Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Regurgitating Our Spring Forecast

Due to our huge downtime with the store lately, I sifted through some of my past posts and found the Spring 2008 forecast. So, just to refresh your memory of what to wear this year, check it out and here are some of the great items we are patiently waiting to add to the store:
Petite polka dots are never out of style and this blouse is so silky and cute - also in navy. Destined to become a fave.
We love black and white prints and this strapless number with flower embroidery is gorgeous.The moodier gray of Fall gives way to softer gray tones for Spring - this basic tunic is ultra comfy.

Psychedelic 70s are in and this print hurts my eyes so much that I love it.
All of these finds are great quality and under $40. Can you believe it?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Let's Give Away Stuff...Week 3 Winner

The winner of our surprise give away this week is Celia R. Congratulations and thanks to all of our commenting bloggers and friends who signed up for our newsletter. We are going to take a break due to some serious downtime we have been experiencing switching our web host and upgrading our site. We will be back next week week with a special Valentine's Day give away for our blog friends and a few meaningful posts in between!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Affordable Fashion Finds - Hemline

I shop at Hemline and love their mix of hi/low fashion and their sale prices are drop dead righteous. Keep this shop in your arsenal if you are looking for a steal on some great quality clothing. Snap up some of their great sale items right now:

Lucca Bohemian Print Dress $15.50 - Love this free spirited, earthy and feminine look.

Free People Ali Frock $32 - Every gal can use a sexy and figure flattering sundress in her closet for those emergency summer parties and weddings.

Soda Blu Cropped Pant
$15.50 - I love Soda Blu's affordable quality and these pants can be dressed up or down and will become a staple in your closet.

Tulle Cadet Coat $28 - The clean styling in this classic wool blend pea coat makes it a super deal and a great addition to your winter wardrobe. Every gal needs a good black coat and this is the perfect length to wear with skirts, dresses and pants.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Q&A - Help For Beanpoles

Q: I visited your site recently and noticed you had a section on how to dress well for your body type. It was nice to see that resource and I was hoping you could give me some advice. I am naturally thin and have been all of my life. I eat and don't excercise much and I feel as if women resent me sometimes. Like I have nothing to worry about because I look good in anything. Maybe so, but I don't feel good in half of the things I wear and really need some help. Any suggestions to downplay a beanpole body type? Thanks...Meghan

A: Yes it is true that I don't get a lot of questions regarding this dilemma, but I can understand it all the same. With the obesity epidemic and everyone trying hard to lose weight, it must be tough being the thin one. It seems it is not your fault and just like women who want to camouflage big hips or chunky thighs, you want to camouflage your skinny. Lucky for you because your frame lends itself to an array of silhouettes many women only dream of wearing (we don't really hate you, we're just really jealous). You want to look for clothing with volume, print and fussy details. Here are some ideas:

1. Fabric

Choose structured fabrics that add form to your figure rather than clingy or light fabrics that show your figure. Shiny fabrics reflect light and can make you appear larger, and matte and darker fabrics will make you appear slimmer.
Tressa snakeskin taffeta skirt Not only do you have the volume of this skirt working for you, the snakeskin pattern and metallic fabric is substantial.
Alexis Cotton Top The trapeze style silhouette and stiff cotton fabric add dimension to a thin upper body.

2. Bold Prints and Color

Large, colorful prints can make big women look bigger. But in your case, they can be your best friend.
Purple Tie Die Dress A great style for women with "boyish" figures - slimmer hips and wider shoulders.
Severine Sweater The bold zig-zag print against the white background really stands out and bulks up the bust and hip area.

3. Volume

No, I'm not saying you have to wear a tent, but experiment with the trapeze style silhouette and full or pleated skirts. High waisted, wide legged trouser pants also work well (unless you have a short torso, then opt for a lower style). Leggings are your worst enemy unless you have thick legs, otherwise layer them under a skirt or tunic, or wear with high boots. Sweater dresses are thicker and naturally add volume.
Biaz Jersey Dress Trapeze styling and full lantern sleeves add volume.
Audrey Dress The wider neckline, empire waist and fuller skirt help to camouflage your lack of curves.
Drifter Triad Sweater
A voluminous, feminine silhouette contrasts this urban print zip-up.

