Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | March 17, 2011

Green with Envy – How To Use Color To Your Benefit

Ladies, you know that I’m still as loyal to black as the best of the Golden Retrievers. But, it’s St. Patty’s Day and you don’t have to Irish to enjoy it. For instance, as a Colombian, I like to pay homage to my Irish friends by drinking aquardiente; my background is very international.

So what’s up with the all of the green on this day? Apparently, when this tradition began, blue was the pervasive color of choice. I really can’t picture this one, though. But then the Irish got to thinking, “Oh, our flag is partially green,” the whole “Emerald Isle” name conjured about green lushness and they began to appreciate the green-ness of nature around them, e.g. the green shamrock.  Also, I think some of my fiery redhead gals realized that green is their color. Christina Hendricks, I know, I know, I love her, but have you seen this femme fatale in green?

Christina Hendricks looks shamrock shazam!

As you can see from our Irish brothers and sisters, we imbue colors with meaning. Since I am inspired by green for obvious reasons, let’s explore this color of the Irish.  Apart from being Mother Nature’s favorite color, green is also said to have great healing properties. That’s why before a nerve-wrecking TV interview, there are greenrooms. It’s a very safe and comforting color. My marketing background has even taught me that pharmaceutical companies splatter their drugs with it because consumers buy into the safe and natural connotations of the color.

But you don’t need years in marketing to appreciate the color in fashion. Green with envy… forget about it! During this last Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,  green Diane von Furstenberg, Venexiana, Nicholas K., and Christian Siriano designs showed us the versatility of the color, all the while being to die for!

I'm green with envy! Give me all of it!

On this seemingly national holiday (since the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in the US), even if the whole Irish patriotism isn’t your thing, wear the color with pride. Although, I will never advise you to wear all green or shamrock tees, that would not be bueno. I’m thinking green accents with gold – go green!

That's me in the background! Ok...not really, but that's the face that I put when I see that

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | March 3, 2011

Forget Mardi Gras – How to Layer Necklaces the Right Way

Honestly, I love layered necklaces as much as I love layered bracelets. I know that many of you are looking at me like, “Come on, Viviana, you don’t think I know how to layer my necklaces?” Apparently, not too many women out there do. If you want to do this right, below are some things to consider before layering your necklaces. But if you want to look like you brought the Mardi Gras party to SoCal, or wherever you may be, by all means keep layering your necklaces like only you can do.

Why do people love these beads so much? El mucho el tacky-io

Neckline
The neckline falls under two extremes. Either non-existent to “hello, girls” (albeit not too much cleavage). Or as they are technically known, crew or v-necks work best with layered necklaces. Crew necks (especially the dresses) look great short and chunky layered necklaces. And since the v- and scoop necks tend to flatter my Pam Anderson look-a-like sisters better, so do the longer layered necklaces.

Body Shape
Layering necklaces is all about creating illusions. For instance, if you have a smaller bust you can use  short, chunky necklaces.  Bigger bust? You probably don’t want to add more volume to the upper body. Instead use longer necklaces to elongate your body. It adds interest, and gives you the illusion of looking thinner because of it draws the eye vertically. And since broad shoulders can be a hallmark of my curvy gals’ figures, layered short and chunky necklaces will do nothing for you. It’s the same reason that the more voluptuous ladies should avoid chokers – your shoulders will look broader, bosoms even more bountiful (thus making you look disproportionate if you are an apple shape) and wider since nothing is drawing the eye up and down; I don’t know about you, ladies, but I don’t think any of that is bueno.

Length
Take a risk and experiment with varying lengths. Asymmetrical lengths look great and unique. But if you feel like channeling your Bree Van de Kamp, layers of the same length can work too; although, these just definitely not be as clunky and chunky. If you’re going for a more simple look, then follow the K.I.S.S. mantra.  Remember Coco Chanel’s adage of add jewelry and take off a piece before walking out the door.

