Finding A Dress For Mom… Definitely Harder Than You Think!

 I have learned a lot in my life. But, there is one question that I have yet to find the answer:  Why is it so hard for women over 50  to find just the right dress for a special event – ?  
First of all,  most  are not 100% comfortable with their bodies anymore and hide behind their clothing. They wear baggy sweaters, mom jeans and/or frumpy clothing most of the time. When it does come time to find a dress for the wedding of their child, they panic and all wind up wearing a long dress with a jacket. Here is a tip: THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!. Satin jacket with crepe dress or crepe jacket with satin dress – it is nearly a uniform of the wedding mother who just can’t find anything else.

Secondly, there is a double standard: we are told we can’t wear short dresses anymore no matter how great the legs but, designers consistently show strapless gowns for women who shouldn’t have worn them when they were 20 , much less when they reach senior ‘citizenship’. Hardly fair, is it?

 Here are a few things to consider before you buy anything to wear to  your adult child’s wedding:

#1) Forget everything you hear, read or see on TV. If you have great, shapely legs and want to wear a shorter dress, wear it! 3″ above the knee is about the limit for a host of reasons but, short skirts are not limited to the X or Y or Z generation.

#2) Accessorize. Find a dress you love in your size and forget about being perfect or looking like a supermodel. Make the most of a simple, elegant dress by accessorizing to the max! Great necklace and earrings, beaded scarf, or even a hat will draw the eyes to your face and away from the mid-section where you may be a little thicker than you used to be. A great pair of heels will also do a lot for your self -image.

#3) Wrap it up. Consider a wrap dress if your tummy isn’t as flat as it used to be. A wrap (around) dress can hide 10-15 lbs easily. If the fabric is right and you accessorize properly, you will look stunning. Diane Von Furstenberg gave us the quintessential wrap dress in the 1970’s and it has evolved into a garment that can literally be worn for any occasion depending upon the fabric.

#4) Who are you? Don’t forget your personal style. If you have always liked a certain type of dress, don’t shy away from it because you are older. Underneath the laugh lines, next  to the spanx, lies the same woman who ran cross-country, captained the cheerleading squad, pledged a sorority and later attended every PTA meeting. You are what you are and what you are needs needs no excuses.

#5) Undergarments are everything. You don’t need to wear a girdle or a corset, you don’t need to wear extra tight super control top pantyhose.  But, wearing the right panties and bra will make any gown look better.

I know how you feel. Every day someone tells you that you don’t look your age, in fact you don’t really feel your age.  You walk confidently down the street in shorts in the summer, you play tennis, ride horses, swim, or run. You feel like you get better each and every day until you are confronted with that hideous mirror in the dressing room and the fluorescent lights! Let me tell you – those lights are lying. You are better! You don’t need a face lift  butt lift or liposuction….. all you need is the right dress, just ask Helen Mirren or Jane Fonda!

-Penny Frulla For Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Jane Fonda - The Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Fest

Red Carpet Roundup – 2013 Sag Awards

At the Screen Actor’s Guild awards last night, there were a slew of stars gearing up for the Oscars. But,  with a massive outbreak of the flu nationwide, more than a  few big names were left at home with the sniffles.

Did you see Justin Timberlake debut his professorial look?  Talented? YES! Funny? You bet! This suit is a moderate loser but, he is getting more and more adorable with age! Oh, wait – Jennifer Lawrence is in this photo with JT and Bradley Cooper? Let’s just think about how that feels for a moment….. nice.

 

In the Navy:
Amanda Seyfried rocked the red carpet in Zac Posen. Love the hair on one side, love the necklace, love the pose… “My hand on my hip says I’m sassy- but, my head is tilted (slightly) down so I am humble about it!”

 

Nicole Kidman in Vivienne Westwood. Love is a strong word and so is hate. This look makes me feel ambivalent, nothing particularly striking but not a  mistake. “I’m a mom, I’ve had work done – but, here’s my leg.”

