Sunday, November 13, 2011

We've Moved

Hello! As of November 14, 2011, we've moved! Please visit us at out new home at

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Runway Looks For Less

This story aired on KHOU Channel 11 News on October 13, 2011.

Designer fashion can be expensive. Often, high-end clothing is worth the big price tag – it’s hand-made, has intricate details, and is made from beautiful materials. However, a wardrobe by high-end designers isn’t accessible to everyone.

Great style, on the other hand, is available at any price point. If designer fashion is beyond your budget, here are some tips for creating looks from ready-to-wear, off-the rack, or even resale garments that are inspired by runway fashion.

I took some looks right off the Fashion Houston runway and used them as inspiration for some looks for less. When you create your own looks here are some You have to modify the looks you see on the runway, so they flatter your body and work for your life.

Keep in mind that runway looks are styled to look spectacular on 6 ft-tall, size 0 model walking on a stage. If you try to wear an outfit exactly like the model does, you’ll get frustrated because it won’t look good on you.

1. Runway looks are theatrical and usually too over-the-top for real life. – Choose one garment or idea to incorporate into your everyday look instead of copying all the ideas in a runway look at once.
2. Only wear clothes that flatter you – change the proportions or shape of a runway look so it works for your body.
3. Translate the elements you like in a way that works for you – create your outfit using runway colors combinations, mix and match styles or fabrics in a way that is similar to the runway look, incorporate details like ruffles, pleats or beading in a scale that is practical and flattering.

Designer Look 1 – Jerri Moore white ruffle blouse $425), black full-length skirt ($850), and red sash ($50)
Look For Less - CMM white lace halter with ruffles (Dillard’s, $30), red scarf (already in Sarah’s closet, got it 3 years ago from H&M, $6), Teri Jon black silk satin and organza evening skirt with ruffle slit (already in Sarah’s closet, got it 10 years ago on major sale at Saks or Bloomingdales, $60) – Total $96

Look 2 – Jerri Moore white blouse ($295), gold full-length skirt ($795), and black sash ($50) (not included in the video)
Look For Less- Plenty cream lace top (Dillard’s, $208), black chiffon scarf (Dillard’s, $20), Teri Jon gold silk satin evening skirt (already in Sarah’s closet, got it 10 years ago on major sale at Neiman Marcus Last Call, $20) – Total $248

Look 3 – Jerri Moore silver sequin top ($595) and shorts ($595)
Look For Less – Laundry blush matte sequin dress (Dillard’s, $260)

Look 4 – Barbara Tfank swing coat and Capri pants
Look For Less – Puli jacket (Dillard’s, on sale $63), Willow & Clay cream metallic tunic (Dillard’s, $69), skinny gray cords (Dillard’s, $29)

Look 5 – Barbara Tfank burgundy lace and gold sheath dress (not included in the video)
Look For Less – Antonio Melani burgundy lace sheath dress (Dillard’s, $189)

Look 6 – Barbara Tfank black lace bustier and satin palazzo pants
Look For Less – Fashion Forms black lace bandeau (Dillard’s, $18) and Natori satin pajama pants (Dillard’s $58)

For more about Jerri Moore, visit
Thank you for the garments to make the Looks For Less!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Runway To Reality

This story aired on KTRK, Channel 13's Stretch Your Dollar on October 11, 2011. Here are the tips and details about the outfits included.

Fashion Houston is 4 nights of New York style runway shows that are open to the public! Runway fashion is theatrical and over-the-top because that’s what looks good on stage. It’s an art show, designed to excite and inspire you. If you copy those looks for real life, they won’t work.

You have to modify the looks you see on the runway, so they flatter your body and work for your life.

1. Copying a runway look literally doesn't work – the look was created to look good on 6 ft-tall, size 0 model walking across a stage. If you try to wear the outfit exactly like the model does, you’ll get frustrated because it won’t look good on you.
2. Only wear silhouettes that flatter you – change the proportions or shape of a runway look so it works for you.
3. Translate the elements you like – incorporate colors, details, or style combinations that you like into your outfit.