Clothing
In general, solid colors and simple tops work easily for layering. Unless you’ve a knack for blending the unexpected, avoid patterned tops and coats-they can pose a challenge. Collared shirts can look great with layered necklaces and give your work-look a great edge. Or a great monochromatic dress topped off with another (complimenting) monochromatic cardigan. Yes, I love flowy cardigans, paired with your outfit of choice, and layered necklaces.

Mixology
It’s not only for your clothes. It’s great to see high-end and more budget friendly items paired in unique and compelling ways. You look cool and chic effortlessly. Don’t be afraid to mix either. Different and even contrasting necklaces can complement each other in unexpected ways. While patterns on clothing might be a challenge to make work with layered looks, different patterns, designs and/or themes on your necklaces can add interesting texture..

Benefit
You may be wondering why you should even layer your necklaces. There is nothing wrong with a simple strand of pearl’s or a delicate chain with a diamond drop– I love them too. But layering necklaces gives us the opportunity to make our unique statement pieces, without breaking the bank. One of my favorite designers and inspirations, Claudia Endler, has a unique jewelry deigning philosophy. She believes that jewelry is another form of self-expression, and I believe it too. Here is your opportunity to leverage jewelry to make a statement piece.

Inspiration
Use  May Yeung, Charles Krypell, Alex Carol, and Lanvin designs as guides. Even Lindsay Lohan had to have her hands on Pratima Sethi‘s long necklace designs. Maybe Lindsay was a little too inspired though; uhm, you do not need to steal necklaces, ladies.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/spring-street-design-group-multi-bead-necklace/3149044?origin=category&resultback=2705

Wonderful designs that can get you started

Trick
Loop around long necklace twice for the best of both worlds. You can now adjust one strand to be shorter than the other. Any woman – short, tall, thin, zaftig, broad shoulders, breasts the size of mountains or valleys – can pull this look off and you get so much more on your investment in necklaces when you can have multiple looks with them.

After all that Mardi Gras excitement I’ll have to think about how I’ll tone it down for Lent, mmmm…I’m sure I’ll find some fashion inspiration to tie to Lent.  Austere Northern European design anyone?  Say hello to minimalism?

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | February 25, 2011

Impressions of Fashion Week!

If Valentine’s Day had you a bit under the weather, than Mercedes-Benz’s Fashion Week could put the sprint in any fashionistas high-heeled step. I know it does year after year for me. Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta always dress to impress. Yet, I can say, unequivocally, that there were many surprises and treats. Let me tell you about some of my faves and general impressions of this glorious week.

Glad to see that some of the 2011 fashion predictions came true. Color was definitely in; true teal (versus the true blue)! It was awesome to see that dark-greenish blue splattered across many of the shows. While I was a bit perplexed by Marc Jacobs‘ interesting, futuristic, dotted caps, one of his teal looks was divine (sans cap).

I love this look!

There were also a host of funky patterns and prints that made their way down the runway; Anna Sui‘s was probably one of the most wearable, while Betsey Johnson was… Betsey Johnson. Although, I will say that I was intrigued  by the whimsical and vivacious designer’s debuts – Black Tag and Pink Patch.  While Black Tag is a bit more high-end, Pink Patch is more prêt-à-porter. It was refreshing to see real women in the Pink Patch show having a blast; after all, fashion should be fun, right fashionistas? Now, her designs may not always be my style, but I look forward to see how all of her lines evolve and what Betsey will do next.

Super fun look!

Speaking of funky, Saturday-night-fever-Sonny-and-Cher-bell-bottoms-Farrah-Fawcett-hair is back. The 70s are back! See that’s why when you do your next wardrobe audit, you don’t necessarily have to throw out all of your era favorites. Time in fashion isn’t linear, it’s circular; trends and fads come, go, and then come back. What was so passé yesterday, will be vintage tomorrow; keep some timeless pieces. Although, keeping all of your 70s, 80s, 90s is no bueno, and I will audit you soon!

The 70s were on fire!

But as we all know, there’s funky and there’s funkay. And The Blonds show was the latter if you ask me. It had Lady Gaga written all over. The colors and glitter were so distracting that I have trouble recalling the clothes…never bueno.

