Category Archives: Fashion

I’VE GOT A SECRET (The Curvy Socialite & Ideeli)

In recent weeks I have been on this mission to “curate” my life. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting ready to start a new chapter (stay tuned my darlings….all will be revealed in due time) but I have been on a “de-cluttering” kick. Paring down and “lightening” up your environment is a great way to make room for new things. .

So part of this new chapter has me changing up my style a bit…”upgrading” my fashion sense so to speak. My very late “spring cleaning” has me at a point that my closet is nearly empty. Between what I have donated, given away or sold…there really isn’t much left in the wardrobe. This near Herculean (lol…see my reference to this summer’s certain blockbuster… I can’t wait to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the movie about the ancient Greek hero) task has me trolling…er..browsing the internet looking for ways to add some of my favorite designers to my wardrobe without breaking the bank.But fear not! There is a remedy for that. 

Enter ideeli.com.

Ok, I know you are probably sitting there shaking your head saying Ideeli isn’t new. Technically speaking, I never said it was. For those of you not familiar with the site…ideeli offers its members online access to designer brands at up to 70 percent off retail prices every day. Daily,ideeli’s limited-time sales feature the most sought-after brands in women’s apparel, shoes, beauty and accessories, plus must-haves for men and home. This online shopping gem has brought many a fashion maven its inspired take on style and the best trends since 2006. As of January, Ideeli joined the Groupon family– opening up a whole other realm of savings possibilities.. 

There are a lot of  new things going on over at Ideeli (besides its marriage to Groupon). The site has been making a concerted effort to expand and broaden their offerings– with particular attention being given to the curvy/plus size category. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret…yours truly is teaming up with Ideeli to help make this happen! Part of the next chapter in the Curvy Socialite novel…but I’ll share details at a later time.

In the meantime, check out today’s sale in the Plus Size category whic features brands including Lafayette 148, Anne Cole Signature, Tadashi Shoji, Taylor, Mlle Gabrielle,  R & M Richards and more! Everything from basic tees, to evening gowns, swimwear, those trendy patterned pants everyone’s sporting this season, cocktail dresses, day dresses, blazers and everything in between can be found in Ideeli’s Plus Size shop. And an added bonus…Today and tomorrow enjoy free shipping site wide!
 
Here are a few pieces I’ve been eyeing for my closet….
 

MLLE GABRIELLE Multi Plus Diamond Print Pant

TAYLOR Gold/Black Plus Printed Sleeveless Fit-and-Flare

Black Plus Sleeveless Fit-and-Flare with Sheer Panel Trim

 

 

 

 

THE CURVY SOCIALITE’S PICKS FOR FATHER’S DAY 2014

 

 

You forgot it was Father’s Day this weekend…didn’t you?  Let me give you a second to let the panic set in. Are you done? Ok…good. Take a deep breath and fear not. I have a few solutions for you gift dilemma for dear old Dad.

If you’re lucky, you have a father like I do. He sends wish lists (usually after Christmas the year before) of what he would like for the coming year and all the festivities (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, etc) that it brings. If you aren’t as fortunate as I am or need some ideas aside from the annual tie (have you noticed he has never worn any of the ones you’ve given him in the last decade?) or the power tool (seriously do you want him tinkering around with a table saw?) here are a few ideas that might help you in your hunt for the perfect present.

According to Forbes, like women, there are essential pieces that every man should have in his wardrobe. No I am not suggesting you buy your father a whole new closet but maybe you can work on adding a few key items to it.

A HANDSOME WATCH

It doesn’t matter what line of business your dad is in (or no longer in if he is retired) he needs to tell time. A man doesn’t really have too many options for accessorizing. Aside from a wedding ring (if he’s hitched), the only “jewelry” many men wear is a watch. Though I find a fancy watch appealing, I think a good everyday watch for Daddy dearest is a great gift idea. Each time he puts it on, he’ll remember his favorite child gave him a snazzy timepiece. One of my favorite go to brands for a well made watch for daily wear is INVICTA.

Based in Switzerland (no one does a watch better than the Swiss) and founded in 1837, INVICTA is known for exceptional quality at an affordable price—perfect for a watch you want Dad to use regularly not just for special occasions. Here are my picks for Father’s Day:

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These can be found at your nearest INVICTA retailer (check the site for stockists), online or at the fabulous men’s boutique, St. James & Company in New Jersey.

