Thursday, December 15, 2011

Resort Report

I know. I know. Winter isn't even here yet, and we are turning our fashionable eye toward warm weather garb. Resort is here, my friends!

The Psychology of Resort
1. Resort has practical applications. Many leave the cold to find warmth in exotic locales, and they need clothes that work for those tropical trips.
2. We want escape. Even if we can't leave our cold homes, we still like a mental vacation, and looking at resort clothes is an easy way to accomplish this.
3. We want to prepare. The trends for resort often inform the spring trends. If we have no need for warm clothes in the winter, we can at least know what we are going to wear when spring arrives.

Resort Fashion

Rachel Roy

1. Brights
Orange, red, and hot pink are ruling the runway. These warm tones are sure to lighten up any resort romp.


2. Patterns
From all over florals to graphics, patterns are just as popular in your winter wardrobe as they are on a boat or beach. For these print the more the merry, and mixing and matching is encouraged.

3. Leather and Lace
Have you been naughty or nice? When you are on winter vacation, you can be both rocking leather and lace together or solo.

Michael Kors

4. Surf's Up
Neoprene, wet suit inspired cuts, and black-neon combinations are a must for resort fashion. Throw in the trendy visor, and you are ready for adventure.

Ferragamo, Celine, Louis Vuitton

5. Sleepy Time
The pajama trend will not go away, and I am not referring to the Pajama Jean. Silk pajama separates will work in and out of the bed room this year. Try your pjs in a bright or pattern to combine your resort trends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Travel Tactics

The Holidays are here! In addition to religious practices, family celebrations, over-the-top feasts, and gift exchanges, travel is an integral part of the "most wonderful time of the year." Traveling is stressful enough, so make preparing for travel easy. Here's Dr. B's Packing 101.

Social Calendar:
Look at the planned activities during your trip. Are there any events that require specific dress, accessories, or undergarments, such as a cocktail dress, workout clothes, snow boots, or a strapless bra? Pack these items first because, although they are often worn the least, they usually take up the most room.

Wear the same item multiple times.  For example, try to have the event clothes and the everyday clothes work together. If you have a black satin heel for a cocktail party you might be able to wear it with jeans and a sparkly holiday sweater for a festive dinner later in the week. Also make sure the everyday items can be worn frequently and intermixed. For example, wear the outfit you traveled to your destination in when leaving.

Maximize your wear with layering pieces. Who wants to wear a dirty sweater or sweaty dress, especially when these items are dry clean only? Wear a fitted silk or cotton shirt underneath sweaters to keep them clean. Also consider wearing a washable button down or turtleneck under a dress that protects the garment from perspiration and oils. Changing these layering pieces daily can stretch an outfit's wear anywhere from two to four days.

Choose an overall look for your holiday wardrobe. Pick a color or style of dress, so that all of your clothes work together and are multipurpose. For example, choose a warm color, such as brown or a cool color, such as black for the major pieces, such as shoes or pants. Then pick complimentary colors for the other pieces, such as a cream or white top and gold or silver jewelry. You can also pick a dress theme such as English Country Side with riding boots, tweeds, and cashmere or Winter Wonderland with fuzzy boots and  fair isle knits.

When you are away from home seek comfort. This includes wearing soft stretchy fabrics, easy-to-walk-in shoes, and low-maintenance jewelry. Remember to consider the weather. If you are going to a warm location don't wear heavy items. If you are entering the cold be sure to pack scarves, hats, and gloves.

On the day of travel try to wear the clothes that would normally take up the most room in your luggage, such as a heavy knit sweater with riding boots. This will mean more room for other clothes or less luggage for you to travel with.  Remember to pad your shoes with gel inserts if your travel plans include walking across the airport or running to catch a bus.

If you pack effectively with efficient items you will have less to lug around, will decrease your traveling costs, and will have room for presents in your luggage when returning.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Penn State Wears Blue

All colors influence mood, and blue is the one that carries most significance during this painful time. The color of assured calm and serenity also induces hopeless sorrow and bruised pain. The ambiguity of blue is felt among those who wear it in State College.

The students and fans struggle with the love and pride they have for their staff and administrators juxtaposed upon the heavy sense of disappointment and disgust for all that was left undone. These conflicting feelings are deepened when the actions of those they have idealized are incongruent with the character of the men they knew.

For the parents of victims, many are often trapped between knowing there was nothing they could have done and feeling that they should have known. Parents revisit the past filling in the gaps with the new knowledge of the crime against their children. Sequences of events are now clear, areas of confusion are focused and hindsight is filled with the despair of “what ifs” when it is 20/20.

The children subjected to sexual abuse and a system that utterly failed them, are placed in an adult world without the vocabulary to make sense of the sexual violence that they were forced to endure. They too are left with unresolved confusion surrounding the man who gave them gifts, provided guidance, and showed them “love” while using this seductive practice to sexually abuse, physical harm and emotionally damage them.