This would've been perfect during Chinese New Year!

And now for some highlights!

You can't go wrong with Carolina Herrera. Pure elegance.

Leave it to Donna Karan to lay the foundation for the new suit!

Despite the caps, Marc Jacobs is moving fashion to the future and I can't wait!

Love Mischka's use of layered necklaces, both long and short!

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | February 10, 2011

How To Dress For Valentine’s Day

Hate it or love it, but don’t ignore it.  I’m equally as horrified as the average gal to realize that it’s become an annoying Hallmark holiday unless you decide to do something about it.  So whether you stay home, do it in style – buy yourself a bottle of Veuve, fill the bubble bath, grab all those copies of VOGUE that you never get to and shut the world out. Or if you’re single, go out in style with the girls.  If you’ve a special someone, spice it up for them and style yourself Valentine sexy! I say ditch the cutesy and soft pinks this year and go vampy with red (or if  you’re wanting to channel Samantha from SATC, at least a HOT pink). My tips on how to style yourself a la personal stylist for Valentine’s Day follow.

Revamp in Red
Remember, color is power. No, I’m not saying this because of the woman in the red dress in the Matrix. Although,  they are on to something. Scientists have hypothesized that red acts as an aphrodisiac created by mother nature herself (think way back in the day when we were more ape-like and our bottoms swelled with estrogen and got super red to alert the males that it was time) and culture (red hearts, roses and cards). Apparently, women are subconsciously equally attracted to it; who knew? You could be getting into hot water here ladies, but tell your men, brothers and friends to wear red too. On a more practical and conscious note, this way you don’t have to go home and re-apply x, y, and z. Red nail polish a la Diana Vreeland is a must.

Learn from this grand dame, but do not imitate, ladies

During the day it’s a chic, classy and posh way to spice up your outfit. At night, it’s cosmopolitan and sexy.   Red lips, why not? During the day try a more muted color and then gloss it up at night with a more luxurious and deeper shade.   I especially love red lips during the winter, there’s no easier way to dress up your look.

From the classics to today, red lips will give you that va-va-voom quality

Messy Hair
And now for the hair! Think very soft (waves even). A subtle and loose bun during the day, that can easily come undone later. For some reason, I have a vision of some type of hairstyle, whether up or down, that involves pins. They keep you polished at daytime, but can make you look unkempt later. You’ll get instantaneous bed hair! Channel Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren – that’ll bring the boys running.

Mysterious Maxi
And while I still don’t advocate wearing lingerie during waking hours (it’s so 2010), why not try a sexy sheer maxi dress? I know this might not apply to my fashionistas who actually experience winter, but my SoCal ladies can probably get away with one; you get winter, we get earthquakes – it’s fair! Sheer maxi dresses are the perfect tease during the day. It’ll have him wondering what you’re hiding.

Flirty Footwear
Ladies, probably the easiest way to change your V-Day look and mood – change your footwear. During the day, don’t be afraid to be a little cutesy and comfy. And if you still need some sweetness, try on some flirty heels from Milk & Honey, or get into an even more romantic mood with Badgley Mischka’s “Lanah” sandal. But nothing says sexy like a little red heel!

I give you permission to unleash your inner red-heeled vixen for V-Day!

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | February 3, 2011

How to Match Colors to Any Skin Tone

Seasons applied to skin tone, who knew?!

‘Tis the season for color analysis – and you’re about to see why! While you all know that I will always love my black, like so many of you, we might be missing out on something here. Color analysis is a trick of the wardrobe planning and style consulting trades. It’s where these professionals (and now you) can pick the best colors to match an individual’s complexion, eye color and hair color. The easiest and most effective way of breaking this down is by seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. And this isn’t silly nilly stuff either. Did you know, my dear fashionistas, that the art of color analysis is a science, a.k.a. the Munsell color system?!

