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CARMEN ADRIANA, FabInjection, wardrobe expert and closet consultant

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13 Ways to Feel Like Halle Berry in Your SwimsuitI annoyingly tell anyone who will listen that I grew up in Florida on the bath warm Gulf of Mexico. It was a very special childhood—the first thing you learn is how to run away from an alligator (zig zag and then up at tree as soon as you can). The next thing you learn is that things ripen faster in the heat. I’m talking about fruit and people.

At 14, my friends and I were regularly getting hit on by dudes with mustaches and real ID’s. This usually happened at the beach far away from our parents. We still laugh about the Wile E Coyote dust clouds that appeared when we finally revealed we were in the 9th grade. Aside from our very mature figures, part of the misconception was that our swimsuits were quite small. It’s a Florida thing. I had to constantly compromise with my mother in this department. Full coverage was the F word in swimwear but there was no way she was letting me go anywhere in anything smaller.

I went to St. Tropez as a recent college grad and reveled in the freedom of topless sunbathing. I also tried a thong for the first time. There was a lot of jiggling. And digging. When I came back to New York the law had just been passed that women could go topless since men could do it. Woohoo! For some reason I thought that New York women were just waiting for the moment they could rip off their tops and frolick in the ocean. Not so. I did it once on Long Beach and still bear the scars from everyone’s eye daggers.

A few years ago I went on a magical mermaid vacation to eastern Brazil with 2 of my best friends. There were a lot of butts. If your swimsuit wasn’t a thong you could jam the bottom up until both cheeks were on full display. We called it the ass crammer. I never saw one of those brasileiras dig it out.  The suits were also kind of confusing—one of my friends realized a week in that she had been wearing the thing backwards the entire time. We were there for 2 weeks but I never worked up the nerve to go full ass crammer. I’m more a fan of top butt cleavage like the Coppertone girl. But in Brazil the locals thought is was too much. I received many friendly warnings that my boomboom was showing. Seriously?

When I visited the Hamptons for the first time I couldn’t believe how big and conservative the swim wear was. Brown? Paisley? One piece? Whaaatttt??? We are at the beach right? I had visions of another Miami, just further north.  HUGE culture shock. I’m a believer in being appropriate to your surroundings but also not being afraid to express yourself. Finding that balance has been a fun challenge. These days there are a lot more Europeans on our beaches so my tiny bikinis don’t garner as much attention.

Because of these experiences I consider myself somewhat of an expert in swimwear. I know a lot of people, especially if you live outside of Florida, have anxiety when it comes to swim suits. I think it has to do with body image and also worrying about what other people think. Whatevs—someone is always going to think something you don’t want them to. Truly that is their problem. This is the perfect time to really celebrate your body. Whatever the shape.

Finding the perfect swimsuit is like solving a physics equation—you have to take in to account mass, volume, velocity and gravity. The answer to this equation  is not how your suit makes you look but how it makes you feel.  I think it should be something link Divine GoddessMermaidHalle BerryBondGirl.  Below are some of my guidelines to help you get that feeling when you are on the beach.

GREEN LIGHT

  1. Try on your swimsuit with high heels. No one ever said, wow, I look amazing standing mostly naked in flat bare feet in fluorescent light. When your foot is elevated your legs look longer and leaner,  your chest and butt naturally stick out in a sexy way, and your stomach automatically sucks in.  Ca-Ching!
  2. Pose like a Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model in the dressing room. This will instantly help you feel sexier. It works! See last week’s post on practicing.
  3. Keep in mind that it is not the size of your body but the shape that we are working with. If you are looking for your best shape bottom, start with your favorite underwear. Not the comfy period panties but the ones that you’d wear on a 3rd date.
  4. A halter style is universally flattering. Whether it is a triangle top, underwire bra style or retro, the around the neck design lifts the girls into place and draws them together. Yay. There is also a lot less worry with this type—no straps falling down and it’s completely adjustable.
  5. Polka dots, bright colors and black never fail.
  6. Make things look bigger with ruffles, fringe or gathering. That goes for boobs and butts.