THE PERFECT SHOE

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the shoes make the man.”  According to AskMen.com, the statement is definitely true and the quality of a man’s shoes reveals how much he respects himself. Match.com (yes the dating site) and author, Donna Sozio  (Never Trust A Man in Alligator Loafers: What His Shoes Really Say About His True Love Potential), went as far to say “The shoes a man wears and the way that he treats them are fail-safe indicators of not only his romantic personality, but also how he’ll treat his woman.” Now at the end of the day we want our dads to look good (for his wife/partner, a blind date or just for us when we take him out). But shoes have to fit your father’s personality. Here are some of my top choices from two of my favorite online retailers:

VIONIC is a footwear brand that marries science/medicine and fashion. I already know what you’re thinking….and no their not your grandpa’s orthopedic shoe. It’s no secret that many men (and women) suffer with foot, joint and back pain from wearing the wrong shoes, worn out shoes or just sacrificing comfort for the sake of fashion (yes men do that too). Vionic puts an end to this with a great men’s collection. With the summer season upon us, I am loving Vionic’s Regatta Deck Shoe (offered in suede and leather) and their Conner Casual Slip On. Both of these casual yet comfortable styles feature Vionic’s breakthrough Orthaheel technology developed by experts in biomechanics and foot health ensure relief from issues including plantar fasciitis, knee, back and foot pain.

 

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PLANET SHOES is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites for shoe shopping. The whole mission of the company is to “help customers make healthy choices for themselves the environment and the community.” Basically they sell great shoes that look good, feel good and do good for the environment. Planet shoes features brands from across the globe including the Spanish based shoe company, Pikolinos and American company, Red Wing. They have so many great shoes for men.  My favorites for Father’s Day choices include:

 

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THE MAN BAG

Everyone has a favorite bag—yes even men. Anytime I hope on the Metro North I see some very worn “favorites” seated next two well-suited gentleman as well as those in casual fare. They may not think they need a new one (hello, the handle of their brief case is holding on by mere threads), but they sure would appreciate a bag for Father’s Day. Here are my picks from my go-to men’s boutique, St. James & Company…

 

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GROOMING

No matter what a man says to you, he cares about how his skin looks. Please, they don’t want razor bumps, acne or wrinkles any more than a woman does. But he’s not about any 4 step cleansing processes either.  Enter MENAJI.

Founded by beauty expert and professional make-up artist, Michele Probst (alongside a team of dermatologists and chemists), Menaji is a line of men’s skincare and grooming products that are all about enhancing his skin. I am a big fan of their Gentleman’s Kit. It gives the father in your life all the core products needed to cleanse, replenish, rejuvenate and maintain their skin. Dad may look at you funny when you give it to him (Mr. Socialite did when I asked him to sample them) but all you have to tell him is that some of the most well-known men in the world (Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon,  Kevin Costner, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw….hell, even President Obama and Regis Philbin) use it.  You can order this set via the Menaji website for $125.

 

The Gentleman’s Kit (Aftershave Hydrator, Face & Body Scrub, Eraser, Lip Agent)

 

These are just a few ideas for Daddy.

With that said, Happy Father’s Day from the Curvy Socialite

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108stitches Spring Trunk Show (Event Alert)

108stitches Spring Trunk Show (Event Alert)

Hello lovlies!

Did you know that Harriette Cole launched a clothing line last year called 108stitches?

As Ms. Cole herself describes it, “108 Stitches is a line of hand-crocheted accessories that I launched last year. Made from sumptuous yarns, each piece is a meditation on love.”

From the images I have seen on the website featuring American Ballet Theatre soloist, Misty Copeland (one of my favorite dancers), the collection looks amazing.

She’s hosting a trunk show on June 18th at one of my favorite boutiques, Noir et Blanc NYC! I can’t wait to see the collection in person.

Check our Instagram on the 18th for images from the event.

 

 

 

WHAT’S IN MY BAG?

Randomly last week, Mr. Socialite filled me in on what he thought was one of the biggest mysteries known to man—what is actually in a woman’s purse.

After giving him a serious side eye, I had to admit that the knowledge of what’s inside a lady’s handbag is really one of the world’s burning questions. Think about it. For 60 years folks pondered what Queen Elizabeth could possibly carry in her purse. It was such a hot topic in the UK that it inspired a book (What’s In the Queen’s Handbag and Other Royal Secrets by Phil Dampier).

Walt Disney went as far as to make it seem like a purse was some kind of magical land of wonderment when he had the beloved character Mary Poppins pull out everything in her seemingly bottomless carpet bag from medicine to magical umbrellas to even a small potted plant in the 1964 musical film. The curiosity is still a big thing today. US Magazine has made discovering what lives in the depths of our favorite celebrities’ bags a regular feature—giving readers a glimpse into what makes them tick.

