Casual, Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, Real Talk, Shopping Guide

Proportionally Speaking

At this point in my life, I’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands, pictures of myself, but for whatever reason it was this picture (above) that Ryan snapped of me this summer that made me notice something totally new about myself. Could it be? Is that right? Right there in front of me, I noticed that I have a short torso. All of the pieces started to fall into place: high-waisted pants and empire waists always look flattering on me and longer tops always felt way too long. Right then, at the age of 28, I realized I have a short torso.

A friend and colleague of mine who happens to have excellent style and taste always says the first two rules of fashion are “Find your waist, and then find a tailor.” When I’m dressing clients or friends, I always consider their “lengths” first—it’s the easiest way to pull together outfits that truly look amazing on you. There are tons of little tricks to make sure that you’re dressing in a way that suits you proportionally, like always wearing heels with midi-length dress or wearing shorts with an oversized jacket to keep your legs looking long. Skinny jeans end up making lots of people looking stumpy when worn with flats, but so much taller with heels—something about that extra few inches of ankle and top of your foot make all the difference. Since I realized I have a shorter torso, I’m looking for more cropped tees to wear with high-rise pants so I look taller.

So how do you figure out where you fall length-wise? For one, if you’re always having to get your jeans hemmed or if they’re never long enough, you can probably gauge if you have short or long legs. If jumpsuits always result in a bit of a camel toe, you’ve probably got a long torso and if crop tops hit where a regular shirt would, I’m calling a bit of a shorter torso. Also note—I’ve discovered that this concept is incredibly difficult to express by writing, but I’ve found some articles that express it better than I do here and here.

I’m a list maker and getting dressed is so visual, so I pulled together some images (yay! my Illustrator skills on display!!) and a checklist of some super steller looks from some of my style icons. I’m deeply obsessed with how Kortney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Sienna Miller (I know, why not Kim? Probably because it’s hard for anyone I know to relate to her shape) dress. I know, I’m the worst, but I think they’re solid examples three different body builds: short torso + petite figure, long torso + long legs, and equal lengths torso + legs. Pulling images of them gave me such great inspo for my fall wardrobe too!

For my girls with long torsos – look to Kendall Jenner!

Ladies, you are the drop waist queens and can rock an oversize tee like no-one else. If you’re blessed like Kendall with super long legs, lean into wide-leg pants and flares, because it’ll just make you look more sky high! Make friends with a front tuck (Hi, Tan France) to define where your torso ends and legs begin. It’s also likely that you can wear a the ever-tricky mid-length bootie, just in time for fall.

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For my girls with shorty torsos – go for Kortney Kardashian!

I’m so obsessed with Kortney’s style. She’s a tiny petite person, but still manages to look super fly and leggy no matter what. The biggest take away – cropped tops are your friend! And no, you don’t need a six pack to wear them. Even if they hit the top of your pants and show no tummy at all, it’ll still make your legs longer looking.

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If you can’t decide if you have a particularly short or long torso, you may be “Equal Length! Good for you, this means life is a little easier for you, but not without need for tailoring or some nuances. 

I think Sienna Miller, although petite still, is pretty proportionate. She’s just kinda fashion heaven too. Take a close look at wear pants hit her—even full length pants are expertly tailored to hit right at the ground to avoid “pooling” or having too much of a break. She almost always wear a high-waisted pant to make herself look long and lean.

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There you have it. It’s a good exercise to survey your own lines! Consider this the next time you’re trying something on. And please, remember, just because something doesn’t fit you right does NOT mean that you’re body is wrong or bad, it might just mean that proportionally, it’s not the right fit, or you just need some tailoring or the right pair of shoes to make it right! Be kind to yourself. We all have different, beautiful bodies. I’m just here to help you get dressed in a way that makes you feel 100% you and 100% amazing.

xx – hh

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Fall/Winter, NYFW, Recap

Throwing Spaghetti

I have a friend who is the right hand to an acclaimed New York-based designer. Every season, I anticipate his shows and no matter how weird or unwearable, I love them. So it totally threw me when this friend informed me that it’s not uncommon for him to have NOTHING ready six, five, even four weeks before the runway show date. Uninspired or just the creative process? I call the former. And as someone who comes up with ideas for a living, I get it. More than once, I’ve sat in brainstorms where our best ideas were a dog fashion show (wait, that’s actually an AMAZING idea and should 100% be pitched) or some half-baked concept that only evokes “Yea, that’ll work.” Creative fatigue is real and we can tell when we’re phoning it in.