The success of a child sexual predator is determined by his/her ability to create an idealized version of the self that masks true evil intent. When the truth emerges, the community, parents, and victims are left confused. Unresolved feelings of ambiguity emerge, and these feelings are a normal part of the process.

For those who are newly aware of the incidences at Penn State, there is no need to find resolution to conflicting feelings. The color worn on the backs of the community need only symbolize the hope of blue skies ahead.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What We Can Learn On Halloween

Who do you want to be this Halloween?

Halloween, that wonderful time of year when we are encouraged to dress up, channel our creativity, and express ourselves in an entirely new way. How often do we get the opportunity to wear whatever we please, and have a free pass to do so?

If you have an expressive creative side and fail to access it during the year due to your job, daily obligations, school, etc. this is the time to go wild. Go to the fabric store, notions department, costume shop, and vintage boutique. Enjoy the process of sifting through all of the options. Why not use this fun-loving day to try your hand at crafting an exceptional costume?

The excitement of planning and creating an interesting costume can be yours throughout the year. Why not take the mundane task of daily dressing and infuse it with the energy from your Halloween experience. Isn't that what we do when we choose clothes, create our daily costume? Make the time you shop and dress a creative process to craft wearable art, your ensemble!

Halloween not only encourages the creative process, but consciously or unconsciously requires us to dig deeper into the self to decide who we want to be. Maybe we want to be the flirty bumble bee? Maybe the sexy cheerleader? These choices are often motivated by an internal process. If we can analyze this process, we can come to a greater understanding of who we are or who we want to be.

Even during the rest of the year, we decide who we want to be depending on our clothing choices... even if it is a component of the self. The sexy self, the corporate self, the bum around self, the athletic self...all merely costumes to suit the pieces of the whole. Use this process to examine who you are: What part you are dressing for? Where are these choices coming from? Why have you been dressing the way you have? Why have you chosen these clothes? Then, ask the question of who you want to be: What part would you like to dress for? What clothes make you feel the part? What in your wardrobe is hindering this goal? And what in your wardrobe do you still need? You will never look at your "costume" the same way again!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Transitional Wear

Change of any kind is stressful on the body and mind.  As we leave Summer behind and launch into Fall, we will experience transitional wear from seasonal change impacting our sleep cycle, metabolism, and mood. But transitional wear doesn't only refer to the stress of change, it also refers to the clothing items we must choose to seamlessly move into the colder months and here's how to do it:

Skinny jeans or leggings:

Although the seventies style flare leg is on trend, the skinny is here to stay. These pants are perfect for those in between days as the fabrics come in light and heavy weights. Skinny jeans or leggings work well with of-the-moment flowy tops with cardigans, color block 3/4 boat necks, and heavy knits.


From sheer knits to chunky yarns, cozy tops are perfect for this weather. Layer them or wear them singly with skinny pants or skirts. Try knits in various cuts, such as a cardigan, long tunic, poncho or the super trendy cape. Put on gloves, scarves, and hats to keep all areas warm and covered.

Skirts or shorts:

These items are both a sophisticated and comfortable choice. Consider in a seasonless wool gabardine or the trendy heavy fitted ribbed knit. Wear tights, leg warmers, or warm boots as the temperature drops.

Sweater dresses:

If you have difficulty crafting outfits, this item is a no-brainer. Just throw on over boots and tights or heels. Layer with a cardigan, peacoat, faux fur vest, or puffer. For accessories, wear a belt, chunky necklace, or colorful scarf. If you are looking for an easy piece that takes up very little room in a closet or suitcase, this is the one to invest in.


This item is perfect to keep you warm without adding bulk. It also doubles as a body shaper and problem area concealer. Try in different patterns, colors, and weights. Wear with classic heels, ankle booties, chunky platforms, knit boots, or wellies.


There is nothing worse than experiencing winter bulk from your clothing, when bending your arms or moving your legs is an impossibility due to fabric constriction. The only thing that may be more uncomfortable is the moving from the outside cold to indoor heat, leaving you breathless and perspiring. Wearing silk underwear, long sleeve t-shirts, camis, and button downs are all wonderful options to fight the cold and still maintain the integrity of your garments.

Hats, gloves, scarves:

Think of these items as cold weather jewelry. Whether in leather or yarn, hats gloves and scarves are ideal to finish the look of your ensemble while keeping you warm. Wear a matching set or mix and match colors and prints. Go trendy or classic, high end or low, these cold weather accessories are the perfect pieces to collect this season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Color Your Mood

There is indeed a psychology of color. Color can impact the way we feel and primes our responses to other stimuli. Don't believe me? Have you ever been to a spa with hot pink walls? Have you been to a nursery painted black? Didn't think so! What is true for our surroundings is true for what we surround ourselves with. Colorful clothing can change our mood as well as set the mood for others. As our clothing sends a message about us to those around us, our color choices can change the message.