RED LIGHT

  1. Strapless. There is already so much tugging going on. Why make more trouble? Also, there can be a really unattractive boob squeeze thing that happens with strapless. It can look like a tomato in a press—not cute.
  2. White. There is not enough lining in the world.
  3. Brown. Hmph.
  4. Monokinis. What is that even?
  5. The American Flag. No one wants to know about your stars and stripes

YELLOW LIGHT

12.  Retro Coney Island Beauty Queen or the Marilyn Monroe. I love a pin up girl but I’m on the fence for the beach. Think of the tan lines! If you don’t have enough curves to fill it out it just looks like a saggy diaper. It works spectacularly on plus size women, tattooed Betty’s, and ladies old enough to have  worn it the first time around. If you are not one of those, skip it and go with something more modern

13.  Tankinis.I get te idea of these but have yet to see one that that makes me think Goddess, mermaid or Halle.  They can look sloppy real quick.

I hope this helps when you are out swimsuit shopping this season! Below are some of my favorite resources. Have a question or something to say? Put it in the comments below or post to our Facebook Page!

Check us out in the One Healthy Hamptons Summer Guide!

Love this guide but would need some help to bring out your inner Halle Berry? Do you want to stop wasting your time and money on clothes that don’t work for you? Could you use some style guidance or a closet co-pilot? Are you ready to use your Wardrobe Language to tell the world about your amazing self? Click here to contact me and schedule a free 20 minute phoner!

Halle
Aviator glasses on sale until May 1st for $20…enter code Vanessa at check out for free shipping.

Swimsuits Direct

Hamptons Fashion: The $10,000 coat..

The coat has a swing that you cannot deny

The fabric so soft it could make you cry

Is it the best coat ever?

Paris Fashion Week

This  week I was on a shoot where the main attraction was a Giorgio Armani coat that retailed for $8895.  MmmHmm.  After tax it would be over $10,000.  There were… reactions.  Mostly surprise and disbelief with a little disgust thrown in. Who would/could pay such a price for a coat? A family of 4 could eat for a year for the price of the coat.  I was slightly panicked that just by touching it I would somehow be responsible for purchasing it.  I’m not judging–I would love to be able to afford the coat–but it did get me thinking about how we spend our time and money on our clothes.

One woman who is a particular coat devotee immediately saw the value in this coat.  According to her, a coat is the easiest thing to wear to make you look instantly put together.  I grew up in Florida and still have some trouble wrapping my mind about wearing any coat.  But she has a job where she is constantly running in and out of stores so actually wearing a coat is her life, not just a way to keep the harsh New York winter from freezing her to death.

When I am working with my clients I can spend a lot of time convincing some that a certain price is a good value for something, especially if it is a purchase outside their spending comfort zone.  This is based on a lot of things, not just whether or not they have the money for it or if it looks good on them.  I consider how many times they will be able to wear it, what pieces it will work with in their closets. I have no blanket rule on what you should spend extra money on clotheswise except that like furniture it should be the best that you can afford and you must absolutely love it.

Many times when talking with people who know I am a stylist they automatically get defensive about buying cheap clothes.  “I’m not going to pay X for just a top that I am only going to wear a few times.” Yes, you will only wear that cheap ass top a few times because it will fall apart and look like shit after only a few wears. Then you will have to buy a new one and then another—a constant (constant!) cycle of cheap disappointment.

Or they say they bought it just because it was:

On sale

Cashmere

Italian

 Buying clothes “just because” anything is a very slippery slope.  That is how you end up with a closet full of nothing to wear.   I call it The Loehmann’s Syndrome.   For those of you who don’t know, Loehmann’s was, until very recently, the place to go in NYC for designer discounts.  Some of the things were so cheap that it was as if they were paying you to take home.  As in most of the off price stores there were so many shiny labels and lush looking pieces that you became convinced that your life would be perfect if you had it.  I would shop there for shoots and clients and come out with a huge bag of designer items. Yay! We would keep maybe 1 or 2 pieces after we tried it all on. Boo! The fits or the colors would be off, the piece would be hyper trendy or just plain useless. Buying  “just because” anything is a complete waste of time and money.   If you took the time to really consider your purchases like you would anything else I guarantee you would be much happier with your wardrobe.

