Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kelly Cutrone's Do's & Don'ts From The Summer WIll Shock You

It's Thursday, which means 1 more day 'til the weekend (we made it!), and 5 more days until Independence Day. While we're in the thick of Summer Style and some of us in 101 degree heat, what better way to find the perfect holiday outfit than tips for this Haute weather.

PR Maven and overall Fashion Genius, Kelly Cutrone, stopped to chat with Marlo Thomas for her "Do's and Don'ts" this Summer. 25 pro's and faux - pas made her list. Check out my top 4 - do you agree with Kelly?

"Do wear all of the wonderful 1920's and 1930's clothes that are out now. This trending style is a nod to Gatsby and Fitzgerald. Think sleek and silky in bias cut gowns, bejeweled multi chain necklaces and headbands, wide leg trousers and drop waist dresses"
"Do not wear neon. Not this season, not next, not ever. Accessories are the only exception to this rule."

Don't spend over $15 on flip flops. EVER.

"Do celebrate your curves with a vintage inspired bikini. Can you say 'Hello, Annette Funicello!?'"

Photo Credit: Huffington Post


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Skinny Girls Vs Curvy Girls: Is This Really A Fight?

I recently discovered an article written by Sabrina Crockett : Why Is It Suddenly Cool To Hate On Skinny Girls? and let me just say, it is not.

It isn't and never will be.

The message I will continue to reiterate on The Last Word, is that this is a forum to celebrate Curvy women like myself and all my readers. The beauty in this also, is that there isn't room to hate. By celebrating our Curves and the things that individualize us and no longer place all Curvy women in a category with negative connotations, is not the opportunity to put down those who do not identify with us. I believe Ms. Crockett agrees. In her article she states:

..and I could not support her belief more. Plainly speaking, this isn't a "the oppressed becomes the oppressor" situation. Being Curvy in society is about a trend in loving yourself more and appreciating the value within, but at it's core it is indeed a trend. It is our responsibility to love ourselves, not society's, and if they turn on the drop of the dime not only do we look foolish by ridiculing others, but we are also continuing to be disrespectful to our fellow Woman. We're all Women here!


Sabrina even goes on to talk about this meme, that I am sure a few of us have favortited on Twitter or repinned on Pinterest:

And in the context of this article, I discovered how unfortunate this message is. Sabrina goes on to talk about the weight battle some Skinny girls may face in devotion to their own perfect body image, and the celebration of curves could hinder their own self appreciation. Curvy women, I know this is not what we are about.

I went on a rant say all this to say I will continue to celebrate my Curves every chance I get, but I will not do it at the expense of someone else's well being. And neither should you! I think Sabrina agrees with me because:

-The Last Word

Photo Credit: Why Is It Suddenly Cool To Hate On Skinny Girls? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

These Collars Ain't No Choke

So remember when I did this post?

The Last Word
And then I made these?

Assta Designs

Assata Designs
Well check out July's issue of InStyle Magazine:

InStyle Magazine July 2011

We are officially ahead (or neck, if you will) of the curve! I know some of you were a little bit timid in seeing this trend come alive. It is extreme menswear and how to wear it may be a bit of an obstacle that you aren't ready to tackle, but get ready because it seems these collars are here to stay.

Take it to the Neck:

  1. You do not, do not have to wear a collared shirt to pull of this look. In fact it would look better without one! You'll be adding another layer of grace to your almost complete ensemble, and it could also go along with your statement necklace for the day like Kristen Bell (above) did.
  2. There are no color limitations or restrictions with this trend. Collars are supposed to pop, (full of the neck jokes today) so make them! 
  3. Similar to #1, your neckline isn't decided by the collar or shirt you pair it with. Have fun with tanks, tees, blouses, or  strapless - if you dare. 
  4. Last but not least for us Curvy girls - I know you may be worried this style will draw unnecessary attention upstairs, and you may feel unbalanced in the rest of your outfit. Not even close! Collars are a statement, just like a belt, or a necklace, or printed shoes. They are an accessory and as long as you don't do the Arm Candy effect around your neck, you will be just fine with this trend. :)

