Queen B's Met Ball outfit exposed how her sartorial choices are not always on point. And also 97 percent of Queen B.
On this, the Deal Divas and the New York Times fashion critic are on the same page.
NO MORE NAKED DRESSES.
Yes, that means you, Bey, JLo, Ri-Ri and Kim K. West.
The NYT's Alexandra Jacobs rips the "naked look" in a column today, saying the blame for the trend starts with Rihanna for stepping out with a nude, crystal-covered number (while holding a pink fur for, you know, modesty) at last year's Council of Fashion Designers of America awards gala.
A-listers have been hitting the trend hard lately, with Beyonce and Kim Kardashian West wearing dress with lace and jewels in barely the right places to the Met Ball earlier this month. At the Billboard Music Awards, Jennifer Lopez wore a very Jennifer Lopez silvery, slinky, underbooby thingy.
As the Divas complained after the Met Ball, these looks are actually very boring — it's nothing new that celebs have rock-hard bodies (and don't eat crispy chicken sandwiches). Instead of trying to shock everyone with how barely there your gown is, which doesn't work anymore, why not try wearing something truly impressive and memorable?
I nodded in agreement throughout the column, particularly these excerpts: …
The one thing I love as much as fashion is sports. Specifically, bay area sports. So when I had the opportunity this weekend to attend a Stanley Cup Playoff game, I felt it my duty to support my team (Go Bolts!) without wearing the same T-shirt every other woman — and man — was walking around in.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, a time to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice fallen military members have made for our country, from the Revolutionary War to present day.
And, to keep it real, it is also a time for lying on the beach and hitting up sales, of which there are so very, very many. Lucky for you, I’ve scoured the Internet and compiled a list of the 80 best fashion scores you can find this weekend, with coupon codes to boot, because you deserve it.
Enjoy, but promise you’ll take a little time to remember what Memorial Day is all about.
Actor Emily Blunt has led sharp criticism of the Cannes Film Festival after women, including the wife of a director attending his own movie, were turned away from the red carpet because their heels were too low.
The recent unrest dubbed "flatgate" after women were turned away from a movie premiere at the Cannes Film Festival because their heels weren't high enough highlights the age-old, love-hate relationship we have with spikes, stilettos and the like.
We love those high heels when we first lay eyes on them and get a rush when we slip them on for that big occasion, only to hate them them within hours (if you're lucky) or minutes of actually wearing them.
It takes years of blisters, shooting back pains and mangled toes until on some pivotal, painful night our brains finally get the message from our feet. Enough.
My defining moment came at a White House Christmas party three years ago.
Before I even got through the metal detectors my feet were hurting. Within 10 minutes of entering the White House I had to clutch the railing with both hands to ascend the stairs to the main floor. Twenty minutes in, the pain was excruciating.
As I stood in the East Room surrounded by stunning high-profile media figures, the centuries-old portraits of George and Martha Washington, and silver tureens overflowing with shrimp, all I could think about was finding a seat somewhere so I could take a load off. …
Apparently the fashion forecasters are real excited for everyone's thongs to stick out of their pants in junior college classes across the land again.
Here's one of those things I saw third-hand (it happens), from a friend on Facebook who linked to Jezebel who linked to Vogue. But however we arrived at this harrowing news, the point is ever as chilling. The mag's Kelly Conner suggested that the ultra low-rise denim favored by the early 2000's Spears set (see also: Aguilera, Knightley, anyone on TRL) might be making a comeback, in an inevitable swing of the pendulum away from high-waisted and skinny silhouettes populating the market over the past few years.
Look. I'm no fan of those jeans with the 9-inch zipper that make your womb the focal point of the outfit. But I also am a person who eats tacos, and I need more support than 2001 can offer. I eagerly await the day when pants that fall right below my belly button (not 4 inches on either side) are the haute look for the denim day. And I think we all cherish Britney, but even perfect people can make mistakes.
Please, let's all watch this as a reminder of what's on the line.
