We always like to think of  The Globes as the “warm up band” for the Oscars.  Good thing this was just a warm up because we weren’t wowed by a lot of the dresses this year.  Many of the looks were so simple they bordered on pedestrian.  Did someone tick off Harry Winston? Where have all the glamorous jewels gone?…those bank-balance depleting baubbles are free for the asking at these ceremonies, and most importantly are the crowning jewel to a beautiful gown. We’ve noticed this glitz-less trend in the last few years –  many of these dresses could have sky rocketed to the best dressed list had the stars who wore them bothered to take advantage of their free shopping spree through Tiffany’s…

That said, here are our top picks and pans for the red carpet and why they worked – or didn’t…

Who Was Hot:

Milla Jovovich did Tinseltown proud with her beautifully fitted dress. And is that a bracelet we see on her wrist? (guess she didn’t get the memo).  Although statement earrings, would have  been the frosting on the fashion cake, we applaud the subtle but elegant “bling” sewn into her fabulous frock which set her apart from her red carpet neighbors. She got the flare of her dress perfect, which should always start at the top of the knee.  The length is correct as well – it’s not dragging in the front and is training beautifully to the back, creating a long lean silhouette.


Amy Adams sizzled in her deep blue Marchesa gown.  Although, again, this dress really would have wowed with some lovely earrings and a bracelet – she still looked like a true Hollywood star.  Unlike many ruffle-covered gowns, Amy’s ruffles were in perfect proportion to her bodice, her train and her figure.


Here’s someone who got the correct balance of bling to gown ratio, BUT made a small and almost fatal fashion mistake with her bodice. As discussed in our last two blogs, something seemingly as unimportant as not wearing your bodice high enough on your torso can start to take away from your stylish look….Had she shortened those spagetti straps 2 inches it would have put her “girls” in the penthouse suite instead of down in the basement. A higher bodice would have also elongated her torso and showed off her sexy waist.  Since the net overlay can fall into grandma territory – the additional issue of  boobs swinging low gave her a more matronly look than a Madonna look.  We wish we could have been there there for her (on both sides) to better support this otherwise amazing gown.

What Was Not (Hot)…

Really?  Seriously?!…Talk about getting dressed in a dark closet.  Oh well, at least it’s the same shoe style -even if they happened to be a mismatched pair from her Elvira Christmas Collection.  She obviously kept her hairdresser from Harry Potter – although even her wild “do” was not enough to break the spell of this disenchanting dress.


Julianne Moore in a wrinkled Lanvin..  Pink is truly not the best color for this beautiful red-head.  However, her mutton arm looks like it might come in handy  as a floatation device if her plane goes down on the way back to England.


And the drum roll please…. the best “just got out of bed look” goes to Annette Bening.

What induced his otherwise classy woman & great actress to use tar as a hair mousse on one of the most important nights of her life?   Thank goodness this is, afterall, just a warm-up…

That’s a wrap for this year’s Golden Globes.  Be sure to look for our Oscar review in next month’s blog.



Its happened to all of us. We see something in a magazine or on a mannequin and think “I have GOT to have that!”

So we run out to the store to pick up our coveted purchase – all the while never stopping to consider that the dress that looked so killer on the 6 foot size zero amazon model might look even slightly different on us.

Of course if you are a movie star, you have professional stylists to help you from making this kind of mistake…….. right?

So WHAT were Drew’s fashion entourage thinking when they plucked this Jil Sander tangerine gown fresh from the runway for the “Face of  Covergirl’s” 50th anniversary party? With her being the actual “face” of Covergirl on this important occassion, did they simply want a dress which would match their citrus inspired Covergirl backdrop? It definitely wasn’t proportionate to her great figure.

We aren’t bagging on Drew , who can get away with a lot of styles the average woman would struggle with. But since we know and love her for her for her gorgeous knock-em-down-drag-em-to-the-top-of-the- best-dressed list special event gowns like the one below, which shows off both her great shape and movie-star style,

we couldn’t help but be disappointed to see her fall victim to runway fantasies.

Of course, when you know that there are a few very important secrets which you can employ to avoid making the same mistake Drew made, you can avoid any style calamaties of your own….

