Category Archives: Fashion

Dress Up Your Dude

The Wardrobe, which has always been a cute high-end women’s clothing boutique in Madeira, is spreading its wings to introduce a new men’s collection for Spring. The shop is officially launching this expansion at a benefit event that sounds pretty cool. The owner, Lesley Hern, has an eye for good designers and chooses more cutting edge looks than most other boutiques in Cincinnati, so I’m excited to see what she chooses for the manly additions to her store!

On March 12, at Voltage in Oakley, enjoy a free happy hour provided by Hugo, and a fashion show at 8pm. A suggested donation of $10 will benefit Starfire.

Hitting B-Low the Belt – Sale at Soho

b-low the belts
"B-Low the Belt" belts at Soho Boutique in Hyde Park

“Rocker Chic” …Normally I wouldn’t think these things could coexist, but Amy, the owner of Soho Boutique in Hyde Park, changed my mind.

In November we did a holiday shopping/spring forecasting lunch ‘n’ learn where we brought in Amy, Richter & Phillips and Missy & Jack to talk about the trends. One of the trends Amy mentioned was this rocker chic.

I love to give trends a try, but I’m your average blonde haired, blue eyed American girl, so I can’t exactly pull off spikes and mohawks. Well, Amy explained how to sprinkle in a little rocker onto your chic with these “B-Low the Belt” brand belts.b-low the belt

They’re super skinny and studded. They come in all different colors (my favorite is the turquoise and gold, above).

They are on the pricey side ($80-$100), but every once in a while Soho will have a good sale. None that I know of coming up right now, but I do know they post sale info to their Facebook fan page and send out info via email (go to their site to sign up for the newsletter).

I would have never thought to pair a studded belt with this ruffled cocktail dress (left), but it gives it a completely new look. And I need this sweater/dress/belt combo (below). It’s suitable for work, but it also looks super cozy and comfy…. with a little rocker flare. Perfect!

B-low the Belt

UPDATE: As luck would have it… I just received an email from Soho boutique announcing new Sunday hours and a sale for THIS SATURDAY (March 5). See below captured image from the email for more info on sale amounts and hours. Enjoy!

Monkee’s of Madeira

MonkeesJust got an email yesterday from my friend Cindy… subject line: Monkee’s of Madeira.

First thought: she misspelled spelled monkeys.

Second thought: why the heck are there monkeys in Madeira?

Opened up the email to find neither were true. Apparently this “Monkee’s of Madeira” is the name of Cincinnati’s newest clothing boutique! It’s located at 6928 Miami Ave.  in Maderia next to Coffee Please.  Near The Wardrobe.

Here’s what Cindy’s email said:

My good friend’s, daughter, Liz Hilberg, is opening a new womens clothing and accessory store in Maderia. You are going to LOVE this store!  She is having a private friends and family party tonight, and I think the grand opening is Friday.

I’m out of town right now, but I’m looking forward to checking it out when I get back! You should too!

Drastic Discounts on Designer Shoes

Cincy Designer Shoes
Dezario "Modena" black microfiber boot with patent detail. Size 11. Regular price - $199. Now only $80!

I have been in Cincy Designer Shoes only once. Not because I don’t like shoes…. ohhhhh no. Quite the contrary. I love them way too much.

I haven’t let myself go back in that store since my first encounter! I was like letting a sugar addict run freely in a candy store! The first time I went in, I bought a pair of Stuart Weitzman black pumps in the first five minutes. I love them, but it was definitely an unexpected splurge.

I’ve been secretly stalking their stock since, though, and I think I’m ready to pounce on my prey. I got a Cincy Designer Shoes email blast today (I highly suggest you go to their site and sign up for their email alerts by the way) saying they are having a March Madness sale from now until March 7.

Cincy Designer Shoes
Martinez Valero "Cristi" shiny black pump. Size 6. Regular price - $145. Now only $40!

