Denim Skirts – Because Basic is Beautiful

Denim Skirts – Because Basic is Beautiful

Classic, casual and oh-so comfortable. For me, denim skirts are a wardrobe staple. Not only do they get me out of the house in the morning – looking good – denim skirts get me through the day with style that can be dialed up or down, depending on the occasion.

Button-Front Knee Length Jean Skirt for Women

1805-Stonewashed Blue

Notice that I said denim “skirts”, meaning more than one. While some people might dismiss denim skirts as just Levis without the legs, there’s actually a wide range of denim skirt styles out there.

So don’t settle. Instead of choosing just a “generic” denim skirt, make the most of this fashion essential by shopping for designs that look best on your body, and fit your individual fashion style.

Classic Details – Or Not

The classic blue denim work pants created by Levi Strauss have become a symbol of America, and also create a classic template from which to launch your own fashion statement. Pair it with anything from a t-shirt to a cashmere turtleneck, choose an eye-catching belt or let your top skim over the waistband, and you’re in business.

Some women prefer a smooth, pocket-free look, and in this department, denim skirts can also fit the bill. A hidden zipper on the side or in the center of the back make this type of denim skirt the basis of a casual, yet elegant silhouette.

Beyond Blue, Beyond Denim

Denim skirt materials vary, and you can make the most of your outfit by choosing the one that works for you. Heavy denim can be “doctored” with a touch of spandex, or replaced altogether with a stretch twill that provides the denim skirt look, without the bulk. You can also find denim skirts with full spandex waistbands, designed to be hidden under an un-tucked top.

From light to dark blue, to black, to every color of the rainbow – you can find denim skirt styles that “push the fashion envelope” while still giving you the classic, casual look you adore.

1492-Stonewashed Black Jean Skirt

1492-Stonewashed Black

Special Style Options

If you – or your daughter – want a kicky alternative to classic, try a ruffle denim skirt, or a tiered cut that takes denim to a new and interesting level.

Denim skirts can also be distinctive on the long and short ends of the scale. Some floor-length denim skirts are built from vertical panels that add style, while flattering fuller figures. If you feel comfortable with a higher hemline, a denim skirt’s everyday appeal allows you the option of pairing it with leggings, colorful tights or – especially in winter – a fabulous pair of boots.

In short (or in long) – denim skirts help you make the most out of what’s already in your closet, by giving you a flexible jumping-off point for fashion, creativity and fun. Enjoy!

A Modest Proposal – Skirts that Fit YOUR Body

A Modest Proposal – Skirts that Fit YOUR Body

If you dress modestly, you know that modest skirts are the workhorses of your everyday wardrobe. But do you really know how to shop for skirts? By paying attention to just a few basic principles, you’ll have an easier time when you next go skirt shopping at the mall. You’ll also have an easier time finding the look that matches your body – and your lifestyle.

The Hips Have It

Skater_Skirt_1472_TealThe drape of a skirt begins at your hips. That’s why – when it comes to skirts – your particular hip-shape is crucial to making the right fashion choice.

Fuller-hipped, curvy women should look for A-line skirts that flare out toward the hemline. This de-emphasizes the mid-section, and creates a more streamlined, elegant line.

Straight-hipped women who wish to emphasize their curves are better served by pencil skirts. Gently hugging the hips and becoming narrower toward the hemline, pencil skirts define an hourglass silhouette that – if it’s not taken to an extreme – can be elegant, tasteful and 100% modest. If you want to further accentuate the pencil skirt’s hourglass effect, try tucking in your top, or wearing a cinch belt at the natural waist.

Hemline – How to Decide?
maxi_skirt_animal_print_1478_giraffe

Skirts that fall just below the knee are universally flattering. But if you choose to go lower – to a midi or maxi length – here are some things to keep in mind.

While undeniably modest, for some women, midi skirts can be a fashion failure. That’s because they tend to fall right on the widest part of the calves. If your legs are thick rather than lean, or if you’re of below-average height, midi-length skirts may not be the best choice for you.

How about shopping for long skirts? Again, short women – as well as Petites – should be extra careful, because maxis can make you look even smaller than you are – to the point of even looking “stumpy” (and nobody wants that!). To avoid this pitfall when shopping for maxi skirts, choose one that fits snugly around your hips and thighs. This makes it more likely that you’ll achieve a look that is both modest and elegant.

When shopping for long skirts, remember: your goal is to dress modestly, not to disappear! Rather than choosing skirts that fall to the floor, try a hemline that reaches to the thinnest part of your ankles. This creates the flattering illusion of slim legs in the context of a modest outfit.