I think there’s three responses to brain drain: you do what you know, you take a risk, or you throw spaghetti. And as fashion month wraps, I thought I’d pull out the designers who did just that.

I DID WHAT I KNOW

These tried and true fashion forces have a vision, and they’re sticking to it. The importance of this is really illustrated in the documentary “House Of Z” which chronicles the rise and fall, and rise again of Zac Posen. He talks about how he lost sight of his vision and the detrimenta it was to his business and creative journey.

Oscar De La Renta – Isn’t this an easy choice? It is, but I really appreciate that ODLR is a gown house now and forever. There’s two relatively new designers at the helm, and while the collection didn’t seem exactly groundbreaking or fresh, it was gorgeous and full of ODLR’s greatest hits – namely A-line gowns and punchy, strapless numbers. It’s clear Team Oscar stays inspired by the past, but I’ll take it.

Carolina Herrera – I wasn’t going to choose Carolina, but I read it was her final collection to design and decided she’s the perfect example of a designer who has stayed inspired by her own iconic self. There aren’t many “youths” channeling the CH look—her famously chic, polished, and immaculately tailored isn’t big with the street style set—but the colors, shapes, and taffeta coming down her runway were truly stunning—and classic Carolina. She’ll be surpassed by none other than (gasp!) the ex-lead designer of Oscar De La Renta, so fear not, the dresses will still be on point.


I TOOK A RISK

“You know what, I just got out there and tried.” These are the designers that constantly zag when everyone else is zig-ing.
Gucci – If you know me, you know my love for Gucci in recent years runs oh-so-deep and oh-so-wide. When I first watched this season’s show, I thought I’d position it as a spaghetti, but then I read about Alessandro’s inspiration for the collection and changed my mind. Is this just excellent BS? If it is, he sold me. Yes yes, people carried heads down the runway and that is freaking WEIRD, and I’m crying because the looks are SO. OVER. THE. TOP., but someone also carried a little green lizard and that redeemed everything for me.

Dolce & Gabbana – Get ready people, Dolce drones are now a thing and officially ruling the world. Relying on technology is risky enough, but it’s just so cheeky to nod to the fact that we don’t even need models anymore to show runway collections. And when the girls did hit the catwalk, they were Spanish divas layered in all kinds of crazy. I’m kindof confused, but also kindof obsessed.

I THREW SPAGHETTI

I had a history teacher who would give us participation points for throwing spaghetti, i.e., just talking. Sometimes you’d stick your neck out and cobble together an answer that would get a nod of approval, and other times, a laugh and, “You’re throwing spaghetti, but nice try.” These people did that, but with fashion…and it pretty much worked. 

Saint Laurent – Hedi Slimane is long gone from Saint Laurent and it seems like some of the black magic that is YSL is gone. Anthony Vaccarello is doing his own dark thing now, and also his own floral thing, I guess. But I’m calling Spaghetti because the collection just seemed so…random: hats, architectural dress, so much leather that I’m worried about our cow population. The worst thing for me is the knitted belt with the rhinestone, ahem, Swarovski crystal, centerpiece. There was a lot, and although I’m not into it, apparently sales are up, so undoubtedly other people are.

Moncler – Honestly, Moncler gets the gold because they dropped a wintry, puffy bomb at Milan fashion week. Comprised of 8 mini-collections that will “drop” on a month-to-month schedule, this collection was LIT. Seriously, it’s heating up in here, and it’s not just because I’m shrouded in a floor-length Moncler parka. They threw the spaghetti, and it stuck.

 

 

Stay risky out there people.

xx – hh

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Cold Weather, Color, Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, haley hoover, Real Talk

What Am I Even Wearing?

WELCOME FALL. You are here now. You have officially taking up the roost and shooed my darling summertime away. It’s fine, I’m just a little stressed is all.

With cooler temps upon us, the next wave of trends is rolling in, too. I’ve been in a conundrum for the past two weeks as I feel a nip in the air when I walk to the train. One question pounds around in my cranium all morning as the J train inches towards Manhattan: “What am I wearing this season?” I’ve been pestering my friend Kate for months about what the new, hot boot will be, but she always shot me down saying it was too early and too hot to talk about fall. She was right.  But fall always got me buggin! I’ve never felt adequately wardrobed for autumn, it’s my worst season. I’ve never loved jeans and growing up, my corduroys always “swished, swished, swished” in such a way that I grew to hate most pants in general.