Here’s what the email said:

Cincy Designer Shoes is kicking off our March Madness sale! We have marked down sale items again and added many new styles to the sales rack! Our spring inventory is now arriving and we need to make room for more incoming inventory. Every day this week we will be posting our “March Madness” styles on our FaceBook page. Please click on the link below to see today’s March Madness pricing! …We would like to invite you to stop in a take advantage of our lowest prices and preview some great Spring handbags and shoes!

Click here to get the Facebook Link for March Madness Sizes & Pricing

I looked through their sale items, and some pumps are as low as $40 and boots are as low as $80. That’s definitely do-able. I think this gives me a viable excuse to let myself go back. Wish me luck!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Looks like the one downside of this sale is that it’s the “last pair” sale, so if you don’t fit in that last pair, the cheap chic shoe is not for you. But it’s great news for people like my mom with a less common shoe size (she wears an 11! … haha, sorry mom, I had to share!)     🙂

Jewelry Sample Sale (and more CTW blog updates!)

Some of the things I write about here on the blog are things I’m personally keeping an eye out for (i.e., fashion week)… some are interesting things I pluck from the seemingly never-ending flow of events and information filtering through my business/publication Cincy Chic … and now that I started the blog, people are contacting me to let me know about more “newsy” things that are a better “instant gratification” fit for a blog and not a weekly publication like what Cincy Chic is.

So, I’m going to change the format of the blog a bit to accommodate this influx of info! I’m going to do shorter, more frequent (will try daily), less formal blogs. I have a Type-A personality, and I come from a formalized publishing background, so I have the tendency to want to create the perfect beginning, middle and end – and develop the prettiest corresponding graphics. Well, all that will change moving forward, my friends!Krombholz

So, today’s blog is about the Krombholz Jeweler’s annual Sample Sale. When Lee, the owner, told me about it at first I thought, oh cool, they’re discounting some stuff. Neat, but everyone has sales.

But then he said this is the motherload of all their sales. And it’s their clients’ favorite event (it’s their biggest sale of the year, in fact) because they talk all their vendors into selling them the samples of the outgoing season’s lines super cheap. Krombholz then sells them super cheap to their customers during this sale. So it’s like getting a great deal on a year-end model of a car! But pretty jewelry instead : )

Lee said everything else in their cases will be marked down 25-75% off regular price, too. So, if you’re in the market for a special keepsake for someone special or want to have a bling fling for yourself, I recommend checking this sale out.

Oh and we’re working on a really special event (called Night in White) on April 9 with Krombholz and Locals on Living to raise money for a local nursing scholarship. The scholarship was started by a friend of mine who I used to work with and it’s very special to him and his family. So click here to learn more about that! Just thought I’d make mention of it since we’re on the topic of Krombholz! : )

Meet the Jeanius of Denim

I’ve written about my struggle with finding the perfect pair of jeans before. It’s something every woman deals with on a regular basis. Or daily basis to be honest. I had a skinny day yesterday and I’m having a put-me-in-a-muumuu day today. So, the saga continues…

I was talking about this with Lindsey, the marketing director over at Saks. And we came up with the idea to bring in a “jeanius” denim expert, and have a luncheon Q&A to learn all the tricks and tips you need to know to find your dream denim. So, that’s what we’re going to do on March 18 from 12-1 at the Saks Fifth Ave. downtown. Space is limited, but if you get in, you’ll get complimentary lunch and a 15% discount on your purchases that day!

Please RSVP by  March 16th to or call (513) 721-2445. See you there!

Jean LNL

Oh, and PS, Saks has their beauty week going on this week. They have super cute (black, pink or yellow) animal print bags with purchase of $75/more. I got the yellow because it reminds me of sun… you know, that thing we haven’t seen much of lately?! : )

Me and my new yellow tote are going to hang out in my matching sunshine-y yellow room ’til summer is here! : )

New NYC Fashion Week Trends

Today marks the end of a 17-year era, as the New York Fashion Week event was held at Bryant Park for the last time. As I type, the park’s famous tents are being torn down and packed up as the last Fall 2010 collection (Tommy Hilfiger) was presented a short while ago. The tents will go up next year at Lincoln Center.

I’ve been keeping an eye on each collection as they live stream video, fashion reporters report and style bloggers blog. It’s been very exciting.

