Category Archives: Fashion

Keep it Tight(s)

stockings
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 Stockingirl.com, GreatStyleDeals.com and (where all the photos in this post came from) TheUpFactory.com.

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

JEANious Jeggings

jeggings
Jeggings

The English language is about to get a lot more fashionable. Apparently “jeggings” (jeans + leggings) are waiting to be introduced to the Oxford English Dictionary.

I first heard this term in an e-mail I got from obsess boutique a couple months ago. I asked some friends if they had ever heard of  jeggings before. I found out that one of my friends had just purchased some in Chicago and said “I know it sounds dramatic, but they’ve changed my life.”

I knew I needed to come in contact with these creatures of fabulosity if they were changing my friends’ lives and becoming a staple in the English language. Obsess is the only place I knew of in town with them, so, I waited until a skinny day to try them on. Thanks to my new Wii Fit (love the hula hoop game!) that day came and I made the visit.

It was like I stepped into some magical wonderland. My butt miraculously lifted, my thighs slimmed, my silhouette streamlined. They looked good with stilettos. They slid perfectly into boots. They looked amazingly chic with a blouse, belt and pumps. They made a sweater and killer ankle boots look beautiful and less bulky.

Especially after a huge snowstorm like we had this week, I was worried about not having the warmth that “real” pants offer. But what I discovered is that the jeggings are actually made out of real denim material. They have an extra dose of lycra, thus much more elasticity, built into the material than usual. So you get the form fitting perks of leggings, and the warmth and coverage of jeans. Quite the stylish combo, if you ask me.

obsess boutique jeans
Jeggings from obsess boutique (regularly $125, 20% off right now)

Now, I must warn you, not all jeggings are created equal. Some, like these bebe jeggings,  just have the zipper and pockets screenprinted on. Not a big fan of that. Others are following new floral trend (looks too Grandma-ish for my taste). And still others claim to be jeggings, but they’re just skinny jeans. To be jeggings, they must be made of denim but look and feel like leggings (aka tapered) which is important if you’re looking to stuff them into boots.

Although they are versatile, there are ways you shouldn’t wear them. Treat these jean hybrids like leggings: Avoid tucking anything into them or wearing cropped tops. And wearing sneakers with them is a huge fashion no-no.

These black beauties (left) are originally $125 at obsess, but they’re 20% off right now. Not sure when the sale ends, so don’t worry about waiting for a skinny day. Every day in jeggings is a skinny day! Try some on for yourself today!

*First photo courtesy of FashionPolice.net
*Second photo courtesy of obsess boutique

LA Looks

My last two blog posts have been about my trip to LA, so let’s just make it an even three. : )

teal tights
My outfit today, yay teal tights!

I just had so much fun out there people watching. Granted, we were staying right next to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, so there were literally a lot of characters (Star Trek, Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe impersonators to name a few) slinking about. But I really just loved people watching. I loved the fashion forward style mixed with a special blend of Cali’s “anything goes” attitude.

I thought I’d share with you a few things I noticed and loved about the looks and styling I saw in LA. First and foremost (not that I like it or condone it) but spandex is the new black out there. We’re talking black, skin tight, what I wore with my cheerleading uniform 15 years ago spandex. Lots of women were wearing spandex with a tank and off the shoulder tee (hello, Flash Dance). I also saw spandex paired with a sweater and uggs (yes, some thought 70 degrees was freezing). And at night, I saw lots of spandex-stiletto combos with girls heading to the club.

Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80
Forever 21 Cross Strap Bootie, $26.80

Spandex’s cousin, tights, were also popular. I am much more comfortable with this craze and am happily jumping on this bandwagon. In fact, I purchased 10 pairs of tights in a variety of colors and I’m having lots of fun with them! Today, I was in a teal mood (check out the pic!). I belted (Forever 21) a cozy sweater (Nordstrom) I got for Christmas, with a brown dress (Gap), brown boots (Morrison & Me) and a fab bag (Stop Traffick Fashion) I bought myself for Christmas. The tights add a fun pop of color to an otherwise boring outfit. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any leggings that could be worn like pants, because that was something I saw a lot of. Not sure I feel comfortable going there, but I will certainly give it a valiant try should I find any thick leggings (suggestions on where to buy them are welcome!)