Determined to get it right, I start my research early. This year was tricky because things in the trend cycle are starting fresh—only the most daring and fabulous are in the know. We all knew to buy off the shoulder tops for summer this year, because only the coolest of the cool were wearing them last year.  At this point, I’m keeping my eyes on the stars. Thankfully, all of those glittering fashion plates are gathered at fashion weeks across the globe, so I found it fitting to report on what to wear through the eyes of the most talented street stylists—and photographers—out there. Here’s what to shop to nail Fall 2016 and spoiler alert(!)—if you’re a 90s baby, you’re in for a treat.

TREND 1 – EAT SPAGHETTI 

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Photo Cred: VogueRunway.com / Phil Oh

I wasn’t kidding about 90s swag; it is back and it is alive. I vividly remember having a purple tee and lime green tank combo that I rocked in the 4th grade (circa 1994?) and envisioning a grown-up version of that ensemble on my now is still a little hard to swallow. I’ll dip my toe via the most 90s establishment out there: The Gap.

Quick take = Zara Tank + Gap Tee

 

TREND 2 – BLACK AND WHITE AND PRINTED ALL OVER

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Photo Cred: VogueRunway.com / Phil Oh

Praise The Lord for a great printed blouse, a statement piece all on its own. Tuck it into jeans on your way to Sunday brunch or trousers when you’re running late for work on Wednesdays. Pick up stress-free wearable ones from Zara or JCrew Factory or find treasured, glossy (read: high maintenance) ones at Equipment and ALC.

 

TREND 3 – COLD CLAVICLES 

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Photo Cred: VogueRunway.com / Phil Oh

Get ready to keep freezing those shoulders off, babies, because the off the shoulder blouses and sweaters ain’t going anywhere! Trust, your arms will be warmed because crazy sleeves are all the rage too (see below). I’m looking at knits to stay cozy, but would be swayed for bright or ruffling versions when Saturday nights come a calling.

 

I’ll just leave these here for everyone to digest. Ready your wallets, ladies! It’s time to shop; I’ll be back later this week with a little more food fashion for thought.

Happy Monday, y’all.

xx – Haley

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Casual, Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, Real Talk, Shopping Guide

Layer Up! Dresses Over Denim

It’s Saturday morning and I just came back from a quick three-mile run, it’s a balmy 65 degrees and feels like heaven. And side note – it’s November! November as in last November we had definitely turned the heat on and had most likely seen a snowflake at some point. I don’t know why the good Lord is choosing to bless the North with some very Southern-like weather but I am not going to argue. I’ve still not fully switched my closet over to my winter clothes, because, you know, pulling down my small bin sweaters is SOOO hard. To be fair, the sweaters are on the highest shelf of my closet. I mean, I have to get a stool or enlist Ryan for help. So of course you can understand why I haven’t done this yet.. #LazyGirl

One of my favorite outfit combos of late is the pairing a tunic dress with distressed jeans. The end result is an outfit that looks updated but still casual and cool. If you’re out of ideas for a weekend look, this I highly suggest. If you’re a newbie, definitely go for fitted or skinny distressed jeans and opt for a dress that does not have a super fitted waist. Think tunic or shirtdress styles. If you are a well-practiced layer-er, I dare you to go for a straighter leg jean. Do this with caution though. If your jeans are too wide and your dress too flowy, you may just look like a very bad version of an Olsen twin circa 2005. Just google Leandra Medine of Manrepeller or Miroslava Duma (Former VOGUE Russia editor) for help. Those girls layer like no one else.

And don’t forget to really ROCK this look out. I added my favorite stilettos, an amazing vintage felt hat and of course, a trusty bandana. Never thought I’d say “here comes the sun” in November..

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Just to help out, I shopped a few outfits for both crowds – the new and not-so-novice. I also exclusively shopped the amazing Barney’s warehouse sale – prices are amazing until November 11th!

Denim layers

All images taken by the amazing Julia Hembree.

Happy Layering! – Hales

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Fall/Winter, NYFW, Real Talk

Why You Should Care About Fashion Week

Photo Cred: imdb.com

Sound the bell and close the FW15 books, for as the sun set in Paris on Friday, fashion month finally came to a close. Air France air jets destined for LGA and LAX are loaded up with lucky exhausted fashion market editors who  just underwent an immense intake of fabric and aesthetics – not to mention loads of pop culture (thanks Kimye).
And you must be thinking – what does this have to do with me? If you’re not fashion obsessed and choose to NOT spend your time trolling Pinterest for Street Syle pin-speration or style.com to try to figure of out what number look you loved most at the Chloe show, you must be wondering what all the fuss is about.

