Cutoffs 101: How to Find the Just-Right Length

The Fitting Room Cutoffs
So, it’s decided. You have a pair of jeans. And you want a pair of cutoffs. Easy. The only question: What length should you cut?

Classic Shorts
Where to cut: 3 – 5 inches above the knee (mark this spot while wearing the jeans).
The best jeans: Loose, tight – either works. Try a printed pair for extra punch.
Your guide: This style looks great cuffed, too – and this how-to is proof.

Bermuda Shorts
Where to cut: Right above the knee.
The best jeans: Tight-fitting jeans – rolled at the bottom to hide that cutoff fray – look great as Bermudas.
The guide: Best done with jeans that do not stretch.

Short Shorts
Where to cut: Give yourself a 2 – 3 inch inseam.
The best jeans: Tight ones. Looser jeans run the risk of exposing what needn’t be exposed.
Your guide: Read up here before you get to cutting.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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July 22, 2013

Flawless Coverage: Find Your Ideal Swim Cover-Up

Cover Up

You’ve snagged the swimsuit. But don’t dive in just yet. Read up on these tips for finding that just-right cover-up, then grab a pair of sandals and strut with confidence from beach to boardwalk (or perhaps just to the Popsicle stand).

The Tunic: Half shirt, half dress, the tunic cover-up is universally flattering. Its body-skimming shape looks particularly great on apple-shaped women – disguising a tummy while showing off great gams.

The Romper: Boy-shaped? Create curves with a romper, which draws the eye to the widest parts of your hips and bust. Bonus points for extra frills.

The Sarong: There are a bajillion ways to tie a sarong (read up and try them all), but the simple knot around the waist is particularly flattering on pear-shaped women who want to show off a slim upper body.

The Kaftan: There’s something so Hollywood-vacation about this bold, flowy garment – especially if done right. If you’re petite, opt for a knee-length version (traditional long styles can drown you). If you’re taller, try a floor-length printed number with a deep V-neck for a punch of beach glam.

As for fabrics? Simple: look for ones that will dry easily. Think 100% cotton, linen, and terry. And steer clear of super-hot polyester and denim, which take ages to dry. Now, off to the beach you go.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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July 15, 2013

How to Find the Best Bathing Suit for You

Whatever your shape, there’s a swimsuit out there that makes you feel confident enough to strut straight into the ocean without shorts, a towel, or the secret hope that no one’s looking. Read up on what works best for you.

The Fitting Room: Best Bathing Suit for Your Body Type

Pear Shape
You are: smaller on top and larger on the bottom.
Try: a two-piece with ruffles or prints on top and a solid bottom, or a one-piece with a low V-neck. These suits balance out your proportions and draw the eye upward. String-tie bottoms flatter (no digging in). Boyshorts? Steer clear.

Boyish Shape
You are: a “rectangle,” with a small top, hips, and bottom.
Try: anything that creates the illusion of curves. Think a halter top with fringe and low-rise hipster bottoms or a bikini with horizontal stripes and ruffles at the bust.

Hourglass Shape
You are: small-waisted with a fuller bust and hips.
Try: pretty much anything. Hourglass shapes are, by nature, proportional, so look for suits that keep those proportions balanced. If you choose ruffles, for example, choose both a ruffled top and bottom, not one or the other.

Apple Shape
You are: rounder at the middle.
Try: a high-cut bikini bottom to show off your lean legs, and a bandeau or tankini top to keep things proportional. Suits with side detailing, Lycra, and ruching are especially flattering.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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July 8, 2013

The Great Debate: Can Shorts Be Work-Appropriate?

Work-appropriate shorts

Last week, Rue had a company-wide volunteer day. And for the first time in, well, ever, I wore a tee and denim cutoff shorts to work. To be honest, it was kind of life-changing. No need for crossed legs. No fear of a stray, skirt-furling gust of wind.

But can one actually wear shorts to the office?

