Monday, December 27, 2010

Fancy-fying your wardrobe

This is Part II of the series...

So after you have taking done your closet overhaul (See "Fancy begins in the closet" from Nov 23, 2010)... now you can take inventory of what you need. You need a notebook, a pen and space to assess your wardrobe to begin...

Accessories are the number one way to fancy up your wardrobe and get a big bang for your buck. But the inventory part of the process is uuber important because you have to know what you have to see how everything will fit together and determine what you need.

Let's go back to the "Keep" pile -- What will add quick, cheap-ish (in price, but not quality) and dirty additions a.k.a. "extras" that you will wear and will add color, depth and complexity to your wardrobe IS the question you should be asking yourself as you create a list.

I recently bought a cream enamel flowery bracelet (pic of a similar item below) for $20 for just that purpose: this will go great with all black, many of my dresses, jeans and a white shirt, etc.

As you go through this process, create a list of items (see why you needed pen and paper?) you need (staples/basics & extras); keep the extras vague, like red belt or "Purple ?". Also, visit some of your favorite fashion websites/blogs to find out what's trendy for the fall, so you can kill a few birds with one stone. I love these brooches to add depth to a blazer or simple dress:

Prioritize your list by staples (such as a black pump & black pants etc.-- these are priority) and nice-to-haves. Next is the fun part: Shopping. But two rules: Buy only what is your the list and TRY everything on (or you'll end up frustrated, feeling un-fancy and back here re-reading this post in a few months). Because you kept your extras list vague, "Purple ?" on the list means you can walk into a store or surf the net and see what finds you, which is what makes shopping fun. You don't have to buy everything on your list in one day/shopping trip. Spread the task over a month (or a few, depending on your budget) and then cross the item off the list once you get it. And keep your list evolving, as you try stuff on or see what is in the stores, you will add or change stuff. Also visit different neighborhood/types of stores to diversify your additions.

Good Luck and I hope this helps! Feel free to hit me up on the side for specific questions or if you want store/website recommendations.

A dopo, my fancies-in-training!

Fancy Icon - Rachel Zoe

My Fancy people...

Some of you have asked me about my inspiration, so I will periodically post "Fancy Icons".

One of my favs is Rachel Zoe. She is waaay too skinny, but I absolutely adore her way of always looking fancy, but not overdone. And unlike some other pseudo-fashionistas - she's never inappropriate/overdone or relies on the same formula all the time (unless you count 5" heels, which as a teeny fancy, I totally appreciate).

Pics of the Fancy Icon- Rachel Zoe below..

Stay fancy, Rachel!

What don't you have enough of?

Ahhh, new year!!!

Time for resolutions, reassessments and reevaluations..

In late 2010, I had been stocking up "lady of the night" pieces ( ie black leather mini dress --pic of same dress in camel below, sequined shorts --pic of shorts in silver below, etc) because I didn't think I had enough party/ lounge/socializing clothes.

How about I am realizing that most of my evenings out do not have anything to do with a club anymore, so let's just say that I am more than good in that category now! LOL

I am realizing that my gap is that I don't have enough pieces that work well from day to night. Most of my events are afterwork-- who has the lifestyle/time/energy to run home & change??

Oh, think its also time to reassess my resort/ vacation gear since I have a cruise & then a trip to South America next spring!

What don't you have enough of??

2011 is the year of the fancy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fancy begins in the closet

Disclaimer: I took a good, hard look at my closet, so some of my advice is extreme. Apologies for the length, but I promise you, this will work!

What you NEED before you start: A Full length mirror!

Pre-work: Plan to allocate an entire Saturday or Sunday to just do this. If you keep work shoes at your desk, bring them home because you need them to try on work clothes with.

On the day of Project Closet Fancy:

Brew a pot of coffee, eat breakfast and then go through EVERYTHING (clothes, coats, jackets, shoes, belt, scarves). (What I did was dump ALL my clothes on my bed. Then sort out summer/vacation/special occasion wear –which you can tackle another day or after you go through fall/winter stuff. Then I went through what was left, piece by piece.)