Last but not least, booties are big. I love them! I am a runner, so I tend to have larger leg muscles than most. I usually cant fit into boots that come to the knee, so the second I saw booties I knew I was in love! You get the look of a boot without worrying if the made-for-a- Kate-Moss-leg shoe would fit your leg! I found several booties at the Forever 21 out there, so I’m assuming they’re available at local Forever 21 stores. I’m including a picture of the pair of booties I purchased out there.

I hope you enjoy the insight into the LA street style I picked up during our short trip there. We’re now off to Gatlinburg where we’ll be ringing in the new year. Somehow I don’t think I’ll have as much to report on the Applicachian style I’ll be seeing! : )

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fabulous 2010!

These Boots Were Made for Saving

LA boots
My FREE Nordstrom boots!

As you learned in my last blog, my husband and I were in LA last week so he could do a performance with Nancy Cartwright of Bart Simpson fame.

Sure, I could talk about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it was to be a dinner guest at Nancy’s home and to see my husband perform up on stage with Hollywood’s finest. But on the other hand, I could talk about the $500 boots I got for FREE at Nordstrom in LA.

I will talk about Nancy in a future blog (and share pics!), but I need to give my fellow shop-o-holics the excuse you need to go to LA and shop.

So, as you can imagine, it’s warm in LA right now. Actually, it was borderline hot a couple of the days we were out there. The day Cincinnati got several inches of snow? Yeah, I was lounging by a pool.

How does this relate to free boots at Nordstrom? Well, I discovered that the supply and demand for winter clothes and shoes in LA isn’t what it is in Cincinnati. Anything pseudo wintery was marked waaaay down. It was unbelievable. So, I dashed over to their boot rack and found some incredible over-the-knee black suede boots. Originally $500, marked down to $60-something dollars! I had a $100 gift card my co-workers got me for my birthday (I’ve been a good girl … I’ve waited since June to use it!). So, I got the boots, flip flops (which were ironically full price), and suede protectant spray with my gift card. Thus, free! : )

I have since worn them twice, and I’m wearing them today! They are so comfortable and practical! They keep my legs so warm! I took a page out of the Kasmira book of tricks and wore colorful leggings with the boots so just a little pop of color peeks through the top of the boot and the bottom of my dress.

So, a word to the frugal fashionitas out there, take a trip to LA in the dead of winter and stock up on all your winter wear. You’ll pay for the trip with all your savings. At least that’s how I rationalized it every time I swiped my credit card! : )

Bart-Worthy Theater Attire

My husband had me at “doh!”

That’s right, my husband wooed me with a Homer Simpson impersonation. When I met my now-husband, Pete Scalia, he was a traveling musician and voice-over artist. Today, he is the morning anchor at Fox 45/ABC 22 in Dayton, but he still does music and voice-overs on the side.

A few months ago, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson (who is originally from the Dayton area), came back to her hometown and Pete got to do an interview with her. They became fast friends, and before he knew it, she was asking him to do “theater of the mind” performances to raise money for charity. He did one recently in Dayton and he has one coming up this week in LA.

We are so excited! Pete has a performance this week in LA with a superstar (literally) cast mates, who include: Robert Towers (“Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Benjamin 1932-1934), Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), Phil Proctor (Big Brother, Rugrats, Finding Nemo, and Princess and the Frog), Josh Robert Thompson (voice of “Fake” Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson”) and narrated by R.F. Daley (Broadway actor “Cats” and “Sweeny Todd”).

The event will take place at the Golden Age Theater on Hollywood Blvd, which requires “theater attire.” And afterward, Nancy invited us to dinner at her house. Talk about a big night for us!

Cheering on my talented husband as he plays the LEAD character (!!!), rubbing elbows with a “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” cast member (aka one degree away from Brad Pitt), and eating dinner at Bart Simpson’s house. Who does that? And more importantly, what do you wear to that?