The color you wear can affect you physically, emotionally and how others perceive you. If you wear the color that compliments you naturally, you can minimize uneven skin tones, discolored teeth, tired eyes and the dreaded wrinkles. Not only will you feel brighter and more alert, but you’ll look it too. If that’s not enough, the right color will bring out your natural glow from within, as well.  When you leap out of bed feeling well-rested, cheery, and fabulous, what colors do you choose for the day?   What about when you crawl out feeling tired, stressed, or angry? Start keeping a mental note, and you will be surprised at what your subconscious is telling you (and others about you).

A word about getting too worked up about color analysis. Yes, some of us aren’t supposed to wear certain colors and for the most part, you’ll know automatically that this is the case. Many of you will be blessed with ability to wear a wide array of colors it’s just that some will work better for you but don’t rule out all colors and get all fanatical about color matching either.  Okay enough said, let’s dig into some details.

Before doing anything – Warm or Cool?
It’s easy to find your natural undertone! Look at the inside of your arm, during natural daylight, i.e. go outside ladies. If you see pink or blue undertones with blue veins, you’re ice, ice winter.; you might also find that platinum looks great on you. If you see yellow undertones, with greenish veins, you’re warm; it’s all about sunshiny gold. Or, if you are more old-school, stand 2-3 feet away from a mirror (with natural light), place a white paper below your chin, close your eyes for a few seconds, now open them. If you see the white paper first, you’re warm. If you see your face first, you’re cold (cool). Voila!

You know that you’re Winter when
Winter is a cool tone (surprise, surprise). Your skin can be pale and porcelain white, yellowish-olive, or dark. Asians and African-Americans share many winter traits. Often times, they are brunettes with dark eyes (or natural white-blondes).You’ll look best when you wear vivid and blue undertones. Blacks, navy blues, bold reds and hot pinks will spice you up, Winter. Join the Anne Hathaway, Jada Pinkett, and Lucy Liu cohort.

Nothing looks wintery about these ladies...they all look breathtaking

You know that you’re Spring when
A balmy warm tone. Subtle golden undertones that compliment creamy white or peach skin. Think very light and ivory type skin. Natural blondes, auburns or strawberry blondes fit this type (so do freckles, rosy cheeks, pale eyes). You’ll look and feel like a spring chicken in clear and yellow-based pastels. Soft peaches, golden yellows/browns, aquas, corals, and bright greens, will bring out those beautiful pale eyes. Join the ranks of Charlize Theron and Heidi Klum.

Charlize can even pull off gold skin!

You know that you’re Summer when
Another cool tone (real surprise). Skin tends to be very pale and pink. Think natural blondes (or pale brunettes with light eyes). Feel as sunny as the sunshine in muted and blue undertones. Dusky pinks, lavender, plum and pale yellows will brighten you up in no time.  You’re in with Jessica Biel, Jen Garner and Rihanna.

All of these lovely ladies did their color analysis homework!

You know that you’re Autumn when
A warm tone with peach, golden beige or golden brown. Often times, redheads and brunettes, with golden brown eyes will be Autumn. Men will fall head-over-heels for ya in deeper and muted yellow-based undertones. Beige, olive, oranges, gold and dark browns (very Mediterranean feel) will make you look like a brand new you; fall is all about transformation, ladies. You’re autumn sistahs include Kristin Kreuk, Jessica Alba, Aishwarya Rai and Jennifer Lopez.

WOW!

Always, remember, ladies that you’re best accessory will always be your confidence. Smile and own it🙂

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | January 24, 2011

I Have A Dream In Fashion

With MLK’s legacy swirling in my brain, I got to thinking about how this great man’s vision for equality – applied to fashion. How far has the world of fashion come in promoting diversity? Sure it’s à la mode to talk about diversity (especially with Obama in The White House); sometimes, though, it feels similar to throwing around the word “green” just because. First, there was all of the hype surrounding the All-Black Italian Vogue issue (that stemmed from 1) Obama and 2) lack of diversity on runways according to photographer Steven Meisel).

Don't these ladies look GORGEOUS?