Fab Skirts for Fuller Figures

Fab Skirts for Fuller Figures

Modest dressing looks good on every body type, but it has some distinct advantage for those of us with fuller figures.  This is not because we want to cover up and “hide” – heaven forbid.  Rather, modest cuts give us the freedom we need to make a beautiful fashion statement that embraces our size… and our lifestyle.

Tight Doesn’t Make Right

Plus-size women have natural presence, and the right skirt choices can help them make the most of it.  While it’s certainly true that “real women have curves”, it’s also true that when women’s curves are the focus of attention, modesty tends to go out the window.  In other words, if your mid-section is encased in tight, slinky material, it doesn’t matter if your elbows and knees are well covered – the total effect is eye-catching, and not in a good way.

Let’s look at some of the fashion secrets that allow plus-sized women to choose a skirt that shows them off to their fullest advantage.

Maxi flowing skirt with four panels Flowing and Fashionable Skirts

Maxi, midi or to-the-knee, every skirt length can compliment the more generous figure.

Skirts that go to the ankle or even the floor are not just for formal wear.  Long skirts can add elegance to everyday dressing, creating a line that draws attention away from the hips and tummy.  Ramp up this “camouflage” effect by choosing a skirt with flowing detail in the lower leg area – or dramatic pleats that begin at the knee.

Mid-length flared skirts can also create an elegant line. A generous cut that includes lots of extra material creates a flowing, attractive drape that moves with you.  Alternatively, you can look for a “tiered” skirt that offers a wider silhouette, while providing visual interest all the way down.

Classic, to-the-knee skirts come in a variety of styles that can work for plus-size women.  Whether you’re looking for a stretchy pencil-skirt, or a more structured design, your skirt should make you feel confident about the leg you choose to show.  Don’t forget to “test drive” your choice by sitting down – even in front of a mirror – and verifying the knee-coverage before you make your purchase!

Waist Not Want Not?

Women of generous proportions tend to pair their skirts with tops designed to de-emphasize the waist, by hiding it altogether.  But remember: a waist is a terrible thing to mind!   So keep an open mind while shopping for your next skirt, and consider waist-conscious designs that dare to define your shape.  Who knows – you may decide to tuck in that tee shirt after all!

Modesty – It’s Kids’ Stuff

Modesty – It’s Kids’ Stuff

Well, the data is in, and it confirms what so many of us already knew.  So why aren’t children’s clothing designers – especially the ones who design outfits for our little girls – paying attention?

A team of social psychologists recently published an academic study about how clothing choices affect how children are perceived by adults.  According to the study, when children dress in “sexualized” clothing – a general category that includes skin-revealing cuts, as well as garments decorated with provocative images or text – adults are significantly less likely to believe these children to be intelligent, competent, or responsible.

The Numbers Show…
In the study, 162 male and female volunteers from an American liberal arts college were shown one of three images of the same fifth-grade girl, manipulated by computer software so that her clothing was either childlike, somewhat sexualized, or definitely sexualized.  In each case, the child was also described in terms of her level of accomplishment – either average, or above average.

No surprise:  When participants in the experiment were presented with the image in highly sexualized clothing and the girl was described as “above average”, the response – as reflected in the answers given to a set of standard questions – was: You must be joking.

Teach Kids to Dress for Respect
Most adults understand that they have to dress appropriately if they want to be taken seriously. But for kids, what constitutes “appropriate” is never clearly defined, and this can have serious social consequences.

Full A-line Skirt with Elastic Waist

Full A-line Skirt with Elastic Waist

Even the most responsible parents can be uncomfortable about exerting authority over clothing choices that – in many cases – haven’t truly crossed the line.  After all, if parents are seen as obsessing about a hemline that’s too short, or a shirt that shows a little too much shoulder, children are likely to dig in their heels, and insist on just those outfits that push parental buttons.

But if we want children to respect our values, we have to clearly define what those values are. This includes listening to your child, and coming to a workable agreement about what it means to dress appropriately, within mutually-acceptable limits of modesty.

From Worst-case Scenario to Best Results
Modest dressing is often presented to children in terms of avoiding danger. We all want to keep our children safe, and it is unfortunately true that too-provocative clothing may in some instances invite dangerous, inappropriate attention.

But one of the best ways we can protect children is to teach children about the powerful, emotional impact that our clothing choices can have.  Scientific research has confirmed that it’s possible to dress – not just for success – but for respect.

Staying Ahead of the (Summer Camp) Pack

Staying Ahead of the (Summer Camp) Pack

I admit it. When I heard about moms in New York City spending thousands of dollars to hire professional organizers to pack their children’s camp trunks, I was shocked. I was also jealous.