Since I last blogged, I noticed two more big trends emerge – Fur and “Robo Chic” – as well as a few smaller trends you’ll want to keep an eye out for, such as quilted leather and longer blazers.

Furry Fashions
I was frankly surprised to see so much fur on the runways. It has such a stigma. It’s so political. But it was all over everything at this show. Coats, full-on fur dresses and dresses lined with fur, vests, shirts, hats, elbow-length fur arm warmers, fur boots, fur bags – even fur stilettos. You name it, it had some animal hair on it. Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Malandrino, Elie Tahari, Brian Reyes, Thuy… and droves more designers let the fur fly in the face of the persistent protesters – oh yeah, and this relentless recession.

I doubt they’re all using our local claim to furry fame, Fabulous Furs, but I hope so! I’m not a fur protester, but I do encourage you to check out the Fabulous Furs showroom in Covington to see how realistic and warm her faux furs are. You will be surprised at how real they look and high-quality they are. She (Donna, the owner, whom I adore) has much of what I saw on the runways in her showroom to be honest. Coats, blazers, cardigans, shoes and gloves. Sorry for turning this trend section into a plug for her, but I couldn’t believe how much fur I saw this year, and I do hope this boosts business for Fabulous Furs – a local gem and trend-setter in the fur industry.
Furry Fashions

Robo Chic
Toni Francesc named his Fall 2010 show “Artificial Life” and that it was. His collection marched out a robo chic parade of pointed and tiered shoulders, with silvers and greys patched or colorblocked onto black and brown shine and matte fabrics. Other collections featured oversized studs, mechanical hardware and sci-fi inspired necklines and sleeves.
Robo Chic

Quilted Leather
On the season premiere of Jay Leno’s new primetime show, Rihanna rocked a quilted leather blazer. Ever since then, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a quilted leather jacket to hang in my coat closet. But now that Alexander Wang strutted quilted leather shorts down the runway, I might need to get them – oh yeah, and do a lot of squats and lunges to look halfway decent in them! Lots of bags and accessories (headbands) donned this quilted leather style, too. That’s a good way to add this high-end luxe look into your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
quilted leather

Isaac Mizrahi blazer

Other Trends…
Enter, longer blazers. Exit, short-waisted jackets. It was nice to see a long blazer again after such a long stint with the hip-hitting jackets that don’t flatter many female body types. And the blazer was paired with any and everything, from a t-shirt to a sheer lace tank. Or, as Isaac Mizrahi did in the look to the right, pair a muted matte blazer with a glammed up cocktail dress. Has that “my boyfriend put this on me ’cause I got cold” look when you wear it that way… but imagine if she actually had her arms through the sleeves.

Layering was another key trend, with a mix of fabrics that offer texture and interest. A few designers like Peter Som and Alexander Wang presented models who literally looked like they’d thrown on everything in the closet all at once. Some days I feel like just doing that… now it’s apparently en vogue to do so. Sweet.

Another trend was a contrasting sleeve. Designers (such as Chris Benz and Derek Lam) used a different material than the rest of the outfit. Others used a graphic print on the sleeve that wasn’t on the rest of the garment.

Belt crazy Fall 2010 collection L.A.M.B. look

And lastly: Belts. Wear belts with everything. Cardigans, blazers, sweaters, t-shirts, blouses, coats… hey, if you’re so inclined like this model, wear three.

<<—————    haha! : )

I mentioned Rihanna earlier and it reminded me — I interviewed her stylist Mariel Haenn recently and never posted the interview! I got to meet her through a promotion Saks Fifth Ave was doing. I quickly learned that Mariel is BRILLIANT and has single-handedly made Rihanna into the trend-setting bonafide style icon she is today.

In my humble opinion, Mariel is behind two of the trends in this blog post (Robo Chic and Quilted Leather), and she’s only 30 years old. Pretty amazing.

Check out the video below to see the interview with her and get insight into the stylist behind the famous styles you love and adore.