4. Fussy Details

Ruffles and puff sleeves, and ruching oh my! If you want to make an area appear larger, go for the embellishments and have some fun. In my opinion, ruffles and voluminous sleeves look stellar on thin women when they just don't seem right on bigger gals.
Red Puff Sleeve Tee
Adds volume to the bust and shoulder area via the ruffles and puff sleeves.
Gatsby Blouse Large ruffles from the collar to waist and front pleating add dimension.
Thomasina Shirtdress The ruffled collar and waist add volume to the torso. The puff sleeves and wide neck balance the look.

We would love to help with your styling dilemma - just drop us a question at customer@ladylanguage.com and we will be sure to answer it. We will also feature one question each Friday here on our blog (and any pictures you may want to send as well!). And we promise to someday widen our blog so the pictures and text aren't squished!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Solution To Spanx...Part 3

It's 15 below here in the Midwest and all I want to do is drink hot chocolate and eat chocolate covered donuts (not the good kind...the kind that have way too many preservatives and are rock hard therefore surviving for many months in my pantry). My body is in hibernation for the long cold winter and my bones ache from the dry cold. It's difficult rousting my body in motion to perform any type of activity, including climbing the stairs to go to bed. I have been staying up too late, eating too much and moving my body too little. So I leave you with the last post in which the Solution To Spanx will be completed. I know what I should be doing, I just don't feel like doing it, okay? So here we go...

In our first post, we gave advice on how to better your diet to sustain your weight and live healthy. The second post covered exercise and keeping your body fit and now we are going to talk about the last three items in our Top 10 .

8. Get Enough Sleep and Reduce Stress

Lack of sleep and extra stress can make some people eat more. When you are tired your brain chemistry is off or something...okay, so I am too tired and hungry to research this one, so why don't you just head over to Web MD or Google it to get the facts. And stress...don't get me started. How does anyone function under severe stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

9. Wear Clothing Appropriate For Your Body Type

Many women could look 10 pounds lighter simply by wearing figure flattering styles. So for those of you who want to skip the dieting and exercise, learn how to use clothing to your advantage (and yes, this even works with swimsuits). Stay tuned for our Figure Flattery weekly feature for tips on how to look good in your clothing. Go ahead, keep eating those donuts.

10. Schedule time to exercise and plan your meals

The biggest obstacle to leading a healthy lifestyle is lack of planning. Find the best time of day to exercise. Don't force your body out of bed at 5am for a run if you are not a morning person. Plan your meals and shop with a list to reduce the "bad" foods in your pantry - you'll at least have an alternative to eating those donuts or making that last minute dinner trip through the drive through.

Whew! It feels good to have that three part post out of the way. Here's to healthy living for the rest of the year! Good luck to all of us sloths who must endure the cold, darkness of the North. And to those of you who live in the warmer parts of the world...feel the warmth of my jealousy radiating from the Midwest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Would You Pay $895 For This?

I often look to designer fashion for inspiration, particularly when buying for the store. I can't help but cringe when I see the prices on many of these items - what goes through a woman's mind when purchasing such a piece? I don't get it. Even if I had $900 clams to blow on a chiffon tank top from Stella McCartney, I would not. Okay, take away a zero and MAYBE I would jump. I guess it is no different than buying expensive cars, handbags or TVs. But then again, I don't buy that stuff either. I have a 1997 Toyota Avalon that I hope survives another few years and our big screen TV from 1999 is a whopping 25 inches. Most of the clothing I acquire is thrifted, on sale at a huge discount (yes I do have some BCBG and Cynthia Steffe in my closet), or from affordable online boutiques.

I don't get emotional when it comes to purchasing clothing - I see a need, I fill a need. Although I do like to obsess about fashion (but it is more of an artistic obsession), I don't have to have the latest designer styles. So what goes through a woman's mind when she blows that kind of cash? Has anyone out there spent a small fortune on an article of clothing lately? Leave me a comment and let me know what it was and why you did it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let's Give Away Stuff...Week 3

The winner of our surprise give away this week is Katy L. Congratulations and thanks to all of our commenting bloggers and friends who signed up for our newsletter. In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl (we have our fingers crossed for Green Bay - GO PACK) we are giving away a couch potato package complete with a cozy thermal shirt from Saint Grace and pair of leggings from Soda Blu.