Look 1 – Chloe Dao – graphic dress with color blocking ($250-$325)
Inspiration Elements: graphic print, color blocking, contrasting colors
Inspired looks:
(1) Graphic Antonio Melani dress (Dillard’s, on sale $66) with teal shrug (Target, $12)
(2) Teal Antonio Melani dress (Dillard’s, $159) with Anne Klein scarf (Dillard’s, $29);
Model: Elizabeth Saunders

Look 2 – Aries Milan – nautical top and tropical “grass” skirt ($500).
Inspiration Elements: Mix of two styles - classic nautical navy and white with tropical shimmery beige, unusual neckline, pop of color
Inspired looks:
(1) Eyeshadow navy lace racer-back top (Dillard’s, $19) white cami (Dillard’s, $30), orange Ralph Lauran belt (Dillard’s, $13)
(2) Anne Klein burn-out blouse (Dillard’s, $68), Jones of New York navy skirt (Dillard’s, onsale $34), Steve Madden red belt (Dillard’s, $38)
Model: Nida Khurshid

Look 3 – Jerri Moore – Blush chiffon gown
Inspiration Elements: chiffon, ruffles and ruching, vertical slit, plunging neckline
Inspired looks:
(1) Navy Adrianna Papell chiffon gown($200)
(2) Lavender Adrianna Papell chiffon gown ($188)
Model: Lana Dilixiati

Bill Cunningham, great fashion photographer and photo storyteller for the New York Times, says that the real fashion story is seen on the streets in the way real women wear their clothes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thrift Store Shopping

This thrift store shopping segment aired on Great Day Houston on August 17, 2011. The thrift store story starts about 7 minutes into the video.

Happy National Thrift Store Day! Thrift Store shopping has always made your dollars go people are shopping at second-hand stores because it's green too. When you buy something used, you give it a new life, keep the item out of a landfill, and conserve resources because fewer new goods are needed. Here are some tips for shopping at thrift stores:

1. Know the difference between thrift stores, resale shops, vintage stores, and pawn shops.
· Thrift Stores – Usually inexpensive gently used or new merchandise. Most are run by charities and some are operated for profit. (The Guild Shop, Goodwill Boutique, Salvation Army, Family Thrift Center)
· Resale Shops – Sell gently-used or new items. Items in these stores are less expensive than when purchased in a traditional retail store, but they are not always cheap. (More Than You Can Imagine, Marry Go Round, Buffalo Exchange)
· Vintage Store – Items were made at least 25 years ago – generally from the 1920s to 1980s. Items may not be inexpensive.
· Pawn Shops – Items were sold by owner. Can be a great place for jewelry and high-end handbags.
2. Bring a shopping list – You never know what you’re going to find and it’s easy to get distracted by all the different merchandise. A list will keep you focused on looking for what you need.
3. Buy what you love – it’s easy to be seduced into buying something because it is inexpensive. It’s only a deal if you love it and will wear it often.
4. Go often – The merchandise changes daily, if you don’t fine what you want, so back every couple days or weekly and try again.
5. Try everything on – the label on the item may not reflect the real size. The garment Size may have shrunk, stretched, been tailored or mislabeled, or the brand can run small/large.
6. Wear a skirt or work out clothes – There might not be a dressing room to try on clothes, so wear a skirt so you can slip pants on underneath to check the fit, or try on the clothes over the clothes you are wearing.
7. It’s okay to buy items with a little damage – a tailor can fix tears in seams, missing buttons, or slight fit problems. A jeweler can fix missing clasps, broken chains, and some missing rhinestones. If it’s major damage it might not be fixable or worth the cost.
8. Don’t buy it if it smells – if it smells in the store, chances are dry cleaning or laundering won’t get it out.
9. Check the markdown and sale schedule, the item you want may be even cheaper.
10. Bring something to sell or donate – some thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange buy used items, so bring a few items you don’t need/like to sell and make a little shopping money. If it’s a charity thrift store, donate the items for a tax deduction.
11. Know the return policy – Most thrift store sales are final. Check the return policy so you know if returnable items can be returned for the same value.

