Easy Breezy Weekend Look

1902747_10152402731494282_4892868018229923191_n

Last week, with the help of Nicole Seu of studio 3511 photography, we shot a couple of summer looks for the next issue of Go Kailua Magazine. We shopped around the best Kailua Boutiques for pieces to create this easy breezy weekend look. This is one take I captured with my iphone camera. Will be posting more shots later this week.

Teresa wears a Bobi tunic and Go Love necklace from Olive Boutique, Fighting Eel knit striped pants, Linea Pelle convertible turquoise clutch also from Fighting Eel, Debra Mack bracelets and earrings, and Satya ring both from Lily Lotus, Haviana slippers from Brazilian Show Room. All located in charming Kailua town.

hanging in sun

Ask a Stylist: Your Questions Answered

Issue #1. Now on Thursdays you can expect answers to your burning style questions. Want help from an expert? Send your fashion conundrums my way!

Q: When do you actually have to listen to “dry clean only” labels, and when can you ignore them and home wash instead?  Courtney in Seattle.

A: Dear Courtney, excellent question. So many brands put the dreaded “dry clean only” label on clothes just because they don’t want to be at fault if something happens in the wash. You really want to be aware of fabrics that shrink when exposed to water. That’s why dry cleaning works, it’s “washed” in a solution that doesn’t contain water. Dry cleaning clothes is mostly bad for the planet using harsh chemicals that are also bad for you and your garment.

I try to avoid dry cleaning everything I can, but not everything can be gently washed and line dried. Most Rayon, Tencel, Viscose, polyester, cotton, wool, and linen is OK to wash.  Silks, mixed wovens or knits are where it can be tricky. Silk Chiffon cannot be washed. If a fabric contains say 30% silk 30% linen 30% cotton and 10% rayon, all of these separate materials shrink up at different rates in water, so sometimes you end up with a warbled item that doesn’t lie flat, or the seams aren’t lying where they are supposed to. If you can test a small corner  in water, try that. I prefer washing my whites, otherwise they come back looking a little dingy in my experience. And if I have a stain, OxyClean is my miracle soaking solution. Anything with intricate lining or structure, like jackets and suiting are best cleaned by a professional. But sometimes wool slacks are ok to be washed.

Knits are usually OK as long as they aren’t silk. I love DVF silk knit dresses. I might have them professionally cleaned for the first 5 wears, then I’ll try a gentle wash. As long as the colors don’t run, you’re ok. But the problem is you don’t know if the colors will run. The nice silk sheen is usually gone, but sometimes that’s ok. In my experience a lot of knits that call for “dry cleaning only” are fine in the wash. Just protect each garment from each other, wash in cold water, super gentle cycle, and line dry. Good Luck!

Q: How do i downplay broad shoulders? is that an obnoxious question? i feel like delicate feminine things always look silly on my linebacker shoulders. Liz in New York.

A: Dear Liz, I seriously doubt your shoulders resemble a line-backer, but there are several ways to appear less broad and more feminine. First off you want to choose clothing that doesn’t accentuate your shoulders. Just how do you do that?

  • Create volume on the bottom to even out the width up top, creating the hourglass illusion.
  • Draw the eye down with a light colored bottom and a dark top.
  • The same illusion can be created with a full skirt and a slim top.
  • Avoid high neck and narrow neck tops. Spaghetti straps also accentuate broadness and should be avoided.
  • Halter tops can be very flattering and accentuate your gorgeous shoulders as long as it also has an open V-neck.
  • And stay far far away from anything that adds width like cap sleeves, or details on the shoulders like embellishments or lace.
  • Strapless tops look surprising great because it mimics the line of your shoulders, and like an equals (=) sign, parallel lines cancel each other out, eliminating emphasis. Emphasizing cleavage helps too.
  • V-neck and U-neck tops are best. Creating a V with the eye using a long necklace also works.
  • Stay away from boat-necks and wide necklines, as they only accentuate. So do turtle-necks, and anything with a high neck.
  • Also avoid tops and jackets with seams above the bust-line, adding width.
  • Look for tops with rounded shoulders. Raglan and dolman sleeves soften without adding bulk. Just make sure a dolman cut top or dress isn’t also bulky.

I hope you learn to love your shoulders with a few of these styling tricks!

What to Wear:

What to Avoid: 

Want more? Post your feedback in the comments section.

white ls top

Elevate Your Wardrobe: 10 Seasonless Essentials

Every wardrobe is a unique selection. Depending on when the last time you shopped for yourself, there may be more missing than present from my list in your current closet. With every change of season I like to evaluate what I’ve got hanging and stuffed away in drawers.