Successful packing for sleep-away camp – whether the little darling’s adventure lasts one week or two months – requires more than just working through the camp’s checklist. The trick is to balance the camp’s directives against your child’s very real needs to cover up, yet look cool in all weather conditions. All this, without the availability of a private laundress (er, that would be you).

Swim/Run Skirt with Contrasting Leggings for Girls

Swim/Run Skirt with Contrasting Leggings for Girls

First Things First
Before you begin, use a laundry pen to mark every single item that’s going to camp – from socks to soap dish – with your child’s name. Sew-on or iron-on labels are also an option, but only for parents organized enough to order them in time to be available on packing day (Did I mention I was jealous those New York moms?).

Basics that Mix and (More or Less) Match
Children contend with all kinds of situations while they’re at camp, so flexibility is key to successful packing. Limit stand-alone outfits, and instead, choose simple tops and bottoms in colors that work together in a wide variety of combinations. Prepare your camper for the inevitable changes in the weather by packing items that can be layered on during the chilly morning hours, then peeled off as temperatures rise.

A lightweight fleece under a rain poncho will help your kid weather any storm, and will also save the packing room that would be taken up by a dedicated raincoat. And for super hot, sunny days, remember, less is not always more. Pack long-sleeved shirts, long pants or skirts made out of light, breathable materials. You may also want to look into clothing and swimwear that has sun protection built right into the fabric. Such items – formerly sold only in specialty camping stores – are now easy to find, and not that expensive.

Speaking of swimming, if your child is going to be down at the lake every day, a single bathing suit is simply not enough.  There’s nothing more unpleasant than suiting up for swimming in something not quite dry.  Encourage your children to wear modest swim suits that keep their upper arms and thighs covered and protect them from the sun.  Modest swimwear is a fashion statement, and a time-saver; some kids use their modest swimsuit as a wardrobe basic, both in the water and on land.

Color Me Happy
It’s not so long ago that the term “camp shirt” referred to a straight-cut, conservative cotton blouse with a spread collar and buttons.  Indeed, this kind of shirt is still in demand for school uniforms.  But when camp time rolls around, children want to “make the scene” and meet new people while wearing fun fashions that expresses who they are – or who they would like to be.

I’m not suggesting children should be 100% free to choose their own camp wardrobe. But letting your camper pick out a few splashy T-shirts is more than just a clothing investment.  It’s an investment in your child’s confidence, and ultimately, the success of his or her camping experience. Just think of that when all the packing’s done, and the bus is pulling away…

Five Modest Fashion Must Haves on a Budget

Five Modest Fashion Must Haves on a Budget

Modest fashion is attainable while on a budget.

In truth, most of the time you only need a few items to refresh your wardrobe. I am a bit partial to basic pieces, because I am always on the run with my 4 kids. I have to be in and out of the house in a hurry, and the last thing I want to worry about is what I am wearing. I own a few must have items that not only look great all year round, but are also affordable!

    1. Long black pencil skirt – The knee length black pencil skirt is a great versatile piece in your wardrobe. It is a staple item that is classic because it can be worn anywhere at anytime. The great thing about this modest fashion item is that you can wear it with a variety of shirts and it is a style that is never outdated. Celebrity mom, Victoria Beckham, often opts for this modest fashion choice and looks extremely confident and chic. Designers also like the knee length pencil skirt and was featured in Christian Siriano’s fall 2010 collection, Gap’s fall 2011 collection as well as Ann Taylor’s collection.
    2. Knee Length Straight Denim Skirt – I just adore straight knee length skirts, especially in denim! The knee length straight denim skirt is great for winter and summer and can be worn to many occasions. You can dress it down with a pair of flats or dress it up with a pair of heels with the right accessories. The denim straight skirt has also been a favorite among celebrity moms such as Courtney Cox and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Black, Long A-line Skirt

Long Black A-line Skirt

  1. The scarf – When you are wearing basic modest fashion items, have some fun by adding colorful scarfs! The scarf is the easiest way to update your wardrobe and it is also the chicest way to cover up. It has been spotted on many 2011 runway shows, such as Yigal Azrouel, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and William Rast.
  2. Long Black A-line Skirt – The long black A-line skirt is also a great fashion basic item! I have several long black A-line skirts because they are so comfortable without looking sloppy. Whatever shirt I put on always looks better with a long black A-line skirt.
  3. Basic ¾ Sleeve Shirt – The ¾ sleeve cotton ribbed shirt is a definite must have in your closet! This basic T comes in a variety of colors, and looks great with a long black A-line skirt and a knee length straight denim skirt.

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