Yes, I was pretty excited to pick it up because the new/different is always intriguing (by the by, what’s up with this new trend of throwing colors around, e.g. green, black?). And while all the ladies look stunning, it’s disappointing to see talented and beautiful women pigeonholed, i.e. limited. And if anyone thinks that (the social construct that we call) race is done and over with – think again! I don’t think the public would’ve reacted the way they did over Gabourey Sidibe’s skin lightening on the cover of ELLE or Kobe Bryant’s skin darkening for his L.A. Times Magazine  fashion shoot; some have even suggested that Bryant’s shoot is reminiscent of blackface.

He's darker, she's lighter...so confusing and trivial!

If race wasn’t a big deal anymore, then this lightening/darkening wouldn’t even be an issue. But, hey, then there are Lara Stone’s French Vogue photographs and Tyra Banks’ top models unabashedly in blackface. It’s kind of funny and ironic when you think about this pervasive use of blackface and yet some feel that black models aren’t marketable enough? So, dear readers, how far has the world of fashion come in promoting diversity?  And does anyone feel uncomfortable about blackface in photoshoots now, or are we cool with saying it’s just artistic?  Maybe the more we make a big deal out of it the more the chasm seems to spread?  So many questions. 

Blackface then and now

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | January 20, 2011

Stop the Fashion Crimes Already-Wardrobing

It’s crime stoppers month…dun dun dun! First the fakes, now wardrobing! Tags still in place, a customer buys, wears and returns; worse still, there are even serial wardrobers.Kim Kardashian has even admitted to being a wardrobing offender. Alas, Kim is not alone; a survey conducted by OnePoll found that 28% of women surveyed admitted to wardrobing merely for the thrill.

I doubt Vanessa Hudgens needs to wardrobe...imagine if she did it for the thrill, though?

Come on now, that’s just tacky.  Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in December 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.4…better but still no bueno. It’s one thing to buy something you fell in love with only to discover its defective later. But to go into Prada knowing full well you cannot afford something and getting it anyway is sheer sin. A National Retail Federation spokesperson claimed that retail return fraud had surpassed $16 billion in annual losses, in 2007 . Feels like stealing, eh? I know that this doesn’t seem like a big deal to many, i.e. so what?

So…retailers lose lots (talk about sticking it to the big man). So…countless employees have to do the tedious logistics work that goes into your return. A retailer might sell the item and Jane Doe gets your second-hands. A retailer can’t resell the item at full price and might even resort to sending it away or destroying it. Your fellow consumers pay the price for your actions. Luxury goes further down the tube. Karma will be a B and retailers will develop suffocating return policies that the day you need to legitimately return something you will have to move heaven and earth.

There is a program where companies can single out their worst wardrobing offenders (sounds creepy right) and temporarily forbid them from returning. Guess, Express, Sports Authority, Staples and KB Toys are already using it. By the by, some stores have raised their inspecting practices on returned items right in front of you (and other customers), i.e. checking the crotch area for wrinkles, looking for deodorant signs, smelling it for perfume, etc. If you don’t want your wonderful Nordstrom customer service to join the bandwagon, then stop the wardrobing. Although I have to tell you, even Nordstrom is getting more particular about returns. So if you seriously need to return, keep your receipt, keep the items in good condition and please don’t wardrobe, it’s like telling a white lie, it’s still a lie.

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | January 19, 2011

How to Dress for Travel and the Airport Strip Routine

Wow, the holidays are finally over!  Happy New Year everyone!  So with the holidays there’s always holiday travel and whether you went to your mother’s house or Australia for a quick getaway, you must avoid the increasing fashion faux pas that I see during travel. You are so tired, run-down, listless, etc., that the least of your worries is how you look. Plus, the economy section in most aircrafts is so uncomfortable and often chilly. I once saw a woman bundled up in a Snuggie and I was almost jealous (then I realized I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that in public). Ladies, save the Snuggie for lounging around (and never let your S.O. see you in this get-up, por favor).  While you don’t necessarily need to look like a model on a runway while (yes, this is also a fashion faux pas as is looking like a Hootchie on the weekend LA-Vegas commuter flight), why not channel your inner M.O.D.?