I peered into my closet and asked each piece if they could rise to this fine occasion. Each one sagged with unworthiness as they shook their cowl, turtle and v-necks in disappointment. I came to the conclusion that I need to splurge (I actually haven’t been shopping in a couple months!), and buy a special outfit for this star spangled night in the Hollywood hills.

I visited my favorite local experts, boutiques and stores, and came up with this ensemble that twinkles with gold, glitz and glamor. Most were splurge pieces, but my focal point dress was a steal of a deal. What do you think?
Theater Attire Collage

Dotted Lace Strapless Dress ($27.80, Forever 21)
shu uemura gold leaf shadow & lashes ($79, Sephora)
Stuart Weitzman black ruffle pumps ($179, Cincy Designer Shoes)
Gold BCBG Maxazria Sequined Evening Clutch Purse ($98, BCBG)

Thanks, Giving and Getting Great Black Friday Deals

This month has been one for the records. It all started two weeks ago when, on my morning jog, I was literally hit by a pick-up truck. The driver didn’t see me when I crossed the street – luckily only resulting in some bumps and bruises. A week later, our upstairs toilet malfunctioned, overflowed, kept running and poured water throughout three stories of our home while we slept. We are now in the process of tearing out one bathroom and repairing the other two floors (yay home ownership). And the third in this terrific trifecta happened last week when my Grandma took a serious tumble and is now left with two black eyes – what she is affectionately calling her “broken face.”

Baby Sara Paige
Baby Sara Paige

But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m trying to see the positive in all of this. The truck incident will make me more aware of my surroundings when I run (and look both ways 18 times before crossing!), the bathroom issue is actually resulting in a brand new bathroom (we were planning to repair anyway) on our insurance’s dime, and the third gave me the excuse to bring my Grandma lunch today to make her feel better.

Someone once told me “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights” and it’s so true. While none of those things happened to me, I experienced my own variation. And now, instead of being sad they happened, I’m actually…. thankful.

I have another thing to be thankful for, too. I’m officially “Aunt Amy”! My brother and his wife, Erin, had a beautiful baby girl named Sara Paige last Monday night. She’s beautiful and perfect and I love her so much already.

Maybe the new addition to the family got me in the giving spirit, or maybe I just love shopping, but I’m almost completely done with my holiday shopping! I wish I could tell you what I purchased, but my friends and family frequent this blog too much for me to not let the cat out of the bag.

All I’m going to say is that I’m completely in love with Stop Traffick Fashion. A local woman (with a fabulous fashion sense) started an online shopping site where you can get the latest and greatest handbags, jewelry and skin care, and proceeds benefit victims of human trafficking.

Stop Traffick Fashion
Stop Traffick Fashion Handbag

Click here to check out an upcoming shopping event they’re having at The McAlpin downtown on 4th St on Dec. 5. She has some gorgeous products, and they look even better in person, so I highly recommend you come to this event!

But there’s lots of goodies to gobble up in the meantime with all the price-slashing going on this Friday! Below are my top picks for the Tri-State’s best Black Friday Sales!

Black Friday Sale at Missy & Jack!
Friday November 27, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Take 25% OFF the entire store! Enjoy pastries and apple spritzers all day long while you shop and check out their latest collections, which include: Citizens of Humanity, LA MADE, Hudson Jeans, Michael Stars, Paige Denim

Missy & Jack
5861 Deerfield Blvd. Mason, Ohio 45040
(513) 770-0512
www.missyandjack.com

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obsess boutique – 20% off!
At obsess boutique, mention “Cincy Chic” and save 20% off retail on any item! Sale ends Nov. 27! Click here to see a recent fashion show we did with obsess boutique clothing and Stop Traffick handbags!

obsess boutique
9393 Montgomery Road
Montgomery, Ohio 45242
(513) 793-4777
www.obsessboutique.com

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Cincy Designer Shoes Holiday Sale
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 – Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Cincy Designer Shoes is having one heck of a holiday sale. More than 40% of its inventory has been reduced 15-35%. In addition to those mark downs, they’re offering an additional 15% off this week only! While you’re there, register to win a free pair of Dezario Boots!