No matter what season we’re going into (HELLO Spring) I find that these ten essentials are always in heavy rotation. Make your wardrobe work for you. Adding these may not eliminate the dreaded “what will I wear today” conundrum, but by filling in the gaps you’ll have more options to wear your potentially random favorites.

  1. Slim Cropped Pants. Endlessly versatile. Pair them with a simple top or chic tunic. I own several in a neutral palate and in fun prints. The best part is they look great with sandals, pointy flats, wedges and even pumps. No need to worry about length since they’re cropped! Vince makes a great pair, along with J.Crew for endless patterned variations. I like these to hit either just above the ankle, or a few inches above that, not at the calf!
  2. Long Sleeve Silk Blouse. Sumptuous silk adds textural interest and it’s softly pretty. An excellent partner with jeans, knits, and boucle separates. A little bit on the longer side, and they glide (as opposed to cling) over my belly.  A little bit fun, elegant and very comfortable. Sure you could go for black or cream, but why not olive green, or emerald? Perhaps bright crimson or blush pink. Whatever your color it’ll be your go-to no matter the weather.
  3. Classic Belted Trench Jacket or Coat. This doesn’t have to mean a Burberry, or something expensive. I own a bright blue one in nylon, perfect when you need a light jacket to repel a few rain drops, or in cotton poplin with a removable wool liner. It’s a classic for a reason, it’s timeless and always chic.
  4. Long tanks. To fill in the gaps, and keep the tummy from being exposed. H&M makes great ones in pima cotton and tencel. I also love the cut of the ribbed tank by Vince. Make sure you have them in all the basic colors (black, white, nude) plus a fun bright color or two.
  5. Pencil Skirt. In navy or black, this is the one silhouette that really does flatter every shape. If you’ve got curves, whatch out for the va va voom factor. This is YOUR skirt. If you’re cut more like a boy it’ll give you shape where you need it. In woven wool, ponté knit or double lined jersey it’ll be your go-to skirt to pair with whatever you plan on wearing on top. Even a basic pocket tee looks chic paired with a pencil skirt.
  6. Tailored Body-skimming Dress. A body con sheath, either a high neck, v-neck or U-neck works. Choose a knit if you’re ok being a bit more revealing. Otherwise aim for a woven in cotton, wool, or silk for dress that works for nearly any occasion. It’s such a go-to for me I own them in all colors. Even better, this baby works hard for you especially when traveling, and they pack up small. It looks chic, is versatile, and best of all, I feel confident wearing one.
  7. Three-quarter sleeve Cardigan. This is your personal climate control top. Too cold, throw it on. Too hot, strip it off. I love these in linen, cotton, or yummy silk & cashmere blends. Chunky or thin, There’s something magical and very feminine about 3/4 tops. And an excuse to wear your arm bangles without getting in the way of your sleeves.
  8. Crisp White Shirt. All you have to do is look at Carolina Herrera. It’s her uniform when paired with a full skirt. She has made this basic iconic as has Lauren Hutton. A white button-down, wrap style, or popover all work as long as it’s crisp and fresh. Look for tops in poplin or silk shantung. There’s a freshness that white brings to an outfit and can easily be matched with everything else in your closet.
  9. V-necks in Cotton & Cashmere. Tees, fitted sweaters, drapey shirts, they all look great and are so versatile. Layered or on their own, these are the hard working separates you love to wear. My favorites are from Vince and J.Crew, but you can score these basics anywhere from H&M to Neiman Marcus too.
  10. Nude Shoes. Footwear that’s a shade close to your skin tone elongates your look, and can be worn with ANYTHING. Really. So slimming, and the nude look is hot right now. A monochromatic look is always more slimming than wearing two distinct opposite hues that chop you visually and shorten your look. Take a selfie and you tell me which is more slimming.

Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments.

20140328-115713.jpg

Fast Fashion Mothership, aka H&M, arrives in Hawaii

Yes it happened and the best of Honolulu showed up to embrace H&M’s arrival in the paradise state. Just in time for our craving of Spring fashions.

I popped in after work Thursday on its opening day for a peak that ended up lasting nearly 2 hours. There’s only so many lines I’m willing to wait in, and the dressing room wasn’t one of them. I showed up in a solid black body con dress so I could thrown on anything I really wanted to try on with ease. I recommend doing the same if you attempt a visit anytime this week.

I was most anxious to see what their higher end line included. I am already well stocked in fresh tanks & great cottons I rely on H&M for, but what I really wanted are their select trendy better-made pieces. With this they did not disappoint. I scored a sweet off the shoulder navy tencel dress for under $60. My other favorites were a voluminous skirt in blush ($60), a chiffon green print maxi a la Rachel Zoe ($70), a silky halter bodysuit ($10), and fabulous strapless black & cream printed dress ($70) reminiscent of something Balenciaga or Oscar de la Renta might have sent down the runway.