There’s this marvelous scene in the movie The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion Editor, tells her plebeian executive assistant, Andy Sachs, who could not care less about the editorial world that she’s stumbled into, exactly why fashion has to do with her.  “You’re in fact wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

She really wasn’t exaggerating.

Fashion Week gives us all a sneak peek of what we’ll be wearing this coming fall or, in some of our more midwestern or southern regions, in two falls. No matter if you pre-order runway looks via Moda Operandi or dash to Ann Taylor LOFT and H&M when you have a free 45 minutes, you better believe all looks will be replicated. I like to take NYFW to study and plan ahead for what my wardrobe will require in six months. I get it, this is not everyone’s life and may sound completely absurd. But put yourself in my shoes – living in a Fashion Hub and working in the industry requires a certain reflection of knowledge and current events, like any other profession would require. Kind of like in Devil Wear’s Prada when Andy doesn’t start to find favor in the workplace until she showed that she “cared” about what was happening around her. It doesn’t matter if you paid $500 or $15 for that cute little top, some version of it was worn by a model at some point during fashion month.

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Photo Cred: Marieclaire.co.uk

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Photo Cred: Vogue.com

An avid fashion follower would also note that Fashion Month tends to reflect the general mood of culture. More recently, the fashion world in general has been trying to reroute priorities and focus on real topics. Karl Lagerfeld sent a woman’s revolution down Chanel’s Spring 2015 runway and a week ago, Dolce & Gabbana celebrated mothers and the impact a tender relationship can have on all of us. A few years ago, things were all dark and broody and now it seems that a shot of optimism has been infused into this realm of “pretty things.” Beauty (and yes, slowly but surely, even size) is celebrated here. Who said the fashion industry was out of touch?

And at the end of the day, Fashion Month celebrates individualism and the spirit of outwardly expressing yourself. We didn’t see the same looks at Oscar De La Renta as we did at Alexander Wang, but why would anyone expect or want that? The fact that so many people are wanting to create something transcending or elegant or striking is staggering, but the fact that this desire manifests itself in SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS is inspiring.

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Photo Cred: Vogue.com

All this aside, don’t we care about those amazing street style shots the most anyway? Fashion Month is the time to ditch your go-to/un-inspired looks and find the ensemble that makes you feel your coolest and boldest. So don’t worry about policing Instagram or Refinery29 or WWD like your life depends on it – that’s why the girls at Style Me Perfect are here! We’ll break it down for you and tell you exactly what you need to know. Just please know that Fashion Week is an actual thing with impact, and yes, it does apply to you.

Ready to shop? Give me a shout if so!

Cheers,

Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist

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Fall/Winter, NYFW, Recap

NYFW Runway Recap (with Superlatives, Duh)

A week or so ago I let everyone peek into my little trek through New York Fashion Week and what I wore to the sub-zero, nor-easterly concrete jungle that is Lincoln Center. This week, we’re trekking down the runway! Here’s my review of my favorite, the most talked about and most intriguing shows as of late during Fall Fashion month (or should I say months? because seriously this thing goes on forever). Warning: There is also a superlative element used here because, you know, I just have a thing for categorization.

Most Patriotic In a European Way: Anthony Vacarello
Let’s start off with a newcomer. A protege of Donatella Versace, Anthony Vacarello presented his collection a few days ago that was deeply inspired by none other than the good ol US of A, which is exactly why I chose him. Americans and our very young nation are teased so critically across the globe that it absolutely shocked me to hear that a European designer was actually inspired by the texture and fabric of our nation. Stars and fringe and studs and rock star power infused into every aspect of this collection. It’s cool and oh so texy-sexy that I wanted to stand up and salute. Give this man a tiny replica of Old Glory and call him Yankee Doodle.

Trends To Watch: Suede, Fringe, Leather Cutouts and tiny, tiny Skirts

Anthony Vaccarello FW15

Most Talked About: Marc Jacobs

Victorian grunge? No more Mr. Tough Guy – last season’s army fatigues gave way to full pleated skirts and sequin jackets. Marc’s show was all about lightness, laciness, and belted A-line waists. I don’t know how he does it: sexy without showing really anything. He’s all about the allure and the confidence – did you see how those girls walked the catwalk? I need to watch this every morning on my morning commute for confidence motivation. Full coverage to no coverage – I wanted it all and simultaneously wanted to announce,” THE REAL MARC JACOBS IS BACK” from the Empire State Building.

