Put away those puffers – it’s high time for the resurgence of the trench. But before you slip one on and head out into that springy breeze (or, err, April shower), discover these tips for finding the right fit for men and women.

The Fitting Room

Does my trench have to be the same length as my skirt?

The age-old rule is that a woman’s coat should never be longer – or shorter – than the hem of her skirt. In fact, they must match exactly. But in order to prevent the need for fifteen trillion coats in different lengths to match each and every skirt in your closet, look for a trench that’s no more than a few inches longer or shorter than your skirt. A longer trench creates a streamlined, unbroken line (read: it’s slimming!). Wearing pants? The world is your oyster – just make sure the trench is longer than your top layers. Which means no short trenches and super-long cardis.

How large should a men’s trench be? 

The Art of Manliness has this style down pat, noting that trenches should be long (and large) enough for you to wear over a suit or thick sweater. “A good measure,” they note, “is to try on a coat and button it up fully – the shoulders should extend out past your natural shoulder by .5 to 1 full inch (to allow room for a suit jacket)….  Next look at the sleeve length – they should be worn 2 to 4 inches longer than a suit jacket’s sleeves, to about the pinch on your hand.”

Do I choose double- or single-breasted? 

In general, I think single-breasted coats are more flattering across both genders, but in the end it comes down to personal preference. What makes you feel good? For a look at the benefits of both for men, peep our Double- vs. Single-Breasted Guide.

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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March 25, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, which in my book means one thing: It’s high time to start transitioning into springwear. But with temps still in the (insurmountably depressing) 30s here in Boston, that’s easier said than done. So let’s ease into spring slowly, shall we? First up: Taking those peep-toes out from the back of the closet.

Below, five things to know about this open-toed standby, just in time for the cusp of spring.


5 Peep-Toe Rules

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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March 18, 2013

This season, we’re all about high-waisted pants. Yet no matter how many high-waisted dos I see, I can’t shake the image of poor, lovely Jessica Simpson, circa 2009. Clad in ill-fitting high-waist denim cinched with double leopard belts, the fashion tycoon proved that the trend can go mom jeans – fast. So before you take the (leg-lengthening) plunge, read up on how to keep the look effortlessly modern.

High-Waisted Pants

Find the perfect style and fit. When it comes to high-waisted pants, there are three schools of thought: the wide-leg, the flare, and the skinny. I’m a big proponent of the former two for all body types – worn right (à la Kim Kardashian), they make your legs look miles long. Tip: If you’re pear shaped, stay away from pants that pleat or gather at the waist. Also, keep in mind for all body types – pants should hit at your natural waist, not above or below.

Tuck that top in (or crop it). High-waisted pants can make your waist look teeny, so don’t go hiding under a loose top. Tuck a fitted one in (if you’re worried about staying smooth, try a Yummie Tummie or SPANX® tee), or up the dare factor with an on-trend crop top.

Wear chunky heels or wedges. They balance out a wide-leg or flared pair and keep stems looking lean and super long. This season, I’m loving wedges with wooden accents – just be sure your shoes peek out from beneath your pants’ hem.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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

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March 11, 2013

When it comes to wearing prints, it’s all about what catches the eye first. It’s important to know where to place them in order to accentuate your best features and disguise those trouble areas. As an overall guideline, place printed items on areas that deserve a little extra attention.

First things first – identify your body type. We come in all shapes and sizes, but rest assured – so do prints.

BLG-1314 Fitting Room- Prints for Body Type3

Height isn’t on your side, so make friends with vertical stripes that will lengthen your silhouette. If you’re not into stripes, keep in mind that patterns with elements larger than your fist will overpower your petite frame.

Long and Lean
Exercise your right to pull off large and bold prints. Monotonous prints will make you appear a little lanky, but a bold print will draw the eye toward the torso and away from limbs.

Pear Shape
This one’s a given: draw the eye upward by wearing a busy print on top. Play around with colors and wear that flattering floral blouse – over and over again.