By the time I arrived late last night, the collections were dramatically picked over. Some of it was just the sheer number of things being taken to the fitting room, not necessarily sold. No $5 pineapple tank top, the items from Miranda Kerr’s collection that were sold out online were already scooped, and the opening offers aren’t worth mentioning except for the $4 linen-like shorts.

H&M is a well oiled machine, and there were no shortage of helpers eager to tidy up as the chaos swept in. There were even cleaners sweeping the floor, polishing mirrors, dusting etc. while people selected items from the adjacent rack. I expect the store to be massively replenished daily, so plan to check frequently for fresh finds. Turnover and fresh items are the key-stone to fast fashion. One note, many of the spring styles I had eyed online were no where to be found, hopefully those will make their way here soon.

Parking was a cinch, and FREE for the first 3 hours with validation, a huge plus! A quick ride in the elevator and I was on the ground floor around the corner from the main entrance.

I’ve been anxious for H&M to arrive in my home state ever since discovering the retailer in Paris in 2000. Can’t say I was expecting more, just happy it’s finally here.

20140328-115239.jpg

Casual comfort

Go Kailua Style

Beyond thrilled to be a featured personal stylist in the current Go Kailua magazine. I shopped Kailua and selected this outfit from three of my favorite shops in Kailua. Olive Boutique, Oliver Men’s Shop, and Fighting Eel.

Everything I picked is versatile. A men’s chambray shirt works for so many occasions, and it’s durable too. In Hawaii it’s a perfect light jacket for cool days. My gorgeous model Maisa sports the classic M.Nii drowners shorts, rolled up and a little bit sexy. No matter where your day takes you, you’ll be prepared, you can even swim in these trunks.

Ladies, don’t be be afraid of shopping in the men’s section! I promise you won’t look butch if you style these pieces in a feminine way. Add feminine details like this chunky coral (plastic) necklace and some gold bangles and glitzy bag and you’re good to go.

Special thanks to Sarah Honda at Honolulu Magazine, Go Kailua magazine for featuring me!

Scan03202014-3

IMG_3444

36 hours in Portland, Oregon

After receiving many requests for recommendations, I decided to do my own “weekend” in Portland for all to access. Having moved back to Hawaii last year, the best places I mention here are exactly where I head to the first chance I get. The best part is you don’t need a car! Book your ticket or get in your card and head to this foodie destination now.

FRIDAY

5 p.m. Once you arrive on a Friday afternoon start your libations early with Happy Hour at Clyde Common in the up and coming “west end” part of SW Portland. A limited cocktail list is just $5 and their burger is just $6. Their known for their popcorn & fries. After years of attending this swanky restaurant bar I’m never disappointed. In the basement of the Ace Hotel, it attracts an audience that’s friendly to visitors and locals alike.

6 p.m. One of my favorite shops to peruse is just around the corner from Clyde, Frances May stocks all the designers you love but might not frequently purchase. Acme, Rachel Comey, Vena Cava, and you get the idea. Don’t skip the jewelry case, with lots of unique designers from New York and beyond you don’t see anywhere else in Portland. I’m somewhat of a dedicated experienced shopper, but even excluding that Buffalo Exchange in the Pearl district is by far my favorite place for unusual designer pieces, stellar boots, and you might even score  a cool bag if you time it right. Open until 9pm most nights to boot.

8 p.m. Head over to Grassa for a casual and cheap place for delicious made in-house italian pasta. With their selection varying nightly and using fresh ingredients it’s sure to please. Just a block away is a cavernous pre-prohibition era bar Kask. It buts up against the yummy German eatery Gruner on Alder street. Sharing it’s kitchen with Gruner it serves charcuterie plates that go perfectly with their long list of specialty cocktails. Like most bars in Portland, their selection of whiskeys, beers, and wines are top-notch.

10 p.m. Known for it’s rich musical scene, be sure to see who’s playing where. Mississippi studios, Aladdin Theater and the Wonder Ballroom to name a few. The Crystal Ballroom is one of the oldest venues around, with an original floating floor perfect for dancing on. Known for it’s kitch decor and 70s style eats, the Doug Fir Lounge is a quick jaunt across the river to the SE part of town.

SATURDAY

10 a.m. Depending on how late you like to sleep in, start your morning at Tasty n’ Sons in the NE part of the city. Like most delicious places in Portland, they don’t take reservations. So you’re looking at waiting at least 20 mins on a weekend for seat. But that’s ok, sip coffee while you wait. With the same owners as Toro Bravo, the potatoes bravas is my every visit must. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, scouts honor. They serve everything family style, and everything arrives once it’s done, so get friendly with your guests and expect to share.

