in a ton of colors, both women and girl sizes, and are only $12.00!
There is also a Bolero-style version, where both sleeves are connected. I need to try both of them because my initial thoughts are that the bolero obviously won't slip down, where the individual Sleevies might. But I like the easy on/off factor of the individual Sleevies, especially in the fluctuating fall & spring temps.
I'll have to give them both a try. The bolero-style is only $16.00.
But it was summer when I had to choose, and I had shrunk out of all of my denim skirts so I was MOST excited to give their denim pencil skirts a try. They claimed to be comfortable without
a walking slit. If you saw this post on making skirt slits modest
, then you know it can be difficult for modest dressers when a pencil skirt slit comes too high up the thigh. A-line skirts usually solve this but I like the look of a straighter denim pencil skirt better.
They were backordered for a little while but when it arrived, I was instantly pleased. The above pic was right out of the package. A nice straight skirt! Good blue color, no "look-at-my-butt" bling all over the back pockets. And it's a nice lightweight denim with great stretch. I like a lightweight denim pencil skirt because I don't want to feel like the Michelin man when I put on thick tights in the fall/winter. I chose the Dark Navy Denim. It also comes in Stonewash Blue and Stonewash Black. Here is me in it...
There's a hidden bonus with this skirt - an adjustable waistband! Just like you find in kids clothes. But it's so discreet you can't even tell. Since waist-to-hip sizes vary, this is a great addition. You'll be able to cinch it in as needed to prevent the waistband from gapping. The skirt is 24" long, so I can raise it higher on my waist (cinch in that waistband a bit) and it's knee length or let out the waistband a bit and wear it lower on my hips and longer.
Forgive the crazy contortions in the pictures. I kept trying to show you that I can take a nice big step and the skirt doesn't restrict at all. (Plus, you get to see the wicked cool back of my boots!) They didn't exaggerate that the skirt allows total freedom of movement without requiring a slit. I can walk, run after my girls, bend, sit, etc. It's totally comfy. My only tiny issue with the skirt that the waistline seam is not finished as nicely as the hemline seam. The waistband is an exposed serged edge where the hemline is turned under nicely. Maybe the adjustable feature prevents that. Don't know. Certainly not a deal breaker at only $29!! That's right, $29 for a great denim pencil skirt that should last a good long while.
Now, I am very late getting this post live. With visiting family, weddings and other things going on at the end of the summer, my August flew right out of my hands. I requested and received a discount code for you all. Since I'm late with this post, I've asked them to update the code so you can use it now. If you'd like to get one of these skirts, or any other Kosher Casual item, just enter NOFRUMP3 to receive 10% off.
Thanks Kosher Casual for the great skirt and the opportunity to review it!
Q: My friend recommended your website, and I'm impressed. I'll be even more impressed if you can help me out: I'm a 43 year-old doctor who just doesn't get it when it comes to fashion, both in and out of the office.
Most fashionistas address the female frump. What prescription can you provide for a man who needs a professional makeover for work and for play? I'm 6' and 250 lbs, with most of my extra weight evenly distributed.
A: Dear Doc - You're so right. We fashionistas do tend to address the clothing concerns of our sisters, letting out brothers languish in the land of blah. But no more! I hereby pledge to consistently add content to the Dress Your Man section of this site. May it be a beacon to guide you through stormy style seas.
Now, a while back I emailed Doc a LONG list of questions so that I could better answer this question but I haven't heard back from him yet. Hey Doc! Check your junk mail!! I just resent that email today.
In the meantime, I'll start this series with some basics, move on to specifics, and address Doc's individual points once they arrive. This is going to be so fun!
Let's set a ground rule first.
