Holiday Party – Dresses All the Way

For the folks too far from the equator, the winter can only be mitigated by the amount of shopping, sales, gifts, and parties. Parties! All those summer nights where you can strap on some sandals and shorts and off you go complaining about the heat – yep, those days are on pause for another five months or so. But the parties? They make it all better (and all that you can consume at the parties! ha!).

There are several styles in dresses you can lean on this year. Stripes, sweater knits, and sparkles (beading or sequins – either is just splendid). A dress is always easy to pull off because it’s a single item. Plus – break out a pair of opaque tights in a similar color or an always flattering black and you have an outfit to wear for three out of four seasons (summer needs lighter fabrics).

Check out some of the picks below and don’t be afraid to click (they’re all under $50!):

Striped dresses work great as tunics for day and as party pieces for night. Pair with patterned tights in a similar color scheme, or with some bold accessories to stand out at a party.

Sweater knit dresses are warm and cozy for those parties where they forget about the heating (or you didn’t get any drinks in your system yet). Divide the larger knits with wide belts, and play around with a vest on top, or the opposite and layer the dress over a burnout short or long sleeved tee.

Can’t fathom going to a party and being out-shined by the tree? Break out a beaded or sequin dress and you’ll be the light show of the party. Metallic sequins or beads reflect light and color the best; keep that in mind if standing out is your goal. Try to pare down the stockings and accessories to let your dress do all the talking. Add some bad to all the good (corny much? All is forgiven during the holidays!) with some motorcycle boots. Can’t resist the glam? Leather (or patent) booties with zippers or studs are a great compromise.

Want all three? That can be arranged. Pair a basic tailored blazer above any of the styles. Other no-fails? Opaque stockings and black booties. If you want to dress any of them down, pair with a knit snood hat or an infinite (or any favorite knit) scarf.

Have any company holiday parties on the calendar? Remember to keep the neckline modest – a mock turtleneck with sparkly shoulders can do no harm, and the stockings as sparingly sheer as possible. This way – should you drink a little too much, there are very very few possibilities that your faux pas will be a fashion slip-up.

How will you be dressing to the party?

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Colored Bottoms

MyOwnJudgeWalking through the streets of New York, you get a condensed version of the good, bad, and the ugly of what fashion can create. There are see through stockings trying to pass off as leggings, and ultra fashionable grandmas ready to put me to shame with heels and a va-voom red lip.

Colored jeans and bottoms overall have been an utter fail on the most part. With the exception of opaque colored stockings underneath a black or other solid color dress. Bright colors on the bottom more often than not get stuck looking a bit kitschy as you pair your brights with something else equally colorful, starting to look like a relative of The Nanny.

Geri Haliwell, a Spice Girl I haven’t heard from in a while has shown just how to rock colored bottoms recently as she was leaving an airport. She has the lightest shade of a pastel pink pair of jeans, with the bright stuff accessorizing the look with her luggage. So that’s the secret! Go light for everyday, accessorize bright (and it rhymes). She paired some slate gray on the top and mixed in a leopard print pattern as well. The toned down look is as normal as a regular pair of blue jeans would be.

How do you do a bright hue?

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Green Queens

MyOwnJudgeIt’s not just the environment that is waiting for everyone to go green – the dresses are patiently waiting too! A fresh color for the fall/winter wardrobe comes in a variety of shades – take olive, bright green, pastel, or a mix of green and blue as just a few examples. Then of course, we have to consider that this is one of those colors to flatter all skin types and body shapes. It has now entered the purple and black group.

Check out celebs Olivia Munn, Rose McGowan, Monica Cruz (yes Penelope‘s sister) and the Hilton sisters strut their stuff in green at various functions this November.

Photo Credit: Phun and Zimbio Graphics Courtesy of

If you want to break out some green for your holiday camera screen (sorry I just had to make it rhyme), remember that the cold weather cannot get you down. Don some opaque black leggings (or even yellow or turquoise if you dare) with booties or heels and a jacket. When you relinquish your outerwear, the crowd will surely ooh and ahh as if you are the holly straight off the tree. Don’t have any of the sort? Check out the below selection to get your shopping cart rolling (they’re all under $50 to take into mind your holiday shopping list needs).

All the above looks are below $50 and each image is linked to the appropriate retailer. Anything catch your eye? Let me know!

Do you have anything green in your closet to rock for the holidays?

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Scarf It Down

Nothing welcomes in a cold front like a piece of fabric around your neck. I’m a huge fan of ombre colors and pashminas every shade of the rainbow. My recent interest in knitting and crochet has also added to the scarf maze. My new goal? A pretty cowl, or infinity scarf.

There are different variations available, from the chunkiest knits for warmth, to the thinnest strands to replace a necklace. If you want to wrap it around your neck more than once, make sure that when trying on, it measures around your neck to your waist on both the right and left side at least.

How about if you want to put the scarf under your outfit and utilize it for it’s optimal warmth qualities? If using a scarf that can wrap (as opposed to a cowl), flatten out the ends into your sweater or blazer. This acts as an extra layer on your torso and adds quite a bit of warmth.