Sorry, no J. Crew Factory sale alert or fashion photos today, just a link to some interesting bedtime reading about Old Navy. That's right, everyone, Old Navy, that ubiquitous retailer you might associate with hoodies and branded Fourth of July shirts for the whole family. Well, no longer fellow sale seekers: The New York Timeshas all the details in this story about the store's rebirth into a cooler, more H&M-like version of its former self.
After hiring the guy who made H&M the "it" store for designer-esque clothing at dirt cheap prices, Old Navy is now doing better sales-wise than the other stores. The Deal Divas have touted their cheap and perfect-for-summer shorts before, and I have long gotten many staples at the store, everything from v-necks to skinny jeans. I shop their sales often, especially their flash sales, when jeans go down to $15 or sweaters are $10 for a day. …
I'm feeling these leverback drop earrings (down to $25), this bow bracelet that would be cute for stacking (down to $30), and, if I had $90 to spare on frivolity, this lemon bag that screams One Good Reason To Be Happy It's Basically Summer. Wallets that are usually $100-$200 are marked down to $50-$80, too, like this cosmic ombre pouch.
Buyer beware: Items are final sale and cannot be returned. If you spend more than $200, there's free ground shipping (ha ha ha).
I forgot it was my turn to post a My Outfit Monday but fortunately I am wearing a dress that I love and is somewhat flattering. I bought this Tracy Negoshian dress about three years ago on sale in Raleigh, N.C. I think it was $40 or so marked down from about $100.
Then I was shocked a year later to learn the dsigner, Tracy Negoshian, (a Zephyrhills native) runs her growing fashion empire right out of St. Petersburg. Her clothes are in boutiques in 50 states and she has stores in Naples and our own Sundial.
Negoshian wanted to create a line with the colors, cuts, style and fun of Trina Turk or Lilly Pulitzer but without the high price tag and dry cleaning bills. Can you say "wash and wear?" Can you say "no ironing involved?"
In the movie "Tootsie" when Dustin Hoffman's struggling actor character pretends to be a woman to get a job on a soap opera on his first day on the set the director says to the cameraman:
"I'd like to make her look a little more attractive, how far can you pull back"
Cameraman quips: "How do you feel about Cleveland." …
Impromptu model Brittany shows off her new Revlon lip crayons. We're obsessed.
Remember when we were kids and our job was to literally color within the lines? Ah, the days of crayons.
I'm convinced its that tinge of nostalgia, plus just ease of use, that has me in love these days with crayon-shaped beauty tools. Can you blame me?
Consider this. I'm not a makeup maven, but I want to look presentable, professional and not like a 12-year-old girl playing in her mom's bathroom.
But I've also been intimidated once or twice by certain makeup contraptions and colors. Am I using this eyebrow wand thing properly? Which brush am I supposed to use on my eyes? How many things do I have to use on my lips? Why do I have to sharpen anything?
Yes, they're reminiscent of those giant markers or crayons our grade school teacher handed out, but that's also the beauty of it. They're accessible. They're easy to use. And I don't feel so bad if I screw up. Plus, they're not outrageously priced.
I was reminded of this today when I passed by the desk of Times designer Brittany Volk, who was sporting a poppy pink lip. …
Most women go to St. Pete Beach for sun and sand. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's nice. But the main draw to get me across the Pinellas Bayway is a great little consignment shop called Two Friends' Closet.
It's right next to the PCI (Post Card Inn) in a tiny strip center at 6360 Gulf Blvd. I discovered the shop about three years ago and can think of only one time since then that I haven't left with great finds. (And that would be because I'd accidentally left my wallet at home.)
The racks are crowded with Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, Tory Burch, Anthropologie, J Crew, BCBG and lots of no-name labels that can be even better than the designer stuff.
I've had good luck consigning things, too. I take a two bags full of clothes about every three months and the next time I stop in I have a $75 to $100 credit. The store will pay you cash or let you shop on your credit.