As you make your way through your clothes, make 3 piles: Trash, Goodwill, Keep (You can also make another sub-category: "?"/Fix). Nothing goes in the "Keep" pile unless it has been tried on in front of that full length mirror. Try on bottom items (pants/skirts) with the heels you'll most likely wear them with (just because a work pant looks good with a satin absolutely not work appropriate pump, does not make it a keep.) AND with blouses/tops. For pants, check out how it fits in the waist and hips (close, but not tight and NO bubble gut effect); look at the break of pant leg with the shoes you will commonly wear them with. For blouses, pay attention for button gapping, worn spots, sleeve lengths and side pilling. Here's the golden rule: ONLY keep the things that you like how you look in. Why? Because if you like how you look in it, you'll wear it. If it has a fray/hole, if that sweater is pilled, TRASH. If it has a hole, but its in the armpit, so you only see it when you lift your arm, TRASH it. You could have fixed it and if you really wanted to, you would have done so already and you haven't. So TRASH IT! Yes, you need a brown pant, and good brown pants are so hard to find and you paid $100 for them at banana republic, but every time you look at them, you think of doo-doo, TRASH! If that pant is in great condition, but you hate how it makes your butt look, TRASH! The more below-par pieces that you keep, but never wear, is taking up the space for those pieces that you'll grab for as part of your go-to outfit. Also if you keep a below-par piece, you run the risk of wearing it on a day when you need to look 100% sharp. Sharp means no pills, no gaping, no tears, no scuffs. Fancy always.

Don't get alarmed if the Trash & Goodwill pile are larger than the "keep" pile because sometimes that needs to happen and sometimes we hold onto things that we have no business buying in the first place: True Fancy Story: I had this awesome long sleeve corset-style blouse in my closet with the tags still on it. It’s a flattering cut, but it's hot pink and satiny! Why did I buy it? More importantly, why have I been keeping it for the past 5 years? Because it fits me nicely and it's pink. But I FINALLY let that blouse go, tags and all because in five years, I had not, nor ever will wear it. Don't even bother with the "if I don't wear it this year, I'll throw it away next year". TRASH it now!

Once you have your piles, organize and hang the Keep pile in your closet using Slimline Hangers.

I organize by item (blouse by color, pants by color, suits by color, dresses by color), but some people organize by color (all blue items, then all brown, etc). Organize what works best for you!

Stay Fancy!

A fancy girl always begins with a good foundation.........

So I don’t claim to be a fashion expert, but I am a self-professed Fancy-pert, so I'll try to share my tips on how to stay on top of your fancy game..

This first installment focuses on the mindset of a FANCY GIRL.…Upcoming installments will move onto other aspects of being fancy-abulous!

Rule 1: Invest in key pieces IN YOUR SIZE. Key words: IN YOUR SIZE. Don’t buy something now in your “aspiration size”. I’ve been there: “Oh, if I get this in two sizes too small it will motivate me to fit into it one day.” You always need a fancy girlfriend to be honest with you: that day will NEVER come. Let’s focus on looking fancy TODAY.Moving onto the next rule..

Rule 2: Know your wardrobe and yourself. Before you buy something new, picture 3 outfits (that include pieces you already own) before that purchase. If you can’t, as fancy as that shoe is, leave it in the store. It will just end up on ebay in a few weeks for less than what you paid for it.

Rule 3: Know your body. Some things are just not meant to be. In the interest of being kind, I’ll move onto the next rule…

Rule 4: Be comfortable. The world does not need another Kim Kardashian or VicBec (how do they walk around all day in 4” heels??!!). You can just as easily be fancy in some jeweled flats, as you are in a pair of YSL Trib Toos. I am #TeamFancyHeel all day, every day. But taking care of your soles is good for your soul.

Rule 5: BE YOURSELF. This is an extension of number 4. A fancy girl comes in all shapes, walks and forms. Be yourself and that is fancy enough. There’s a little bit of fancy in all of us. It is so disheartening to see pseudo- fashionable women who are mirror images of celebrities who have stylists. I look at them to see what they are wearing…sometimes I even recreate a certain look. But be yourself and your fancy will shine through!!

