Category Archives: Look For Less

Fab or Flop: VH1 Hip Hop Honors Awards


At the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Awards on Thursday, the rap glitterati—and Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife??—took a page out of Rihanna’s glam rock playbook. However, for some, that page was missing two very important rules:

Number 1 – The all black, Addams family look is a NO. You end up looking like a rock band groupie in mourning or a depressed stripper. Always add a pop of color, from a bright lip hue to a fierce stiletto heel.

Number 2 – A style this bold, sexy and dangerous takes LOADS of confidence…and either you have it or you don’t.



Did the ladies pull off Rih’s coveted tough girl swag? You be the judge.

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Glamazon Vote: FAB. Eve dazzles in a sparkly top, liquid leggings and chic blazer.

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Glamazon Vote: FAB. Joy Bryant’s neon heels are the perfect pop of color against a chic printed mini.

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Glamazon Vote: FAB. The serial celeb dater, Nicole Murphy, wows in a backless dress and studded accessories.

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Glamazon Vote: FLOP. Besides looking like she dressed in her niece’s clothes, MC Lyte’s dark ensemble needs a spark of color. And the proportions are all wrong! Ankle straps and cropped leggings actually make her look shorter, when the look calls for long and lean. 

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Glamazon Vote: FAB FEROSH. The pitbull in a skirt gets catty in a skin-tight black bodysuit with heavy metal accents. With gold link chains (cute nod to 80’s hip hop) and peeptoe heels, Eve takes the trend and makes it her own.*

*Get Eve’s look for less at American Apparel (bodysuit, $32, americanapparel.net)

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Calvin Klein skinny belt, $21, bluefly.com.

Cast your vote: are the looks ferosh (FAB) or a hot tranny mess (FLOP)?

And you can catch the VH1 Hip Hop Honors on Monday, October 6 at 10pm.
Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Wire Image.

Legends of the Fall: Part Deux

2 – The Booty Calls…
Confession: I am a shoe feine. I crave the perfect boot like a junkie and go searching the city streets (hello West 4th!) until I find it. Why do you ask? Because the right boot can take your old, warm-weather looks through fall without missing a beat. 
Let me explain: no one notices that you’re still wearing your gray t-shirt dress from two summers ago when it’s paired with a killer pair of fringed, embroidered boots (trust me, this happened Wednesday). Whether knee-high or ankle, leather or suede, boot or bootie, this season’s shoes are a step in the right direction.
-Knee-length boots
Believe it or not the more tarnished and beaten down your boots look from trekking through city streets, the better. Wear them flat or with heels (from three-inch to kitten). I personally can’t get enough of the contrast of knee-length boots with pretty dresses, but they’re just as glam over skinny jeans, tights and leggings.
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You better work, Ang!!! And Vanessa’s slouchy boots are so laidback glam.

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How amazing are these boots! Get the slouchy, sexy look for $180 at aldoshoes.com.
-Peeptoe booties
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“It’s Fall, why on earth are you showing your toes?” Because it’s fierce, that’s why. 
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The dominitrax style peeptoe will murder any outfit (in a good way)! These killer booties are $119 at ninewest.com.
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Okay, I’m drooling. Jimmy Choo gives you a more subdued, sultry version in suede for $550, jimmychoo.com. I know, the price is outrageous, but aren’t they just beautiful?
-Fringed suede boot
Fringe adds the perfect Western, bohemian flair to any outfit. Keep the rest of your outfit artsy (i.e. no structured menswear pieces or lacy, frilly looks) and you’ve got a look that’s retro, carefree and fun. 
TIPS AND TRICKS
Just limit it to one fringed piece per outfit or you’ll end up looking like Pocahontas…def NOT glam.
These cute, girly Betsey Johnson booties are $320 at zappos.com, and come in black and pink for the adventurous types. (And very cute pink bottoms, Betsey, a la Christian Louboutin…love it!)