Lets look at that photo of Drew and her catwalk nemesis again and discover the 4 reasons WHY this dress works perfectly on one woman and not as well on the other…


In our last blog, we talked about the importance of wearing a strapless dress high enough on your torso. This is a perfect example of how a strapless gown can start to look frumpy as it rides down the torso.  Luckily, Drew’s hair is doing some cover-up in the photo, but with just a flick of her “do” back over her shoulders, her dress will not only look even more disproportionate to her body, but will showcase the unattractive bit of skin just below the armpit. Notice, in comparison how the top of the models gown sits as high as comfortably possible across her chest, perfectly balancing her upper body.


Take a look at where the cinching in both of these dresses occurs. On the model it is above the knees. On Drew it is below the knees. Whoever, fitted this dress to Drew simply lopped off the bottom 6 inches of it. This is a real fashion no-no and is one of the main reasons it is hard to transfer a runway style to the average woman with much success. The model has a good half foot of extra height on Drew- most of it in her legs!  Just as with skirts, unless you are very tall and thin avoid any skirt lengths OR detailing  below the bottom of your knee (see Fashion Code Lines 8 and 9 for more details).


The best length for a gown is one that grazes the floor and doesn’t bunch. See how the bottom of the model”s skirt forms a beautiful elongating column around her calves- as opposed to the bunchy, puckered bell shape at the bottom of Drew’s? Gowns worn at the correct length will  always make you look as though you are  gliding into a room.


If you have no extra girth and could actually use some like the model above, baggy styles will flatter your figure. However, if you are near your ideal weight or heavier, non-fitted styles become much more difficult to wear. Why? Because it’s difficult to tell if thats air in there or you- and unfortunately people will assume its you! For this reason, more fitted styles like the light green dress Drew is wearing above will always be more flattering than any pleated Hefty bag inspired designer creations.

Remember, runway models get paid the big bucks because they are unusually tall and thin- and can wear just about any dress proportions well. By keeping this in mind and following the Fashion Code Secrets,  you will be sure to look  beautiful in every outfit you put on – from your work clothes to your next big night out.



You may have seen photos of Reese Witherspoon in this gorgeous Zac Posen strapless dress at her recent movie premier….

or Angelina Jolie in this sparkly little number..

What you may not have known are the following four secrets that Reese and Angelina used to create these knockout looks.




This is one of the most important things to know when wearing a strapless. Make sure the dress does not ride down on your torso, exposing the skin just below the crease of your arm. Besides showing off this unattractive piece of flesh (which can look like flab on even the most fit women) it will also completely throw off the proportions of the dress.  The higher the top of your strapless comes on your torso (where it meets the arm) the better your dress will look.


Deciding on the correct length for a dress can sometimes be difficult, but taking the time to get it right with a strapless is even more important than with other styles of dress. Why? Because a strapless dress already shows a lot more skin on top than any other type of dress  you’ve got to be careful to balance it with the perfect amount of exposed skin on the bottom. If you don’t find this balance, your dress can start to look trashy quick fast and in a hurry.

That said, there are two ideal lengths -the elegant length and the sexy length, which will show you and your dress of to their best advantage:


Wearing your dress to the top of the knee is the perfect length for an elegant strapless dress. A great example of this is the photo of Reese above. With her dress worn to the top of the knee she looks both chic and perfectly proportioned. ( This can vary slightly on some women and can also be worn to the mid-knee-but NEVER just below the knee. See Line 8 of your Fashion Code)


Of course, if you really want to pull out all the stops and go even sexier like Angelina above, there is a shorter look which works perfectly for a hot night out. On most women this length falls around the end of your fingertips. Shorter will look cheaper and longer will put you in no man’s land of “not quite right” hemlines.(See Line 7 of your Fashion Code for the exact location on you).


What is a low vamp shoe? Any shoe that sits low on the front of your foot is a low vamp shoe. And the reason this shoe style gives you the longest leanest look is that your eye can travel further down the body unobstructed before stopping at the the shoe. Both Reese and Angelina know and employed this great secret to make their beautiful legs look even longer.


With Reese, the bow design on her dress could have easily overwhelmed her small frame. However, this design is in perfect proportion to both her body and her dress. Knowing where a design element should be on your body is key to pulling off a stylized look like this one. From beads to bows to buttons the more proportionate the details of your dress are to you, the better you are going to look on your next big night out.

Remember to use your Fashion Code to make any dress shine- and soon you’ll be teaching the stars a thing or two about walking down the red carpet in style!



Feeling like you’ve been turned upside down after the holidays?


…. chained down by all the things you still need to get done by the end of the year?


…having trouble keeping up with your posse?