Just once I'd like to leave with a chek for the full amount, but I always manage to find one or two or more items to buy.
You try resisting these pretty heels. Peruse the slideshow for more, links to shoes in the post.
I'm obsessed with super-femme floral heels, and I don't care who knows it.
And I'm seeing them everywhere.
It started a few weeks ago, when I bought a pair of strappy floral heels from Aldo — a rare, seasonal "I've fallen for you, and I can't get up" indulgence. Apparently, I am not too ashamed to tell you that I displayed the heels like the work of art that they are in my house (a la Lisa's lesson) until wearing them to a bridal shower last weekend with a bright red dress from the Dillard's Clearance Center (here are some hot tips for managing the clearance center from a Deal Diva alumna). They were perfect for the event, especially because I was sitting down in them for 90 percent of the time.
Just because I've met my 2015 splurge shoe quota doesn't mean I can't tempt you with similar styles. Take a peep at more floral heels in the slideshow from designers at DSW like Nina, Steve Madden, Aerosoles and Michael Antonio.
Not into heels? Try these "garden party" kickers from Keds. Or these flat sandals. I could go on and on because there is so much pretty to share, but I have to get back to my day job. …
For the past few months, my clothes-buying goal has been strictly skirts. Specifically, work-appropriate skirts that can double as fun casualware to get me through the sweltering summer season.
Enter this week's My Outfit Monday, which features one of my favorite buys of the year so far. Okay, confession: This outfit is from Thursday, when I needed something breezy yet put-together for a Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber Luncheon on culinary tourism I attended as part of my Food Editor duties.
Luckily, this navy-and-white patterned skirt arrived in the mail from J. Crew Factory a couple days before. Yes, I got it during that sale I raved about a few weeks back. And I love it. It's lined yet leightweight, with subtle pleats on the front for maximum stomach-hiding flattery. It's just long enough to wear to work functions, yet casual enough to wear anywhere else with a tank. The best part? It was $20. …
Is your mom not like other moms? Is she the cool mom? No? Great, neither is mine — in that she is a really excellent mom who does not follow Amy Poehler's example in Mean Girls and is deserving of a restful, rewarding Mother's Day. And I want to give it to her, dang it.
At Deal Divas, we usually blog about Mother's Day gift ideas, but this year is different — dare I say, better. We have not one but two experienced mothers on staff who have practical advice for what your mom really wants to get out of the annual special day.
With that in mind, I asked Deal Divas Katherine Snow Smith and Lydia Harvey a few questions. Enjoy their answers. And moms, I hope you know we appreciate you.
What do you hope to get out of Mother's Day each year?
Lydia: My favorite Mother's Days have been spent with my little ones far away from the usual chores, devices, loudness, madness. A mini beach getaway can do a mother so much good.
Suppose someone's mom told her she doesn't want anything this year, "just the pleasure of your company." Should you still get a gift, or should you take her at her word? …
The Deal Divas took to Illume Organic Boutique on Central Avenue to demonstrate just a few of the many ways The Wrap by AngelRox can be styled into a skirt, top, or dress. An instructor at Parsons School of Design in N.Y. created this super soft, super versatile swath of cloth with endless possibilities.
(No, it's not Tim Gunn. But I'm sure the creator knows him and perhaps he gave her a "make it work" while she was designing The Wrap. So if you bought it I think you could reason that Tim Gunn highly approves of your wardrobe and you pretty much look like Heidi Klum.)
In any case The Wrap is available in multiple colors and three lengths. It's $99 for the short and $159 for the knee length. Prices vary on the full length. Not exactly a steal for say, one single shirt or dress. But if you divide that price by the possibilities of at least 10 styles you like, it averages out to a good price.
The AngelRox Wrap website has videos and photos to show you how to create tons of looks.