Furry Fashion
(starting in top left)
Cropped fur coat in the Carolina Herrera Fall 2010 collection (AP)
A Model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Getty Images)
A sparkly, asymmetric dress gets swathed in black and gray fur  at Farah Angsana. (NBC)
Model shows off Elie Tahari winter white statement coat with fur collar (Getty Images)
Model shows off Malandrino fur coat (Getty Images)
A Model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Getty Images)
The Nicole Miller fall 2010 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, in New York, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Afton Almaraz)
A piece in the Fall 2010 collection by Chado’s designer, Ralph Rucci, which featured lace, chiffon, taffeta, ostrich feathers, and mohair. (NBC)
Fur stilettos in the Fall 2010 Zac Posen collection (AP)
Fur trim adds glam to otherwise dark and edgy looks at Vena Cava. (NBC)
Robo Chic
(starting in top left)
Last season’s trends continue with a black leather jacket, ruffled shirt, and bib necklace at Mackage. (NBC)
Model at Toni Francesc’s Fall 2010 show (Getty Images)
A Model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Getty Images)
Herve Leger by Max Azria (AP)
Gwen Stefani presents a tough girl show with camo, leather, and super-heavy hair and makeup for L.A.M.B. (NBC)
A Model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Getty Images)
Exaggerated shoulders and chains at the Project Runway show, which featured looks by all ten contestants. (NBC)
Quilted Leather
(starting in top left)
A Model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Getty Images)
A model showcases quilted leather shorts in Alexander Wang’s Fall 2010 collection. (Getty Images)
Marc Jacobs Collection Quilted Key Pouch, made of grained, quilted leather, has a zippered top with signature push clasp closure, features polished brass hardware, is lined in suede, and contains an interior key ring with a leather leash. (Marc Jacobs)
A model walks the runway at the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent at Bryant Park on Feb. 18 in NYC. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Belt crazy Fall 2010 collection L.A.M.B. look (NBC)

Fashion Week CliffsNotes

Even though NYC is under several inches of snow this week, Fall season is in full force. That’s because it’s the ever-exciting, always glamorous, and heart flutteringly fabulous Fashion Week!

I’ve had my finger on the pulse of the new trends strutting the catwalk, and three big ones emerged: sheer, metallics and trendy basics.

Granted, I’m not there, but I sense that this year is unmistakably subdued. Not only are fashion houses struggling to innovate, create and prosper in a strangling recession, but the industry lost an icon with Alexander McQueen passing on the first day of Fashion Week. Both are weighing heavy on the hearts of everyone in the fashion industry and beyond right now.

But as they say… the show must go on. And that it is…

Like I said, three trends have surfaced thus far: sheer, metallics and trendy basics. I think they are all somewhat related to the recession. The sheer is minimalistic. Trendy basics offer a classic, long-lasting value. Metallics, which I thought they were on their way out, have made a quick resurgence. Maybe it’s the high price of gold these days? : )

Here are my Fashion Week CliffsNotes for the big three trends. I’ll check back in later in the week with updates. (And while we’re on the topic of fashion week, get excited because Cincinnati will soon have one of our own! Learn more here)
Back to Basics
Heavy Metallics
Sheer Genius


Back to Basics
(starting in top left)
A model presents a creation from the Fall 2010 Herve Leger by Max Azria collection during New York Fashion Week February 14, 2010. (REUTERS)

A dress designed by Victoria Beckham is modeled at a fashion show during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A model presents a creation from the Cynthia Steffe Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 12, 2010. (REUTERS)

The Diane von Furstenberg fall 2010 collection is modeled Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, during Fashion Week in New York. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Rachel Roy fall 2010 collection is modeled, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, during Fashion Week in New York. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Heavy Metallics
(left to right)
Kelly Osbourne walks the runway during a “Fashion For Relief – Haiti” benefit show during Fall 2010 New York Fashion Week February 12, 2010. (REUTERS)

A model presents a creation at the Erin Fetherston Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 14, 2010. (REUTERS)

A model presents a creation at the Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 14, 2010. (REUTERS)

The Luca Luca fall 2010 collection is modeled Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, during Fashion Week in New York. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Sheer Genius
(starting in top left)
The Prabal Gurung fall 2010 collection is modeled, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, during Fashion Week in New York. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Rachel Roy fall 2010 collection is modeled, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, during Fashion Week in New York. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A model presents a creation at the Project Runway Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 12, 2010. (REUTERS)

The fall 2010 collection of Zac Posen is presented during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in New York, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A model presents a creation from the Vassilios Kostetsos Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 14, 2010. (REUTERS)

Big Red ‘Mader Scarves

big red maderHis momma always told him she loved him more than big red ‘maters.