Thank you to the Guild SHop for providing all the display items for the segment. Here are some outfits we found there...each is right on trend this season.

Outfit 1 - wear it to dinner or put a jacket over it to make it perfect for work
· Black Xhilaration tank $4.50
· Multi-color Andrea Jovi skirt $6.00
· Black coral necklace $75.00

Outfit 2 - perfect for a day wedding, shower or brunch with the girls.
· Marona strapless denim dress $12.00
· Moth yellow sweater $12.00 (part of a 2-piece dress set)
· Amber and peridot necklace $450.00

Outfit 3 - Date night or fundraising gala
· David Meister black cocktail dress $12.00
· Clear quartz necklace $117
· Pearl and crystal necklace $99.00

Here are more examples of items you can get at a thrift store. This selection of items is from The Guild Shop.

· Mariquita Masterson pink poured glass choker $357
· Judith Jack marquisite New York pin $75
· Iridescent glass necklace $45
· Silver glass necklace $18
· Metal circle necklace with glass drops and earrings (not shown) $30
· Rhinestone and pearl bracelet $99
· Red and black necklace and earrings (not shown) $48
· Red square plastic bangle $6
· Raffia & Bossa black and clear Lucite bangle $99
· Raffia & Bossa white and clear Lucite bangle $99
· Raffia & Bossa tan and clear Lucite bangle $99
· Lucite clear wrap bangle $45
· Sobral multicolored bangle $45
· Sobral polkadot bangle $48
· Orange Lucite stretch bracelet $18
· Yellow carved plastic bangle $18
· Lucite silver ring $24
· Amethyst and sterling silver ring $45
· Barse turquoise and sterling silver ring $120
· Topaz and copper ring $132
· Sterling silver swirly ring $45
· Dr. Pepper sun shades (turquoise purple black and white) $36
· Golden quartz and pearl 4-strand choker $198
· Freshwater pearl long necklace $75
· Mindy Lam amber crystal flower pin $99
· Nina Ricci sunglasses $99
· Pearl, peridot and sterling silver bracelet $240
· Teal pearl 3-strand choker $177
· Big turquoise choker $198

Shoes & Handbags
· Tooled leather purse with horn handle $99
· Brown suede Prada flats (sz 8) $57
· Prada mules $144
· Yellow Enzo purse $12
· Jessica Simpson cream patent leather platform shoes $4.50
· Kenzie black kitten heels $12
· Beaded bag $21
· Black stamped leather clutch $12
· Ferragamo red patent leather hand bag $180
· Jimmy Choo red patent leather sandals $144

What's Sarah Wearing?

Magenta ruffle-sleeve t-shirt (Elle Must Have T style EL11064, color 500 Byzantium, Kohls $26 on sale for $12), long necklaces (Harwin St., $3 each), Black Magic pants (Gap, $50), Cole Haan platform pumps (Macy's, $250)

I had planned to wear this fantastic top I found at The Guild Shop ($4.50!), but the fabric was so thin, I wondered if my bra would show through on camera. I decided not to chance it!

If you liked this post, you might also like Retail Is The New Retail and A Tailor Can Revive Your Closet

Friday, May 6, 2011

From The Cover To The Closet: Making A Magazine Look Work For Your Body

This segment aired in Great Day Houston (KHOU, Channel 11, Houston) on May 4, 2011.

Every month thousands of women buy fashion magazines looking for fashion trends and outfits to inspire them. Most people try to recreate those magazine looks by wearing the exact same pieces they see on the models and get frustrated when the looks don’t flatter their bodies. The worst part? Women think the problem is them and their bodies. The problem isn’t their bodies, it’s the CLOTHES.

Today, we chose a look and adjusted it for six different body types. We chose an outfit that would work for a date, crawfish boil or traveling and sightseeing. The main pieces are a boyfriend jacket, shorts and fitted top. Every one of our models loved the look in the magazine.

