My Favorite Flats

So, if you've ever been to NYC, you know we often have piles of trash all along the sidewalk- this is not because we are filthy and disgusting, we don't have alleys like you all do! Where the heck else are we supposed to put it for the Trash Men? Here is some trash. See? My pretty tree-lined street (with trash, and yes, that is a toilet). Nice.

Anyway, I was on my way to my friend Heather's last week, and I was wearing my favorite flats. Well, they almost saw their patent leather life cut tragically, and unnecessarily short! I was about to cross the street to Heather's apartment. I was standing on the curb, (well actually about 1 ft off the curb, into the street- this is where we stand and wait to cross the street if we are not a tourist), and I noticed a Trash Man to my right. I noticed him because of the way he was HURLING and SLINGING the trash bags VIOLENTLY into the back of the garbage truck. With all of his HURLING and SLINGING- TRASH JUICE was going everywhere! Including right at me! Right at my SHOES! Friggin sick!

If you ever meet me, you'll soon find out that I cannot hide my emotions. My face shows everything. At this very moment, I looked as though he had POURED the garbage juice directly ON ME- I gasped and jumped away from this reckless garbage flinger. But before I shot him my "I-am-SO-pissed-at-you-right-now" face, I remembered that HH told me that the NYC Trash men work for the mafia. Whether this is true or not, I doubt this guy wants to hear some chick yelling "Hey! Watch out for my shoes, Jerkface! Unless you want a patent leather ass kicking!"

I'm not sure what a patent leather ass kicking actually I wouldn't ever say that... but I totally thought of it all the way to Heather's. Here are my shoes.


Street People

I sincerely hope she is on the phone with the police, reporting her stolen pants.


Bushy Brows?

So, whenever I am home alone I watch stupid stuff on Hulu... (HH and I don't have a TV). He is out of town for a whole week, so that means Vivianne will be watching a whole week's worth of Real Housewives, Cougar Town and Lifetime. He hasn't even boarded his flight and I'm on my second Lifetime movie already! Nice. Great use of my time, I know.
This movie, (which is sure to be an Academy Award winner), is based in Amish country. My first thought, during the opening scene: Thank goodness I wasn't born in Amish country, look at their outfits. Friggin bonnets? Hat head every day? Hell no!
My second thought: Do Amish women pluck their eyebrows? Do any of my... reader... know the answer to this? How terrible for the brunette Amish girls especially! Right? I mean, do they groom any hair zone? I am just curious.

OK, back to my movie.


Why I hate velour lounge sets

I'll tell you why.

First, they require no effort. Yeah, yeah, I hear you all saying "that's the point!" You want to throw something on that is cute and comfortable, because you are just running to the grocery store or to Target or to meet your girlfriend for coffee and you don't want to get totally dressed in an actual outfit. When I say they require no effort- I mean they are in no way an example of personal style. Everybody looks the same in them! If you tell me that your set has some phrase across the ass that makes it "unique" I am going to barf all over it. Stripes down the outseam aren't any better. They are also ugly.
Since I just barfed all over your lounge set, I feel that the only time and place appropriate for this outfit- is AT HOME- doing laundry. In my opinion velour lounge sets are just 1/2 a point above Old Navy pajama pants on the scale of casual-ness, and unless you are 15, you shouldn't wear Old Navy pajama pants out in public. I know, you love wearing them on the airplane, because you feel so chic and jet-setter-ish, but wear something else. Wear something other than almost-pajamas. Here are some cute AND comfy ideas. (you can find them all on You're welcome.


Introducing... The Judging Panel

Each day, after getting dressed, and before leaving for work, I ask my husband (we'll call him HH- this is in reference to Howard Hughes. Not because my husband has tons of $$, but because FRIGGIN everything has a SPECIFIC place. The 5 cans in our cabinet are arranged in size order, our towels and blankets are folded PRECISELY, and crumbs are NOT acceptable. I am a little like this too, but not like HH.) ANyway... I almost always want his opinion on my outfits, especially if it is a new ensemble. He has good style, fortunately, for me. Although sometimes I do wish I had more help, more fashion specific help....

In my fashion fairy tale imagination, I have a panel of judges, who help me make decisions about my outfits, shoes, accessories, hair, etc... I will also be consulting with them on topics I write about. They are people I have great respect for, and since (in this imaginary fairy tale) they live in my closet, next to my favorite shoes, I have unlimited access to them. In real life, however, I have not met one single member of the panel. Sigh... one day perhaps.

First on the panel is Anna Wintour. As Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, and known for the movie Devil Wears Prada being created about her, her sophistication and success are intriguing, she is truly a fashion icon. I think I would probably pee my pants if I got to meet her, although I don't think she would care to hear that we have anything in common: our haircut, eating the same thing every day, arriving to events early, going to bed by 10... In my opinion, she is the only person who doesn't look like an idiot wearing her sunglasses indoors.

Next on my panel. Tim Gunn. If you watch Project Runway, you know him, and love him. An amazing fashion consultant and man of impeccable style. Before PR, he was Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne and also spent several years as Associate dean and Dept. chair at Parsons in NYC.

