Monday, September 28, 2009

Dress Pants

Next up, in our Swiss Army Knife of fashion, is the dress pant. Every woman should have one pair of dress pants that fits her like a dream. This is one piece, along with a great pair of jeans, that might take awhile to find and will definitely be worth spending the time shopping for.

A great fitting pair of dress pants can give you that extra boost of confidence in a job interview or first day on the new job, but they aren't just for business women. With a pretty blouse and some great heels, a pair of dress pants can fill in nicely for a day dress or the little black dress at a bridal shower, meeting his family for the first time, or hosting a women's event.

Dress pants don't necessary need to be black, brown or gray will work just as well. It just depends on what colors you are drawn to and what to build your wardrobe around.

No matter what your lifestyle a neutral color pair of dress pants NEEDS to be in your closet!

Forget diamonds, the right pair of pants are a woman's best friend. Well, maybe not! But they sure are a close second.

Day Dress

Up next is the Day Dress. Every woman needs to have a day dress in her fashion toolbox. This is the dress you'll turn to for the last minute baby/bridal shower, casual date night, dressy birthday get the picture . If you buy the right dress, it will be versatile enough to take you from summer to winter and still look seasonally appropriate AND best of all you won't get bored with it because you'll be able to accessorize it to completely change your look.

Eliminate that last minute rush out to the store "to find something to wear" by already having something great in your closet. So, again, take a moment or two to think about your lifestyle and what type of events you typically attend in any given year. What is the dress that you you always wish would just appear in your closet magically the night before an event? These are the things to keep in mind when hunting for all of your foundation pieces because these are the pieces that will fill in the gaps and make your wardrobe wearable again and again.

The following are a few examples of dresses that would look great in the summer with a pair of pretty sandles and light weight cardigan or denim jacket depending on the occasion. In the winter all you have to do is add a pair of tights and whatever boots/shoes are in season with a cardigan.

The last few have a subtle, neutral palette. Some women love pattern and that's great but for that "go to" dress, look for something more reserved so that you can get more wears out of it. Dress it up with a brightly colored belt or other accessories. The great thing about a dress like this really is it's multifunctionality; buy a dress that fits you well, you will get years of use out it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Little Black Dress

The right foundation pieces in your wardrobe combine to form your own personal "Swiss Army Knife" of fashion. No matter what life throws at you, you will never be caught without the right "tool" for the situation. One of the best items any woman can have in her wardrobe toolbelt, is that proverbial "little black dress" or LBD.

The right LBD can take you from work Christmas party, to night on the town with your significant other, to any other social situation that calls for that little something extra.
Don't wait until the week before your event and then go running out to the mall to try and find something that fits. Who needs that kind of stress?! Take a couple minutes and think about what is realistic for you. What is your body type? What is your budget? What is your life like? The lower your budget, the longer you will need to look for something that is perfect for you.

It may seem overwhelming at first but look for
something that makes you feel pretty but isn't over embellished. You'll want to wear it over and over, so it should be something that can be worn with different types of jewelry and accessories. It would also be wise to stay away from satin - it wrinkles easily and may look too formal for most situations.

A great basic shape is a sheath or tank dress. It can transition easily from day to evening with a quick change of accessories. Change your shoes, trade out a blazer or cardigan for a pretty shawl, refresh your make up and you're ready for a night out!

If you are a pear shaped lady an a-line silhouette will look fabulous on you.

If you already have the basic sheath/tank dress and are looking for something else to add your fashion arsenal, look for something with a little more embellishing, a more playful cut or a more formal fabric (satin or lace).

Another great option is the wrap dress. It hides a multitude of flaws while giving an instantly pulled together look.
What happens if you find your perfect dress but there's something about it you don't like? The hem is too long or you don't like the neckline (it's too low cut). Don't be afraid to take it to a tailor and have him alter it to fit you. A pretty lace insert or a pretty camisole can remedy a low neckline and a hem is an easy fix. Remember that you are building a foundation that is going to last you for awhile so getting something you love will pay off in the end!

(These dresses can be found at but Renewed Expressions has great designers in stock all the time and our staff loves helping you find that perfect garment!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs

Have you ever looked in your closet and thought "ugh! I have nothing to wear!" or "I need to update my wardrobe but where to start?!"

Every woman has wardrobe dilemmas at some point in their lifetime but Tim Gunn of Lifetime's Project Runway and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style has come up with a list of "10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs" to help solve this basic problem.

It consists of:
  • Basic black dress
  • Trench coat
  • Classic dress pants
  • Classic white shirt
  • Skirt
  • Blazer
  • Day dress
  • Cashmere sweater
  • Jeans
  • A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit

At first the list seems a little basic and boring. Spending the time to buy each of these items in a size that fits and flatters you will be worth the effort. Purchase high enough quality to last several years and then sprinkle it with some more fun, trendy pieces and you will end up with a wardrobe that looks fun and polished.

Over the next several weeks we'll take a look at each of these and how they might be useful for you no matter what your lifestyle and explore different options for taking the basic and making it match your personality and body type. We've already touched on trench coats...up next! The little black dress!

When looking for the basics, consignment stores are a great place to start. Renewed Expressions tags our quality items at about 35% of retail.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trench Coats!

Every woman needs a light coat or jacket for those brisk fall days ahead. While the "it" jacket of the season comes and goes, a trench coat is a classic piece, that if chosen right can last you for years. It's so versatile, transitioning from an afternoon at your child's football game, with a pretty scarf, jeans and a tee; to giving you that extra bit of sophistication when heading to the office Monday morning.

There are so many great options out there that can truly suit every personality and body type. From belted to unbelted, classically clean lined to more soft and feminine there is a trench coat out there for you.

fall trench...