But Carmen, you say, I’m ready to stop wasting time and money on my clothes but how do I begin? Don’t worry!  Below are a few questions I have come up with to help.  These are all things I ask myself before I purchase anything.  Be patient—if you have a habit of buying your clothes “just because”, this process will take a little longer but eventually it only takes a few seconds.  Stick with it and you will start to see changes in your wardrobe and your wallet!

When you go shopping and there is something you want to buy “just because”

  1. Walk away from the item and find a quiet spot. The bathroom will do.
  2. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself wearing this item.
  3. When you try it on does it make me feel crazy wonderful full of joy like everything is right with the world and always will be?
  4. Which and how many of your features does it enhance?
  5. Do you have anything else like it in your closet? (Be Honest)
  6. Do you have an idea of what else it will go with in your closet?
  7. Do you love it?
  8. Is the price something you can truly afford?
  9. Will you have guilt or shame because you have purchased this item instead of proudly wearing it because you worked hard for the money to buy such an amazing thing
  10. How often will you be able to wear this in your life? Once? Seasonally? Every day? Breaking down the cost per wear can be really informative.

Remember—these are just guidelines. The point of this exercise is get you to be more mindful with how you spend your money on clothes. This also does not mean that I am above retail therapy!  I understand that sometimes our gathering instinct kicks in an we must fill our berry baskets with something amazing.  When that happens I say buy makeup! The most expensive product tops out at around $50 and you can wear it right out of the store.

Do you want to stop wasting your time and money on clothes that don’t work for you? Could you use some style guidance? Find out if we are meant to work together! Click here to contact me and schedule a free 20 minute phoner!

Hamptons Style: 3 Things Used on Every Oscars Look this Year.  You can do it, too!

Our style reflects what we think about ourselves. It’s more attitude than the event of the clothes.“  Sharon Stone on wearing her husbands Gap button down shirt with Vera Wang lavender skirt to the 1998 Oscars.

A big giant smoochie thank you to my boyfriend who graciously let me hog the tv during red carpet coverage when the Rangers were playing.

When I began my career as a wardrobe stylist my very first job was working with celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch.  He needed and extra pair of hands to help zip Halle Berry into dresses during Oscars fittings.  Yep. My first styling job—zipping up Halle Berry. For her Oscar.  Awwwsooome! I still do a little jiggly dance when I think about that.

For this week’s post I have, in the name of research, viewed (gorged on) every Oscars fashion list I could find.  Best Dressed of all time, most memorable, worst dressed, most influential.  During my research I noticed that every look used  at least 4 of the Fab7.  So I thought I would share the results with you.  The next time you have a special event, put these to use for your very own red carpet life!oscars 2014 red carpet

Dress with Intent: The Oscars is ultimate expression of Dressing With Intent.  You can bet that every one of those nominees has been dreaming since she was little of what she is wearing when her name gets called.  Her wardrobe ID is probably something like regal, old Hollywood glamour, princess.

  • For your own occasion sit quietly for a few minutes and consider how you want to feel.  Without thinking too hard imagine yourself at the event and just notice what you are wearing.  Write it down, sketch it or cut out a photo from a magazine.  Then bring it with you when you are shopping. You’d be surprised how this really helps to find the perfect thing. For more information on this tune in to the encore of the Dress With Intent Workshop this Thursday here.

Tailor it Swiftly: Many of the Oscars gowns have been specially made for its wearer.  There have been multiple fittings. Hemlines have all be perfectly tailored so that no one trips. Straps don’t fall down. Everything is nipped and tucked to perfection.

  • On a long gown do a hem just touches the floor. Make sure you wear the same shoes to your fitting that you will wear on the night.
  • Learn a few simple tailoring techniques so you can avoid wardrobe malfunctions.  Here’s one below.

If you have a dress that must stay in place use double stick tape.  Topstick is the only double stick tape I use.  It’s toupee tape and is made to stay on the skin. Dragqueens use it so you know its good.  I like to place it on the dress first and the let it fall where it is supposed to.  Press firmly to keep it in place and make sure you bring extra just in case!

topstick saves the day
Keep It SimpleAlmost every Oscars look demonstrates the Fab4 Rule: 4 or less garments and 4 or less accessories.  This is a good place to start with any outfit. 
Academy Awards 2014: Arrivals

 Good Under Where?