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Or you can go for a classic, Western look with these suede boots by Minnetoka that boast removable bead and feather details. $75.95 at dsw.com.
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3 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits
Okay, there’s nothing wrong with the Hillary-esque tailored, monochromatic pantsuit…umm, right? 
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But Fall’s pants are just as smart, sassy and confident—and more stylish by a landslide.
-Loose wideleg pants
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They’re flattering on everybody, I promise. If you’re hippy or boy-shaped, get in good with your tailor.  If you’re short like me, invest in some comfy heels. 
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And the wideleg jeans are pure genius. Throw on a blouse and blazer and you’ve got the most comfortable work pants ever.
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And for $34.50 at oldnavy.com, they’re a no-brainer.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Be mindful of the hem. It should break right at the top of your shoe and slant on an angle toward the back. Highwaters are a natural disaster.
-Skinny jeans

…are back with an edgy, rock and roll vibe. Look for an ubercool color like washed-out grey or fresh details like ankle zips and cropped lengths. Dress them up with red shoes, dress them down with black patent flats. Gap has an amazing pair for $55 on gap.com.
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Work, Rih Rih!

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-Leggings/Tights/Knee-Highs
Please somebody tell me where I can find those amazing liquid leggings Miss Rih-Rih was wearing. (Update: I spotted them at Urban Outfitters for $88 by Members Only but I’ll be getting the H&M version…thanks).
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I’d shy away from the brights since in the words of my gay crush, it’s allllll about monochromatic color this season. So lengthen your legs in gray and black hues with matching footwear. And pair your leggings/tights with a long tunic or cardigan to keep the sex appeal at bay (remember proportions are key!).
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The best selection of tights, leggings and knee-highs I’ve seen so far is at H&M. They have everything from leopard to metallic to striped for reasonable prices. 
Oh and ladies, by the way, you can never look like you tried. You literally woke up and threw your clothes on and voila, you’re a bonafide glamazon. 
Let me know which trend you’ll be rocking, and which you wouldn’t wear to your funeral if you were paid in advance. As for me, I’ll be rocker chic in a cropped leather jacket and peeptoe booties (already bought mine from Aldo!). But I’m won’t be wearing harem pants unless it’s Halloween and I’m Princess Jasmine…
Talk soon.
Kisses,
Coutura

Legends of the Fall


Are you one of those people that are in denial when summer leaves in an instant (seriously, wasn’t it just warm out)? I am. I swear I’m going to wake up one day and it’s going to be ferociously hot and I can’t walk down my block in my havianas because it’s sectioned off for cook-outs that last to 1 in the morning with ribs sizzling away on the grill and loud club music blasting and iceys for days. But alas, the only people out that late anymore are the crackheads, the only ribs you get on the grill are made the George-Foreman way (which you gotta love, but sigh, it just doesn’t taste the same). And club music blaring while I’m snuggled under the comforter watching Project Runway? I wish somebody would.

