Welcome to Real Life Style Blog!

Can changing your wardrobe really change your life? Of course it can! Imagine how light and powerful you would feel if 100% of the clothes in your closet were the right clothes for you right now. Imagine that your wardrobe reflected both your personality and your personal style, while suiting your lifestyle. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Real Life Style. Want to be able to look and feel put together in just 2 minutes a day? You can.

Click here for more information about how you can work with Lani and click here to schedule your free consultation. Because fashion should be an outlet for fun, not frustration!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Be True To Your Hue

Be True To Your Hue. I saw this line in a Gap ad for Spring and immediately thought, "Yes, that's it exactly!" The Gap ad was referring to brightly colored jeans; I'm referring to the fact that we all have that one color which looks best on us. This is the color that makes us shine a little brighter, the one that compliments our exact combination of hair, eye and skin color. Smart celebrities, and their stylists of course, figure out what their true hue is and make it a signature. Think Julianne Moore in green, Ellen in white and Emma Stone in red. And who else but Jennifer Aniston, with her golden hair and skin, could pull off beige as a signature color?

What's your true hue? Don't know? Pay attention to what color garners you the most compliments. It always amuses me when a client has an obviously ill-fitting garment in her closet that she tells me attracts compliments every time she wears it. It has never occurred to her that this is due to the color, not whether or not the garment actually flatters her body shape. This is my way of saying a good color is still no excuse for unflattering clothing.

I'll never forget going into the closet of a woman with very pale skin and beautiful red hair, and finding no flattering colors. We purchased a Kelly green rain coat from Burberry and I swear it changed her life. Remember the movie Pleasantville, when the characters turn from black and white to color? It was like that.

Need some professional help figuring out your best colors but not ready to hire a stylist? Try Life in Color: The Visual Therapy Guide to the Perfect Palette--For Fashion, Beauty, and You by Visual Therapy, otherwise known as the gentlemen who taught me everything I know.

Julianne Moore in Tom Ford
Ellen DeGeneres in Zac Posen
Jennifer Aniston in Donna Karan
Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli
Life in Color by Visual Therapy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Bag For Every Whim

Eye Candy this week! A super fun trend for Spring 2012 is the whimsical handbag. My favorite is the Kate Spade All Aboard Ship Clutch. Which is your favorite? 

Kate Spade All Aboard Ship Clutch $358
Charlotte Olympia Leaf Two-Tone Leather Clutch $545
Roger Vivier Purse
Lisa Perry Hoop Bag $200
Judith Lieber Conch Shell Clutch $6,195
Lulu Guinness Black Camera Emily Bag $295

Timmy Woods Cupcake Purse $183
Kate Spade 'Charm Travel Magazine' Clutch $298
Antik Batik Hida Embellished Cotton Clutch $115
Alexander McQueen Jaw Skull Sequined Box Clutch $2,240

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spotlight on Spring 2012: Shorts

One of the freshest trends for Spring 2012 is "the short", as we in fashion like to call shorts. Makes them sound more glamourous than something you wore when you were a kid, doesn't it? Not only have I highlighted some of the best options of the season for you, but I'm also here to tell you how to wear them! Dress them up, dress them down or find someplace in between: the three top and shoe options shown here will give you endless ways to make "the short" your own.
Markus Lupfer lace and poplin shorts $515
Dolce & Gabbana lace and crepe shorts $925
True Religion Jayde boyfriend shorts $150
J. Crew scalloped shorts $118 
H&M denim shorts $20
Burberry Brit cotton canvas shorts $260
Red Valentino lace shorts $367
Karl sabine sequined shorts $270
YSL cotton canvas shorts $750
Milly denim shorts $215
Alice by Temperley leather shorts $611
Citizens of Humanity floral shorts $170
The Wardrobe shorts $110
Halston Heritage sequin shorts $470
Pair your shorts with any of these three tops to take your look from casual to dressy and all places in between.
J. Crew faded chambray shirt $78
J. Crew Talitha blouse $110
Equipment black blouse $365
Notice the nude hue in all three of these shoe options? The nuder the shoe, the longer your legs look. And that, my dear readers, is the whole point of wearing "the short."

J. Crew Kira sandals $118
J. Crew Sydney patent sandals $228
J. Crew Savina studded sandals $265

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Rebuttal from a Southern Girl

