A Passion for Fashion

I loved clothes and fashion even before I loved to write. My grandmother used to tell me over and over again about how at age three, I would sit by the seamstress everyday and watch her make my clothes. When I was growing up, my mother, herself a fashion model, had a little dress shop on the ground floor of our home. I loved to watch her sketch and design and create outfits – the beautiful people in our city would walk in and out of our home during the day. My sisters and I were lucky to have something new to wear for every occasion – prom, parties, dances.

Sadly, I wasn’t thin enough, tall enough or pretty enough to make a living out of wearing clothes.

Instead, I made a living so that I could wear nice clothes. Not a bad trade-off.

Of course, we all have priorities at every stage in life. First it was bringing up the children and then paying for private school. Private high schools were next, cars and insurance and then two children at a time, changing universities three times, out of state, in state, whatever it is they thought was their “calling”.

I always complain to my husband about being too old to wear anything nice by the time we could finally afford it. And now that I’m spending all of our disposable income on self publishing books, what’s left? (LOL)

But I digress.

I often get compliments about what I wear, how I look, how I put things together. What’s the secret, you ask? How do you have time to shop and look and search for things that fit you just right?

So, I bring you, some CB Fashion Advice.

  1. I never share my favorite stores. I have a terrible fear of looking exactly like someone else. Once, years ago, I walked into an elevator and stood right next to a woman who had the EXACT same outfit as I did. Needless to say, I went home to change. I have also stopped shopping at any of those “mall” stores. And when a friend of mine told a friend of hers about a new discovery I told her about, I stayed away from that store as well.
  2. My Kindle is my left limb and my personal shopper is my right.

For women like me who hardly have the time to see her family, a personal shopper can be your best friend. Nowadays, large retail stores have personal shoppers who spend the time putting together the best looks of the season. For anyone who hasn’t tried them, you are missing out on a lot.  I have a few of them (from various designer stores) who send me packages each month on consignment. I try them on in the comfort of my own home, choose what I want and send back what I don’t. *(SHOUT OUT: PAT FROM NORDSTROM Oakbrook has the best taste)

  1. The older you get, quality matters more than quantity. Each season, I choose one to three statement pieces that I can mix and match with the season’s basics. It could be a blazer, a sweater, a wrap or a really cute dress. You splurge on these statement pieces because they make your basics look unique.
  2. You can never have too many purses. Or shoes. Or jeans. Do NOT listen to your husband.
  3. Subscribe to a few good websites that give you the latest in fashion news and deals. My favorite designer is Rachel Zoe. I find all of my beauty products, fashion tips and outfits via The Zoe Report. I also love to read NY Magazine’s the Cut. It makes me feel smart and hip and makes me proud to be an obsessive, dedicated career woman.
  4. Don’t believe the hype. Go with what feels comfortable but fits you well. Sometimes, you have to adjust your size up or down to get the look that you need to have with a particular style of clothing.
  5. Don’t be a lemming. Stop following what everyone else is wearing. Those stretchy thingies that are printed and look like leggings. I don’t know. I just don’t know.
  6. Accessories matter. You can have the most plain looking dress look fabulous because of that really sweet choker you have on. Chokers also hide neck wrinkles. That’s why I love them. I also feel ten times taller when I’m clutching a beautiful purse.
  7. SHAVE. Guys don’t like hair on a woman. My mom used to teach at Finishing School and she told me that every single day of my adolescent life.
  8. Be your own fashionista. Quit listening to this crazy author who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.


And now a little PSA for the upcoming Fall season.

Velvet is in. Don’t you just love these pants?


Does anybody know who makes these boots? Because I want them.


Don’t you love Fringe? This was last year’s find and I still haven’t had a chance to wear it.