M.O.D. necessities!

Ladies, I understand that those latest security screenings can leave many of us feeling less glamorous, but safety first. I’m Colombian so suffice it to say that I’m accustomed to stringent security standards.  And I do remember a particular funny brisking at Miami International when a TSA officer literally had to feel the underwire to my bra which set off the metal detector while an entire Brazilian family laughed their backsides off,  pointing and saying “it’s her brassiere!”  Yes, I know it’s my bra, I’m the one being felt up, thank you very much.  Despite this amusing story, a true fashionista looks like one 24/7 on a bird or on a plane or being groped by a TSA agent!

Layer
Layer to your heart’s content!   Sure, it might seem like a drag to have to take them off at the security checkpoint, but I have a trick for that.  Put all the layers you can do without in your bag or carry-on before heading to security.   After the point where you are literally being undressed by some screening device, put all your layers back on.

Tracksuit
It’s definitely an upgrade from the sweats and sweatshirt combo. Designers like Gucci have casual chic and form-fitting styles.   And just as a favor to me, can we please avoid the (usually pink) Victoria’s Secret suit?! And the Juicy Couture velour outfits.

Tracksuit Hall of Shame...maybe tweens can get away with this!

Yeah, some may have liked them almost a decade ago but times have changed.  We can all do without “SEXY” splattered across someone’s derriere.  Unless you want to be labeled a Cougar that needs some attention that is, then fair game.

Accessories
Fashionistas covet and leverage accessories like Spencer and Heidi crave a real life.  Airports and airplanes are not fashion-free-anything-goes zones.  So while your outfit needs to be comfortable it can also be chic and you can accomplish this with accessories.  After all they add that certain polish, and it’s a step (if not a jump) ahead of all of your Snuggied-sweatpant-wearing sisters.

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | December 30, 2010

Say Goodbye to these 2010 Fashions Duds- Hello, 2011 Studs

2011 will be the year to decide if you are in or out of fashion (ha, I sound like Iman from The Fashion Show)!

In
Cotton shirts with stripes. From thick to skinny, horizontal to vertical, nautical inspired stripes are hot. Along this shirt theme, the androgynous look is totally in. One needs to solely look at Viktor and Rolf’s shows to see this; boy really does meet girl in 2011. One of my fave designers, Anne Fontaine, has captured the essence of androgyny with touches of femininity very nicely in 2011.

Anne Fontaine makes androgyny look partly Parisian design and partly Parisian fit...it's hard to go wrong

Mind you, if you’ve a shape like mine, androgynous usually only happens if I’m wearing a trash bag (or Anne Fontaine), so as with all trends, wear with care and remember that not all fashion trends were created for all women.  Remember when leggings first came back?  If I saw one more girl looking like Batman stuffed into a pair of leggings…Beware.  A sure fire chic way to accomplish the androgynous look-long trousers, like the ones from the Chloe Collection. DKNY also has some fabulous trousers that are so comfortable you can  work for hours without ever thinking you’re in business attire.  While military is still hot, I think some bad-ass biker babe looks are going to be refreshing. If that’s too tough for your taste, consider the sheer maxi dress. Yes, the maxis that were great during summer stay. While this dress might be hard to pull off (c’mon, you’d probably need to do squats for a year, or two), there are some more forgiving ones, i.e. sheer with more coverage. If you want a  feminine touch, colors are back-tangerine, turquoise coral and fuchsia. Marc Jacobs really brought this vibrant colors to life with his Asian luxury inspired looks (another great trend for 2011). But if you have to stay neutral, consider white; you can still look à la mode (in white especially) with touches of neon, like Burberry Prorsum‘s looks. The midi and the 1950s/60s fashions stay too. With the comeback of cat-eye sunglasses need I say more. Actually, I do.  If you are looking for gorgeous frames at outrageous price, get ye to Kate Spade.  Yep, Kate makes glasses, woot, woot! Other skirt alternatives are real long or ankle length skirts. I’m going on the record now that this reminds me of the 1980’s Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club and frankly long skirts are just not that flattering to most anyone. Now, 1970s glamour, like Salvatore Ferragamo’s collections, I’m digging on.