Tom Ford, fashion tycoon, is firm in his stance when it comes to menswear. Simply, no. “A man should never wear shorts in the city…. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.” But I believe the answer – for men and women both – is far more subjective than that. Shorts can be office-appropriate. Read on for the nitty gritty.

Rule #1. Appropriate-for-work shorts are not appropriate for all places of work. 
Shorts may fly in creative or casual offices, or on casual Fridays. But if your typical office attire is a skirt and tucked button-down, or slacks and a tailored blazer, steer clear. If your job is client-facing, err on the safe side and avoid them.

Rule #2. Keep shorts the same length as the skirts you’d feel comfortable wearing to work.
Or longer. If you wouldn’t wear a mini to that 9AM meeting, don’t wear shorts of the same length. Period. Shorts that hit near the knee are your best bet.

Rule #3. Styles and fabrics must be polished.
No tie-dye, cutoffs, cargos, Daisy Dukes, acid wash… you get it. Look for fabrics like garbardine (a “dry clean only” standby) or cotton poplin and hems that are cleanly finished or cuffed.

Rule #4. Go modest with the rest of your outfit.
As a general rule, if you’re baring skin on the bottom, cover up on top. Think tailored blazers, crisp button-downs, and high-neck peplums. For shoes, stick to classic heels like pumps – and stay far away from flip-flops. Like those volunteer-day denim cutoffs, they’re best left at home.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

Would you wear shorts to work? To weigh in, tweet us at @ruelala. Like this week’s post? Check our The Fitting Room column every Monday

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July 1, 2013

What Lies Beneath: Underlayers for Summer’s Sheers

Sheers for Summer

The temps have hit the roof, and all that wool and cashmere? It’s not seeing the light of day until September. Instead, your summer wardrobe is packed with airy, breezy sheers – cool enough to withstand even the stickiest of days. The only dilemma? What to wear underneath. Read on for a quick guide to the season’s underlayers.

The Sheer Skirt 
Pair a sheer maxi with a fitted mini in a similar hue. Simple. Black with black. Nude with cream. Or go bold and play with a print – think black and white stripes under a sheer black skirt.

The Sheer Dress
Wearing a dress over lacy underpinnings alone might fly on the runway, but to take the style to the streets, layer with a slip or even a silky nightgown. Try one in a color as similar as possible to the dress’s, or go for a reliable nude.

The Sheer Top
Sure, you could play it safe with a nude cami or wear it under a blazer – but to spice things up, layer a bandeau in a bright hue under a sheer black top. (Even a strapless bathing suit can work in a bind.)

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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June 24, 2013

The Polo Fit Guide: Summer Friday’s Staple, Decoded

Hey, stud. It’s Summer Friday. Oh wait, just kidding. It’s Monday. But you have the day off. (You best be BBQing.) So prep yourself for a season of short-sleeved occasions with these quick tips for finding the perfect-fitting polo. It’s warm weather’s #1 essential, after all.

Polo Shirt

First off – said polo should be formfitting, without being tight. No one likes to see the undercup of your pecs. (That’s what going shirtless at the beach is for.) Perfect un-tightness means:

  • Sleeve: You can fit at least one finger between the sleeve and your bicep.
  • Armholes: Neither too tight nor too loose. Think: Breathable. Movable. But nowhere near baggy.
  • Torso: If you pull the shirt away from your body, it doesn’t move more than three inches.

 
Next, length. The polo must be long enough to tuck if necessary (see: in-law brunch at country club, impromptu Summer Friday meeting with client). Once it hits past your hip, though, steer clear. The polo should not be confused with the dress. Sleeve-wise, aim for halfway between your shoulder and elbow – slightly longer if you feel more comfortable.

And… there you have it. Easy, right? Permission to go back to BBQing: granted.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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May 27, 2013

No Iron? No Problem: 5 Fast Wrinkle Solutions

Confession: I don’t own an iron.

