By Request: Winter Hats

Winter is a great time for hats. Apart from doing quite a bit to keep your entire body warm, hats are an under-used fashion tool.

It's important to understand the different types of hats, how and where to wear them, and some general hat etiquette. I will tackle the first issue in this post.

I will start with a classic. The Beret.

Lauren Bacall in "The Big Sleep"

Traditionally made out of felted wool, they can also be woven, knitted or crocheted. Berets can be worn in a number of ways.

Pretty much Beret 101.

I like the look of a felted beret on top of the head and pushed slightly to the side. It's jaunty and has attitude. Be careful, this can look costume-y so be sure you wear it with Confidence.

Adorable with long, loose curls

Personally, I wear my berets in a style similar to the photo above. I pull it straight down onto my head and then push the fabric backwards and slightly to the side. This way, it functions as keeping ma tete warm, while adding style.

Next, is the cloche.

Clara Bow doing it Right

In French, cloche means 'bell', and the shape of this hat should tell you why. Cloches are a structured hat that are usually made out of felted wool or other sturdy materials.

There are a few ways to wear a cloche, but the most traditional is pulled all the way down and covering the ears. See Miss Bow above.

Tao Okamoto

This cloche still retains its bell-shaped crown, but she has pulled it down in front over her forehead, leaving her ears bare.

Continuing on, we have the fedora.

Kate Moss mixing cranberry and grey

Again, these are typically made of felted wool, but can come in a variety of materials, including straw. Fedoras have wide brims, a crease at the crown and is often pinched in the front. What we typically see worn today (ad nauseum), is actually called a trilby.

Note the difference in brim size between Emma Watson's trilby and Kate's fedora.

Trilbies have smaller brims. Note that all trilbies are fedoras, but not all fedoras are trilbies. Got it?

Zara Phillips wearing a classic fedora. Note the wide brim and pinches.

While we're at it, can I please just send out an S.O.S. to stop wearing these:

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz
They are over. They have been run into the ground and there is now no unique or ironic way to wear them. Pick different colors and go with a wider brim. Please? Just for a while.

Oooh look, these are fun: Trapper hats

Marge Gunderson works it in Fargo
Originally used by hunters and well, trappers, these hats are usually made of canvas, flannel, or a water-repellent material and lined with fur. Note the distinctive flaps over the ears. These can be tied under the chin or tied on top of the head.

Faux-fur lined trapper

These hats are ideal if you live in cold climates. And I mean cold. Please don't wear these if you live in temperate or sub-tropic regions. You'll look like this:

Ashley Tisdale
A Fool. Does she need the hat to keep her arm while she drinks that iced coffee??

Next up is the beanie!

Taylor Swift and her sunny yellow beanie
Beanie hats have typically been very tight to the head and worn by skiers and the like. Now, they come in slouchy varieties and guys are using them to cover up their bad hair days. Excellent!

I really love a beanie. They are perfect for winter in more temperate climes.

Sandra Bullock keeps warm
Just be careful that you don't end up looking like a bum in this hat as it's slouchy nature can look a little unkempt.

My personal winter hat inspiration?
Freda Gustavsson

Buy yourself some winter hats here:

urban outfitters
john lewis
village hat shop

Aubergine Dream and A Well-Tailored Coat

 Often, women go overboard with holiday-themed sweaters a la Mark Darcy

Green, gold and cherry red are all lovely colors but can come off as a bit too 'on-the-nose' and wind up looking simply comical.

But Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge earns top marks for her gorgeous Christmas morning ensemble.

Color correct: Her coat is aubergine and her hat is cranberry.

She looks festive (what's more festive than cranberries?), regal, comfortable, demure, and (most importantly) warm.

I love that the hat and coat do not match. They coordinate. They are the same tones of two similar colors. The hat is a warm hue made in a soft velvet, bot of which serve to warm and soften her complexion. And she wears matching gloves. *swoon*

Her coat is perfectly tailored. Note the shoulders: draw an imaginary straight line from the widest part of her upper arm. If the shoulder seam falls on that line, the shoulders fit. If the seam hangs over, it's too big. If the shoulder sticks out from under the seam, it's too small. Remember: shoulder pads are your friend.

I really don't love her heavy eyeliner. I know I've said it before, but it ages her and I don't feel she needs it. Having said that, it's clear that she likes it and clearly so does Will. That's good enough for me.

P.S. I will love forever the person that finds me a picture of the back of this hat.

EDIT: the lovely jeanettic found some more great profile shots of the hat and coat, as well as Kate's lovely pair of Mascaro suede shoes.

 By the way, this hat is a modified trilby (essentially a fedora without the pinches).


Merry Christmas

I give you the gift of highlights from the Spring/Summer 2012 shoe collections.

Prada Cut-Out Toe Pump

Bottega Veneta Asymmetric d'Orsay Skimmer

B Brian Atwood Leaf Covered Sandal

Jimmy Choo Piped Suede Pump

Lanvin Zig-Zag Heel Sandal

Lanvin Lizard-Printed T-Strap Wedge Sandal

Miu Miu Suede Wedge

Giuseppe Zanotti Metal-Plate T-Strap Wedge Sandal

Christian Louboutin "Creve Coeur"

Christian Louboutin "Serena" Lace-up Pump

Valentino Rockstud Wedge

Stella McCartney Low Acrylic Heel Sandal

Brian Atwood "Silly String" Ankle Boot

Fendi Swirl Cutout Colorblock Sandal
Giuseppe Zanotti "Fishnet"


Scarves for Men Are Also Scarves for Women

I really like scarves. A lot.