~signing off from the Fancy House!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So one of my past times/guilty pleasures is a listserv about fashion; on it we we talk about fashion, trends, shopping, you know, girl stuff.

Last week, one of the girls on the 'serv sent an email titled: &*&* (insert my name) know everything about fashion!!! Talk about ego stroking! She then asked me how do I stay so fashionable? Really? I'm fashionable? LOL

As I attempted to answer her question, I thought it would be a great blog post:

I work really hard to be fancy on a daily basis. I like clothes and shoes and bags. I REALLY like looking fantastic. I love to walk into a room and be noticed. Looking great helps my already inflated ego…or maybe my ego is so big because I know I look great. Even on those days if I feel crappy or is just a stinky day in the office – on the outside I still look great. So when I catch my reflection, I smile. I want each moment to be memorable! You never who you will meet, or what will happen and I hate looking back at something like, "Oh gosh, that is what I was wearing?" That wasn't fancy at all.

You can imagine how cheesed up I have been since that email and all of the replies co-signing. It's nice to know that someone else GETS IT.

Thanks ladies ~waving~

(sorry for the pic quality..I’m feeling lazy)

Monday: Slate gray silk shirt, slate grey pleated skirt, worn with black opaque tights and black patent leather/suede lace-up booties. I got these boots for under $40 at DSW last week..GASP! They are by Joan and David!!

Tuesday: White LS collarless BD, Brown military-style & leather trim pencil skirt, brown opaque tights, shoes tbd

close up of jewelry I will pair with this 'fit.

Wednesday: Lime green silk SS blouse, Navy pinstriped tulip skirt, (to be worn with black lace tights and black pumps)

Wednesday night: Leopard knee length jersey dress, black high patent pumps with studded trim

Thursday (Thanksgiving dinner): Taupe scoop neck sleeveless jersey dress, pale pink cardigan with lace detail on back, dark brown wide belt, dark brown thigh high boots. I have had these boots for 5 years--steal in Sorrento for the equivalent of $30...softest leather I have ever felt...regret not buying them in black as well..

close up of sweater detail

Friday: HELP??? Any suggestions? Someone style me!!!

COMING UP NEXT WEEK: FANCY does one stay on top of their fancy game?

Don't forget to give thanks on Thursday, whether its for the new Chloe bag you scored on GILT, or for the wonderful people in your life.

Make each moment FANCY!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Short Week--not feeling fancy at all

This is a short week for me because I am off to Miami to visit my sister and partake in crazy Halloween South Beach activities. YEAH!! Much needed vacation.
Problem is, I need to make it through these next three days before I get there.

Given that, let me insert my caveat for these outfits here by stating up front that I am so not inspired for work outfits this week. I am already picturing myself laying on the beach and enjoying sun, sand and liquor!

How do you get inspired when you feel SO uninspired?

Monday: Grey suede blazer, white sleeveless shirt, navy straight legged slacks, purple suede YSLs, purple necklace

Tuesday: Black pinstripe suit (slacks and vest), taupe silk shirt, beige/pinkish large pearls, black & white spectator pumps

Wednesday: Bleu & white striped long sleeve shirt, black pencil skirt, beige wide belt (will pair with black opaque tights and black suede pumps)

As always, remember to keep it FANCY!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Dressing

Fall is officially here in NYC. As much as I like changing closets (its like a shopping spree without the expense), this time of year is a bit weird to balance the in-between look.

Here are my outfits for the week. Last week was a short week for me, so I gave you guys and my camera a break.

Full week ahead and hopefully, some fancy fashion!

Tell me which is your favorite!

Monday – Purple dress, black chunky bracelets, black patent Pigalles.

Tuesday – Black & White wrap dress, red patent belt, black patent heels

Wednesday – Maroon long sleeve t-shirt, brown tweed mini skirt, maroon tights, brown & white pumps

Thursday – Camel turtleneck, black pants w/ skinny camel belt, camel suede peep toes, wood necklace and chunky bracelets.

Friday – Rust dress, leopard peep toes, beige ethnic jewelry (two necklaces worn as one)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Confident vs. Arrogant

I always hear friends say " I love a Confident man, but I can't stand arrogance!"

Seriously, what's the difference between confident and arrogant?