Valentino Red
The color of love, hearts, roses, Valentine's day. This is also the color of power, danger and aggression...think stop signs, red lights, blood, and the Red Carpet.  This strong color will increase appetite, heart rate, breathing, and the attention of others. When used in clothing, red often connotes strength, femininity, and sexuality. The sexual association is linked to the red light district, where the color of the light indicated the presence of brothels. Valentino has long loved red and because of his famous dresses in this color has earned his own shade known as "Valentino red." Red is the most popular color for this fall and winter's fashion season.

The beauty of saffron
The color is halfway between red and yellow, but is more soothing than the two. Orange makes us feel warmth, health, and change.  It is often associated with our fall holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the harvest during those times. It is also named after a fruit of its color that is as bright and tangy in flavor as it is in hue. As orange is the contrasting color of blue and is therefore used for safety clothing and equipment, which stands out against the surrounding sky.

Yellow on the Red
A bright happy color that jolts the senses, and in large quantities can overwhelm. Yellow mimics the color of the sun, our brightest star. In addition to increasing concentration, yellow can push us overboard and increase agitation. In fashion, yellow is often used in small doses as it can be harsh on the skin.

From army to kelly, it is easy being green
This color carpets our world with grass, bushes, and trees. The color of nature makes us relaxed and feel refreshed. Additionally, green is the color of that which produces think money, fertility, and green traffic lights! Green has been particularly popular on the runway for Fall 2011. Marc Jacobs featured it in a day dress and Ralph Lauren used it for a formal gown.

Runway blues
One of the most commonly occurring colors in our planet. From the ocean to the sky, the color blue cradles us in its calming hue. It can also indicate sadness, we have all heard the expression "feeling blue." As for fashion, the denim on denim trend from the Spring '11 collections is not going anywhere. Our planet won't be the only thing saturated with this color, your wardrobe will also have the blues this season.

Purple reigns
The color of pomp, circumstance, and royalty. Purple oozes sophistication and glamour. This color is often used during the fall and winter months. Who can forget Prince's Purple Rain? If the color is good enough for him, it's good enough for us. Purple reigned supreme at the end of '09 and beginning of '10, but it is still as relevant now as it was then. To modernize the color, use with other brights when color blocking, think orange and purple silks a la Gucci, or brown tweeds with purple blouses.

Diddy does it
Purity and sterility. White is clean, clear, and goes with everything. We use this color in home decor, weddings, medical settings, and our wardrobes. When coloring our clothes, white indicated the height of status as keeping it clean required a life of leisure and the help to maintain its purity. White reflects all the colors of the chromatic spectrum, which is especially important during those summer months.

LBD is here to stay
Black has often been the color of doom, despair, and dark and evil forces. It also has a connotation of power as well as submission. Despite its negative associations, black is the most popular color in fashion for its classic appeal, slimming effect, and ability to work well with all other colors. LBD anyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spring Report

Although we are anticipating frosty months, our friends in the design world are forcing our
brains to reject all the sensory cues from our environment that winter lies ahead. In the midst of shorter days, the sound of crunching leaves, the smell of pumpkin spice, and the aching desire for cashmere, we are launched forward to Spring 2012 where the trends of this season are stomped into us as the runway heels that wear them. As you prepare your homes, cars, and self for the cold, why not warm yourself with notions of Spring...for your closet!

Have designers gone soft? For Spring 2012, they certainly have. This season is all about soft flowy fabrics.  Think light cottons and silks draped for movement. Even leathers are treated in such a way to create a liquid look. Designers also turn to sheer fabrics to construct a screen of modesty against bare skin. Short skirts are banded with sheer gauze to fake the maxi look. Sleeveless tops and dresses are covered in mesh jackets. For those who are body conscious, what stockings do for the legs, these coverings do for the rest of the body during a time of year that calls for more exposure.                            

If you were hoping for things to tone down, you are not going to get it this Spring. Although, the nudes, beiges, and camels still have their place, strong saturated colors are in full force. These colors are seen in monochromatic pieces, color blocking reminiscent of the swinging 60s Twiggy movement, and bright tropical florals. These saturated colors are made even more glamourous with the addition of shimmer and shine. Colored metallics are lighting up the Spring season.

Unlike many winter-to-spring transitions that cruelly require we shed our oversized sweaters for fitted silhouettes, this Spring we can have that extra glass of eggnog. As the warm weather approaches designers are draping soft fabrics in loose fitting cuts. As if the relaxed fit weren't enough to induce a collective sigh of relief, the hemlines are getting longer. For those who are excited to show off their feminine curves, the fit-and-flare style of 40s and 50s are also popular. Peplums and ballerina inspired cuts are designed to accentuate all that is woman.

Can't afford anything new this season? Not to worry, the designers this Spring have turned to the past. You can find the 40s and 50s styles in your grandmother's closet and the graphic 60s and glamourous 70s styles in your mother's wardrobe! Don't want to go back, move forward with the sport-inspired styles gracing the catwalks.

With so many wonderful options, we can only hope that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow this year or Santa will kindly bring us a sunlamp.