A well-rounded scarf collection can make any wardrobe incredibly diverse. I wear scarves like pieces of Flair.

Of course, I deeply love a classic silk scarf, but I am also quite fond of men's scarves.

Men's scarves vary slightly from those for women. Traditionally, theirs are thinner and shorter and are designed to be worn with a blaze or tuxedo jacket.

They can be worn like ascots

Ashton Kutcher wearing a low ascot

 This style works for people with long necks. If you carry weight in your chin, I would avoid this look.

Laid over tuxedo jackets
Aspinal of London

Knotted around the neck and under the collar

Brad Pitt in Cannes

Or, tucked under the lapels of a jacket

Peter Facinelli

This is how I tackled the look

This is an Olive Drab-colored wool scarf from Russia. Because it's so warm and, since I wanted to look a bit more feminine, I chose to wear it over a dress instead of a button-down. I folded it in half length-wise (I think in Kindergarten we called this 'hot dog style') a draped it over my neck. I then put my blazer on top, taking care to allow the scarf to stick out an inch or two above the lapels.

I let the ends hang loose below the stance of the jacket. This is totally acceptable but you are certainly able to tuck the ends underneath the blazer, or use the scarf with a jacket that has more buttons. Men's scarves should not be tucked in to your waistband as a general rule, but whatever floats your style boat. This look also works with a shorter woman's scarf as long as it is rectangle-shaped or folded to be so.

Paula's Choice Sale

It's a 20-50% off sale at Paula's Choice! One of my favorite things about her line is that she always has some sort of sale going and very often offers free shipping on all of her orders.

Here's what I picked up:

Lip and Body Treatment Balm. I've gone through two of these in as many months, and I will tell you that my severe dry hands have improved drastically. Before, I could have weeks of completely lovely hands, but I was using heavy-duty steroid creams that made my skin horribly thin. This balm does not work quite as fast as the steroids, and I have a bit of patchy dryness, but It has worked absolute wonders. I wish it came in larger tubs.

Cuticle & Nail Treatment. I have not tried this guy before, but I'm planning on taking it to work and alternating between this and the balm.

Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. In your hand this looks like thick canola oil. On your face it is smooth and soothing and literally soaks into your skin within minutes. I wear it under my makeup and at night.

Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer. For my mom. This has an SPF of 25, which is fabulous, and it also contains titanium dioxide which protects against UVB rays.  Delivers protection with the punch of antioxidants.


Don't Be a Paleist

Today, I noted to an acquaintance that she was looking particularly tan after her Thanksgiving vacation. She beamed at me and said that her son told her she should stay tan because it 'makes you look healthy'.

You know that moment in TV crime dramas when the camera pans over a destroyed apartment, past broken picture frames and an overturned potted plant, finally coming to rest on a scantily clad young woman smeared in blood? You know how your first thought is "Oh holy cow, that chick's dead! This'll be a good one!"? Well, you knew she was dead and not just unconscious because the Makeup Department had spent two hours perfecting her gray, lifeless pallor.

Pale does not equal Dead, so why does Tan seem to equal Healthy?

Check out Nicola Roberts:

Tan, but her skin looks dull. And orange.

Pale. Skin is not dull, but luminous. Also, not orange.

I do think that her tan makes her gorgeous eyes stand out, but it also looks as if she bathed in a tub of iodine. Her skin looks lifeless to me. And orange. Very, very orange. In interviews, Nicola said that she used both tanning beds and self-tanner to get a 'bronzed' look. She has also said that she regrets this phase of tanning as she now realizes the damage she has done to her skin. She has Embraced her Pale and looks lovely.

Tanning is not healthy. This is irrefutable and I guarantee that no doctor would claim that UVR (ultraviolet radiation encompassing UVA and UVB rays) is beneficial to the health of human skin. Is it a great source of Vitamin D? Absolutely, but so is fish.

I resent the implication that I am not, nor do I look, healthy simply because my skin is pale. This kind of thinking is dangerous.

There is no healthy tan. The women who are willingly giving themselves wrinkles, thickened skin, and age spots have skewed perceptions of beauty and the very real risks to which they subject themselves.

My pale skin should look healthy, because it is.


Christmas Wish List

Elizabeth & James "Eclipse" Necklace

Elizabeth & James "Eclipse" Earrings

Botkier "Evans" Continental Wallet

ModCloth Plaid Skirt

John Lewis 60 Denier Tights

John Lewis Barely There Non-Slip Pantyhose

John Lewis Animal Print Scarf

MaxMara Dress

L.K. Bennett Flats

L.K. Bennett "Sledge 2" Pumps

Anthropologie Turquoise Heels

Anthropologie Wedges

Anthropologie "Embrace" Earrings

Anthropologie "Aolani" Hoops

John Lewis Scarf

ModCloth Cobalt Dress

ModCloth Suede Booties

ModCloth Wedges

ModCloth Messenger Bag

Skagen Watch

Botkier Top Handle Bag