….can’t find romance no matter what you put on?…


It’s time to stop hibernating and come in from the fashion cold…


2011 is on it’s way…

and the Fashion Code will be there with lots of savory style ideas

to help you look your very best.


xo, Ruth

Wow, we thought fashion shows were full of crazy looks that no one could wear, but  when Givenchy’s head designer Riccardo Tissi decided to not do a runway show this year – and instead present his collection in his Paris atelier, he proved that you don’t need a catwalk to create fashion chaos.

Amazing how a famous design house- known for decades as an icon of style can now put out collections that keep you guessing if they could really be serious….

Apparently they are serious.  Dead serious. The Givenchy couture house, in this case, worked with the theme” The Mexican Day of the Dead”  – and all its associated  macabre nick-nacks from skeletons to skulls to the head designer’s favourite symbol, the crucifix .

We kid you not….Here are a few photos of the design massacre. We weren’t sure which was more funny, the outfits themselves- or the comments by the style editor of a famous European magazine, Grazia  (viewed in bold below)…

“Haute Couture is best viewed in close-up. How else to appreciate the 1000 hours of embroidery in a single gown? A fashion show can’t do this….. surely the future way to show couture?”… If this is the wave of future  fashion shows we’re  sure to see a huge increase in straight male attendance.


“Within an exquisite four room apartment at the historic Hotel d’Evreux on Place Vendome he showed ten looks suspended from sleek steel beams and beautifully day-lit to highlight the thousands of hours of work. These are clothes for hard-bodied women with millions in the bank, major events to attend and the confidence to wear either pure white, pale blush or blinging gold.” Yeah, forget wearing black, it was way too slimming…. and what you’ll be needing will be  courageousness- not confidence  to wear these looks to your next big shindig.

“I loved the …lace appliqué delicately mapping out a human skeleton.” Yes, just what we all aspire to look like when choosing an evening dress, a human skeleton. And just because there’s a recession on is no reason to be skimpy on the lace….


“You don’t see sculptural rings resembling vertebrae made from solid silver and dipped in alabaster everyday. Of course it was all utterly magnificent to behold.” True, you don’t see rings shaped like vertebra in general – probably because porcelianized pieces of cadavers aren’t generally considered a good look.

Hail , hail the gangs all here. …

Really. Seriously.

Either aliens have landed and taken over the fashion scene or grandma has been hitting the sauce again on the way to her knitting circle…

Winter Beret

Would you wear this?

Jennifer Lopez Skinny Jeans

Skinny Jeans

Boot Leg Cut Jeans

Boot-leg Cut Jeans

Why does Jenifer Lopez look 20 pounds thinner in the picture on the right as opposed to the photo on the left?  Because she, like many other women followed a hot trend this year is the “skinny jean”.  Unfortunately though, as you can see by the photos , skinny jeans make most of us look anything but skinny.

Here’s the deal… they call them skinny jeans because you need to be skinny (i.e. pencil thin) to wear them.  If you’re a curvy gal or even an average size woman, this is definitely a trend to steer clear of – or you may inadvertently end up making your hips look like one of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade inflatables.

To illustrate this point, Jay Lo has kindly made the mistake so many of us do of putting skinny jeans on a curvy figure.  As you can see below the results are less than flattering.  We don’t know about you, but when someone with a rockin’ body like Jennifer’s can’t wear this trendy style, we’re sitting up and taking notes.

By simply following The Fashion Code and swapping out her skinny jeans for a bootcut jean, she instantly transformed her body without a single trip to the gym.  That’s because unless you have a bean-pole figure, a skinny jean will make your hips look much larger and out of proportion to the rest of your body.  We call this the “ice-cream cone effect”; the fabric is so tight against the ankle that everything above the ankle can’t help but look sizes larger in comparison.  Now, we all love ice cream cones, its not a great look where clothing is concerned.

So what’s an average to curvy sized gal to do?  Do what Jennifer did  to instantly transform her figure and  trade in those unflattering skinny jeans for a bootcut jean.  A boot cut pant is the most flattering style for ANY size or shape woman.  It evens out the balance between the upper and lower body and minimizes the hips quicker than you can say post-holiday-diet.  But it’s a lot more fun to go shopping for a pair of boot cut jeans than going on another diet, don’t you think?

What to do with those skinny jeans you purchased before you read our brilliant blog?

-Wear them with a knee-high boot.  Since they’re tapered and have relatively little bulk they work great tucked into a tall boot.

