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How to Shop for a Special Occasion!

With holiday parties just around the corner, I thought it the perfect time to share some of my favorite tips from How to Win at Shopping on Shopping for a Special Occasion!


“When dressing for any special event, dress for yourself first. If you feel beautiful, you will be beautiful!”—Susan Lucci, Emmy Award–winning actress

Pay attention to the formality listed on the invitation. Black tie means a formal short or long dress. For men, it means a tuxedo.

Black tie preferred or optional means a formal dress, cocktail dress, or dressy separates. For men, it means a tuxedo or a dark suit.

Semiformal means a cocktail dress or dressy separates. For men, a dark suit is appropriate.

Festive attire means a cocktail dress, dressy separates, or your version of a Little Black Dress. For men, a jacket and tie will do the trick.

Business formal means a business suit or dress. For men, a suit is appropriate.

Business casual can be interpreted broadly, but don’t wear anything overtly sexy.

Casual dress means wear something you wouldn’t mind being photographed in.

Your Romantic Color!

Your Romantic Color expresses your passion, your sexuality, and your heart.

Your own personal version of red, your Romantic Color is taken from your flushed skin, evoking the vitality of the blood that flows through your arteries. This is the color that reveals your passion, your sexual energy, and your romantic self.

The color that expresses your passion and love might indeed be red—but it might also be tangerine, fuchsia, berry, rust, or even mahogany.


Find Your Romantic Color

Follow these steps to reveal the color that shows your warmest, most passionate self:

1. In natural light, hold your hand over a white piece of paper with your palm facing you. Curl your fingers so that your palm is “cupped.”

2. Look carefully at the most flushed areas of your palm and notice the shade.

3. Now, place a finger on each side of the fingerprint of your index finger and pinch your finger. What is the color of your flushed skin?

4. Look in the bottom of your palm on the side closest to your little finger.

5. If your palm includes deeper shades that make it difficult to see this color, you might want to hold your hand next to your gums. The contrast will help bring out the different shades in your palm.

Once you have identified the perfect Romantic Color, head to the cosmetics counter and choose a lipstick that matches it. You can wear this color in a lipstick or gloss and then bring the tube with you to match when shopping for this color.

Besides the sexy date night dress, the Romantic Color is also stunning in a bathing suit or any sort of athletic wear. It is also a wonderful color to use in your home. A dining room of lacquered walls in this color can be stunning for high energy dinner parties, and is also fantastic used in the kitchen in a large or small way, as it’s warmth and vitality connects to the hearth or center of the home. For the most head-turning use of this color, drive a car in it!



How to Shop for Jewelry!

Just in time for the holidays, here are my favorite jewelry shopping tips from How to Win at Shopping (Workman):


✶ Jewelry is a fantastic way to take a risk. You may not like to wear bold prints or shapes, but a great piece of statement jewelry can make the same impression.

✶ If you don’t wear crewnecks, don’t shop a necklace that is shorter than 18 inches in length. It will create the same unfavorable neckline.

✶ A traditional-style necklace or bracelet receives an instant update when you shop and layer a second piece in a similar metallic.

✶ If you have a large bust, it may be best to avoid necklaces that hit right at the chest.

✶ If shopping for a necklace that sits above your collarbone, first measure the base of your neck. Then add between two and four inches to ensure the perfect length.

✶ A difficult clasp on the “perfect” necklace or bracelet may very well become the reason you never wear it, so before you commit factor in the cost and effort of replacing it with a user- friendly one.

✶ When shopping for a ring, think about which hand you are going to wear it on; a finger on your dominant hand can be one half-size larger.

✶ If you are married, never forget that your wedding and engagement rings will always be part of your everyday ensemble, so use their metals, stones, and shapes as a reference to coordinate a head-to-toe look.

✶ It is best to shop for simple earrings along with a focal point necklace. This will ensure that the pieces complement and balance each other. The reverse is true when shopping for focal-point earrings.

✶ When layering bracelets, rings, or necklaces, shop for uneven numbers. This will create a look that is more interesting and fashion forward.

✶ Don’t be afraid to mix metals. An exclusive style alliance with silver or gold is no longer standard.

The 2016 Emmy Fashion Recap

The current season may be Fall, but many celebrities were thinking only of Spring at this year’s Emmy Awards, with an array of brilliant florals hitting the red carpet inspired by the canvases of Monet and Renoir. Kristen Bell navigated the evening in a luminous Zuhir Marad ballgown encrusted with embroidered and beaded flowers, Constance Zimmer in a vivid pink Monique Lhuillier column and Jane Krakowski in a brilliant periwinkle draped Bibhu Mohapatra gown.


Due to the timing of the Emmys immediately after New York Fashion Week, it is always fascinating to see whether the award show influences fashion or if Seventh Avenue influences the red carpet. This year’s ceremony was an even draw. Color-wise, brilliant shades of orange dominated several New York runways, but it was scarce on Sunday’s red carpet. In fact, one could say that the palette of the evening went retro glam, with classic shades of white, black and red dominating. Emerald, 2013’s Color of the Year made an unexpectedly quick comeback, with a radiant Sarah Paulson in a fringed and beaded Prada plunge shift and Tina Fey accentuating her curves in an Oscar de la Renta goddess gown.

The unexpected color trend of the evening was a healthy dose of optimistic yellow, with Taraji P. Henson in Vera Wang, Minnie Driver in Versace, Angela Bassett in Christian Siriano and Ellie Kemper in Jenny Packham.


Asymmetry and unexpected cutouts were plentiful, with Tracee Ellis Ross donning Ralph Lauren collection, Kerry Washington artfully balancing her baby bump in Brandon Maxwell and Priyanka Chopra in radiant red Jason Wu.


Clearly there was a no-straps memo with the most popular silhouette of the evening being strapless in straight, draped or sweetheart necklines. Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke dazzled in an Atelier Versace gown in her Essence Color, Neve Campbell struck a regal chord in Christian Siriano, and Emmy winner Regina King embraced this trend in red-hot Elizabeth King.

How to Win at Shopping’s Slimming the Silhouette!

Here are a few of  my favorite tips from How to Lose Ten Pounds Just by Getting Dressed from How to Win at Shopping (Workman):


✶ While a straight skirt can be slimming, the effect can go awry if the bottom hem abruptly stops without tapering back to the leg, creating an unflattering horizontal line. If a straight skirt or dress hangs like a lampshade, consider a trip to the tailor.

✶ When fitting a jacket, consider narrowing the sleeves to separate the arms from the torso. This will create a more streamlined silhouette.

✶ Showing a bit more skin can be a great idea. When it comes to fabric on the body, less fabric is more slimming.

✶ Avoid wearing fabrics with sheen on the parts of the body you would like to de-emphasize. Sheen will make those areas appear larger. Instead, think of such fabrics as a fantastic way to illuminate the smaller parts of your body and balance the head-to- toe look.

✶ With shoes, a low vamp will start the leg line at a lower point, thus creating a longer, leaner look.

✶ Buy a long cardigan, necklace, or scarf to add a strong vertical quality to every outfit—the effect will elongate the body.

✶ The right shapewear can make you appear slimmer because it actually does work.