2 more members of my panel...
Stacey and Clinton!
Clinton Kelly has a background in fashion journalism, and was editor at Marie Claire and Mademoiselle magazines. He is also the author of an amazing book, that you all need to read: Freakin' Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally be Better than Everyone Else.

Stacy London also has a background in fashion editing at Vogue, as well as in styling for celebrities. We all know and LO-ve Clinton and Stacy from 'What Not To Wear' on TLC. In my imagination, they are BFF in real life too. So, if that is not true, they can at least be BFF while they are on my panel, right? Totally.

I should probably keep these crazy thoughts to myself should I ever meet these celebs on the street- which, since I live in New York, is possible I guess! Also, I don't know how accurate my info is since a lot of it came from Wikipedia, and well, you know how that goes... But just in case... Anna, Tim, Clinton, Stacy... IF you happen to read my blog EVER... (pause for me to put my eyeballs back in my head) please feel free to contact me and give me your correct info and also your cell # so we can go out for cocktails. But actually, for now you needn't worry about it because I still have no readers. You should really only worry about the fact that I just used the word needn't.



Ok, if you've read my posts up to this point, you may be thinking... "Geez, who does this chick think she is, anyway? I mean just cuz she is a designer in NY, and she lives on Park Ave. doesn't mean she can tell us how to dress!"

That is totally true! I am NOT saying I know everything about style, or how you, specifically, should dress! Obviously, the things I write are just my opinions, OK? Let that be my disclaimer, or whatever. I did go to school for Fashion Design, however, and I have worked in the industry (as a designer, stylist, etc) for around 6 years, so I think that gives me some credibility, right?
In any case, I just want to encourage people to dress better- I think when we look good, we feel good! Am I SO right? Totally.
I will continue on with my vulnerability now.

There will obviously be times when you are having days, months, or seasons of general unstylish-ness. It is ok, I have them too! Unstylish-ness can be brought on by many things, some that are absolutely out of your control! Maybe you cut bangs, and now you look like a Mushroom Head! Or, maybe you look terrible in skinny jeans, and that seems to be the only kind of jeans available right now! OR, maybe you had too many blueberry scones all Winter long and now you're a little chubby so your Summer wardrobe is 2 sizes too small! Sigh... These types of unstylish-ness can take a while to fix. OR maybe, you went to the bank yesterday and used the pen on the desk there, and got sticky blue ink ALL over BOTH of your hands. It seeped into your nails and cuticles and stained them, very unstylishly. This, friends, is what happened to me. But of course, I have had my share of bad haircuts, and experience with trends that totally did not work for me, too! You get what I'm saying...

You've GOT to work with what you've got. If your hair sucks, spend some extra time in the morning making it cuter. Curl it, buy headbands (YAY for you, they are so hot right now), or just put it in a ponytail, (chic!)... You can't wear a beanie for the next 6 months while your bangs grow.

If you are still carrying around your Holiday weight (it is April, you know) its ok... stuff happens, we get stressed, we get happy, we get bored, we go to lunch with our girlfriends and drink wine then we eat cheesecake. Then, before you know it, all you can fit into is your leggings. As much as I am in love with leggings, you (we) cannot wear them every day. You still need to put effort into your look, even though you are feeling gross. It is possible, and important to make your "fat" clothes look stylish, rather than sloppy! You can "camouflage" your chubby with layers and clothes that aren't constricting- graphic tees, cardigans, jeans with stretch... leggings!... (BUT, don't lie to yourself. Wearing elastic waistbands day after day is dangerous. They grow with you! If you need to lose 5 lbs, go to the gym and do it!)

For tiny unstylish issues like my Ink Hands, my solution is very simple. I am going to cut my nails, pronto, then paint them- any color but blue!

So, let that be an encouragement to you. When you are feeling like a chubby, blue-hand, mushroom head, just know that you are not alone. Get dressed in something awesome, and feel better.


Tacky Jackets

I really should have written this at the beginning of Winter, but I did not have a blog then. Sorry everyone. I need to let you all know something... men and women- because I see so many people walking around making this mistake!

Many times the vent (flap opening) at the center back hem of your coat, is sold 'tacked' closed. It is sewn with a loose stitch to keep it from coming apart during shipping and getting creased. (Manufacturers stitch the pockets closed as well.) This stitch is NOT a decoration! You need to cut it and take it off your coat! Now. Please.



Is that even a word? I don't know. Well, if it isn't, who cares. This is my blog, and I want to title it "Appropriateness."

Good style has a lot to do with dressing appropriate for the occasion. If you are not sure what is appropriate - too dressed-up is always, ALWAYS better than too casual. Seriously girls, didn't your mothers tell you this?

So, I could give like 100 examples of what not wear to specific places. But I am only going to give a few. Right now, at least... I'll probably come back to this topic, as I see people dressing inappropriately all over the friggin place.