We will pick the winner right here next Sunday evening. Enter to win by commenting on any blog post or sign up for our newsletter. And, for those that sign up for the newsletter, you will be automatically entered into our $250 shopping spree giveaway the end of January. Oh, how I wish it were Spring in Wisconsin...Good luck!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Solution To Spanx...Part 2

We are mid-way through January and it's frigid in the Midwest. The perfect time of year to huddle on the couch, watch football, drink beer and gobble chips (GO PACK). Forget squeezing into those running tights and sprinting around the block. This is the time of year we are happy and content...doing nothing at all. Exercise is a distant memory of Summer's past and will not catch up with us for at least a couple more months.

In our first post, we gave advice on how to better your diet to sustain your weight and live healthy. Now, we are going to talk about getting that swimsuit worthy physique. Items 4-7 on our Top 10 go hand in hand. If you want a rock hard body, the key is to MOVE YOUR BODY!

4. Lift weights
You lose muscle as you age, you gain weight as you age, and muscle burns more calories than fat , so wouldn't it make sense to build and maintain that muscle? If not purely for aesthetic purposes, then for strength later in life? I know many women refuse to pump iron because they think they will turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is simply not true for the average weight lifter (don't be scared by the picture - this woman is clearly on steroids, mega protein and intensive training). One of my favorite informational sites on weight training is BodyBuilding.com. And, if you are a women looking to develop a weight training routine to get lean (not bulky), you should read this article. The key is to get your muscles used to working hard. You can also try resistance training using your body weight or rubber bands if dumbbells are too hardcore. Muscles and Fitness is also another great resource for Women and Men.

5. Stretch your muscles
Staying limber is the key to preventing injury. Perform a stretching routine at least two to three times per week. Web MD is a trusted resource and you can learn more about basic stretching exercises here. For a dual approach, try Yoga or Pilates - not only will you stretch your muscles, you also gain resistance training benefits. About.com features a ton of resources on these exercises. And, as an avid reader of Yoga Journal, I highly recommend their website and magazine if you seek intermediate to advanced techniques and inspiration.

6. Perform aerobic activity
To burn excess calories and keep your heart fit, aerobic activity is required. Three to four times per week for 30 minutes is adequate to maintain, but additional sessions may be necessary to lose weight. If you get bored with a full 30 minutes, break it up into 2 or 3 short bursts during the day. Dance, climb the stairs, jump rope, bicycle, walk, jog, run, karate, kick box... any activity that increases and sustains your heart rate for that period of time. Web MD has a comprehensive health and fitness section that is worth your attention.

7. Move more and sit less
Yeah, duh! It's no secret that you burn more calories standing than you do sitting. Small changes to your daily routine can have a huge impact on your weight and overall health. Ditch the drive through at Starbucks and walk in. Park your car farther away from your destination to steal a brisk walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator...you get the idea.

Moving your body and eating healthy should be part of a daily routine. Decide what is best for your lifestyle and seek advice from your doctor or a professional trainer before you begin. It is extremely important that you know how to correctly execute stretching and weight lifting movements to prevent injury. Now get your butt off the couch and get moving!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Get a Classy Look For Less...Much Less

Oh, how I love these high waisted pinstripe pants. So flattering, clean and classy.

Admire the Rich and Skinny pants pictured here, but please don't pay $273.00!

Lady Language has the equally fabulous High Waist Pinstripe Pants at a most affordable $58.80!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let's Give Away Stuff...Week 2

The winner of our first give away in 2008 is Rebecca H.! Congratulations and thanks to all of our commenting bloggers and friends who signed up for our newsletter. This week's give away is a surprise and we'll give you a hint - it's not a dress!