“Dress for the position you want” still holds true. For Doc, the respect of his position as a doctor demands a proper wardrobe. (I know of what I speak. My father is an eye surgeon and I’ve been in the medical world my whole life.) No doctor should ever wear jeans to the office. Period. If your daily uniform doesn’t consist of scrubs then it better be slacks. Well-tailored trousers are a must. The same holds true for any and all other office men. Unless you have a required uniform, save the jeans for Hawaiian-shirt day. No, I don’t care if your boss wears jeans and t-shirts every day. Set a better example. You don’t have to wear a 3-piece suit, but elevate your look and hope that others follow. It’s a proven fact that people who dress better perform better.
Now that we've established the bottom line, let's take one step up and cover 5 wardrobe basics.
L: Navy Blazer- JoS. A. Bank, R: Plaid Sport Coat - Nordstrom
1. Do you know the difference between a blazer and a sport coat? A blazer will come almost exclusively in navy, camel or black, often with brass buttons. Goes with everything from jeans to khakis to trousers. Sport coats are more boldly patterned or textured, think tweed, herringbone or plaid. Also goes with jeans, khakis & trousers. Pair either with jeans to elevate date-night options. Pair a sport coat with suit-like trousers to take a step down from a full suit. Start with a navy blazer and tan pants to be appropriate for almost anything.
2. Do you know which shirt collar looks best on you? A regular straight-point collar is the most universally flattering. If your face is larger or fuller, stay away from button-down collars, which can make your face look bigger.
If you have a round or oval face, a longer-point collar will be flattering.
Long and narrow-faced men will get a nice balance from a spread or Windsor collar.
L: Flat front - Nordstrom, R: Pleat front - Nordstrom
3. Do you know whether flat-front or pleated pants look better on you? Unless you are a truly “full-bodied” man, flat front is the way to go. It’s slimming and looks more current. Pleats add bulk in the front, which adds visual pounds.Now, if you do have some serious extra pounds, then pleats can be more forgiving and give you extra room to sit down comfortably. But boy, those pleats better lie FLAT when you’re standing! If they don’t, you need a bigger size.
4. Your belt and shoes need to match. End of discussion.
5. When choosing socks - match your pants first, then your shoes. Tan pants = tan socks. No tan socks? Choose a color to match your shoes.
Did you know that most men own more white socks than any other color sock? And yet they don't own a single pair of white pants! Keep the white socks reserved for the sport court. I think one of the roots of this error is men somehow started thinking they needed to match their socks to their shirts (and white shirts are a staple.) Not so!
Ladies - if your man doesn't have a supply of socks to match all his pants, then you know what you're getting him for Christmas. Every other year or so, I load up all my husbands pants in a garment bag and head to the store. I hang them all up and make sure I have 2 pair of socks to match every pant. When he gets new pants, we buy the socks right then and there.
I hope you enjoyed the first post of this series. I'm having a great time putting this series together! Stay tuned for elevating weekend wear and letting your clothes do a better job of introducing you!
Taking another moment to reflect on that tragic day. May we never forget. May we remember what we learned from it. May we learn more from it. And may nothing like it every happen again. My heart goes out to all those who have to remember losing someone today.
I loved this article posted on the Washington Post site from Pres. Thomas S. Monson."9/11 Destruction Allowed Us To Rebuild Spiritually"
Whew! It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks but life is finally calming down again. A bit. Maybe I'm hallucinating. Either way, it annoys me when I don't get a chance to create and publish all the posts for this site that I would like to on a regular basis. But thankfully the breaks are few and far between.
In the coming weeks I have a lot of great stuff planned for you. My first ever "paid" review from a REALLY unique place. (They didn't pay me, they just asked if I'd like to try anything out and review it. I agreed and really like what I chose.) A couple of new "Ask Image Interpreters" posts. A great one for the men included! And lots of fantastic fall fashion as we approach another Season for Clothes.
For this happy Monday I'm presenting a Modest Moment from the mother of all supermodels - Cindy Crawford.
She's busy in a miriad non-supermodel ways nowadays so current pictures of her don't crop up that often but goodness, the woman knows how to dress in a flattering way.
Love the bright top and white jeans.