Recreating this look for real bodies was REALLY hard!! The boyfriend jacket caused a major problem because it didn’t look good on any one of the six models - was too straight, hid everyone’s waist and made them all feel fatter. So if you’re aggravated by fashion, you are not alone!

We had to make adjustments to the outfit for each women to correct for body proportions and maintain a lean silhouette. The “perfect” woman’s figure is an hourglass where shoulders, bust and hips have the same width and the waist about ¾ of that width. And the top of her body (head to crotch) is the same height as the bottom of her body (crotch to toes). The strategy in the styling is to make all the real proportions look like the ideal proportions. The jackets required major adjustments to make this look work.

Model 1 (Estella, size 10) – Straight Body/Banana (bust, hips and waist are about the same width)
· Estella had the easiest time with this look.
· Instead of a totally straight jacket, hers is slim fitting and comes in at her waist.
· Shorts would have worked, but the short skirt was even more flattering, so we opted for a short skirt to show off her legs.
· We chose an open neckline because it makes her look taller and leaner than the jewel neckline in the magazine look.

Model 2 (Valerie, size 10 petite) – Apple Body (fuller in the waist and tummy)
· The top in the magazine look was very fitted and would have been too tight for Valerie. We chose a top that was cut with more room in the waist and tummy area. It also has a pattern of ruching that provides some stretch and camouflages the tummy.
· We chose a jacket with an open neckline to make her look taller direct attention away from her tummy. It also is very curved in the waist and flared at the hip, to make her waist look smaller.
· Valerie’s shoes are the same color as her skin to make her legs look longer.

Model 3 (Lori, size 0) – Petite (less than 5’4”)
· She is a petite size zero and with a perfectly proportioned hourglass figure.
· The jacket is shorter and very fitted in the waist and hips to show off her figure.
· The color is similar to her skintone to elongates her legs.
· The pink cami under the lace top brings color into the outfit and shows the detail of the lace.

Model 4 (Tia, size 8) – Tall (over 5’7”)
· Tia is 6 feet tall. If we used the usual styling strategies, we would have made her look even taller.
· The loose jacket works on a taller figure because it makes her look shorter.
· We chose a short dress with horizontal stripes. These stripes break up her body and make her look shorter.
· The shoes have the same effect – they also have horizontal lines and the color contrasted against her skin to make her look shorter.

Model 5 (Dalita, size 16) – Upside Down Pear (full bust)
· Her jacket is fitted just below the bustline, to show off her small waist. A straight jacket would have made her look 20 to 50 pounds heavier.
· To minimize her the top half of her body, we chose a jacket in a darker color (darker colors make you look smaller).
· Dalita’s hips are more narrow than her bust, so we chose a lighter skirt to balance out her top.
· The color of her shoes is similar to her skintone to make her legs look longer and her whole body look leaner.

Model 6 (Julia, size 4) – Pear (full hips)
· We chose a jacket with shoulder pads to make her shoulders wider and balance her fuller hips.
· Her shorts are a darker color to minimize that area hips and make them appear to be the same width at her bust/shoulders.
· We added color in the shoes and jewelry

The key to making a magazine look work for you is to remember that the look was designed for that model. Use the look for inspiration rather than a blue print. Adjust it to flatter your body.

Thank you Dillard's for providing all the clothes and accessories for the segment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How To Wear A Wrap Cardigan

This TV segment began airing on Mirror/Mirror on the LivewellHD network in January 2010 in 11 cities (NY, LA, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Fresno, Raleigh/Durham, Flint, and Toledo). Most recently, it aired as part of the "Best Of" episode on January 30, 2011. To watch the story, click on the video below

The wrap cardigan is the most versatile piece of the season. It works 7 days a week and can take you from day to night, work to weekend, and business meeting to casual Friday. All it takes is a little creativity.

This style of sweater is flattering for lots of body types because you can just choose the wrapping styles that flatter your figure. The sweaters come in lots of colors, fabrics, price points and makers, so you can find one that’s perfect for you. The cardigans shown in the segment are from DKNY.