For people like Rihanna saying good-bye to August means packing up their summer clothes and getting in a Fall-to-Winter shipment. Lovely for them, but I’m a little too entry-level for a complete wardrobe change. And I wouldn’t blow the money if I had it. All I do is pick three double-duty pieces from their wardrobes and my closet becomes cold-weather-ready faster than you can say “65 degrees.” Here’s how.
1 – Under the Cover-ups
God bless the Bohemians! I shamelessly wore my little Ikat boho dress to work with a long cardigan and cowboy boots and it felt brand new! And thank the Lord because I just moved into an apartment and do NOT have the $ to buy anything really new without sacrificing lesser important expenses…like food and electricity. My cardi singlehandedly saved what would have been a drab Fall wardrobe. 
I know what you’re thinking: rocking your pretty tank tops and sleeveless dresses under a cardigan is an old trick, but the Fall season gives you plenty of ways to update your cover-ups. The number 1 difference? These cover-ups should become a part of your outfit, instead of feeling like an add-on.  
-Knee-length cardigans
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Glamazons, it doesn’t get any chic-er than this. Buy a neutral color like gray, brown, navy or black, even deep purple. Pair it with a dress of a similar length and a complimentary hue…or a blouse and a pair of knee-length shorts…or a fitted top and short skirt. And you’re done.
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And the cost of your new go-to piece? A mere $19.80 at http://www.forever21.com. (They have a million cardis that I just love, including the open front cardigan for $22.80…so glam!)
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You can belt it for a shapely silhouette (skinny belts work) or just let it flow. The look is stylish, comfortable and somehow, supersexy.
TIPS AND TRICKS
But ladies, beware. A few missteps and this lax, luxe look can go irreversibly sloppy. Keep these tips in mind:
-It’s worth it to invest in a cardigan that’s constructed well. Read: an unfinished hem, loose threads and moth balls will make you look like you went shopping in your grandma’s attic. 
-Balance it out. Wear loose cardigans/sweaters over fitted dresses, skirts and tops. Or long cardigans over skinny jeans. Too loose begs the question of if you bothered washing at all. Too tight completely misses the mark.
-Have fun with it. Bohemian is synonomous with understated, uninhibited cool. Play with texture, experiment with color. Just don’t go overboard (i.e. bulky layers, accessories galore). When you’ve got it right, it will feel pulled-together and effortless.
-Cropped jacket
Two words: contrast proportions. Keep the top long/fitted and the bottom full (or vice versa) and you’re good to go. Exhibit A: this glam Jil Sander look.
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Mariah, Mariah, Mariah. Here’s how NOT to do the cropped jacket. The pop of color is glam, but the proportions are all wrong. The look is too tight and the length of the top and short hem of the leggings is a jarring combo.
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With a flowy top and fitted skinny jeans, Rachel Bilson gets it right.

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-The Blazer
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I am just in love with how a blazer can make a look instantly sharp and sophisticated. Don’t believe me? I remember going to my internship at Marie Claire wearing a great blazer, my old Express jeans (atleast three years in) and a flimsy white tank top…and looking like a million bucks (for about $50 altogether, I swear!) 
This season brings new styles like the smart contrast piping (below on Vanessa) and the All-American color scheme, worn by the fabulous Blake Lively (Gossip Girls).
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You can just as easily throw your blazer over a corset and be ready for a night out with the girls.
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The right blazer is worth every dime. In terms of fit and construction, a little quality goes a long way. Ralph Lauren works their signature look for about $300 at http://www.macys.com (love the crested emblem, it gives a preppy, Gossip Girl, private-school-snob feel). 
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But I’d get the Nine West blazer for $129 (also, http://www.macys.com) with the edgy zipper pocket detail.
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-A leather jacket
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A la Rihanna. Rocker chic is one of the few winter looks that’s just as irrestibly sexy as an Herve Leger bandage dress. It’s tough and glam with just a touch of goth. 
Just avoid over-styling like the plague. The jacket should take the lead, think Beyonce, and everything else is Kelly and Michelle. 
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Everywhere from Bebe to Member’s Only has incredible styles. Check out leather stores too, like Wilson’s, for amazing variety.
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Crisp and classic. $595 at http://www.membersonly.com.
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This jacket is calling my name! The tough luxe leather meets the soft ruffle trim for an unbelievably sexy look. $249 at bebe.com.
-Colored scarfs
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For $5 on a New York street, the wrapped scarf looks unjustly expensive. It’s the perfect way to cover your chest lest you get a cold (like your mama told you) with style. And a color that pops—orange, green, fuschia—looks so fashionable against a casually cool ensemble. 
If it’s super cold, take it off and wrap it over your shoulders. If you just got a touch-up and there’s a surprise rain storm, Erykah-Badu it until you get under cover. Worn over a blazer, blouse or dress, this scarf is your new best friend.
Avoid getting a too-long scarf like Lindsey (below) as it tends to overwhelm the look. 
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Beyonce’s scarf falls at the perfect length. 

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And if it’s too long, tie it like Kylie..

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Btw, love the YSL mail bag…very glam!


More Fall styles to come…talk soon!
Kisses,
Coutura
Photos: JillSander, WireImage, Getty Images.