Although I do professionally make these Collars (you can email me), I won't be offended if you go another route. There are many talented artists who have taken this simple element  to another level. See below:

Scalloped Sequin Collar Necklace

Sparkling Collar Necklace

INC Collar Necklace

H &M Collar Necklace - On Sale Now!
And my personal favorite:

Dannijo Collar Necklace

What do you guys think? Can Girls do one more thing better than Men? I think I did:

OOTD:  I am wearing, Gap Blouse, Forever 21 Maxi, Vintage Belt,  Go Jane Necklace

Leave your comments below in The Last Word!

Photo Credit: Trend De La CremeBuy Now Blog Later, GoJane, Forever21, Macy's


Monday, June 11, 2012

The Sock Bun Redone

Let me preface this post by saying I do not hate the Sock Bun. I LOVE the Sock Bun. I would even live for the Sock Bun if, I could do it.

This post is for all the gals like me who have spent time and energy to create the perfect 'do, only to wind up with holy socks, a high count of bun rollers, and hair NOT in a bun.

I wish.
I can't do the Sock Bun to save my life and I finally gave up trying. It's such a beautiful style. It's regal, my hair is up and out of my way, and it's HUGE- just like a bun should be. Then I thought about it--all these elements can be achieved in many other ways! So forget this style. I don't give a sock. I'm doing big hair in an updo my own way and here's how:

The Top Knot

The Bun Braid:

The High Bun with A Twist

And if you're just done with the bun altogether, (I don't blame you) check out these high style alternatives:

French Bouffant Roll

Modern Milk Maiden

The Peacock 

The Braid-Hawk

Don't limit yourself. Hair can go up in all kinds of ways and just because you can't grasp the mastery of a trick with accessories intended for your feet, doesn't mean you can't pull off a Chignon of your very own. :)

Show me your style! Leave a comment or send me your own version of the up do to showcase here, on The Last Word.

Happy Monday!


Photo Credit:,,, BenchPrep PinterestHairstyles For 2012 Hairstyle Free

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Spend Eternity In Forever 21: A Shopper's Guide

Hey Girl Hey!

So we've talked about how to Style, Runway Trends, and Cosmetics, but we need to address is the foundation of all possessions: Shopping! Especially shopping at the Insta-Fashion Mecca:

They have everything from Prom Dresses to Cuticle Trimmers and honestly, walking in the door of a multilevel retailer can scare off the most fearless of us Curvy Girls. So, this post is my ode to all the women who have spent 2+ hours on the shopping floor only to walk away with one garment, if anything at all. It's pretty simple, straight to the point, and I promise you will never lallygag again.

1. Know Your Retailer. 
Forever 21 can be shopped both online and in store. Fun Fact: I have from sales associates  on good authority that 75% off the items you see online, have already been on the sales floor for weeks. You have the option of finding it via sales associate with the item# a lá Macy's, but you'd be hard pressed to shop the entire store for an online "New Arrival".

2. Know What Your Store Sells.
For me, there are 4 Chicagoland Forever 21 locations: North Ave, Water Tower, The Shops At North Bridge, and State Street. These 4 are all in different areas of the city, and therefore all have different assortments to appeal to a different shopper. Know which one best suits your needs --> Water Tower = More Everyday Options, The Shops At North Bridge = Accessories GALORE, State Street = Party Attire, so you aren't in the store forever. Which brings me to:

3. Have A LIST.
I don't mean an itemized grocery list, I mean have a list. Whether it's "I need a purple paisley dress for a dinner party" to, "I need a top cause it's going to be 80 degrees on Saturday", either way you know what you are shopping for and know which section of the store to shop in. Walking blind in Forever 21 can be more hassle than it's worth when you get tired, and their music will ALWAYS be louder than your headphones.