Today I am going to talk about CHURCH.
While we are all fully accepted and loved by the Lord, and we should "come as we are" we should NOT come to church in the following garments:
Track pants (um, did you sleep in them? or did the Sunday morning cartoons go longer than you thought and you didn't have time to change?)
T- Shirts (I am not talking about cute Tees with graphics, I'm talking about oversized T-shirts with sponsors or names of stores. T-shirts that you would wear to paint or pull weeds.)
Gym shoes (did you run a 10K to get to church? Seriously, save your gym shoes for the GYM, or the park, or the track, or the friggin basketball court! If you are wearing gym shoes, I just wonder what you are wearing them WITH... if it is gym-attire, then that is also inappropriate. If it is not gym-attire outfit, then that is weird, probably hideous, and definitely not right for church.)
Boobie shirts (do I really need to explain this one? I know God created them, but could you just keep them put away till you get home? It can be distracting - some people will be envious, some will be praising God, and some people will stare and then write a blog.)

Also, unless your congregation meets on the beach, it is absolutely unacceptable to take your shoes off during church. That is, unless you are taking off your GYM shoes, to throw them in the garbage.


Tight Pants (I forgot)

AH! How could I forget, quite possibly the most important area... "Too Small Pants." Once I actually have Readers, who post Comments, you will come in very handy- and you will say things like "Vivianne! What about "Too Small Pants!?" or, How do we know if our pants are too small!"... And I will respond with "Great question Readers!!" And I will be so thrilled to have all of you. =)
Now. For the answer:
If your tummy hangs over AT ALL- your pants are too small. If you struggle to breathe, sit, walk, bend, or your digestion is compromised- your pants are too small. In jeans especially, if you have that second crease about 4" below your butt crease, on the back of your thigh... that tells us all that you may have jumped off the roof of your house to get into these jeans, and they are too small. The truth is, these jeans are just barely too small, so wear them around your house a bit and stretch them out, then wear them in public where we (I) won't make fun of you and your thigh crease. K?
There is nothing wrong with wearing tight jeans! Our husbands and boyfriends really like it. They shouldn't be so tight that we can't move though. Sheesh, common sense, friends. They should be just tight enough that you don't want to eat things you shouldn't be eating- so that you can still get into these jeans next weekend. Got it? (scones, pizza, cheetos, fries - you know)

Also, if your jeans don't reach the bottom of your leg- hello, TOO SMALL. And don't tell me they are capris. No they are not. I told you in my last post how long they are supposed to be. Too short pants = bad style.


Size Matters

So many times, when I tell someone I work in Fashion, they feel they need to tell me, as some kind of disclaimer or something, that "they have no sense of style." So that, maybe, if they say that, I won't make fun of what they're wearing inside my head, or I won't judge them with my super fabulous fashionable friends. As if I only wear things that are hot off the runway or something. Um, no. People need to know that "Style" is much more attainable than they think.

The biggest mistake I see people.... ok, women, making, and the only one I am going to discuss - today, is fit. Why do women wear clothes that don't fit them? I admit, I have been guilty of this in the past, but have learned that wearing MY size makes a HUGE difference in how the clothes look on you, and how they look together!

Where should I even begin? I'll start at the top and work down I guess.

Tops: If your shirt is so tight that it is gaping open between the buttons, even slightly- it is too small. If it is riding up, let's say, on your tummy?, or anywhere that you don't want to draw attention. Or if it is "stretching", say, across your back?, and it is a woven fabric (not meant to stretch) - it is too small. If it is SQUEEZING your arms, and you are not about to give blood- it is too small. If it is not covering (at least) the waistband of your pants- it is too small. Unless you are 18, and you want to show your midriff, or it is a bikini top. Somehow, I rarely see women making the mistake of wearing shirts that are too large.... hmmm. Weird.

Next, pants/jeans. We should all know what size jeans we wear. Good quality jeans are sized by the waist measurement. Find out what yours is. Hello.
Unless you are wearing "boyfriend jeans" they should fit snug, and show your curves. When you buy them, if they don't fit you everywhere- have them friggin tailored! That is what tailors are for! If the crotch of the jeans is not near your actual crotch- they are too big! If the thigh and butt of the jeans are not ON your actual thighs and butt- they are too big! When trying on jeans, pay attention to those areas first. Everything else is easy to fix.
So, once your jeans are ON your body, (thighs, butt, crotch- geez), if they do not fit you in the waist, you can have that tailored. Nobody wants to see your thong and especially not your butt crack. Please. Please!
Also, since you are now wearing your jeans properly, if you are NOT wearing a thong, I urge you to... we also do not want to see your panty line through your jeans. VPL is in very bad taste and poor style.
Moving on down. If you are wearing a heel, you jeans/pants should only hover above the ground 1-2"... more than that and they are I will be staring at you thinking things in my head. That may seem long to you, and you may wonder, uh, what do I do with them when I wear flats. And my response is, cuff them. Easy.

Fit, as it relates to shoes, is also important. If I see another set of Bear Claw toes hanging over the edges of a sandal, I am just gonna barf. Seriously. Wear shoes that fit you. You'll be much more comfortable and much cuter. Limping around all day because your shoes are too small is not stylish. And a big gap in the back or front of your shoe,( that you need to fill with tissue, just so you can walk), is worse than stuffing your bra. Don't do it.

Of course I cannot teach people how to have fashion sense, but anyone can wear clothes that fit them. Everyone should.