Stirring up fashion controversy is fun! The fashion topics which usually result in heated discussions are pleats in men's pants and whether or not you can wear black and navy together. I think we have found a new one! For those of you who did not yet read yesterday's blog post about what I perceive to be an inability to dress appropriately for the seasons in DC, click here or scroll down before you read the reaction of a true southern girl below. Maybe next week I'll talk about black and navy!
Jack Rogers Sandals 
Just had this conversation at lunch today. Clearly you did not think about what my response would be as a Southerner before reaching your conclusion. OF COURSE wearing summer white is not okay in March in the South. Where in the country is the no white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day rule most strictly adhered to? Where do sororities and the junior league still school the majority of college girls and young women on the importance of such rules? That would be in the South. Never in my hometown would someone ask the question I was asked today: "Why do we even have that rule about not wearing white in winter? Were there a bunch of old ladies sitting around with nothing better to do who wanted to be in control?" I mean really. My response was that I could only think of impolite responses and thus I really could not answer her. (Because anyone with any sense of style or propriety would not be caught dead wearing summer clothes in the winter! Because it just looks completely wrong and tasteless! Because you do not live in Miami! Because the fashion gods know better than you!)
The only concession I will make is that in the Deep South we do tend to use Easter as the marker for the day you can begin to wear white for the season instead of Memorial Day (traditionally that's the date by which you buy your white- ie, summer -church shoes for the year, to be worn with your new pastel Easter dress), and sometimes Easter can come in March. But rarely does it come on March 1st, and it certainly doesn't this year. Easter 2012 is April 8th. And in any event, no, DC is NOT the South. If it were we would not be having this discussion. The memorial Day rule clearly applies in this town. Thanks for letting me rant! I feel much better now. :)
 -Anna from Mississippi

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Do you have Seasonal Confusion Disorder (SCD)?

What is Seasonal Confusion Disorder you ask? Allow me to explain... Growing up in Chicago and then living my adult life in New York City, two cities with very clear weather seasons, I never thought much about not wearing summer clothes in November or February. Then I started spending time in Washington, DC...Now I know that it can be 60 degrees here in February, or 70 degrees in March, as it is today. This is no excuse for what I saw a girl wearing on March 1st, light cotton white pants and gold Jack Rogers sandals. We may not all subscribe to the "No White Before Memorial Day" rule anymore, but seriously, Jack Rogers sandals? This is what you wear in Palm Beach in the winter, not DC on the first day of March.

Which brings me to the question I have been asking since I arrived in DC, why does this city have so much more SCD than others? I have a theory. DC is a city of "visitors," people who come from other places. A lot of those other places are south and west of here where seasons are not as defined as they are up north and in the midwest. If you've grown up in California, you might only own summer shoes, work pumps and a pair of Uggs. When the weekend rolls around and it is warm out, you grab the summer shoes like you are still in Orange County. Conversely, you could be from a city with a colder climate, think winter in DC is a joke (Snowmaggedon not included), and so you pull out your linen pants when it is 65 degrees in February. This is where we find out if my husband reads my blog. Yes, Michael, I am throwing you under the bus here!

Another theory is that I'm wrong, this IS the south and one CAN wear Jack Rogers sandals on March 1st.

Thoughts, dear reader?

I'm here to offer a compromise. Chic, transitional outfits that are perfectly appropriate year round, which is the type of wardrobe I design for my DC clients. Add a scarf or a jacket when it is a little cooler and you're good to go.
Transitional Outfit 1

Transitional Outfit 2

Transitional Outfit 3

Transitional Outfit 4

Transitional Outfit 5

Transitional Outfit 6

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why You Should Care What Gwyneth Wore

Why should you care what Gwyneth Paltrow (and all the other hollywood stars and starlets) wore to the Oscars? Because the Oscars are a sneak peek at Spring's big trends on and off the red carpet. Let's review!

White was the big story of the Oscars. If you are getting married this year, you have a lot of inspiration to choose from! White has been seen the last few years on the red carpet and as a trend for everyday, but never in such a modern, in-your-face way. Who didn't gasp when they caught a glimpse of Gwyneth Paltrow in her severely modern Tom Ford look? Most of us have a hard time buying white dresses for formal occasions because you can't wear them to a wedding. I say, buy a cute day dress for dressy but not formal occasions.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford
Rooney Mara in Givenchy
The kaleidoscope of sequins in the audience at the Oscars was quite a sight to see. What does this mean for you? Sequins are everywhere this season, including for day. Want something affordable? H&M has some great sequin tees for $34.99. I particularly love the navy!

Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood
Ellie Kemper in Armani Prive 
Between the white and sequin trends lies the light, bright, shimmery look. A great way to connect with your inner goddess and find a dress you CAN wear to a wedding! You know what is always in style? The dress that is most flattering for YOUR body type. This is why Octavia Spencer's dress was such a hit. She may not have Gwyneth Paltrow's stick thin body type, but she couldn't have looked better. No wonder Tadashi Shoji is the go to guy for curvaceous stars.

Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab 
Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji
Gold was another big story at the Oscars and will continue for Spring. How about a gold sequin tank and white jeans for a summer party look? Jessica Chastain would look good in a paper bag so I don't feel the need to address her stunning look from Alexander McQueen, but kudos to Meryl Streep in Lanvin. She managed to find an age appropriate look that is completely relevant to the season. Then again, when is Lanvin not relevant?

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
Meryl Streep in Lanvin
Color has been a big story for a few years now and shows no signs of abating. That means you should stop being afraid and buy some! Hot tropical colors like Emma Stone's Giambattista Valli dress are particularly on trend this season. And didn't you love how Viola Davis was the only one in green that night? Interesting because the color made such a show at the Golden Globes this year. Check out my blog on Emerald.
Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli
Viola Davis in Vera Wang