-Cut them off and make them into capris.  Since they’re already tapered, all you need to do is spend $10 to get them shortened and… tah dah! – you’ve got a new pair of great fitting capris. (Remember to consult your Fashion Code lines to see where the most flattering capri length comes to on your body.)

-Ditto for shorts!

and remember… magazines and stores want you to think skinny jeans are the latest “must-have” but they’re just looking at their bottom line – not yours!  Don’t be tempted to drink the skinny jean Kool-Aid this holiday season.  Enjoy the season’s treats but just “say no” to this fattening trend.

I am back from my photo shoot in Europe and, as promised, have a lot more wedding ideas to share with you. I know they say to pick a theme and stay with it. Of course I saw so many great options  from Paris to Rome that it was difficult to choose! For instance, In Milan I noticed that Rudolf seems to be quite the inspiration for veils this Christmas season…

..and these holiday looks would certainly make Santa light up as well.


In Paris it was all about recycling….

From paper flowers…


…to old newspapers…


…to used books…

and even those handy post-it notes…

…you really have to hand it to the French- they were reusing practically every kind of paper they can get their hands on!


Of course, I could find a wedding planner to help me to finalize everything…

But, I have noticed that you can’t always trust the people you hire to get the job done.

That’s why my friend Ashley took care of the music herself. Her wedding compositions were truly beautiful.

…although I think she should have quit while she was ahead left her hairdressing to a professional.

….and Augustine had always dreamed of a beach wedding but no one told her about those terrible sand storms that can kick up……

Worst of all, Celine’s dress designer ran out of lace for her gown – which went undetected until she made her way down the aisle…


Of course, I know that nothing else really matters once you’ve gone through dating all those beasts in designer clothing…

and finally found your Prince Charming….

But, important as true love is, there are still bridesmaid’s dresses to order…

… invitations to send…

..and designer wedding gifts to register for…

I am making headway though.  In fact, I found the perfect dress in London and Calvin has informed me that after weeks of scavenging the vintage stores he finally found the perfect suit. So, in short, we are almost ready for the big day! A few tweaks to the celebrity guest list (which I will share with you next time) and we will be walking down the aisle to designer wedded bliss. Until then! xoxo, Skinny B.

Ruffles are everywhere this season, but if you don’t know how to wear them correctly this seemingly harmless trend can easily add 10-20 pounds to your figure (and that’s before indulging in a single slice of pumpkin pie!)

However, if you do know how to wear ruffles to your advantage, they can add a fun kick to any outfit and set you apart from the pack.  The main thing to remember about this trendy trimming is that ruffles will ALWAYS add bulk anywhere you place them on your body.  So if you’re one of those lucky and rare souls who needs to pack some pounds around your hips, wearing anything ruffly around your derriere is the way to go.  However, if you’re just a regular gal like most of us – trying to enjoy life and forget about the leftover Halloween candy you ate when you thought no one was looking, you’ve come to the right blog.  Here’s how to have your cake (or Snickers bar) and eat it too- when it comes to adding ruffles to your wardrobe…

Location, location, location!  Location is key when employing this frilly, girth-giving embellishment.  As you can see in the before photo of Ruth below, ruffles placed across her stomach and hips make her look sizes bigger – not to mention years older and “style-challenged” to boot. (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister).  In the “after” photo she’s simply moved those ruffles up to less-problematic area of the body and voila – she’s looking like the new spokesmodel for Jenny Craig!   Not to mention she’s got her style back and has just subtracted 10 years off her birth certificate.

Before The Fashion Code

Before The Fashion Code

After The Fashion Code

After The Fashion Code

Note that the “before” outfit cost a whopping $1200 – which goes to show that spending a lot of money on your clothes does not always guarantee style.  However, knowing how to wear the latest styles and trends is … priceless.

The Fashion Code Blog
Anyone noticed how expensive it is to buy a pair of boots this season?

And expensive is only the half of it! For instance ugly doesn’t begin to describe these designer boots which are selling in stores this month for a whopping $1000!

It’s every recessionista’s dream and so versatile – NOT!

Hmmm groceries this month or boots ……such a dilemma..

Lets consider…

$1000 could buy you:

-10 pairs of shoes at Nordstom’s Fall sale (which you might actually be able to wear in public) – Coffee for a year at Starbuck’s – A month’s supply of food for a small African village

Or you can have these stunners…… Decisions, decisions…

Of course, Halloween is just around the corner and we’ll all be needing something scary yet sporty to do our trick or treating in….

Morticia would surely say, “they’re to die for”. What do you think?