The fact Harold was higher on the hierarchy than tomatoes really stuck with him. So, when living off the land at his farm wasn’t paying the bills, he decided to try something new… fashion.

That’s right. This man… who’s old enough to be my father… who lives on a farm… decided to break into the fashion industry. And in my opinion, he succeeded.

big red mader

Here’s what he does. He takes old t-shirts, tears them up, twists, twirls, braids, embellishes (with silver pendants you can slide on and off the scarf threads) and knots them up into scarves. Cute, adorable, fashion-forward scarves that can dress up a tee and jeans, take a work outfit into night, or just add some fun flare to a casual out-and-about outfit. In homage to his mother, he named his company “Big Red ‘Mater.”

I found his scarves at Sara Benjamin’s (in Mariemont) today and I fell in love. Apparently, Harold walked into the store a short while ago and told his story to the owners and they big red maderimmediately fell in love with him and his products.

The owners said he was super genuine – explained him as a soft natured  grandfather with a California vibe. How could you say no to that?

I don’t know where else you can get a Big Red ‘Mader scarf. But I do know you can get them at the ever-fabulous Sara Benjamin’s. (Random confession: I just bought my third cocktail dress in two years there… all of which have been at least 60% off! Sweet!)

big red mader
Lauren Carr, Manager

I was too focused on buying a dress for a masquerade event I’m going to tomorrow that I didn’t buy a scarf, but I fully plan on going back and buying one. You have to be in the right mood to buy certain things. I was in dress mode… but I did appreciate how fantastic these scarves were. I hope you do, too.

In fact, I love them more than big red ‘maders.

Keep it Tight(s)

Stockings from The Up Factory

Consider yourself lucky, ladies. One of the hottest fashion items right now are as inexpensive as $5. That’s right… drop by your local H&M, Forever21 or online store and refresh your wardrobe with some fun tights and stockings. It’s all you need this winter to give your look an on-trend flare of fashion.

Pair them with over-the-knee boots for a peek-a-boo effect, or show off your colorful gams by pairing them with ankle boots or ballet flats. These versatile tights of any color or pattern can be worn under a long top, long sweatshirt, sweater dress, or mini skirt.

My favorite print tights (top photo) draw in the floral trend with sophistication. While other stockings are just plain fun and flirty. Here are some do’s and don’ts for keeping it tight(s).

Don’t wear tights with a top that does not cover your rear. Tights are not a replacement for pants, but an accessory to spice up your outfit.

Don’t wear more then one pattern. Don’t let things get too busy. When wearing patterned tights you will want to wear a solid colored top.

Don’t wear a tight top with your tights. By wearing a more flowing top, it will keep your legs looking lean and long.

Do keep your outfit balanced. Color matching your shoes and top well help everything to stay balanced.

Do wear a solid top when wearing patterned or printed tights. Don’t overdo it with the patterns and colors or you will soon find yourself back in the 80’s.

Do stick with solid-colored shoes, and go for a head to toe, monochromatic color scheme if you’re going to mix lots of patterns and textures.

Do layer. Layering is the key to pulling off this seasons hottest new fashion tights styles. These key items will help you to accessorize and add to this new style:

* Tunics
* Sweater Dresses
* Vests
* Jackets
* Banded Shirts
* High Heeled Ankle Boots
* Knee High Boots
* Thigh High Boots
* Ballet Flats
* Scarfs

There are several great places to stock up on stockings. I recently got some great solids in fun colors and prints at H&M. Other places to check out are, and (where all the photos in this post came from)

(Helpful hint: The Up Factory is a French company, so if you want to read their web site, go to and put in the “translate a web page” field.)