Fuller Bust
The pear shape’s alter ego. Reverse the advice and choose a printed skirt or pant to offset a top-heavy appearance. Lucky for you, printed bottoms are a hot trend for spring 2013.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

How do you wear your prints? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala, then check out our The Fitting Room column every Monday.

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March 4, 2013

Monochrome Outfit

Spring is all about playing with color, but sometimes, just one shade is enough for an eye-catching outfit. Before diving headfirst into this hue-on-hue trend, check out a few rules of thumb.

Layer, Layer, Layer
With this trend, more is more. Go ahead and wear that poppy-hued sweater over a red blouse and cashmere cable-knit sweater. And while you’re at it, throw on a pashmina, too.

Get Textural
All materials are fair game. Since the depth of color is in disparity, the texture is what pleases the eye. Your leather It bag will soon become best friends with your cotton shirt, corduroy skirt, and silk anythings.

Play with Prints
Have fun with this one. Pair stripes (nautical or textured) with solids or go mix animal patterns with florals – just make sure the base color remains the same.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

What color would you be likely to wear this way? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala, then check out our The Fitting Room column every Monday.

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February 25, 2013

When it comes to hemline length, no need to skirt the issue. There really is a time and a place for everything. Before you zip in and head out, let’s review some leg-baring rules.

how to know if skirt is too shortMini
In terms of length, I’m a firm believer in Grandma’s golden rule: if you put your arms down straight and your fingertips fall past your hem, your skirt is too short. Regardless, this look is best for nighttime. To err on the side of caution, practice dancing in that mini before leaving the house. Trust me, you’ll know right away if it’s okay.

how to know if skirt is too shortAbove the Knee
A skirt that hits just a few inches above the knee is the most versatile of the bunch – it works anywhere from dinner with the in-laws to your desk. And it’s also one of the most widely flattering. Style with flats for day then transition (with ease) to heels for night.

15-06-09_skirtblog_kneeKnee Length
The always-appropriate knee-length skirt is best for fancy midday affairs and boardrooms. Showing a little skin (key word: little) is fair game in these settings. To keep a lengthened leg, pair with pointy-toed heels.

how to know if skirt is too shortFloor Length
I never met a maxi I didn’t like. In addition to flattering all body types, this style can be dressed up or down with the ease of a few eye-catching accessories. When choosing length, pick a maxi that hits an inch off the floor when you’re wearing heels.

So keep this guide handy. Before long, you’ll be in the swing of things.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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February 11, 2013

I love me a good belt – just peek inside my closet. But I always find myself stumbling upon the same frustrating problem: What on earth do you do with that pesky bit of extra belt?

The answer? Get creative. Below, four ways to tame a too-long belt:

4 Ways to Tame a Too-Long Belt

1. Knot it up. There are a bajillion ways to knot a belt (peep these ideas), but the “classic knot” above is my standby. Simply pull the end of the belt through the buckle, loop it under, then pull it back down taut through the loop you create.

2. Try a hair tie. Who knew hair ties could be so versatile? Loop one around a similarly colored belt to keep the end from flailing around aimlessly.

3. Play with Velcro. It’s not just for kids’ sneakers anymore. A piece of self-stick Velcro adhesive is a surefire way to keep things in place. This works wonders on belts in patent or leather, which are thick enough that the adhesive doesn’t peek through. (Avoid suede and other textured belts, which can get ruined.)

4. Employ a cobbler. Most belts can be cut – but instead of doing it yourself (I’ve tried, to no avail), hightail it to your local cobbler. They’ll fix it in a jiffy – and punch more holes in it, too, if you’d like.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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February 4, 2013

Forgive me, all past and future boyfriends, for I have a confession to make: one of the most glorious parts of dating you is having access to your closet.

Let me clarify. Of course I date you for other, less closet-related reasons. And of course, I love to get all dolled up in LBDs as much as the next girl. But there’s seriously nothing like peeking into your closet, finding that just-worn-in-enough, just-boxy-enough item of clothing (ideally a sweater, bonus if it’s cashmere), and calling it a day.

