Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Style: How to Accentuate the Positive (Plus Foot News You Can Use)

Fashion expert Lindsay Weiner
As we move deeper into Shoe Season and think about holiday ensembles, we hear from Lindsay Weiner, fashion expert, certified image consultant and personal stylist. She's consulted on "Wha Not to Wear," "Moving Up," the "Today Show" and the "Jane Pauly Show." She's styled fashion editorial shoots and is an expert citied in books and articles about fashion. Her company,, is an organization dedicated to keeping people stylish, organized, and confident in their wardrobe decisions.

She answered some crucial questions:

1. What worked in our 20s and 30s that no longer works now? 
Dressing appropriately is something that is important for all women and this includes dressing for your body type, lifestyle, and age. When it comes to women in their 40s, this often means that a little more coverage is required than what may have been needed in their 20s and 30s. And this is not to say that fashion and allure should go out the window, it just means they need to be tweaked. What does remain the same is the idea that you should dress to accentuate your favorite features, as this is still the key to a flattering and successful look. So if you have great pair of legs, show them off by wearing a shorter skirt. Instead of going bare legged though, add more coverage with a pair of tights or leggings. Or if you have fabulous Michelle Obama-like arms, wear a tank top and balance the bareness on top with a more covered bottom. Evolving your style with your age, doesn't need to be anything drastic, but a slight change here and there will ensure that you continue to look put together AND appropriate.

2. Can anything go with color and style or are there rules we need to understand?
When it comes to color, it's important to choose shades that match with your skin's undertones - either cool (blue) or warm (yellow). You can wear whatever colors you like, cool skin tones can wear yellow and vice versa, but following this guideline will ensure that the hues you wear "pop" and make you look your best. You can also use color to accentuate your favorite features. Bright and bold colors draw the eye in, so use them accordingly! And don't be afraid to mix things up. The old rules of fashion used to state that you couldn't wear navy and black, red and pink, or brown and black together, but that is no longer the can! The key to wearing these combinations is to make it look deliberate. For example, don't just wear black shoes with a navy dress. Balance the look by adding other black accessories like jewelry and a purse. Doing this ties the look together and is a fun twist on typical color pairings.

3. How can you wear good shoes but not spend a ton of money? 
Just because you like and want nice shoes, it doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on them - you just need to know where to find them and how to get the best deals. One way to do this to buy your shoes off season, as this will be when they're on the biggest sale. Yes, you might have to wait a few months to wear them, but getting boots during the summer and sandals during the winter is a great way to save money. Flash Sale websites, such as and, are also good resources for scoring designer shoes at a fraction of the cost. Another bargain finding trick is to visit consignment stores that specialize in high-end clothing. These stores only sell items that are gently worn, in good condition, and sometimes even new(!!), so you can definitely find deals at these stores. 

4.  Any other advice for women in their 40s regarding shoes/style?
Here are three of my favorite shoe tips that I share with all my clients, and even follow myself!
1) A nude pair of shoes is a must for every woman - they go with everything and will instantly add inches to your legs and make you look taller.
2) To avoid truncating the leg, stay away from shoes with ankle straps that hit at or above the ankle bone, as the horizontal line cuts the line of the leg and makes you look shorter.
3) To make any pair of heels more comfortable, have a cobbler add a thin, rubber sole to the bottoms. The rubber is shock absorbing and makes it easier to pound the pavement all day in your fabulous shoes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Style: Shoe Season Begins Now

Gucci "Lisbeth" red patent leather Mary Jane peep-toe pump

The holidays are arriving quickly. I know this because I made a pumpkin-cream cheese swirly cake thing and ate half of it the day before I was going to enter it in the work Halloween baking contest. So I had to make another. (I won the contest, if you were wondering.) 

Which brings me to shoes. The pre-holiday season is really about shoes, not just because of leftover back-to-school feeling, but also because no matter how much we eat, we will fit in our shoes. The right shoe is the difference between you owning the room and merely displacing some air in it. Also, you can wear the same black dress every year and nobody will really notice or care, but the right accessories can send you home with a charming English base player just in town for a few days on tour. 

So I've recently interviewed a bunch of shoe experts for my book, including my new girl crush Meghan Cleary, from whom you will hear in the coming days. But first up is Linda Arroz, co-author of "Affordable Couture" and major fashion influencer.

Linda Arroz
About style: "What works in our 20s and 30s may not work for us in our 40s.  By the time you're 40 you may be well on your way to establishing a professional image in your career. In your 20s, you were more carefree, experimented with fashion, had a lot of fun and maybe even changed jobs a few times. The 30s bring about some clarity, maturity and are about building a body of work, perhaps having children."

About trends: "Unless you're a model, actress or exotic dancer, a lot of trendy stilettos may not work in your favor, especially at work. That's not to mean you can't be fashionable. A stylish platform pump with a high heel works for women in their 40s, while a shoe with 'no-heel' could make you look like you're trying too hard to be cool."
Indulge in the "no heel" look at your peril.

About classics: "Some shoes are timeless, like a 2-inch heel pump with either a pointed or oval toe box. Find your fit in a shoe like this and buy it in the season's trend color or material, as well as black. Try colored suedes in the fall, and leopard print, which has become a fashion classic, can be worn all year long in any style of shoe. Looking fashionable from head to toe means evaluating the shoe. Often the entire outfit is based around the shoe, if it's not right, everything looks off, regardless of your age, but especially in your 40s. If you work in a creative field, all bets are off. You wouldn't wear shoes or boots with lots of buckles and studs with a work suit, unless you work for an advertising agency or as a fashion designer."

About comfort: "Comfort counts more as you get older, but you don't have to sacrifice style. In your 40s you may be traveling or attending trade shows for work, or keeping up with your children. A lot of high-end shoe designers like Stuart Weitzman say that lower heels and flats are their most popular styles. Why else would the perennial ballet flat be so fashionable? If your feet hurt, it will show, and body language gives off signals. When you're in your 40s your confidence levels should be at an all time high. Don't give it all away because your desire to wear ill-fitting or higher heels won over logic. Podiatrists and other medical experts have been telling us for years about the health hazards of wearing stilettos. The higher the heel, the balls of the feet take on the bulk of your weight. Combined with a more narrow toe area, called the toe box, women experience a variety of problems like bunions and hammer toes. Do an internet search for celebrity feet, for example, and you'll see links to ugly and hideous feet suffering from these exact issues. Logic suggests that women's feet aren't shaped like a triangle, yet most women's shoes feature a narrower shape near the toes. High heels and platform shoes are often the culprits in ankle and feet fractures. I'm a fashion victim myself, having broken my left foot twice. The first time, my foot twisted sideways wearing cork wedgies, and a few years later, my fabulous burn out velvet platform slides bumped up against an uneven sidewalk and caused me to fall and twist the foot. I've since learned my lesson. Try watching women walking in their high heels. You'll observe the instability of the feet and ankle. Even runway models have been known to fall off their shoes. (Mashable posted a compilation video of models slipping and falling on the catwalk.)

A classic example is from an episode of 'Sex & The City' (season four, episode 'The Real Me') when Carrie slipped and fell down on the runway."