We will pick the winner right here next Sunday evening. Enter to win by commenting on any blog post or sign up for our newsletter. And, for those that sign up for the newsletter, you will be automatically entered into our $250 shopping spree giveaway the end of January. Good luck!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Are You a Fashion Slave?

Being a slave to fashion is never on trend. And I quote directly from a Marilyn Kirschner Daily Fashion Report:

“And for heaven’s sake, please don’t listen to those so called ‘fashion experts’ who wish to remind their audience that there are certain fashion ‘rules’ to obey: like not wearing white after Labor Day; or the one that says if you wore a trend the first time…don’t wear it again.. What a laugh and what a stupid rule. Any way, rules are meant to be broken, n’est past?”

In the end, it’s between you and your closet, what you can and can’t afford and what YOU like. It’s nobody’s business what you choose to wear. Your clothes should make you feel beautiful and fit well with your body type and personal style. If you are comfortable wearing white in Winter, go ahead. If those skinny jeans look undeniably perfect on your long limbs, more power to you. Keep the fashion rules and trends in your peripheral and bring the focus on yourself to the front. I think the world is aglow with women who know fashion and style just as well, if not better, than any paid expert or stylist.

How can you tell if you are a fashion slave?

1. Nothing in your closet matches or works well together.
2. You leave the house looking like Victoria Beckham
3. Your favorite T-shirt has a designer name stamped on the front (or back).
4. Your friends comment on your "interesting" look all the time.
5. You are always uncomfortable in your clothing and never have anything appropriate to wear.

To read more about the DFR or Marilyn Kirschner, check out The Look Online.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Depths of a Shallow Fashion Blog

There is more to us than meets the eye. The Lady is comprised of three sisters, Michelle, Jessica, and Stephanie. We are all Moms and have almost 7 children between the ages of 0 and 11 among us. Michelle is the mind behind the Lady - 90% of the content swims in her head. Jessica and Stephanie have actual lives. They don’t live in the E-world, but they get sucked in to help. Jessica is ambitiously pursuing two careers, is pregnant (due in March) and plans to become a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). Stephanie has three children in elementary school and is in college full-time pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse.

So what drives us further into the depths of fashion? Ask Michelle: "To be a part of the fashion world has been my dream since the age of 12. I never pursued a career in fashion because my parent’s were not fond of the idea, so I swayed towards computers because I had a knack for learning code and teaching software. I continued to study fashion like a fiend and it has always been a part of my life - not in a “I look better than you way”, but in an artistic “the color and drape of your dress is striking” kind of way. I admire women who have personal style and understand what looks great on their body, not an idealized form. It is always better to follow your inner fashion mind instead of celebrity looks and fads."

I sketched fashion designs when I was a teen (it’s okay to laugh, it was the 80s and I was only 13):I paint with acrylics (I started painting in 2001 right after the birth of my son). The building was my first attempt (I hated this painting). I actually sold my second painting (a field of tulips) and wish I had kept it.

This is my favorite because of the color:

I sketch my kids frantically while getting them juice and watching them play:

I tried to paint my son once - it was difficult and I ended up creating a deformed club hand!

I write songs and poetry but will not completely reveal myself to the public!

Art, music and fashion will always move my soul. I love expressing emotion, movement and contrast through painting and sketching. I also enjoy finding that perfect dress or pair of shoes. My creative endeavors keep me alive and will take on many different forms throughout my lifetime. Currently, that form happens to be Lady Language.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooh I Wanna Take You To Bermuda...

It only takes a few chance happenings for me to write about something and lately I have been reading about Men and their shorts. The Iron Chic says that men wearing shorts is a deal breaker. This is how it started. Then a few days later, I saw an ad in a magazine dating back to the 80s featuring those awful cut-off denim Bermudas. Anyone remember the frayed acid washed looked? Yes, it was frightening (and the mullet wasn't too cool either). The next evening, I was reading about 1950s fashion and noticed that Bermuda shorts became very popular in America during this decade.