Cincy Designer Shoes
2717 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 321-1924
www.cincyshoes.com

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La Silhouette Lingerie – Anniversary Sale
This isn’t a Black Friday sale, but it’s a sale nonetheless. La Silhouette is celebrating two years in the Tri-State! To celebrate, they’re offering 20% off today through December 5, 2009 on non-sale merchandise.

La Silhouette carries the world’s top lingerie brands like: Bagley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Cass and Co., Chantelle, Cosabella, Elle Macpherson, Feraud, Foxers, Hanky Panky, Huit, Jane Woolrich, La Perla, Millesia, Natori, Oscar de la Renta, Prima Donna, Simone Perele, Verena, and Wolford.

La Silhouette Lingerie
6914 Miami Ave., Madeira, OH 45243
(513) 272-8100
www.lasilhouettelingerie.com

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Richter and Phillips Second Annual Watch Trunk Show
Want to get the man in your life a timeless holiday gift this year? Skip the Black Friday rush and head to Richter and Phillips second annual Watch Trunk Show will on Friday December 4th from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturday December 5th from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Special pricing on all Major Swiss Watch Brands Omega, Tag Heuer, Tissot, Rado, Movado, Michele, Philip Stein, Hamilton and others.

Richter & Phillips
202 East Sixth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 241-3510
www.richterphillips.com

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And while we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, and giving thanks, please stop by this page to share your thoughts on what makes you thankful this year.

To check out more Black Friday deals, click here!

Oh So Soho

Amy Maynard
Cincinnati's Couture Cutie, Amy Maynard, owner of Soho Boutique

I love it when I can get a taste of big-city life without leaving the comfort of my hometown. And every time I step into Soho Boutique in Hyde Park, I feel that way… from the off-the-beaten path boutique location and hand-painted stairs into the boutique, to the floor-to-ceiling gold encrusted mirror and daily changing floor displays. I absolutely love it.

Amy Maynard, the new owner of Soho, and I have become good friends since she purchased the boutique this summer. She is so friendly and down-to-earth, but the girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion. Especially fashion for the local lady (let’s be honest, not everything on the runway looks right at Skyline).

One of the best perks of her job is that she gets to write off her trips to Soho for “research and development.” (smart girl!) : ) She just got back from one of these trip to the Big Apple. That got my wheels turning on how my Cincy Chic readers can learn from experts like her. I came up with this concept where we can build off our popular lunch ‘n’ learn idea (where once a month we bring in one expert and invite our readers to enjoy lunch and learn about the topic for free), but this time bring in several experts from several industries to talk about trends in their specific niches.

So, on Nov. 20 from 12-1 at the Chamber of Commerce downtown (3rd floor of Carew Tower) we will have Amy from Soho Boutique talking about clothing trends, Rick Fehr from Richter & Phillips talking about jewelry and Rhonda from Missy & Jack talking about scarves and pashminas. From 1-2, there will be a trunk show where you can snag any of the items you just learned about! It’s free to attend and it includes a free boxed lunch. But we can only let the first 80 RSVPs in, so reserve your spot quickly! Send an e-mail to RSVP@cincychic.com or call (513) 721-2445 if you’re interested in attending! Hope to see you there! : )

Check out the video below where Amy from Soho gives you a sneak peek into a few of the biggest trends she’ll be talking about on Friday!

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To Heaven in a Handbag

DeGroot Handbags
DeGroot Handbags Fall 2009 Collection

Handbags are the ultimate accessory in my book. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry because my bag is usually loud, large and in charge.

I also don’t like to change my handbag much. I find it time consuming and annoying. And I usually forget things like my wallet or lip gloss in the rushed bag change-over. So, the whole handbag debacle has been a thorn in my side for a while.

How can I find a bag that meets my form and function needs… and happens to look fabulous with everything?

Miche Bags are a good option. Especially their hobo style because I tend to lug everything but the kitchen sink with me in my bag. But even changing the shell is too much hassle for me.

