Thursday, November 27, 2008

Walking Tall

After featuring endless pairs of sky-reaching pumps, it’s only fair (and considerate) of me to also address the art of wearing them.

You can always pick out women who are wearing pumps from a crowded street simply because they stand out (literally) – they walk taller and look more stylish and elegant. Heels are such wonderful creations* that it is awfully sad to see so many women forgo them just because they’re either not confident or capable of walking in them.

*Naturally, like all things in this world there are pros and cons to wearing heels. But that’s your responsibility to find out ;-)

Of course it takes effort to look good; otherwise everything will look good – and bland. It will require some work to look like you were born to wear those heavenly heels and walk gracefully in them. What you need is (1) to find the right muscles (2) to strengthen your body (3) in order to carry your own weight correctly.

Let’s take it from the top shall we?

Your abs is your center of strength, a philosophy used widely in Pilates and in all forms of dance. Your abs holds together and coordinates the movements of your lower body and upper body. Even when you’re walking you’re using your abs – or you should be. Basic crunches will do fine as long as you do them regularly – 15 crunches / 3 sets / 3 times a week. Feel free to push yourself further.

Besides your abs, your back is almost just as important. Experience will tell you that it’s essential to have a strong back to have good posture. Do the Sphinx position for resilience and agility. For strength, lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out like Supergirl and then lift up both your legs and arms at the same time, similar to the Mermaid Back Extension. Easy-peasy. And again, do them regularly (15 times / 3 sets / 3 times a week) and you will have a supple back in no time.

Calves, Ankles, and Metatarsals
Some of the most sensual things about wearing heels are that they accentuate your calves and push your metatarsals into that irresistibly desirable arch. Images of tone legs and sexy arches have inspired many (in)famous desires from the pinup girls and Hollywood ladies of the 50s, to the Chinese women with bounded feet, to the sexy Wolford ads. Strengthen and tone your lower legs with simple rises – place your hands lightly on a wall and slowly lift your body up until you’re standing with just your toes – not entirely en point like ballet dancers. Feel your calves tightening and your arch taking shape instantly. Repeat them regularly.

Once you’re ready, choose a well-fitting pair of pumps that are not too tight in the front and if possible, with some cushioning inside the front of the shoes where the ball of your feet will be. Be careful if you’re going to wear them with hosieries or socks, you don’t want to reenact the Prada SS09 show where models tumbled for having socks in their heels. And here's a little haiku to get things moving:

Breathe deeply and exhale, think confident.
Relax those shoulders and chin, keep the neck long.
Remember to look ahead, watch where you’re going.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you will experience a new sense of confidence and see things at a new level – literally. And who said you can’t run in heels? It’s so easy to run in heels – you sprint exactly as sprinters do – with just the ball of your feet.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I want for Christmas is...

It’s almost a month away to the season of exchanging gifts! Besides putting together the best outfits for all the parties and festivities that are to come, it's also time to put together a (fantasy) list of what would be nice to get during this holiday season.

All I want for Christmas is peace and happiness.

And if possible, I wouldn’t mind getting any (or all) of the following:

THE green Gucci dress that is sinfully elegant with its ruffle sleeves and luscious emerald color. But most of all, the front slit that oozes sexiness and reminds us of the time when Gucci was Tom Ford. Truly a timeless piece - something to make your granddaughters jealous because you're not passing it on to them!

It's time to hike up the fashion ante at work. Set the benchmark with jewel tone silk dresses and pumps and save wardrobe changes for that after work party. Fashion is also about being practical.
Lela Rose pleated dress.
One must have a one shoulder dress simply because they are too chic not to have. Their asymmetrical cut gives a refreshing and modern take on simple dresses. But the true magic lies in those that are cut just under the arms, covering that extra flesh that some of us have between the breast and armpit.
Jill Sander one shoulder white dress.
After a year of ogling over those overrated body hugging bandage dresses from Hervé Léger, it's time to get one yourself. These dresses fits snugly over the body and complements all womanly curves. Like true fashionistas, stay clear of the original McCoy and instead find inspirations elsewhere.

Aquascutum divine bodice dress.

Cardigan with front drapes are all the rage at the moment because they create the illusion of wearing a shawl, adding that extra edge to an otherwise boring cardi. Its versatility to go well with shorts and short skirts, making it a lasting item through all seasons.

Cardigan from H&M.

Heels, heels, heels! for reaching greater heights; it’s all about going higher and making those legs longer.
Alexander McQueen leather pumps.
Fendi suede pumps.

Simple ruched boots as an alternative to all the other black, tight, circulation-stopping boots on the streets.

Stella McCartney boots.

Some Mulberry wouldn’t hurt either.

All in all, always be happy with what we have and have a merry and fruitful holiday season!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Get the party started!

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s all about getting invites to parties or throwing some yourself! It’s always good to plan early especially on what you are going to wear.

Just because the economy is having a crisis doesn’t mean that your wardrobe choices have to reflect similar sentiments. Let’s keep depressing to a minimum – damage control as they call it.

The wisest choice is still the undefeatable LBD. But the wiser ones will seek out alternative representations of the LBD. Here are two examples.

Update your classic LBD with odd shapes and asymmetrical lines giving the dress an edgy contemporary feel. Alexander McQueen shows us how it’s done with elegance and at the same time creating a dash of excitement using contrasting colors.

Try another color – like white. Go to the other extreme end of the color spectrum and stand out in a white ensemble among a sea of black dresses. Up the luxe ante with bold glittery embellishments. Azzaro’s Enee diamante cocktail dress is set to dazzle away all worries of any financial woes – and bring hope.

Don’t forget to pair your dresses with lovely shoes. Get inspired by the jewel tone trends and bring attention to your soles with these Christian Louboutin satin platforms.

You can also do it like Carrie and inject some edginess with fierce gladiator sandals such as these by ASOS.

Or go back to classics with these black patent platforms from KG by Kurt Geiger.