Only problem: said boyfriend sweater requires, well, said boyfriend. So what’s a single girl to do? Peep these tips, of course.

The Fitting Room

Know what to look for. The perfect boyfriend sweater is:  a) long enough that you can either tuck a bit of the front into relaxed jeans or wear it as a tunic, and b) loose enough that it simply hangs off your body.

Don’t be afraid to shop men’s. To find the right size in men’s, start with the size you normally wear in women’s – so if you’re a women’s small, choose a men’s small – then size up or down accordingly. (Yes, you can find boyfriend sweaters in women’s. It’s just not quite as fun.)

Choose a V-neck. The bit of exposed skin keeps things exciting.

Keep proportions in mind. When styling, always pair with fitted bottoms – think skinny jeans, leggings, or shorts. The rest is up to you. I love pairing with broken-in skinnies, a few long necklaces, and ankle boots (similar, here). Another current obsession: a heather grey, baby-soft (or chunky ribbed) boyfriend sweater paired with black leather anything (a la Heidi Klum).

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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

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January 28, 2013


You’ve heard it before – new year, new fitness regimen. But before you hightail it to the treadmill, make sure you’re outfitted with kicks that fit with help from these quick tips.

Learn Your Foot Type. The best way to discover whether you have flat or high arches (or lie somewhere in between)? The wet test. Pour a layer of water onto a cookie sheet, step into the water with a bare foot, then step onto a piece of heavy paper. Decode your results and peep the full how-to here.

Then Outfit Accordingly:

High arches. This means you likely roll your feet out, or underpronate, when you run. Look for running sneakers that offer cushioning or flexibility.

Flat feet. Your feet probably roll inward (or overpronate), which means you’re best off with running sneakers that offer motion control and stability.

Normal (or medium) arches.  You can wear just about any shoe (jealous!), so take your pick of the litter – and have fun with colors, trends, and styles.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Have a fit tip you want answered? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 7, 2013

The holiday season is a bit of a conundrum to me – a time when glee and glutton go hand in hand, but you’re expected to look ravishing in gloriously fun sequined dresses the day after you’ve feasted on three (totally worth it) servings of the best turkey you’ve ever eaten in your life.

If only we had a magic button that made enjoying all of the season’s treats (and looking gorge in that Christmas party dress) as easy as pie, huh? Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find said button. Instead, read on for ways to “fake” your most ravishing self for the season’s many RSVPs. Don’t forget – half of it is in the confidence.

Get a blowout. Yes, you can do your own hair, but a professional blowout will last through an entire night’s worth of pictures. So worth it. Pop into a blow-dry-only spot like Blo Blow Dry Bar (in seven states and Canada) and drybar (in six states) before your event, and emerge happy.

Freshen up your makeup. Get your makeup done – for free – at a store like Sephora or Bloomies. It’s suggested that you purchase a product after, but not required. Don’t want to schlep to the store? Try a bold cat eye and red lip.

Go bronze. It’s no secret that a tan makes you look instantly slim. Skip the bed and try airbrush, or pick up one of my favorite products: LORAC’s Body Bronzing Luminizer. It goes on like a lotion, washes off in the shower, and gives that covetable, just-back-from-St.-Tropez bronze we all crave.

Choose red. Black? So slimming. And so safe. Red screams confidence, and you’ll be amazed by how good you feel when you slip it on.

Try draping. Expertly draped dresses are an easy way to hide problem spots, and look Grecian-goddess pretty while you’re at it.

Wear SPANX®. Did I even have to mention this? Their Tight-End Tights® make you look a size smaller, I swear.

Pick the right heels. Wearing black tights? Try black heels. Bare legs? Choose nude pumps. Your gams will look plenty lean – and miles long.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Have a tip for looking your best in holiday garb? Share it in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 5, 2012