But then I met Missy DeGroot. She’s beautiful, ambitious, talented, successful – but still Cincinnati’s best kept secret. She’s a local handbag designer who started her own company (DeGroot Handbags), designs all her own lines and manages relationships with retailers such as Kitson, Fred Segal, Saks and Bloomingdales to get her bags on their shelves.

I met her about a year ago and got a white Isis Tote. I wore it every day for a year and a half (yes, I snubbed the “don’t wear white in winter” rule, and it felt good!). To work, out with friends, on weekend getaways. That bag went everywhere, through everything with me. It carried computers, doggie treats, coffee mugs, water bottles, notebooks and champagne bottles.

I consistently got compliments on it. It went with everything. It was exactly what I needed. So, when it started to fray and look a little worn out, I gave Missy a call. She said I had perfect timing because she just got in her new collection. So, naturally, I told her to bring her wares to the office and I’d do a little blog on her!

Check out the video below to see my new white grommet hobo bag, learn about all the new colors/prints/styles she’s introducing with her new collection, and virtually meet the amazing Missy DeGroot!

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12 Days of Seasonably Chic – Day 4

Paolo
My engagement ring

Women love getting compliments. And I have to tell you, I get compliments all the time on my engagement ring! It’s a custom design from Paolo, a Modern Jeweler up in Clifton. So, if you’d like to create something completely unique to you and get complimented on your exquisite taste, come meet Paolo at this Saturday’s Seasonably Chic Showcase!

One of the really cool things that Paolo likes to do is a “Jewelry Makeover.” So, you can take in a piece that’s sentimental to you (i.e., grandma’s brooch) and make it into a posh new asymmetrical necklace. A few of my friends have done this with some of their old jewelry and it’s a really affordable and fashionable way to revamp your jewelry collection.

Come visit Paolo’s table at the Seasonably Chic Showcase holiday shopping event, which will take place on Nov. 7 from 10am-3pm at the Phoenix Downtown. Watch the video below to learn more about Paolo, see some of their creations, and find out more about the Seasonably Chic Showcase!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE SEASONABLY CHIC SECRET!
Cincy Chic and Locals on Living, an affiliate of the Cincinnati.Com network, have teamed up to collect your seasonably chic secrets and ladies around the city have answered the call. Click here to check out the top 10 seasonably chic secrets and vote for your favorite. The winner will be chosen by end of day TODAY!

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12 Days of Seasonably Chic – Day 8

Paris J BoutiqueWe’re one week away from the Nov. 7 Seasonably Chic Showcase!!! Today’s sneak peek features Paris J Boutique, a brand new boutique in Old Montgomery. This boutique is located at 9797 Montgomery Rd. next to Carlo & Johnny, so you have to know where it is to find it. But it’s definitely worth finding!

Teresa the owner has impeccable taste and she loves the one-of-a-kind items that no one else in the city will have! I also like the variety of items she has in the store. I found everything from an eye-catching metallic embellished neck cocktail dress, to a cozy sweater and jeans. She also has beautiful bags, jewelry and the oh-so-hot-right-now-over-the-knee boots.

Paris J’s fashions will be featured in two fashion shows at the Seasonably Chic Showcase – one at 11:30am and one at 2:30pm. Go ahead and clear your calendar for the day because we’ll also have 30+ vendors to shop at and two “Brunch ‘n’ Learns” (Poeme’s Unique Gift Giving and Wrapping Tips at noon, and Sacksteder’s Interiors Holiday Decor Tips and Trends at 1pm). Hope to see you there!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE SEASONABLY CHIC SECRET!

Cincy Chic and Locals on Living, an affiliate of the Cincinnati.Com network, have teamed up to collect your seasonably chic secrets and ladies around the city have answered the call.

Click here to check out the top 10 seasonably chic secrets and vote for your favorite. The winner will be chosen November 4, 2009!

Check out the video below to get a sneak peek of some of the looks from Paris J Boutique that will be featured at the Seasonably Chic Showcase!

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