12 p.m. the Portland Farmer’s Market at PSU (Portland State University) is a don’t miss. Opening hours depend upon the time of year you’re visiting, but they are open generally from 8:30am-2pm mid March through mid December. It’s packed full of visitors and locals alike, beware of strollers blocking your every move. You’ll find amazing vendors from all over the state with samples galore. Bring back some hazelnuts, specialty salts, and cheeses. There are made to order food vendors too if you’re finding yourself peckish.

2 p.m. Walk off your indulgences or take the street car down near NW 3rd & Everett streets. There you’ll find a magical oasis inside Portland City proper, at the Lu San Chinese Garden. It’s absolutely stunning, and with a tea shop you can enjoy a relaxing couple of hours.

4 p.m. If you’re finding yourself afternoon stomach grumbles make your way to SW 10th & Alder streets. There you’ll find one of the large gatherings of food trucks. With so many options from Scottish fish & chips, Korean fusion burritos, and handmade Chinese noodles, let your curiosity get the best of you.

5 p.m. Just up the road on Alder you’ll find your way to the cutest home goods shops Canoe and Alder & co. Canoe specializes in perfectly designed goods for the home and office. Heath ceramics, Pendelton blankets, Comme des Garcons wallets just get your desire whet. Alder & co.’s owners travel to Europe and Japan seeking out unique linens, jewelry, kids toys, and clothing for the woman with refined taste. Odessa is another favorite slightly out of reach boutique full of designers I covet like Isabelle Marant, and other lesser well known french designers. Who said you said you can’t have desert before dinner? Cacao next to Odessa is a chocolate lovers dream. Drinking chocolate and coffee to sip as you people watch the parade of interesting characters calling PDX home.

6 p.m. If you’re energized and the weather is holding up for you, make your way either by street car or by foot up to NW 23rd street. Along 23rd street there are lots of adorable cute shops and one of three locations of Salt & Straw ice cream shops. You’ll know you reached your location when you spot the line wandering out the door. Honey Lavender and Salted Carmel are my must haves.

8 p.m. with a seemingly infinite amount of amazing restaurants popping up everyday in Portland how do you decide just where to eat? I go with what I crave, and I love Pok Pok.  Another spot that doesn’t take reservations, either go early or go late. And with their partner “waiting area” the Whiskey Soda Lounge, it’s not too shabby of a place to spend a saturday night. Order the house drink and my all time favorite cocktail the Tamarind Whiskey Sour. Pok Pok makes their own vinegars, and this drink makes their unique flavors shine.

10 p.m. If you haven’t had enough of Salt & Straw ice cream, you’re in luck, there’s one just down the street from Pok Pok.

11 p.m. If Jazz is more your thing, Jimmy Mak’s in the Pearl is always going on off on Friday & Saturday nights. Live acts from Portland and impressive musicians stop in for an appearance from all over the nation. Cozy and with late night food bites, this place is rocking past the 12 o’clock hour. Finding good live music in stumptown isn’t hard, you’ll likely stumble upon it without even looking.

SUNDAY

10 a.m. Sleep in without worry. Irving Street Kitchen takes reservations. Specializing in a bit of southern taste like delicious chicken & waffles, they also cater to the less glutenous appetite with delicious french style scrambled eggs with crab. Fabulous specialty cocktails too.

12 p.m. Take a stroll through the Pearl district shops be sure to stop at Thea’s Vintage Living, Moule, Jonathan Adler, making your way to the spot of divine doughnuts at Blue Star.

If you still have time, take a ride through the gorge for some spectacular sights. You can imagine just how magical it must have been for Lewis & Clark.

Where to stay? I highly recommend finding a place using the popular site Airbnb. I recommend staying downtown near the Pearl district with easy access to public transport using Trimet. In fact you can even take the light rail train called the MAX directly from the airport to downtown. The Ace Hotel is a fun choice. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags!

At Debbie & Jason's wedding in Napa.

5 ideas to make your wedding rock

Recently I was asked to help coordinate a friend’s wedding. While very exciting, it’s an obviously overwhelming task for many brides. I’m so glad she asked for my help.

Here are some thoughts on how to keep it simple, and why you’ll be so much happier for it.