Trends T0 Watch: Long Pleated Maxis, Trouser Suits, Forehead Topknots

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 1.54.59 PMMost Anticipated: Oscar de la Renta

The fashion nation wept collectively at the passing of the great Oscar de la Renta. As a woman, I felt like one of the few men that truly understand what woman want and need to feel while wearing a gown or dress or appropriately modest midday tea outfit had left us. This season, Oscar’s predecessor, Peter Copping, presented his first collection for the great ODLR house. A new chapter begins. Copping is not yet filling ODLR’s shoes – Oscar was creme fraiche, this was a cupcake. The day wear felt cautious, BUT the gowns gave me a glimmer of hope and intrigue. Bold hues and big beadings floated down the runway. I’ve never wanting a pair of fuchsia, leather evening gloves but dangit, now I do! When it comes to Peter Copping, the day may be dim but the evening is just beginning. Excited to see how things change.

Trends To Watch: Jewel Tones, Marsala, Bustier Backs, Violets and Purples

ODLR

Best Use of Color: Peter Pilotto

I’ve never allotted much attention to Peter Pilotto but more recently this line has been the recipient of major buzz. And from the looks of the FW15 collection we all know why. Style.com likened the collection to the stack of board games you played in your childhood rec room but I feel this description is a downgrade. This collection is whimsical, but it’s the most optimistic look at fall that I’ve seen for this season. Fall is typically a time to get broody and dark, but Peter Pilotto’s designs march right into the colder months with a rainbow colored ambiance. There was also some major coat-speration taking place here too.

Trends To Watch: Bright Outerwear, Symmetric Prints, Bold Color Accents on Classic Silhouettes

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Most Social-Media’ed: Tommy Hilfiger

A full size football field. That’s all Instagram could talk about the day of the Tommy Hilfiger show. The buzz this man created was a marketing dream and he delivered with his collection. This was the Super Bowl and he did a trick play in the way that only Tommy H. can do. Americana wasn’t just a thing with the Italians, it was big right here at home too. Red, white, and blue were the colors of choice with the star cheerleader marching in lead. I loved the classic white dresses, the layered turtlenecks and pleated cheer skirts. Don’t even get me started on that poncho. Go, Tommy, GO!

Trends To Watch: Culottes, Wine Colored Hosiery, Throwback Silhouettes

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Is everyone making their Fall/Winter 15′ wish lists yet? Mine is miles long and Paris Fashion week just started! #uhoh

I’m happy to help you shop for yours!

xo – Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist

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Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, NYFW, Real Talk

This Time Last Year – A NYFW Story

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is has come and gone once again and New York City is a-buzz and a-twitter (really) with the constant sightings of supermodels and super ensembles. It’s amazing feeling to sit in the crowd at a show at Lincoln Center, watch the lights fade and glow and see the tallest, slinkiest 19 year old pounce down the runway in a sheer jumpsuit or floor-length knit sweater dress or fitted off the shoulder cocktail dress. This is inspiration in real life, this is months of work and planning and coordinating and sourcing.

I wish we could all present a summation of the current state of our lives every six months – wouldn’t it look terrifying and amazing? Now that I’ve lived in New York for over a year, I like to measure things by “this time last year” scenarios. The swiftness of change in this city is amazing. This time last year, I was wandering Lincoln Center with my husband trying to figure out a way to get inside the wondrous “tents.” It was freezing – I wore my black pea coat and a green cotton scarf as a turban. I think it was snowing.

Flashforward 6 months and I’m back at the tents, Fashion Week passes in hand, marching proudly into Lincoln Center but feeling bewildered as soon as my feet pass the threshold.

Flashforward 6 months later and we’re here again, for the final fashion week in Lincoln Center. Instead of standby for every show, I have a handful of invites (standing tickets, but sometimes I get to sit if not enough people show up) and know the difference between the Salon and the Pavilion (the Pavilion is better, the Salon runway lights make the models look like ghosts).

I know it’s not the blogger way to be enamored with life or talk about how things are maybe a little different than what instagram portrays, but really, this gradual climb is so rewarding everytime a new milestone comes along. I can’t wait for these FW15 collections to hit stores in August and I can’t wait to see where we are this time next year.

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That’s enough outdoor time for me. Stay warm, America.

– Haley

Wearing: Top – Kate Spade Saturday, Skirt – Kate Spade Saturday, Trench – Club Monaco, Tights – Nordstrom, Shoes – Vera Wang, Bag – Longchamp

All photography credits – Julia Hembree Photography

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