I know she's in mid sentence below, but I loved the shades of gray and silver outfit.
Casual but not schlumpy. And it doesn't look like she's trying too hard, unlike some celebrity moms out there who can't seem to master "mom on the go." Cindy nails it in both shots with flattering jeans, simple-but-not-boring tops, and interesting shoes.
There's a lesson to be learned here!
Whew! It's been a whirlwind of a week. Visiting family, reunion, etc. Lots of fun. While I unpack and wash all our camping clothes, here's the latest inspiration from Piperlime to dress well. As I mentioned in this post covering all the previous Piperlime ads
, I adore these ads. Sometimes we just need a little weekly wake-up call to present our best selves to the world.
"BE THE GIRL YOU WERE TOO LAZY TO BE YESTERDAY."
Oh boy, have I ever had lazy days. I'm sure we all have. When they come, I hope we all turn them into a springboard for looking extra great the next day.
Summer is always a difficult time to keep up on all the fun blog posts I want to do. I'm leaving today for a family reunion so please enjoy this final round of lovely outfits from Kate's North American tour. It's a far cry from what I'll be seeing this weekend.
It's a camping reunion. Camping is rarely rich with style. Mercy.
I found the source of the blazer from this photo I highlighted in the first post of this series
. It's from Smythe. She later paired it with a sheath dress (below).
Love the simple, structured bag!
Smythe blazer, Roland Mouret dress, Mulberry bag, Manolo Blahnik pumps
Jenny Packham dress, LK Bennett shoes
Lovely dress. I like the yellow Jenny Packham dress from yesterday better, but this is elegant. I'm not in love with the nude heels with this one. I'd have chosen something in the purple family with this gray/possibly light lavender dress.
Joseph and Natalie dress
Marlene Birger dress, LK Bennett pumps
Whistles cardigan and skirt
LOVING this pleated skirt and lacy cardigan! I have a skirt very similar to this and will now be creating an outfit like this around it. Totally love it.
Roksanda Illincic dress
Again, love the simple and elegant dress - would have chosen purple-ish heels.
Wanted to close with another glance at the fantastic Alexander McQueen sweater dress. I would wear this in a heart beat. I'm desperately hoping somebody makes a version in my price range this fall.
We had the biggest microburst hail and rain storm I've ever seen here Monday night. It tried to take over our driveway and destroy our basement. Actually, it tried to do that to several houses in our neighborhood where the storm drains simply couldn't keep up.
So I'm very behind on things I would like to post. I still have a ton of clean up work to do, but need a little break. So today, let's check out more of Kate's awesome outfits from the her trip to our side of the pond. For the first post of her looks, click here
Catherine Walker dress and coat
Love this! I fell in love with coats-matching-dresses in Doris Day movies.
Alice Temperley blouse
The girl's gone country! I sometimes chuckle when Europeans try western, but they both actually did alright! William finally doffed his blue suit.
Issa dress LK Bennett wedges
Jenny Packham dress
There has been MUCH hoopla made over Kate's use of sheer stockings (nylons, pantyhose, whatever your generation chose to call them.) While there appear to be certain standards for royal dressing that she is adhering to, I think she mainly just wants nice looking legs without the fake tan orange glow. Her sister Pippa is also wearing them a ton and it has sparked a MASSIVE upsurge in sheer stocking sales. I don't often think to wear them in summer but I have a pair of Donna Karan's that are exquisitely sheer, never sag around the ankles or knees, and make my legs look great. Plus, they're slightly control top so they help my hip area as well. Bonus.
A note of warning if you're going to wear them.
These are NOT tan colored stockings. They should be sheer in a color that exactly matches YOUR skin tone. You're simply trying to make your legs look smooth and even-toned. You are NOT using the stockings to simulate a tan.
Diane von Furstenberg dress
And finally, a lovely DVF dress. I swear, is there anyone that von Furstenberg dresses don't look great on? Double love the sleeve length on this dress.