As most of you know, we are LADY Language, and don’t usually talk about Men’s fashion around here. But, as a service to all of those women who have husbands, brothers, sons (or if you are one of our fabulous male readers - we love to see your smiling faces), here are the rules for wearing Bermuda shorts:

1. Absolutely no Bermuda shorts with a blazer - don't even think about wearing this to work. You might as well just wear your boxer shorts as they have the same effect.
2. PLEASE, do not pair them with knee high socks and dress shoes or loafers.
3. DO NOT sport your bare feet in loafers while wearing Bermudas (refer to #2 regarding socks).
4. I know it’s hard to hear, but you cannot, and I repeat CANNOT wear them with a cardigan sweater.
5. Ditch the jean short Bermudas, please...I can’t beg you enough. If these become popular again, I am seriously gonna cry (the way I did when I saw the Water Horse).

But alas, there is hope. Here are the circumstances in which you MAY wear them:

1. You carry a man purse.
2. You are over 55 and live in Florida or Arizona.
3. You are younger than 18.
4. You are a member of the British Military
5. You golf or play tennis (yeah, it’s okay Dad)
6. You live in Bermuda (seriously, it is the Male dress code - they wear them 3 inches above the knee and this is the trend origin).

None of the above apply to you but you still wear 'em? So does my husband. No worries, please just wear a casual shirt or tee shirt and be sure they AT LEAST go down to the top of your knee. DO NOT wear them mid-thigh...no...it is not sexy. Save the short shorts for the gym...a sweaty guy with bulging thighs in short shorts at the gym...now that is sexy.

Want more male fashion? Head on over to Manchic for some eye candy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Our Favorite Things...The Pencil Skirt

Did you know that the modern day pencil skirt was inspired by an early fashion torture device named the hobble skirt? First appearing as a long skirt with a strap around the ankles in the 1880s, and later becoming popular in the 1910s by Paul Poiret, the hobble skirt featured an extremely tight hem. Hobble refers to the limited movement one experiences while wearing the skirt, though alternatively, the hobble was a strap used around the legs of a horse to restrict movement.

One can only imagine why this style became so popular again in the 1950s. Women did not wear pants and were supposed to act ladylike and this skirt did the trick. I think it was a Father’s dream outfit for his daughter as it shortens the stride rendering the wearer unable to run and allows virtually no leg spreading or any object to pass between the legs. No thoughts of trying out for the track team or necking in the back of Bobby’s parent’s Bel Air.

Regardless of the history, the pencil skirt embodies Parisian style mixed with beatnik cool. It is a timeless style that is constantly recycled. Any woman can wear it (especially the Spanx version with the modern day corset). This type of skirt elongates the legs and creates a sleek silhouette. The key to a flattering fit is to wear it slightly above the knee to not less than an inch and a half below the knee. If you have great legs, wear it as high as mid-thigh. If you have shorter legs, wear it with classic 2 inch heels, low vamp, and pointy toe.
Left: Spanx Pencil Skirt
Middle: Soda Blu Pencil Skirt
Right: High Waist Pencil Skirt

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Let's Give Away Stuff

If you're looking for a great giveaway, then you have come to the right place. And you thought we'd leave you hanging in the New Year...NO WAY! Through January we are going to be giving away some fab gifts including jewelry, loungewear and a $250 shopping spree.

This week, we are giving away a stylish pair of high waisted trousers by Soda Blu. They retail for $84 (and they are currently 30% off at ladylanguage.com).

Soda Blu creates modern clothing with clean lines and great quality at an unbelievably affordable price. The clothing is made and manufactured in New York and sold in many boutiques specializing in high end designer brands such as Chloe, Mike and Chris, and Trovata.