Though we are wearing different colors, all these styles are possible from one single wrap. (No way were five Deal Divas going to agree on one color. They don't call us Divas for nothing.) …
Looking for shopping deals in Tampa Bay? The Deal Divas are on the prowl, sniffing out hot fashion finds that won't leave your wallet in ruins. Now you never have to miss a shopping deal! Check in often for the lowdown on local bargains, as well as fashion advice, fun photos and style news. Disclaimer: The content of this blog is produced by the editorial staff of the Times and is not tied to advertising. E-mail us ideas you'd like us to write about.
Stephanie Hayes , addicted to heels for 15 years, has been experimenting with ballet flats, boots and cute sneakers lately. Her poor, tired feet thank her. She can never get enough animal print, and her eye shadow collection has become a bit of a hoard. While other kids were reciting multiplication tables, she was learning to calculate an extra third off the half-price discount during buy-one-get-one week. She knows a healthy swipe of red lipstick can make any outfit better. She can be reached at (727) 893-8716 or email@example.com.
Katie Sanders foolishly spurned pretty dresses and shoes as a child, tossing new clothes over her shoulder at birthday parties with a totally rude "no, thank you." Her drab days of monocolor outfits are over now, and she certainly knows better than to turn down free stuff. Her wardrobe mixes classic with quirk. Think blazers with statement necklaces, and lots of patterned ballet flats. She can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kameel Stanley has never encountered a thrift store she didn’t like. Her mother taught her that the true value of clothes isn’t how much they cost, but how many outfits one can create from them. Having grown up in Michigan, she was delighted to learn upon moving to Florida that she almost never needed to wear socks or boots again. There’s a lot of turnover in her closet, and she’s obsessed with dresses, necklaces and wedge heels. She can be reached at (727) 893-8643 or email@example.com.
A compulsive deal scourer, Michelle Stark is trying to evolve her style philosophy from grab-it-because-it's-cheap-and-worry-if-it-fits later to one that embraces quality staples and more color. When it comes to her closet, it's generally still quantity over quality, but she recently splurged on a treasured pair of Lucky jeans. Progress! Her style leans toward classically cutesy - think Loft, The Limited and Banana Republic, blouses with bows, blazers with polka dots and all the skinny jeans in sight. But she never turns down a trip to a thrift store, or JC Penney. Her greatest sartorial sale achievement was finding her senior prom dress on clearance for $20. She can be reached at (727) 893-8829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following her little rockabilly heart, Lydia Harvey strives for an alternative/mid-century/elementary school mom aesthetic — a tip of the fascinator to personal heroes Joan Jett, Claire Dunphy and the iconic Elizabeth Taylor. Heels are her signature, fit-and-flare her weakness. She owns 12 too many coats for a native Floridian and has gleefully conceded that gold is bananas. Second only to scrolling through daily boutique arrivals, her dearest pastime is compulsively styling for sporting events and travel, all on a budding family’s dime. She can be reached at (727) 892-2939 or email@example.com.
Katherine Snow Smith’s closet is filled with colorful patterns from a Lilly halter with pink and yellow giraffes to a maxi dress with oversized flowers and peace signs. She likes many styles— bohemian, preppy, vintage, classic— as long they’re unique and on sale. She’ll splurge at Saks or Anne Fontaine but favorite spots are T.J. Maxx and consignment stores. Her best purchase? A one-sleeve kaleidoscope-print Valentino blouse from the Sloan Kettering hospital resale shop in New York. (Legend has it Jackie O. used to drop her discards there.) When Katherine was 14 she bought a $29 oversized, velvet-covered anthology of Oscar fashion. She can be reached at (727) 409-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Gartner grew up wearing her older brother's clothes (hey Dan!) and kind of never stopped: She still has a few of his button-downs hanging in her closet; luckily his No Fear shirts have been lost to time and sense. A reformed tomboy, Lisa likes to mix masculine and feminine pieces. Her work look is, more often than not, Oxfords with pencil skirts. She owns more baggy sweaters than there are days below 70 degrees in Florida. The bags under her eyes are knock-offs. She can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or email@example.com.