If you’re toting a scarf for just in case purposes, there’s always the option of wrapping it around yourself like a diva (I love the look!) over any outfit. From T-shirts to peacoats, a scarf on top never looks bad. Check out the look above for the different styles, and as always, clicking on the image brings you to the retailer.

What’s your scarf style?

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Fall Layering

MyOwnJudge - Emily OsmentEmily Osment attended the Halloween Carnival in Los Angeles earlier last week, debuting the perfect fall style. Haley Joel‘s sister and Disney star was wearing the perfect style of layering for fall – the best way to make your summer wardrobe last longer by doubling up.

Pair short sleeve knits over longer sleeves.
This creates contrast, but also keeps your torso warm when chills come around.

Wrap a sock around that jean.
Socks are great for holding denim in place when tucking into boots, but when you have a knee high sock that peeks out of the boot, that’s even better.

Pair with some cute bangles in a complimentary jewel tone and a long strand necklace is all you need to complete the look.

How do you layer in Fall?

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Teen Vogue’s Youth in Hollywood is all Wrapped Up

MyOwnJudge - Teen Vogue Young HollywoodThe young stars and starlets showed up for Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood event. The best dressed ladies had two things in common – high waist menswear and wrap skirts and dresses.

 Photo Credit:

The festivities involved plenty of fashion and fresh faces on the scene as well as tween, teen, twenty-somethings, and the rest of the in crowd. Twitter was all abuzz about the Michael Kors presentation, and plenty more. Check out the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood shoot at their site, favorites from Scott Pilgrim and more are giving their best poses, and read on for tips on how to copy the looks after the jump!

When wearing a wrap skirt or a high waist pant, remember the attention is on the bottom. Keep the top simple and tucked in, and if it’s cold and you have to wear tights, keep it to one color, so as not to steal away the limelight.

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Current Obsession: Georgie Badiel

As I am trying to get together my final posts about Fashion Week, I saw a familiar face repeat across the film (or digital film rather). Georgie Badiel, former Miss Africa (2005 – who knew?!). So I took to the net to check out her portfolio – funny how we can look someone up and know their business without ever exchanging words, eh?

MOJ Georgie Badiel

Well the girl has been busy as hell. Check out her photos from here or NYMag here. The outfit she walked down the runway at the Rick Owens show this past season was my favorite. Plenty of grays on leggings with a billowy top. Gray is the perfect color for any season because it is the perfect medium for any kind of weather, and it can also be darkened with some darker colors, or brightened with some neon, etc. The most popular combination is gray and yellow (and I have some shirts and shoes to attest to that fact).

Now, if any of you were just thinking, ‘Okay Yaya, I know you have a point coming up somewhere in this post‘ then you were correct! I was digging deep into her portfolio and found one image on NYMag from the off the runway photos with Georgie (center) and other models. The colors in this gem? All of them! In many places, purple is a regal color, and yellow can be tinted to resemble gold. Both are pretty fab and they look amazing together. Again – depending on the shade, it can be appropriate for winter or summer and all the seasons in between. But since we’re approaching spring? Check out the fab neutral frock that snuck into the photo! These ladies (at the African Fashion Collective during the February 2009 show) are showing you what spring is all about!

Are these colors appearing in your spring wardrobe?

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Blazing into and through Spring

MOJ Blazers for springYesterday, right before I had to go to class, I made sure to give myself the right amount of time to head into Macy’s to check out the new MAC collections so that I could purchases some new products with my gift card with minimal guilt. What a great student, right?

Image Credit: DeviantArt artist picturelock

As a prelude, let me tell you that my new favorite pastime is checking out the selection that Macy’s  has in the INC International Concepts collection. They’ve got some stunners y’all! My current list of wants includes a yellow top with a black contrast zipper and ruffle center and a cropped light gray blazer. But that’s if I were to limit myself. If I were to indulge myself, I’d go nuts.

The point of my story though, is that the blazer has evolved from being a corporate wardrobe must have and sometimes jacket, to a staple in many a gal’s closet. What once was trendy in the ‘boyfriend’ variety (think tunic length with a dash of masculine) is now current in all shapes and sizes, from tunic length to cropped, and from long sleeves to wherever you want to roll it up. During Fashion Week, my black cotton three quarter sleeve blazer from Uniqlo was a godsend because not only did the fabric move with me freely, but the pockets were spacious enough to accommodate some business cards, a phone, a gloss, a pen, and sometimes even a camera. As I wore it then and again through the week I thought to myself, this baby is going to put in some serious work until bathing suit season.

That got me thinking. How does one gal stand out from another as spring arrives. Spring, notorious for the resurgence of bright, if not a pastel version, of colors, is still chilly enough for us to use our layering genius to partner a variety of tops under a blazer or two. No one wants to buy a different blazer for each top, and no one wants to look like they’re wearing the same thing everyday. What to do?