We will pick the winner right here next Sunday evening. Enter to win by commenting on any blog post or sign up for our newsletter. And, for those that sign up for the newsletter, you will be automatically entered into $250 shopping spree giveaway the end of January. Good luck!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Oh How We Love Thy Customer

Really, we do. Our customers mean the world to us and they are the main reason we operate this business (oh yeah, and the discount on clothing is pretty cool too). I think it's safe to say that we have superb customer service and work very hard to please everyone. It is truly the highlight of our day when we make a customer happy (and when they share the news with us). We recently met the charming and witty Tatiana (a.k.a rizado) who is a customer and also a fellow blogger. She has a great post about her experience with Lady Language (no, we did not pay her!) so please check it out if you have a few moments. Tatiana found her way to our site through our friends at Painfully Hip - they have a great new blog layout that you must see and we are all anxiously awaiting their best of 2007 Thrift Stars post!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Solution To Spanx...Part 1

So you spent a good portion of the holiday season hanging out with friends and family, avoiding excercise, and eating way too much food? Join the club. Now comes the wake up call. Another year has passed and a new one is beginning. Are you happy with your body and how you look in your clothing? Do you need a jump start to get you on the path to better health? As promised, we will share our Top 10 plus a few extra tips to get you moving through the month of January. Buh bye Spanx!

Our first three tips involve some simple modifications to your diet. Focus on what's going into your body and pay attention to ingredients:

1. Eliminate refined sugar and sugar additives in your diet. The average person should not consume more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day. Consuming too much has been linked to obesity, cancer, diabetes and other health issues. The simplest approach to kicking this habit is by cutting out all high sugar, low nutrient foods. For example, soda and fruit drinks, sweet tea, and candy. An occasional treat is permitted, just don't include these items in your daily meal planning. Also, pay attention to added sugar in your foods especially cereals, salad dressing, and sauces. If sugar is the first ingredient, pass it by, especially if it is high fructose corn syryp. Other sugar additives include maltose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose and molasses.

2. Add protein to each meal and you won't be hungry in an hour. It takes your body longer to digest and process protein and we use it more readily than other nutrients to build muscles and repair tissue. Meat is an obvious source of protein, but you can also get it from fish, nuts, beans, eggs, dairy products (especially cottage cheese). The average active person needs about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.

3. Reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates (yes, sugar is a carb). You've heard it many times before - don't fill up on bread or chips before your meal particularly if it is made with white flour. These types of carbs are easily converted to sugar in the body and that sugar is stored as triglycerides (and we're not talking about the good kind). Look for bread and pasta made with whole grain and learn to like it. If you can't live without the good stuff, reduce your carbohydrate intake by 1/3 - 1/2 at each meal and fill up on fruits, vegetables and protein instead (for example, have a 1/2 cup of white rice with your chicken instead of a full cup).

We hope these tips will get you off to a good start and be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health concerns. Web MD is a wonderful resource for healthy eating and is well trusted. HelpGuide.org also has another great resource for healthy eating. We are not health experts (remember, fashion is our penchant) but we do take care of our bodies and know quite a bit about staying in shape. Let us know if you have any other related tips on healthy eating!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008...

And say goodbye to my 4 inch patent leather, peep toe heels...at least when I am in public with my husband. Needless to say our New Year's Eve did not go as planned. The shoes I so desperately searched for and found were not worn (as I towered 3 inches above my husband, he informed me that he would never be seen with me in public wearing those, but they are okay in the privacy of our...umm...bedroom). Then I felt a bit awkward...I guess you could say manly. Standing 6 foot 3 beside my husband, I felt like I could pick him up and carry him away. Yes, I think two inches is definitely my height limit on shoes. I did not wear the dress I was planning or my electric blue tights, but opted for a classy pair of black trousers, a Rebecca Beeson v-neck top, holiday cardigan and black ballet flats...boring but comfortable.

We had an awful, overpriced dinner at a restaurant we frequent. My crab legs were ice cold, the service was slow and the entertainment scheduled for 8pm was just walking in the door at 9:10. My son was disappointed that he did not get to hear one of his favorite singers, Lucas Cates, (but at least he got to say hello to him as we were walking out the door). We were home by 9:30 and the kids were asleep by 10. The rest of the night consisted of drinking a bottle of champagne and watching the Simpsons Movie and the last 5 minutes of the Time's Square New Year's Eve special. It's a good thing we stayed home, otherwise, I would have missed Mariah Carey in her annual bare-it-all costume (the 2006 ensemble is pictured above, courtesy IMB - because I can't find a pic yet of this year). Can someone please tell her that her voice is really all she needs and to put some clothes on? Best Wishes to you all in the New Year!