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"