For those of you who know me offline, I am always carrying a large tote. Because of my life as a publicist and blogger, I need a bag that can carry all my essentials needed to get through my day. Though it changes from season to season or at times based on my whim that day, my handbag has to be able to carry my arsenal necessary to sustain me throughout the day.

For spring 2014, my go-to handbag is my MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Signature Tote in Vanilla. Because I carry a lot of “stuff,” having a bag with a lot of pockets is key to me staying organized. This signature tote has double compartments, slip pockets on the outside, zipped divider, and pockets throughout the interior ideal for all your little knickknacks including your smartphone, and more. The light, airy color reminds me of sunny days making it perfect for the warmer weather.

MICHEAL Micheal Kors Jet Set Signature Tote in Vanilla

So my lovelies, here’s a snippet of what’s in my bag…

I never leave home without my SAMSUNG Galaxy s3 (though I am about to upgrade to the S5). I hate to admit it but I’m lost without it. I keep track of everything on it. Currently my favorite app is the Any.do Calendar App which takes the traditional phone calendar to the next level with Google Maps integration, customizable settings, sync capability with my online calendar as well as it works seamlessly with its sister task app. My smartphone just makes life so much easier. But because Manhattan seems to be an energy black hole, I also carry an old school agenda as backup.  A dead battery or no access to an outlet is no excuse for not knowing what I have on deck.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (Image Courtesy of Phandroid.com)

I am a huge supporter of independent designers. I’ve been a fan of the SK Wilbur brand for years. I am currently using the handmade brown and beige zebra print “mini” as my wallet. Given to me by the designer himself, I carry everything from my train ticket to cash in this super cute accessory.

SK Wilbur Mini in Brown & Beige Zebra

With the schedule I have, sometimes it’s hard to take time for a lunch break. I recently started subscribing to Graze Box, a subscription service which allows you to pick healthy, delicious snacks. Four tasty treats come in a box (delivered at a frequency of your choice) in perfect portions. I carry one of the options with me to stave off hunger and lightheadedness with the long stretch in between meals. I’ll be doing a full review soon. (Wanna try Graze box for yourself? Use my friendcode CKTJKRQ3P to get your first and fifth box free!)

Graze Box sends tasty but healthy snacks that are perfectly sized for a quick bite.

Because I spend at least an hour a day on a commuter train of some sort, I treasure my ASUS Memo Pad 7. This chic seven inch Android tablet is perfect for catching up on client emails, social media or enjoying some downtime listening to Pandora or playing whatever my gaming addiction of the moment.

ASUS Memo Pad 7

Now that the weather is getting warmer, my beauty needs have morphed a bit. The higher temps bring an oily face. I swear by Boscia’s Green Tee Blotting Linens. They quickly suck up the oil without removing your makeup.  Also in my bag beauty wise is Grand Central Beauty’s S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer. Alone or under makeup, this Serum + Primer works instantly to smooth and moisturize  your skin without any sulfates, parabens, mineral oil or strong fragrances (simply put it looks good and is good for your skin). And because you always want to have healthy, kissable lips, I make sure I have my limited edition Carmex Ultra Hydrating Moisture Plus lip balm in Chic in my bag at all times. The lip balm we have come to love has paired a fashion forward exterior designed to match one’s style and personality with the brand’s patented moisturizing formula and SPF 15 sunscreen to keep lips looking luscious, healthy and protected.

Boscia Green Tea Blotting LinensS.M.A.R.T. SKIN PERFECTING SERUM+PRIMER by Grand Central BeautyCarmex Moisture Plus Limited Edition stick

Now you know what I carry….so what’s in your bag?

WADING THROUGH ALL THE MUCK: The Muck B 1802 Boot

As I said in a previous post, I’m not big on the whole reality TV thing. But I have to admit there is one reality show that is a guilty pleasure of mine…The Amazing Race. Maybe it’s the thrill of the competition (11 teams of two compete in an elimination style “race” for a grand prize of $1 million) or the exotic destinations that the teams get to visit throughout the competition—whatever “it” is, it has made a fan out of me.  The Amazing Race has had some memorable teams over the years. One of my favorites happened to be the season 21 winners (and the stars of another reality TV show entitled The Fabulous Beekman Boys—ironic right?), Josh Kilmer Purcell and his husband, Brent Ridge.