Is being confident when one carries themselves with a sense of self and arrogance when they are just trying way too hard?

And when does that arrogance cross over into narcissism (Oh, when they start getting annoying)..but arrogance can be annoying, too. And what's the line between arrogance and cockiness?

Are you confused yet? I am...So, while you ponder these life-altering questions: here's my outfits for the week!

My outfits for the Week of 3 October (DRUMROLL!!! apologies for the poor quality…I was snapping while watching the Giants game)..

Mon: Black blazer, a cream mini dress with a ruffled bottom, opaque black tights, worn with a black patent skinny belt OVER the jacket. I have black patent Biancas in the office that I’ll wear these with.

Tuesday: Pumpkin & Cream patterned skirt, Pumpkin blouse, taupe blazer, thick dark brown belt over blazer. I have to figure out what shoes I am going to wear with this outfit because ironically, I don’t own a pair of plain dark brown pumps. I do have a pair of taupe patent pumps (that are close to the blazer ) at the office.

Wednesday: Beige cardigan, Mustard blouse with bow detail, brown patterned skirt (the skirt has a tweedy print, but is light weight wool), skinny beige suede belt, Burberry pumps or Leopard peeptoes –VOTE NOW!!

Thursday: I am still playing with this day’s outfit..I have plans for after work, so I need something sexy, but professionally..and trying to work in my Maggie’s!

Friday: Greige silk shirt (with sleeves rolled up), brownish- grey vest (this fits like a corset when buttoned up), pencil black pants (LOVE ZARA!!), Hot pink peep toes…

I have not pulled accessories yet, but since this week’s outfits are busy, I probably won’t wear much except my black ceramic Rado watch, diamond studs and right hand diamond ring.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Thou shall Not Covet"

Ahh,the 10 commandments! The rules of life. No matter what religion you are, whether Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, etc....these commandments pretty much universally outline the basics: "Love Thy Neighbor" , "Thou Shall Not Steal" -- you can google the rest if you don't have 8 years of Catholic school like I did.

Despite all of Father Brady's (RIP) hard work, that darn 10th commandment (after "Thou Shall Not Lie", but little white lies never hurt anybody, right?) is especially tough for me. I covet, desire, I downright NEED everything, especially the things I can't/shouldn't have. Yeah, I know most interpretations specify thy neighbor's wife, house, etc...but in the FANCYHOUSE, we are talking about fashion. They didn't have YSL or Louboutins or Gucci python clutches back in the day.

So when the tents go up in Bryant Park, I. MUST.HAVE whatever they are peddling.

Coveting is really, really bad. Thank goodness, my problem has not put me $50k in debt or bankrupt. I'm usually pretty good about not prioritizing new shoes over bills. But I do covet the Chanel reissue flap bag in metallic. Any metallic color will do. I do covet the Louboutin Paola lace boot in a size 38. I really do. and one day, I'll have a Birkin. Just you wait and see.

Anyway, every season I make a wishlist. It always includes basics (New black slacks, new white button down shirt, etc.). But it also had ridiculously expensive items (note the plural) --like the LV Murakami MC Speedy back in 2005 -- and I would get them because I worked on Wall Street, was single, no kids, no mortgage, no worries and spending over $5k on several bags and shoes every season cause

I don't like it if it don't gleam clean
And to hell with the price
cause the money ain't a thang

Well...I have been trying something new the past few seasons: a "Nice-To-Have" List for extravagant items and then a more realistic, attainable WISHLIST, with more reasonable items to I like.

Thou Shall Covet, but it's only a shoe, right?

shout out to the homeowners
The girls that got diplomas
And enough money to loan us

Signing off from the FANCYHOUSE


I'm tired of looking at other folks put together fantastic outfits that I could do (if I dedicated the time to it) here is my teeny-tiny contribution to the fashion world...

The goal is for me to be a bit more motivated to be fashionable since your eyes will be on me....not that I am a slouch or a bum...I just need to step my game up and now I will.

I'll also be inserting my own little fashion police, got-to-haves and other misc commentary as we get to know each other.

Welcome to the FANCYHOUSE...

Keep It Gully