Yes, I know – as a person who gets giddy over the simple idea of a new piece of clothing, this is odd. But let’s be clear. It’s not my fault. A long-ago roommate owned a steamer. It was a glorious, mightily powerful contraption, an absolute guarantee that my office wear was Betty Draper–polished. I adored it. Was spoiled by it. And no iron has ever (I mean ever) lived up to its glory.

But life goes on. Behold, five ways to banish wrinkles without that go-to smoother: proof that, as scary as it may seem, you can look utterly flawless after the iron (or steamer, or whatnot) has been laid to rest… or, less dramatically – forgotten.

Iron-free wrinkle solutions

No blow-dryer, wrinkle releaser, flat iron, shower, or dryer in sight? Relax. You can also spray your garment with water and simply slap the wrinkles out – an aggressive, elbow-greasy approach (don’t say I didn’t warn you). Yet still, a means to the same smooth end.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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May 20, 2013

The Denim Hem Guide: Perfecting the Cuff & Roll

You’ve snagged a new pair of skinnies. Worn them four days this week. Then realized people were starting to catch on. Solution? Cuff or roll them. New pair of jeans, in a flash (especially when paired with new shoes).

Here’s how to perfect the cuff and roll, what to pair each with, and more.

BLG-1445_cuffs-1

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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May 6, 2013

The Fitting Room: The Warm-Weather Bra Guide

Yes, we all wear them. And sometimes we even like to flaunt them. But come warm temps? No one likes to see a bra peeking out (case in point) from behind spring’s skimpier dresses.

So, behold, a guide to the season’s most skin-baring attire – and the bras, tape, and cups you need to keep the girls effortlessly in check.

The Warm-Weather Bra Guide

Wearing: Backless
Try: A low-back bra that wraps around your waist. If you don’t want to invest in one, peep these DIY tips and transform your everyday bra into one of the backless variety.

Wearing: Strapless
Try: A perfect-fitting strapless bra. Tip: Since strapless bras lack shoulder support, the key is to go one cup size smaller. Or, if the dress is structured, feel free to go braless if you can – just snag a pair of pasties to keep chill-induced awkwardness at bay.

Wearing: White
Try: A nude T-shirt bra or tank. Contrary to popular belief, white under white (or sheer) is never okay. Also – avoid most lacy bras. The pattern still shows.

Wearing: Cutouts
Try: Silicone adhesive bra cups – they keep you perky and covered, and come in a variety of sizes. Fashion tape is a must, too, to avoid the errant slip-up.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Have a fit tip you want answered? Check our The Fitting Room column every Monday, or tweet us at @ruelala

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April 29, 2013

The Fitting Room: 7 Fast Figure Fixers

For the days you want to look your utter best, even though you’re not feeling quite there, turn to one (or several) of these figure fixers and cue newfound confidence.

The Fitting Room: 7 Fast Figure Fixers

1. The wrap dress. Think of the wrap dress as your wardrobe pièce de résistance – it’s flattering on absolutely every body type, and especially forgiving in non-clingy materials like thick jersey or stiff cotton.

2. The extra-large bag. Besides the benefit of being able to tote around a weekend’s worth of necessities, the extra-large bag is a goddess at making you look quite small in relation (and selectively camouflaging trouble spots in pictures).

3. The nude wedge. Just as the black heel is to black tights, the nude wedge is to bare legs. It’s a standby for looking long and lean (bonus if you master the art of streak-free self tanner).

4. The dark jean. So flattering – especially if the fit is right. Peep these tips for what will work best for you.

5. The bib necklace. A bold bib necklace will open up your decollate and instantly flatter your shoulders. (Long chains are also a go – just steer clear of chokers.)

6. The long cardi. Hello, instant butt coverage – try it in one of spring’s whispery cottons.

7. The full scarf. Like the extra-large bag, the strategically placed scarf does wonders to hide problem spots, with the added benefit of warding off cubicle-AC frostbite.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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April 15, 2013