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Thursday
May062010

El-No: Rat tail + Side Pony - Scrunchie = Hair Disaster of Historic Proportions


The rat tail (called a “love lock” or “queue” ) was a popular eighteenth century hairstyle worn by our founding fathers. Most men wore wigs during this time period so they could rotate through several different hairdos.

Or in this case, hair don’ts. 

I plan to take a pass on hair advice from Ben Franklin. 

Need some hair help? Check out Lock & Mane for tips!

Wednesday
May052010

El-No: Dancing Queen


Fame!

I’m gonna live forever.

I’m gonna learn how to fly-high!

I feel it comin’ together!

People will see me and cry.

Fame!

Sorry… my jazz hands are getting tired so I’m just going to stop singing now.

Admittedly, jazz shoes are the footwear de jour for many of my skinny jean wearing students. They are sassy, flashy (especially these little metallic numbers), and comfortable. Designers like shoe superstar Christian Louboutin and Marc Jacobs even got on board by creating bank-breaking renditions for Fall 2009.

Bad news twinkle toes, these little kicks aren’t too flattering and don’t offer much support. Try the trend forward menswear inspired oxford shoe instead. These sharp and well-crafted Prada oxfords will surely become a favorite. 

 

 

Tuesday
May042010

El-No: Not So Sexy in the City


Ok, you got me. This El-No wasn’t found strolling through the streets of Chicago- I found her at an art show in the West Loop.

Patricia Field, the nutty pink haired New York stylist, is the origin of the exposed bra strap trend. HBO’s Sex in the City was Field’s canvas and main character Carrie Bradshaw was her brush. Field pushed the late 1990’s “underwear as outerwear” trend further by styling Carrie in brightly colored bras that served an accessory instead of an undergarment.

I am over this trend and you should be too. It isn’t quirky and creative anymore. Exposed bra straps are tired, tacky, and overdone. Do us all a favor and get a strapless bra and some originality.

Want to update the “underwear as outwear” trend (just in time for the debut of the second Sex in the City movie)? Mix a structured corset dress into your weekend rotation. Break the bank with this remarkable Marchesa or try this simple Just Cavalli satin dress. Not that brave? Try introducing lingerie inspired romantic florals, ruffles, and delicate fabrics into your spring wardrobe.  

 

 

Monday
May032010

El-No: Dazed and Confused

The 1970s called. They want their outfit back.

For thousands of years, people have been wearing dyed decorative fabrics. In fact, Ancient Romans used mollusks and saffron to dye their draped clothing. Sounds more like seafood paella to me…Bartender, I’ll take a sangria.

Using vibrant dyes and tied rags to create unique patterns became popular during the 1970s. Well, tie-dye is back for Spring and should be worn SPARINGLY.

So what went wrong here? She is covered from head to toe in tie-dye!

A better approach to adding this trend into your wardrobe would be to anchor a modernized tie-dye garment with neutral accessories. Check out Italian brand Blumarine for inspiration. Want to add tie-dye to your wardrobe for less? Mix in this adorable Michael Stars scarf!

 

 

Sunday
May022010

El-Read: Designers’ Mantra: Learn in Chicago, Then Leave

Designers’ Mantra: Learn in Chicago, Then Leave

Sad! Don’t leave us fashion graduates- stay in Chicago! On an up note, this features one of my former students:) Click the link above to read more from this great NY Times article.

Friday
Apr302010

El-No: This goes out to all the Baby Mamas





Last year, Dora the Explorer got a “sexy” new makeover (kind of a Prostitot meets cartoon sex kitten). In order to really drive home her hot new tween vibe, Mattel got rid of her backpack. That’s right- even a toy company thinks that backpacks are for kids!

What do all of these people have in common? I watched each and every one of them go in or out of an office building. Ok Peter Pan, you are an adult! Get a purse, briefcase, or shoulder bag. Heck, even a murse is better!

The only reason that adults should be carrying a backpack is if they are on a mountain/ camping/ biking expedition. Period.

So what should you use to carry your gym clothes/ lunch/ book? Try a great leather briefcase, messenger bag, or shoulder bag. And remember, its a good idea to drop some cash on this purchase- you are going to use it every day. Make sure that you select something that is high quality, sturdy, and has a classic timeless design. 

 

 

Thursday
Apr292010

El-No: The Fashion Equivalent of a Mullet…Business on top and Party down below


Love the idea of springtime brights and florals! Hate the fact that I need sunglasses to look at this pink explosion.  

I’m just going to take a page out of Sally Fields’ Steel Magnolia playbook and say that she “looks like [she has] been hosed down with Pepto-Bismol.”

Lose the neon tights girlfriend!! 2009’s bright tights should be paired with dark neutral solids.

Next time, let the bright floral skirt take center stage by mixing in a neutral top, neutral shoes, and bare legs. Besides, it is SPRING in Chicago. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and pack the Fall/ Winter clothes and accessories away!