Nicole Kidman - SAG Awards 2013 Red Carpet

Jennifer Lawrence – The best thing about this gown is that there is not one detail other than the cut and fit of the garment itself. Plain? Yes… but, beautiful because of or in spite of the fact! Although her hand is perched gently on her hip and her head is tilted in an ‘ever-so-sweet’ fashion, I would not want to get on her bad side. She exudes confidence and a badass quality I cannot even fathom.  ” I am posing, I am sweet ( see my head is turned ) but, do not make me mad. I will rip off this couture gown and chase you in high heels!”

ps – Not a wardrobe malfunction, the gown is made in layers to eliminate bulk. The underlayer is attached to  silk chiffon so,  when she walked/lifted the top layer to take a step/ caught her  heel on the gown,  the chiffon peeps through and it make the gown appear to have been ripped.

 

Jennifer Lawrence, SAG Wadrobe Malfunction

Jessica Lange wore a beautiful gown by  J. Mendel. Soft, flowing and her hair and makeup were flawless. Really a great look for a lady of her … (whats the word?)…. talent. 

Back in Black:


Sigourney Weaver, are you high on cold medicine?  I get it – you aren’t a size 2 anymore  and maybe you want something a little more loose fitting… but, this is a disaster. Who you gonna call? A stylist!

Jane Lynch must have been taking the same cold medicine as Sigourney Weaver – this  looks like something that she might have found in the back of Madonna’s closet. She has a terrific figure but this dress is all wrong for this occassion. Maybe Halloween in the Village. Maybe.

Best of Black:

Tina Fey in Osacr de la Renta and Amy Poehler in Zuhair Murad, our favorite funny gals from the Golden Globes were spot on with their fashion choices last jnight. Wit, looks and good taste … those girls are on fire! Sizzle!

Amy Poehler & Tina Fey - SAG Awards 2013 Red Carpet

Did you have any favorites from last night’s SAG awards?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

2013 Golden Globe Awards – Best & Worst

It’s finally here! Awards season is officially in full swing and I couldn’t be any happier. It’s like the playoffs for sports fans… just one delightful event after another! Much like sporting events – we have our favorites, there are clear winners and losers and sometimes the underdog wins. And sometimes the event just takes on a life of it’s own – like last night! My winners and losers are broken down into slightly different  categories:
“Most Adorable” – Amy Poehler. I give Ms. Poehler this title because a) the porn joke b) her side updo was infallible and c) her boobs were perkier than Honey Boo Boo at a county fair. ( Had to get that in before the Honey Boo Boo train left the station). Also, this little black pantsuit by Stella McCartney was darling, sexy, sassy and completely sophisticated, all at the same time. You GO, girl!

 

 

Strangest  Fit: These 2  piece outfits seemed to be a bit off for me, Sienna Miller’s weird pink ensemble by Erdem and Anne Hathaway’s chest flattening device by Chanel. Okay, whatever.

Best Color Statement: The critics are hating but, I am loving Lucy Liu in this print ball gown. Prints are risky, google ‘golden globes tye dye disaster’ and you will see why. But, I  think that Carolina Herrera nailed it with the right color, pattern and positioning of the floral pattern on the gown itself.  The wedgewood blue background was perfect on Ms Liu’s skintone… just magnificent!

The “Look at Me” award goes to Jennifer Lopez. Beautiful, sexy, and by all accounts one of the most talented ladies in Hollywood, Ms Lopez always turns heads with her provocative fashion choices and this see through lace number by Zuhair Murad is no different. I don’t think she would have it any other way!

Special Effects Award: Halle Barry and Jessica Chastain both had gowns with serious bosom challenges. Jessica’s Calvin Klein gown was saggy and perky at the same time. For future reference:  blouson halter is never a good idea.

Halle’s Versace gown was high and flat on one side, low and full on the other. Forget about the print, I can’t get past this odd bustline thing…..Huh?

 

halle berry golden globes 2013 red carpet 05

 

Rambling Rose award goes to Jodie Foster who seemed overly giddy and oddly nervous at the same time. The Cecil B Demille award is a big deal – but save the rambling speeches for the retirement home. Unlike the off-screen persona she has spent a lifetime protecting, she was blabbering like a teenage girl at a slumber party.The giggly thing was way out of character for her. Although the context of her words may have been  emotional and heartfelt, she lost me somewhere around Honey Boo Boo. The gown – another odd choice, I think Ms. Foster who looks fabulous in nearly anything, appears more  comfortable in tailored, simpler gowns rather than pageant beading. The only thing missing was the empty chair. 