4. You See That Dress for $6.50 ? So Does Everyone Else.
I do the running man- live and in store when I find a great deal, but Forever 21 will forever have the under $10 items that seem too good too be true; it's because they are! These items aren't your friend for several reasons: the cheaper items are highly massed produced. They're made fast, in multiples, and not so great fit-wise. Most importantly, you aren't the only one who saw the price tag which means everyone you know will pop up wearing that piece. Believe me, there are diamonds in the rough, but someone you met at a party or went to College with will wear that "bargain" in a profile picture on Facebook.

5. Try On The Really Cute Dress.
You know, the ones that are in the $22.80 or more range. Mostly because the higher priced garments are made with care & better silhouettes. That also means you'll probably need a size smaller than you think due to this attention to detail. Review the final cut at the end of this step and you are finally ready to check out!

I know, all of this sounds like the rantings of a Shopaholic. That's true, but so is everything else in this blog post! All of these tips have helped me ESPECIALLY when a girlfriend calls last minute to go to a really cool event, and I only have 30 minutes to shop. It is possible! And Curvy Girl S/O: Forever 21 has a line made for us, and Love 21 - the newer contemporary line with a more forgiving size chart.

Obviously these can be used for any mass or big box retailer of your liking. The point: go with a mission because aimless shopping with Techno Pop blaring in the background is not for the feint of heart.

Happy Hump Day!

Photo Credit:,,,,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tracy Clifford Addresses Us Curvy Girls

Greetings to all of my Curvy women!

Remember this interview I had with Tracy Clifford?:

Well as promised, and a much needed Monday treat, I present to you Part 2 with Ms. Clifford. Here, you'll see how us Curvy Girls fit into the Styling universe and the best practices in organizing our wardrobes/accessory approaches, and the highlights of one exquisite career in Fashion.

Do you feel certain body types are easier to dress or do you look for designs based on clientele needs?
TC: I definitely base my clothing selection and styling on the individual client and their needs. That is the only way to do it! Your client has to feel confident and comfortable. I would be lying if I did not admit that certain body types are easier to dress than others. When I have to get things made and bring tailors in, the process definitely becomes more complicated and expensive. However, I find dressing a more challenging figure to be the most rewarding. When I make people look and feel great there is nothing more satisfying.

Everyone has their closet staples. What are yours?
TC: My #1 closet staple is definitely a cardigan. They provide warmth, arm coverage and most importantly allow me to wear s/l dresses and tops year round. I am also a boot girl. I love to pair boots with my dresses, skinny jeans and leggings.

Where do you begin styling? Do you start with accessories or wardrobe?
TC: There is nothing worse than having different parts of the outfit compete with each other [We agree!]. I always have my clients show me the most critical piece to their outfit and work around it. If that piece is a dress, I showcase the dress and accessorize accordingly. On the other hand, if it is an avant-garde shoe or bag we put together an outfit based around that piece. For instance, a printed or beaded dress needs a simple shoe and bag. A colorful bag or shoe needs to befriend simple clothing.

What is the most paramount moment of your styling career?
TC: There have been many amazing moments throughout my career. Probably the most important one came when I was the full time buyer for Marissa Collections. The store owner, who is to this day my mentor, allowed me to go to Paris by myself. This meant that I was completely responsible for the store and it's merchandise. When I realized my eye and talent had been fully recognized, I knew I was on my way. That experience is what has given me the drive and confidence to found Tracy Clifford Style.

How would you categorize yourself? (Curvy vs "not Curvy") - The best part of the interview!
TC: I would not categorize myself. I am unique and prefer to be that way. You will never see me modeling in a showroom or walking down a runway, but I accentuate my physical assets and express my personality through my love of fashion. I don't believe fashion is about waify models strutting down the runway. It is about passion, style an self expression.  

Do you see what I see? Self expression of individuality is beaming all throughout my interview with Tracy Clifford - as well it should! There aren't any guidelines in Fashion in how to make you feel like YOU. You have to know what works for yourself and an exercise that any way you can.

Ms. Clifford, it has been a pleasure to speak with you and get perspective on true style, from a hometown expert. For more about Tracy please visit her website (link above) and follow her on Twitter : @TCliffordStyle !


Photo Credit: Chictopia, Ebay Images,, Go Outfitters Blog