  • Although you can’t see it, there is copious use of good old fashioned foundation garments.  Lineless panties, waist cinchers, nipple covers, sticky bras, built-in corsets, body shapers and smoothers.  It all starts here.

SPANX® Thong - Oh My Posh! High-WaistedSpanx Trust Your Thinstincts Mid-Thigh, BlackSPANX® 'Boostie-Yay' Comfy Corset

This season, who did you think was best dressed? Worst dressed?  We love to sit there and judge everyone on how they looked and how they should have looked. I’m guilty of it too.  But the reality is that even those on the worst dressed list have probably spent a lifetime preparing for this moment. And they certainly walked out of the house feeling like this was their expression of their best self. With the Fab7 you can feel like that every day!

Thank you to everyone who came out to Hampton Coffee Company in Southampton this Sunday for the pre-Oscars Dress With Intent Workshop.  We had a lot of fun! Our live broadcast was not so live because I forgot to push the big red button.  So, I will be doing an encore broadcast this Thursday at 5:30. Here is the link!

Click here to shop for Fab7 recommended stuff!

Hamptons Hipster: The First thing you should know in creating a wardrobe you love!

Dress with Intent….Deep cleansing breath and …. Go!

Dress with Intent means that you put care and effort into getting dressed and expressing your best self that day.  Think of it as the same as getting a massage or brushing your teeth.  You do these things for yourself but in turn they also have a positive impact on those around you.  You are more relaxed and you don’t have stinky breath and rotted teeth.    You are intentionally trying to create a positive force in the world simply by getting dressed.  In some small way you are caring for the world.  YES!! (add fist pump here)

Dress with Intent..Lupita Nyong'o dazzles in Red 2014
I know it sounds a little woo woo.   It doesn’t mean dressing to gain a positive reaction from someone else—we don’t have control over what other people think.   But if I can walk out the door knowing that I have put the effort in to expressing my best self today, it’s a really good start.

I mention this a lot when I am working with clients.  The idea that getting dressed in the morning before you face the world should be the highlight of your morning routine.  This is the moment that you get to choose who you are that day.  As with so many things it starts with an idea—once you have clarity on that idea everything else falls into place.  Many people come to me wanting to know how to get that clarity in their closet. They have amazing clothes that feel right when they leave the store but somehow it doesn’t translate to their real lives. Why not?  No clarity.  Having clarity on how you want to look is just as important as the clothes themselves.  Enter a little thing I call:

YOUR WARDROBE IDUntitled

Your wardrobe ID is the starting block for any outfit.  Here comes the woo woo again:  It is the combination of ideas that you want to express at a certain moment:

How do you want to feel? For example:  if I were going on a job interview to, say, a law office, my wardrobe ID would be something like fierce, in control, and Robin Wright in House of Cards.  Then I would go to my closet and choose pieces that made me feel that way.  Here’s a good formula to start:

1 FEELING + 1 CHARACTER= YOUR WARDROBE ID

DRESS WITH INTENT

Choosing a feeling will help you get clear, choosing a character will give you a visual reference to build the outfit.   I’d like to take a moment thank all the amazing costume designers for giving us wonderful tools to express our best selves!

I invite you to try this over the next week.  Have some fun! Go to the FabInjection Facebook Page and tell me what you came up with!  Click here to download the simple FabInjection Wardrobe ID Sheet.  If you need a place to start, here are 3 of my favorite ladies that always inspire me!

rbk-jackie-o-dress-0312-10-lgn-2.jpg
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jennifer-aniston-in-a-white-button-down-shirt-jeans-bottega-veneta-black-hobo-pinstriped-blazer-pointed-toe-shoes-leaf-necklace.jpg

You are the main character in the movie of your life—you might as well look incredible.

Attend my workshop this Sunday!  It will be based on the Dress With Intent Module.  We will explore our intentions behind getting dressed, make some Wardrobe ID boards and get in depth with how to use your Wardrobe ID in your life!  I hope you can make it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014
3PM
Hampton Coffee Company Coffee Experience Store in Southampton, next to BMW of Southampton.
We will also be doing a live webcast, woohoo.