Here are some easy ways to wrap the sweater
1. Plain and long - just wear the sweater open with the tails hanging straight down
2. Plain and long with a belt - just wear the sweater open with the tails hanging straight down with a belt around your waist
3. Plain and long with a knot – tie a small knot in the side of the tails to pull the sweater in and define your waist
4. Plain and short - tie the tails together with a small knot and place the knot around the back of your neck

Here are some other ways to wrap the sweater (watch the video to see these options demonstrated...they'll make more sense when you see them)
5. Cowl-neck - prepare the sweater as in #4. Before you slip the knot behind your neck, twist the knotted ends once and slip your neck through the loop that's formed by the twist. The twist will create a cowl-effect.
5. Twisty cowl-neck - prepare the sweater as in #5, but twist 3 - 5 times to slim the sweater so it shows off your figure.
6. Cross-over with tie in front
7. Short jacket
8. Cross-over dress
9. Cross over dress with bangle
10. Backwards off-the-shoulder
11. Cold shoulder

For even more ways to wrap it, check out more videos at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Favorite Things

There’s a gadget for that! New gadgets and electronics can do things you never expected. Here are some new ones you might not know about.

This segment aired on Great Day Houston (KHOU, Channel 11 Houston on December 15, 2010. We got so many cool gadgets for the Favorite Things episode that aired on Dec 8 and 14th, that we didn't have time for all of it. Here is the rest. A link to the video clip is embedded below and further info about each of the gadgets is below that. Hope you enjoy it!

Reproductions of Historic Maps - Texas General Land Office

These colorful hand drawn maps (dating back to the 1700's) are great gifts for history buff and proud Texans.
Each one tells a story of Texas, and shows historic details such as ghost towns, forts, Spanish missions, original Texas colonies, and the growth of Texas cities from their original settlements. Maps can be purchased online and delivered to your door, with all the proceeds going directly toward preservation of other Land Office historic maps and documents.
• Most maps are just $20, with larger maps costing up to $40.
• Order by December 15th for delivery by Christmas.

Sunbeam Cupcake Maker
This cute cupcake maker cooks 6 cupcakes in 10 mins. $39.99

Bigfoot Networks – Killer 2100 online gaming network card
This card makes online PC gaming faster even faster. It's so fast that it’s used by the top 5 professional gaming teams in the world. It also comes with software that allows you to control the bandwidth each program on your PC uses – this is great even if you’re not a gamer – when you’re downloading a big file, you can adjust the bandwidth so you can still use other programs like email or online chat programs at the same time.
• $89.99 MSRP at Microcenter and Fry’s or online at

Balanzza: Mini Luggage Scale
This is great for frequent travelers. Pack smart and avoid overweight luggage fees at the airport by weighing your luggage before you go. It also keeps you from having to redistribute belongings at the airport check in counter.

Zoom: H1 Handy Recorder
Great recorder for musicians and speakers. It has two studio-quality mics, configured in an X/Y pattern, for stunning stereo imaging. It gives you professional quality in a light-weight device.
• 50 hours of recording time, 10 hours of operation on 1 AA battery
• $99 at

Lemur Monitors: SafeDriver
This is a new tool to monitor your teen driver from the moment they back out of the drive-way. It records real-time information of your teen’s driving habits such as maximum speed, distance traveled and any sudden braking.
• $79.95 Brookstone and The Sharper Image

Lemur Monitors: EconoDriver
This device displays real-time fuel consumption to help you drive greener and save money. Program in the current cost of gas and it will tell you how much money you spending by accelerating and braking too quickly or idling too often.
• $69.95 at: Brookstone and The Sharper Image

IOGear – Wireless HDMI Computer to TV Kit
No more cluttered cables. Now you can stream audio and HD video from computer to your tv wirelessly
watch movies, internet video clips, photo slide-shows or other media from your computer right on your tv
• $179.95 MSRP
• During the month of December, use Coupon Code GUW30OFF
for 30% discount at

Logitech Harmony 700 remote control
You can program this remote to control up to 6 devices like your DVR, TV, DVD player, Home Theater, Etc...It's easy to program and to use.