The Little Black Dress

Happy Tuesday fashion-lovers,

I am thrilled to be writing a blog on another oh-so-cozy, stay-in-the-house, snowy day. First of all, I have some exciting news! I have been chosen as a finalist to be the new Style Setter for the North Shore Mall in Peabody, MA! This is an amazing opportunity to take my fashion blog to the next level. I will have a larger audience, and will be shopping, blogging and attending exclusive fashion events for North Shore Mall in order to bring YOU the latest and greatest in fashion trends. I’m asking all of my readers to vote for me to be the next Style Setter here:

simonstylesetterlogo

A big thank you to the many friends and family who have voted already! I’m so grateful to be surrounded with so many wonderful supporters.

Next, I would like to turn to a subject that is very close to my heart – the little black dress. Since I grew up in a family of tailors and seamstresses, I am predisposed to be a fashionista, and nothing screams “I love fashion” more than having one (or ten, but who’s counting)  little black dresses in the closet to dress up in oh-so-many ways!

The little black dress (also known as LBD) has been around since the 1920’s, and was made famous by Coco Chanel, and American Vogue. Vogue famously said “that the LBD would become ‘a sort of uniform for all women of taste.'” This was a beautiful prediction. The LBD was intended to be versatile and long-lasting; an essential piece in every women’s wardrobe.

Illustrator Unknown, American Vogue, 1926

Illustrator Unknown, American Vogue, 1926

Depending on the occasion, the LBD can be dressed up or dressed down. The LDB comes in so many shapes and styles, there is one out there to flatter every figure. My favorite LBD lately has been a combination sheath/shift dress. My gorgeous LBD has a slimming, tapered waist and an a-line ballerina skirt. I found it at none-other than Every Occasion Boutique, Salem, MA. I wear this LBD everywhere – work, out with the girls and casually on a summer night. Here are a few ways I have worn this particular dress:

2013 03 19 Little Black Dress

Here are some tips on how to purchase the perfect LBD for you:

1. Find a shape that flatters you. Will you choose a sheath or shift dress? Sheath dresses are great for showing off a figure; flaunt it if you’ve got it! A shift dress is perfect if you are trying to flatter your midsection, and/or thighs.
2. Choose a style LBD that is not too short. The LBD is meant to be classy. Purchase an LBD that even Coco Chanel herself would approve of and you will surely turn some heads! Fact: Mademoiselle Chanel hated minis, saying that women were showing off their “meat.”
3. Look for a style that is not too “trendy.” The LBD is meant to last you for years; choose an LBD that you can keep in your closet for at least a few seasons.

I love my little black dress, each time I wear it I feel like a million bucks, and get complimented on it all the time. The truth is, fashion does not have to be about expensive labels. It is about you finding something you love that will work for you over and over again. A flattering LBD is the perfect way to do this!

Yours in style & flattery,
Tara

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Ideas to Freshen-Up Winter

Hello my little snow bunnies,

Yes, I know – it’s still winter, and we are still sloshing around and wondering “when do we get to see the sun again?” Don’t fret, spring is RIGHT around the corner! While we are waiting out another Mother-Nature-tantrum, I thought I would share some of the things I’ve recently done that have picked me up out of my winter duldrums.

I will start by saying how gorgeous Charlize Theron’s hair was at the Oscar’s. She looked so FRESH and BRIGHT.

Photo courtesy of JustJared.com

Photo courtesy of JustJared.com

My crazy brain actually thought “how would I look with short hair like Charlize,” and when I proposed the idea to my beautiful and talented stylist, Kim Burke at En Vogue Salon in Danvers, she just gave me the stare that only she can give me that says “no, Tara, I don’t think so.” So I told her to work her magic –  I wanted something short and “fresh” as I was feeling a little weighed down. And what a difference! Kim has been my hair stylist for years, and I have ALWAYS been happy. Thanks, Kim!

Before and afer hair

The next thing I did to freshen up my winter look is eye lash extensions. I’ve wanted to try these for about a year now, and I finally did it! Kim Bowen, Master Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and owner of To Make Beautiful in Stoneham, applied my lash extensions and I am AMAZED! They brighten up my face so much that all I really need is a swipe of black eyeliner, face powder and some lipstick. My winter makeup regimen usually consists of A LOT more than that, so I am thrilled.

2013 03 07 Before and after lash extensions

The lash extensions took about 2 hours for Kim to apply, but BONUS RELAXATION TIME, I fell asleep while Kim was applying them! The lashes last about 2-3 weeks, and then I will need a fill, which takes about an hour. Kim at To Make Beautiful also does bridal makeup, reiki, skincare and hair removal, and teaches spin classes on the side at Atlantis Sports Club & Spa in Danvers! Is there anything this woman can’t do? You rock, Kim!

One of my favorite things to do, no matter what time of year, is have my makeup done. I’ve had a few events over these past winter months and my go-to makeup artist/friend, Virginia Franklin, kicks butt! She works for MAC (my faaaaaavorite) at Nordstrom, North Shore Mall, but also has her own business Bridal Beauty and Event Makeup by Virginia Frankin. I am completely obsessed with the way she is able to “paint my face” (as Virginia likes to call it), and completely transform my skin and eyes from dull to radiant with some sweeps of her brush! I know I use the word “amazing” a lot, but she truly is!

2013 03 07 Makeup

These are just a few things that made me feel like a girl this winter, and helped to really freshen me up and get me ready for SPRING!!!

Your in style & flattery,

Tara