With Fendi and Ferragamo...strut your stuff like you're the star of "Saturday Night Fever"

These great skirts will look great coupled with kitten heels; this way you can still look purrfect without roaring pain.  From kittens to Vuitton’s zebra, animals are taking over. Don’t forget the leopard either!

Marc Jacobs knows how to bring out your inner animal

Out
All the mini’s from minimalism to the miniskirt; this year is about extravaganza. The military trend goes on a covert mission. 2011 will be no longer be the year of the hoochie-mama. While some might say that lingerie as outerwear is in, I disagree. Except for lace, I say reverting back to Mad Men classy is a good thing! Ladies, take advantage of the midi, long skirts, colors, classic glamour and pure white, and save your goodies in 2011. Velvet is gone.  Sheer clothing (with the exception of the maxi) is no more. And while black will never be out, it’s going on a mini-vacay in 2011!

Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | December 13, 2010

Dressing for the Holidays 2010

Ah, the holidays are here! And while I love them all, one just hits you after the other (along with their respective shindigs). At this pace, don’t be surprised if you ask yourself, “Whatever will I wear?” No worries, with these tips you will go from work, to holiday office party to fun with friends in a flash. If Santa can do ALL that in one night, this will be a cinch. Fashionista honor!

Work:

Anything that can cover you up! Vests, scarves and cardigans are great ways of saving your goodies for later. Not sure if it’s the South American in me, but I’m a big fan of scarves. They just add that little extra chic. And with the exception of some body shapes, almost everyone can carry them off with pizzazz. Plus, they dress up biz-casual very nicely. GAP has some holiday appropriate sequin and faux fur vests that will put you in the holiday mood. If vests aren’t your thing, then you might like GAP’s cable cardigan. Minimal jewelry and accessories too. No need for exaggerated heels either. If your job permits, wear flats. Yes, love or hate them heels are here to stay, but your poor feet need a break too. If you insist, wear kitten heels.

Holiday Office Party:

Take some risks and drop the cover-ups. You must be sick of me saying this but you just can’t go wrong with the perfect little black dress – add a pair of snazzy heels or booties and you are one chic professionalista. If you have bling, time to show it off. While I am not the biggest chocolate fan, I’d make an exception for Le Vian’s chocolate diamonds.

I can't say I'd mind being covered in these chocolate diamonds...YUM

And if bling isn’t in your price range or taste, consider new and cost-conscious lines like Modeux by Claudia Endler. Her silver round bead on chain necklace is so classy yet professional!

Look twice à la mode with MODEUX by Claudia Endler

Top the look off with a great clutch, like the gorgeous ones from Adriana Castro, and be prepared to be the envy of your office.

While these lovely ladies have gone through their public splits (both related to texts too...GASP), Kim and Eva seem pretty committed to Adriana Castro

Personal Holiday Appropriate:

Time to vamp it up! Slip into some funky tights. DKNY has some fun and youthful tights that are sure to bring out your inner Gossip Girl; while floral tights might be 2009, DKNY is as timeless as they come, in my book. Lace inspired heels (see Dolce & Gabbana’s gorgeous satin mary jane) or a sexy peep to shoe, check out Lanvin’s ‘Puzzle’ wedge for instance and you are on your way to a sexy holiday season.

It shouldn't be too hard to figure out that these 'Puzzle' wedges can be the final piece to complete your look

Add some sex appeal with black leather, elbow-length Ports 1961 or red Givenchy gloves. If gloves are too dramatic for your taste, consider layering chunky bracelets and/or cuffs.

From Cartier to Claudia Endler...I love layering thick and chunky, chunky cuffs and bracelets

And if you are digging on the vests this season, throw on a statement worthy vest, like this one from Line, a sexy sequined tank, dark tights, short skirts, booties and hello holiday party!

Use these Chanel looks for inspiration...not imitation!

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