  1. Don’t be lured into DIY hell. With Pinterest and DIY craft magazines galore showing you just how “easy” it is to make everything for your day of, is it something you really want to do? You’re probably having friends and family from out of town visit for your big day, and the 24-48 hours before your event do you really want to be stressing out if all your special handwritten quotes are elegantly wrapped around each table setting? The thought is lovely, and I’m sure there will be a handful of people who will be delighted to unwrap their unique setting, but that extra stress isn’t worth it if you’re doing it all yourself. Instead sip cocktails by the pool and enjoy the friends and family you rarely get to be with.
  2. Comfort first, for you and your guests. Will you want to walk all night in those satin heels? Will your guests be warm enough once the sun sets? Are there enough places to sit before dinner is served? Is the setting inviting? Are the toilets easily accessible? Does the layout promote laughter among strangers. Will your guests feel comfortable if they don’t know anyone but you and their plus one? Small steps like providing guests blankets, fans, appropriate seating, and a welcoming ambiance go a long way to make sure everyone remembers what a fun party it was.
  3. Delicious goes a long way. Ok so you’re budget isn’t French chef worthy, that’s ok. Don’t try to do too much within a limited budget. Think about what’s really important to you. Would you rather serve special drinks or yummy champagne instead of a 3 course meal? No problem, select heavy pupus (appetizers) instead. No food budget? Thats ok, how about just cake and champagne? Or maybe having a live band is how you’d rather focus your funds. Whatever you serve, just be true to your intentions. Your guests are bound to have fun and leave with satisfied tastebuds.
  4. Logistics matter. The devil is in the details of the event, not the decor. Where will guests park? Does it make sense for folks to drive between the ceremony & reception if they’re not at the same place, or does a shuttle make more sense? Think through the timeline too. Add an extra 30mins at least to every activity to make sure you don’t rush the event. Welcoming guests, champagne toast, eating, cake cutting, dancing, everything takes longer than you think…unless you’re an experienced planner.
  5.  Take pictures before the ceremony, not after. Save your guests from that awkward 2 hour window where the whole bridal party is MIA from the post ceremony bash. You’ve got everyone together, so enjoy it. Either skip the posed picture setting and just hire a day-of event photographer, or do those posed shots the morning of. Save yourself a preventable headache.
Lupita Nyong'o

Red Carpet Stunners: Oscars 2014

The best part of the Oscars happens before the show even starts. Really who cares other than the nominees who wins? And with that let’s go over the dressed and ensembles that prevailed on the red carpet outside of the Dolby Theatre tonight. Solid colors trumped patterns and prints this year and dominated the carpet. White, silver, pale pastels, nudes, and metallics were the favorite. Gatsby continues to inspire actresses and designers. Deep navy, plums, and reds also had a presence. To my dismay there were no swan dresses or mohawks spotted, as actresses seem to have gone for safe bets for one of the most anticipated red carpets of the year. I’ve selected my favorites here. Tell me your favorites?

Soft colors, nudes, and silver. These gowns wowed us.

Julie Deply

Julie Deply

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Cate Blanchette

Cate Blanchette

Bold colors and deep tones still made an entrance.

Jennifer Lawrence. In what else but Dior!

Jennifer Lawrence. In what else but Dior!

sandrabullock

Sandra Bullock

OliviaWilde

Olivia Wilde & Jason Sudekis

KarenO

Karen O

idinamenzel

Idina Menzel

Kevin Spacey makes Navy glam.

Kevin Spacey makes Navy glam.

GlennClose

Glenn Close

emmawatson

Emma Watson

charlize

Charlize Theron

chiwetti

After our closet audit we filled in the gaps with basics from H&M

Post Closet Audit Clarity

You might remember from an earlier post, but this past fall I visited with Nell in Pittsburgh. These are her thoughts on our experience purging and re-organizing her closet. We had a blast, thanks Nell!

After moving three times in two years, I thought I had purged all of the clothing, shoes and accessories that I no longer could or should wear. Yet, I still suffered a mild panic attack each time I peered into my closet to put together an outfit. Enter Pualana.

One early fall afternoon, we took stock of my wardrobe. The first step was to consolidate my warm weather clothes and stash them in a spare closet for the winter. That left a selection of items I could wear now. Pua took a closer look at every piece to see if it worked for me in terms of style, fit and condition. The same process applied to shoes, purses, belts, scarves, etc. The donate and sell piles grew larger.

Pua quickly taught me how to organize the remainder by type and color. Then, she explained how to build an outfit from the foundation up. BOOM: For the first time I could actually see and make sense out of my options. We even had time left for a trip to H&M for some versatile, low-cost basics! I’m happy to say that thanks to Pua, I can now dress myself in five minutes flat. But even more importantly, I feel confident that my clothes make the best possible statement about my personal style. No anxiety medication necessary.

Nell Gladson, Communication Consultant