Back in 2007, the couple bought a 19th century farm called Beekman Mansion in bucolic town of Sharon Springs in upstate New York. The couple launched a business, Beekman 1802 selling products derived from the produced grown on the farm.  Last week, Brent and Josh took their lifestyle brand one step further by teaming with The Original Muck Boot Company on the footwear company’s first fashion collaboration inspired by the growing farm-to-table movement—Muck B 1802. Known for creating comfortable boots ideal for messy and tough conditions in work, farming, agriculture, outdoor sporting, lawn and garden– even the spring monsoons that now plaguing New York. The Muck B 1802 boot is the perfect marriage of both brands—combining style and substance. The boot debuted this past week in New York City at the charming organic eatery, Green Table, located in the famed Chelsea Market.

Muck B 1802 boot

Muck B 1802 boot

Only 200 pairs of the limited edition boot will be sold on both the Beekman 1802 website and on www.muckbootcompany.com. The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim. The 100 percent waterproof boot will feature Muck’s XpressCool liner, which keeps feet cool in warm weather. A lightweight sole with rubber pods provide optimal traction and support with comfort and flexibility. The boot’s suggested retail price is $170.

The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim.

The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim.

The debut of the Muck B 1802 boot also heralded the announcement of the winner of Beekman 1802’s first annual Mortgage “Lift” award which gives a $10,000 grant  to a deserving family farm that demonstrates innovative business practices, helping restore small farms as the economic backbone of America.  This grant was inspired by Ridge and Purcell’s own experience trying to pay off their own loan which led to the production and naming of an heirloom tomato variety, “The Mortgage Lifter,” which they hoped the pasta sauce it produced would raise enough to pay off their own land loan. While bottling their first jars of sauce, Brent and Josh won the Amazing Race. With the proceeds, they were able to pay off their own mortgage. It was then they pledged to give back 25 percent of proceeds of the sauce—2014 marks the awards inauguration.

Not only does the Mortgage Lifter award winner take the “Lift” award grant to invest in the future of their farm, The Original Muck Company donated their best selling Chore farm boot to the entire staff of the winning farm.

For more information on The Original Muck Boot Company, visit www.muckbootcompany.com.

For more information on The Fabulous Beekman Boys, visit www.beekman1802.com,

 

The Fabulous Beekman Boys at "work."

The Fabulous Beekman Boys at “work.”

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BUILDING A LEGACY OF STYLE

St. James & Company owner, Cabral Miller (standing) and model at a recent shoot at the Newark-based boutique.  (Photography by Rachelle Clinton)

As you know, from time to time I pen pieces for a variety of media outlets that cover some of my favorite lifestyle topics (fashion, beauty, culture, etc) and more. I recently was tapped by Heed Magazine (an online magazine whose mission is “focused on expressing the positive, diverse and spiritual perspectives…as it relates to current events, politics and pop culture) to profile a very special place– St. James & Company, a family owned and operated men’s boutique in the heart of Newark’s burgeoning arts district.

Owned by the Miller siblings, Utenzi and Cabral Miller, St. James & Company is a beautiful example of Newark’s drive and passion to revamp and rebuild its tattered reputation– building a legacy to be proud of.

Read the article about Cabral Miller and St. James & Company here.

NYFW F/W 2014: Asaf Ganot (Refined Ruggedness)

As per the request of Mr. Socialite—I am going delve into the world of menswear and its accoutrements more. Hopefully you won’t mind too much.  It can actually be quite interesting. Besides…I have a weakness for a well dressed man (I think that is how I got snagged by Mr. Socialite in the first place).  I don’t know what it is…maybe it is the confidence—that swagger—that he exudes knowing that he looks debonair. He knows he’s a dapper don in that immaculately tailored suit and commands the attention of every room he walks into. That is the power urbane gentleman …and in the end what makes him sexy.  New York-based menswear designer, Asaf Ganot, depicted that this season at his presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

With the former cathedral turned event space of Hoffman Hall at the High Line Hotel serving as a backdrop, the Asaf Ganot Fall/Winter 2014 collection was a glimpse into the appeal of all things manly.

Known for his signature aesthetic, Asaf Ganot marries luxe materials and impeccable craftsmanship. His collection fused contemporary menswear with cutting edge construction capturing the true essence of luxury. Drawing inspiration from Asaf’s travels and experiences and translating that into a vision of the modern man, he created a sophisticated assortment of looks that are both rough and refined and radiates an air of confidence.

Featuring quilted leather jackets, cashmeres with Donegal patchwork, cable knits finished with leather detailing, rich tweed suits complemented by shearling trimmed coats in a deeply rich palette of obsidian, ash and stone contrasted with shiraz, beluga blue and regal purples, the line was a blend of rugged looks paired with classic Italian made menswear fabrics that with the power of today’s technology was enhanced to ensure comfort and function without sacrificing style.  The knits were treated with unique washes in faded and tie-die finishes resulting in pieces that appeared to be worn by salt, air, snow – that of an active lifestyle of a worldly, strong man of style.