*** This is El-No’s first reader submitted photo! Thanks CBR- keep ‘em coming!

 

 

Wednesday
Apr282010

El-Yes: She’s a Oui, Oui, Oui All the Way Home


Mais Oui! I love a girl with a bike.

Get your mind out the gutter! Not in a “tattooed stipper/ porn star Jesse James” kind of way. This is more of a “chic french girl with a beret and a baguette” kind of love. 

This lovely girl is channeling her inner Audrey Hepburn (Funny Face) with her ankle length black leggings and adorable flat shoes. Black is always chic, but it becomes more fabulous when it is accented with a bit of color. 

Want to recreate this look at home? Try these Gap slim pants paired with these bright Tory Burch Revas

Tuesday
Apr272010

El-No: Man Capris: On the bright side, at least they aren’t Jorts!


Capri pants for men may seem like a modern metrosexual phenomenon, but these knee length wonders have been around for centuries.

The man capri pant became a modern sensation after the Civil War. Returning soldiers abandoned their full-length pants in exchange for a short pair of pants (knickerbockers) that allowed them to play contact sports. In 1946, man capris were immortalized when they became the namesake of New York’s basketball team the Knicks.

What the What?!?

That’s right Patrick Ewing, MAN CAPRIS! 

Welcome to 2010. Basketball stars wear shorts, and so should you. 

Have any more manly style queries? Check out The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A Handbook for the Modern Man

 

 

Monday
Apr262010

G.T.El-No: Gym, yes. Tan, yes. Laundry, you might be better off throwing your Jerseylicious outfit away. 


We’ve got a Situation here… and it has nothing to do with hot tub nookie with Snooki. 

The tracksuit has been a fashion staple since the early days of hip hop in the 1980s. Music groups like Run D.M.C. used to glam their tracksuits up with serious jewelry and chains. Musicians are fashion innovators, so eventually this look was replaced with the prep hop and pop hop clothing that we see today.

This El-No doesn’t look like he’s on the way to a rap battle (if so, he is totally under-accessorized). My guess is that he is on the way to the gym or is under the impression that synthetic activewear is appropriate for everyday attire. Let’s hope for the former. A better choice for an early morning workout would be a fabric with moisture wicking abilities.  

 

 

Friday
Apr232010

El-Yes: Red Rover, Red Rover, Send This Chic Girl On Over!


Stalking this El-Yes with my blackberry camera while simultaneously driving and playing on Facebook was hard work. Please don’t tell Oprah since I think that might be worse then texting and driving (Sorry O!!!!).

Why all the fuss over this girl? 

Sassy red trench coat= Yes please! This classic coat silhouette was first marketed by Thomas Burberry after WWI and has been turning heads ever since. The vibrant red color makes it the perfect pop for springtime in Chicago. 

Need to save your pennies? Check out this little number from Old Navy!

Thursday
Apr222010

El-No: Muffins: Delicious for Breakfast, Disaster for Denim


Several things are wrong with the jean situation, but we’ll just tackle one: the dreaded muffin top.

We owe Alexander McQueen’s bumsters and former Mousekeeter Britney Spear’s midriff for the low-rise jean craze that started in 1996. Sadly, most of us don’t have the body of a teenage pop star (unless Justin Bieber is reading this???).

What to do? Skip the high-rise jeans (Jessica Simpson) and head for a mid-rise jean and a belt. Mid-rise jeans will keep your stomach in your pants and come in a variety of contemporary washes, leg widths, and price points. Try Gap, Levi’s, and Citizens of Humanity for ideas. 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr212010

El-No: My Workout is All Business


Where are you running in that business suit?

Every time I see a person wearing running shoes with a business suit, I can’t help but think of Working Girl (cue Carly Simon “Let the River Run”).

I know you are late to work/ have a long walk to the train/ don’t want to wear your cute shoes outside but this is ridiculous. Find some attractive commuter shoes and save your gym shoes for the gym!!!

My favorite commuter shoe options are an inexpensive ballet flat (ladies) or Adidas track shoes (men). Check out Piperlime for some great ideas!

 

Tuesday
Apr202010

El-No: Plaid, Batik, and Stonewashed, Oh My!


I’m all for pattern mixing but this is just too much. While the picture is a bit blurry (this El-No is a mighty fast walker!), it appears he got dressed in the dark. Is it me or does he look like he is wearing a polka dot belt? 

How to mix patterns successfully:

Keep patterns in a similar color palette

Mix patterns of different weights (let one take center stage)

Add in at least one neutral to serve as an anchor

Need some more pattern mixing inspiration? Check out Dries van Noten. This member of the Antwerp Six is a surface design star. You can find his pieces in Chicago at Barneys New York and Blake

 

 

 

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