Perfect the Feel and Fit
If you don’t already have the perfect blazer, make sure your blazer hugs you just the way you want it to. Does it hug your biceps too tight when you raise your arms? Does it look good buttoned and unbuttoned? The bevy of cotton blazers on the market make it easy for the blazer to sit better than a conventional suit jacket you may see on businessmen and women. These tend to hug your curves like a tee or a soft sweater, giving the illusion that you paid big bucks for your garment. Also – the fabric allows for breath-ability – pretty important when the weather starts getting warmer. You should consider this when trying out fleece options that may seem cute but will bite you in the butt the day you start sweating as if under interrogation. Also to consider? Possible uses of the garment. If you want to roll up your sleeves, etc. make sure that the fabric is going to allow you that leeway.

Getting a big blazer? A boxy blazer makes a big statement, but you don’t want it to say that you’re the one that’s big. Make sure to keep your waist defined with a belt if you have loose pants, or slip on some skinny jeans!

Go for the Details
When looking for a blazer to stand out, a black one may seem practical for its multipurpose nature, but why not gray? Varying levels of gray are on racks in stores everywhere vying for your attention. If you really don’t want to budge from the black, check the lining for a fun pattern. This will show in the event that you roll up your sleeves (and you should!). Ruffles and sequins are also great details on the sleeves, collars, buttons, waists, pockets, where have you.

You’re so Bright
Choosing a color that compliments a lot of others in your closet is key in making an item worth its cost. I like to stay away from white blazers because I am guaranteed to fudge it up within minutes. I stick to gray and black. Their friendliness with all the other colors in my closet gives me the push to break out the brights. Wear yellow, pink, purple, etc. under your blazer. Try ruffle tops and let the ruffle come out over the center of your blazer (think of a lion’s chest). Take a tip from our nation’s first lady and invest in a bunch of pins. Use one or several to dress up your blazer. Patches work just as well (but make sure to pin them and not iron them on if you want to change them up!). My favorite tip (don’t ever say I don’t share my secrets!)? I like to use to pins to connect a necklace across the collar. Not your cup of tea? Go to the fabric store and get yourself some unique buttons, and change the buttons out on your blazer. You can even roll up your sleeves and add a new button on each side to keep them from rolling down.

If all else fails, rock a bib necklace to accent the life out of that sucker.

If you’re a party princess, you can party up in your blazer too. Wear it over a dress, a lace top, a bustier, or even a bra. Confidence is key. Wear what makes you feel good.

Here are some great blazers at Macy’s under $100. Which one is your taste?

Grass Jeans at ShopStyle

Do you have any blazers for spring? How do you dress them up?

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Magazine Weekend: Fitness Magazine Jan ’10

So now that we are back in full swing at MOJ, I am at the ready with plenty a Magazine Weekend mention for how to keep your winter full of tips and minimize your lack of knowledge on beauty and… warmth.

When I was younger, I couldn’t understand how I would be going out with friends and would find others wearing a simple hoodie, or a light jacket and I was the one standing looking like the Michellin man with my bubble jacket, mittens, ear muffs, a hat, ski looking pants, and more. How were these people not immediately transforming into icicles? Then I got older.

Between meeting the honey (who always looks like he needs to be wearing 2 more jackets but is actually nearly always warm), and observing others, I have learned the tricks to layering clothes without looking like a bear, as well as feeling like a twig about to fly away and freeze.

MOJ Magazine Weekend to my favorite winter jacket, I can skip the second step in this tip from Fitness Magazine‘s January issue and wear a butter soft long sleeve top (my favorites are the super thin cotton 3/4 sleeve tops at Uniqlo) under my jacket. But I will make sure to use this tip when I am trying to look extra cute with my feather light trench coats (which have no inkling of warmth). The best part about all this (other than being warm)? You can make use of all your fancy summer tees, your fall cardigans, and your winter jackets! Talk about seasonless attire!

I’d also check out the rest of the magazine if I were you. They have great fitness pointers, a chart about how effective your working out is if you are alone, at home, with a friend, etc. Some other great info? I learned whether or not you can really lose weight the day before an event, and which snow activities burn the most calories (how do you feel about sledding)?

How do you layer?

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Red, Bright, and Winter Blues

Ever since I was little, colder weather meant stern-er clothing. Break out the bleak and the dark. Maybe it was a daylight savings time phenomenon, but the all black uniform applied more often when the sun was less social.

Me? Give me a reason to wear (or purchase and let it sit in my closet for years before I notice it) a neon lime sweater and I’m all ears. If you don’t have the acquired taste for neons and brights when the weather sends your knees a-knockin’, take cues from favorite mags for December and January on wearing colors not as loud, but with just as much voice.

Red White and Winter Blues

Granted, the magazine shoots are done months in advance, but you can’t help loving the pop of brightness in each photo. This makes me concede to blondes having fun, well – at least in these photos. Take that military jacket in red instead of black when you shop, and try on a sunny yellow tunic for a snowy day.

Have you injected a bit of color into your winter wardrobe? Plan to? Let me know!

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