I definitely saw a few pieces that would be the perfect addition to Mr. Socialite’s wardrobe and the well-dressed man in your life too.

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NYFW F/W 2014: Saunder (Film Noir Meets the 80s)

Despite Mother Nature’s relentless fury– in the form of epic snowfalls and freezing temps that the Olympians in Sochi could only dream of– New York played host to another installment of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Acting as correspondent for one of my favorite fashion blogs, Fashionista NY Girl (by fellow bloggette, Heather Epstein), I found myself headed to the savvy neighborhood of Chelsea and the tres chic, High Line Hotel. The High Line Hotel, a former seminary turned boutique hotel, served as an impressive backdrop to the SAUNDER Fall/Winter 2014 Collection.

Known for eclectic looks inspired by designer, Emily Saunders global jaunts, this season, SAUNDER not only drew inspiration from abroad but from the 80s BBC miniseries ‘The Singing Detective.’ For my complete commentary on the collection, check out my piece for Heather’s blog here.

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CONTEST ALERT: “Pin it to Win it” with Rafaella!

Just in time for the holidays!

It’s contest time ladies!

RAFAELLAthe women’s sportswear division of Perry Ellis, want to give someone a very special holiday gift through their “Pin it to Win it” Contest.

It’s really simple to enter….

All you have to do is create a Pinterest board with your 4 favorite Rafaella items and enter it on the Rafaella Facebook page on the contest tab.  A winner will be chosen once a week and will receive the items they pinned (pending availability).
The contest runs through the 21st, last winner will be announced the 23rd. They will be contacted by the information they provide on the entry form.
The full rules are listed below. The official hashtag for the contest is:  #holidaycontest
GOOD LUCK!

 

BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN : Black Soy Beans, the Curvy Socialite & Dr. Oz

We live in a society that is obsessed with being fit, healthy and young. I’m not going to lie; I am not immune to it. To be honest who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? There are entire industries built around our quest to achieve our fitness goals (hello…the beauty and fitness & wellness worlds make billions of dollars every year). Think about it…you can get liposuction during your lunch hour, extensions to make your hair look longer or fuller, Botox to hide the wrinkles and let’s not forget the magic creams and pills that will make you look younger, have the cellulite disappear and give you the energy to run ten marathons.

Some of these miracles in a bottle actual work…others not so much. And many times these fixes are super expensive. But what if there was something out there that could help you curb your appetite, regulate your blood glucose level and decrease your cholesterol… all this for around $2? I can feel you looking at me sideways through your computer screen. Yes there is something out there that it cheap and healthy that can NATURALLY help you do all these things…enter the BLACK SOY BEAN.

Black Soy Beans? Yeah you read right. Not your normal edamame (salted green soy beans you get at many Asian restaurants as an appetizer); black soy beans are a naturally low carb, high fiber, high protein and a great addition to a healthy diet. How do I know? Well for 3 days, I did an experiment in preparation for an appearance on the Dr. Oz show (airing on this afternoon and replaying on tomorrow—click here to view the preview). For three days I ate a half of cup of black soy beans a half hour before lunch and dinner and recorded my results (two days prior to that I ate normally as my control).

And here’s what happened….

  • I felt fuller longer. With black soy beans being such a high source of protein and fiber, it took longer to digest which means you are actually fuller longer.
  • As each day progressed, my portions got smaller. The soybeans were curbing my appetite. Based on my food log (and that of Karen…the other guest who did the experiment with me), Dr. Oz surmised that I ate 35% fewer calories a day by the end of the experiment. And let me repeat, I DID NOT FEEL HUNGRY.
  • Also, at the end of the experiment, I lost 2.5 pounds (and I wasn’t even trying).

Now for the purposes of the experiment, I ate the black soy beans separately prior to my two largest meals, but you can easily add them to your favorite dishes that call for beans. Check out some of the suggestions from Dr. Oz’s website below.  But I will warn you. They can be a little bland. I personally love them with hot sauce (and for those who know me personally I like everything with hot sauce) but a pinch of salt is fine too.

Black Soybean Chicken Caesar Salad (pictured). Click the image to see some tasty recipes as suggested by Dr. Oz and his team.

I’d love for you guys to give it a try and share with me some of your thoughts. Who knows…you may end up liking it and adding it to your grocery list like I did.

 

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!