An awesome internet friend of mine just lost a bunch of weight and is ready to go shopping for new outfits. She liked my style, so she asked me for advice on shops and web sites I like to buy from. I started writing a ridiculously long email message and realized that I should just make it into a blog post complete with links and photo illustrations... so here is the 2009 Casey McKinnon Style Guide!
- FASHION TOPS: I buy a zillion tops a year... it started because I needed tops to wear for our web shows, but now I'm just obsessive. I love Topshop, H&M, La Maison Simons, Guess, and even Abercrombie & Fitch (for women's clothes only). Tip: I highly suggest branching out your color palette (I highly believe that if you're wearing the right make up, you can look fabulous in any color). Also, my Korean traditional dance teacher used to tell me that the sexiest thing about a woman is her shoulders... keep that in mind when you're looking for fashion tops (I often go for a slight puff in the sleeve).
- GEEK TEES: I used to buy geek t-shirts based on what was on them (photo on the left), but now I'm buying them also based on how they fit (photo on the right). I highly suggest Junk Food for geeky tees - they usually use fabrics that are soft and thin, and they're often made to be more fitted than the average t-shirt. You can find their stuff (and other cool stuff) at 80stees.com.
- SWEATERS/HOODIES: I get inexpensive fitted hoodies from pretty much anywhere. Just make sure that what you get is flattering... you want to try to find some that compliment your waist line. I've also been wearing a lot of long, loose-fitting sweaters. The fabric is nice and thin so, although it's not fitted, you can still see my figure.
- JACKETS: I got my sexy black leather jacket at Zara. It's perfect for going out and looking frakking cool! :P I also love getting suit jackets to wear with jeans (great for looking casually professional). I try to find creative pieces in a staple color so they match anything. I've purchased really nice jackets at Guess and La Maison Simons.
- JEANS: It takes a LONG time to find the right jeans... so if you go jean shopping and feel discouraged, don't worry... it happens to all of us! I've found nice jeans at Guess, Parasuco, and Buffalo. The jeans I currently wear are "skinny jeans", but they aren't flattering to everyone. Try on different cuts and different sizes to get the right pair... tight is good, unless your skin is bursting out! Tip: Don't be afraid to get higher waisted jeans if you wear long tops.
- Betsey Johnson is great, but expensive... so you can also find some nice fun dresses at Topshop, H&M, Jacob and La Maison Simons. Tip: The key with Betsey Johnson dresses is the tiny waist line... but if you go shopping for a dress somewhere else, just remember that this can also be achieved with a funky belt. You can always buy them separately and still put together a fucking awesome outfit! In fact, in this photo I actually tied a pretty black ribbon (about 1" wide) around my waist... this detail made the dress more fitted and unique.
- BOOTS: Every woman needs a pair of knee high sexy black boots, don't they? I got mine at Aldo. I also have killer rain/snow boots which I got at Browns/B2. Warning: Buying rain boots encourages you to step in more puddles.
- NECKLACES: Necklaces can really complete whatever you're wearing. You could wear a completely plain top, dress it up with a beautiful or artistic necklace and look like a million bucks! I buy a lot of cheap jewelery at Also Accessories, and my sweet Rudy gets me lovely crystal jewelery from Swarovski. Tip: Don't worry about getting matching bangles or accessorizing with watches, they make your arms look shorter.
- HATS & SCARFS: Totally optional, but fun! Hats are great for me because I'm only 5'2" and the sun visor in the car isn't always helpful to me while driving! I've purchased kick ass hats at La Maison Simons, and scarfs can be found almost anywhere these days.
The most important thing to remember when shopping is your attitude. If the clothes you try on make you feel confident and perhaps even a little exhibitionist, they're probably perfect for you. And remember too that my daily self portraits are all posed and color edited... no one's perfect.
Happy shopping! Post photos of your new outfits on Flickr for me! :D
PS: A couple of general rules:
- Have fun and be creative with your accessories: Long gloves or even the wacky skirt from your Halloween costume can really make an outfit.
- Always cover up your mid-section in public, no matter how thin you might be.
- Always wear flattering undergarments. You never know when you're going to die, and you don't want to be caught wearing holey panties when the coroner is giving you an autopsy!