Jodie Foster - Golden Globes 2013 Red Carpet

 

Best Trend Personified … It’s a three way tie! All three of these ladies rocked the subtle blush trend in their own way. Although none of them seemed to take home a trophy, they were all winners in my book.

Amy Adams in Marchesa

 

Megan Fox in Dolce & Gabanna

Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli

Favorite Actress in Everything – Julia Loius Dreyfuss is funny, charming and a knockout in this illusion over lace custom Vera Wang.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Golden Globes 2013 Red Carpet

Best Overall Performance goes to Ms. Tina Fey. Channeling the late Rita Hayworth, Tina took the stage in va-va-va-voom fashion and never let up. She switched effortlessly between comedy and glamour and her Taylor Swift joke was not only the best one-liner of the night, she was dead right! “Take some ‘me’ time”… indeed!

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Ladies, you have set the bar very high – hoping to see you back again next year!  This was my favorite Golden Globes in a long time!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Ghosts of Golden Globes Past

Tomorrow the awards season officially kicks off with the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Both movie and television stars come together for one night of fun, fashion, frivolity and fierce competition to decide who wins, who loses and give us a hint of what to expect at the Academy Awards next month. And for the first time ever, the show will be co-hosted by our favorite female SNL weekend update alum.

The Hostesses with the Most: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will certainly be on cloud nine tomorrow night. According to all reports, they have promised a night of fun, frivolity and a certain amount of cynicism. Both beautiful and equally smart,  these two  pose a double threat (squared).

Amy Poehler, left, and Tina Fey get ready to host the Golden Globes

NOMINEES:

One of my Red Carpet favorites  is Emily Blunt. Last year, as  a presenter, she wore this  golden, shimmering,  Elie Saab Couture gown. This year as a nominee for Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, she will definitely bring her “A” game … although I don’t know how it could get much better than this!

Emily Blunt in Elie Saab | 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards

There are many red carpet looks of Jennifer Lawrence – nominated for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. You only need to remember this one from the 2011 Academy Awards, and that’s when hardly anybody even knew who she was. 

Julianna Margulies, consistently one of the most beautiful ladies on television is once again nominated for her role in The Good Wife. Note to Julianna:

More of this

and less of this

Nicole Kidman, nominated for her role in The Paperboy and for Hemmingway & Gellhorn, has a slew of jaw-dropping red carpet moments but, this pale pink Chanel from 2002 is my favorite!!!  It is soft, dainty, feminine and timeless. Since she is a double-nominee, expect her to pull out all the stops!

Meryl Streep, nominated for her role in Hope Springs, also has a slew of red carpet moments but, unfortunately for Ms. Streep, jaw- dropping isn’t always a good thing.  Where is the stylist  from The Devil Wears Prada when you need her? Meryl Streep is one of the most beautiful & talented actresses in the world. What gives?

Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey has really honed her red carpet style since last year’s Golden Globe disaster. Compare this  Ralph Lauren gown at the Met Gala later in the year. Michelle Dockery - Celebs on the Red Carpet at the Met Gala in NYC

to last year’s frumpy, wrinkled, blue, ball gown… yikes

 

Julianne Moore gave an incredible performance as the former governor of Alaska  in Game Change. Definitely my pick for best actress in a television movie!  Although she doesn’t have the best track record on the red carpet, there is hope. Maybe she picked a stylist who will give her a little better shoe advice than she had in 2012. This gown is terrific – the shoe is a drag.

Whoever wins or loses, there is always a lot to see on the red carpet before, during, and after the show. Check back Monday for our Best & Worst picks from the 2013 Golden Globes Red Carpet!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Country Music Awards 2011 – Hits and Misses

Last Wednesday’s CMA’s  was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Both male and female attendees brought out their best and brightest and from where I was sitting (in my living room)  it was a glamorous, couture, high fashion extravaganza. Of course there were a few exceptions. Here is my take on some of the CMA fashion hits and Misses:

You Go Girl – Taylor Swift not only won Artist of the Year but also Best Dressed. Her sheer silk gown by J. Mendel was the perfect choice.

 

Equally fashionable and perfectly coiffed was co-host Carrie Underwood wearing a gold,  cap-sleeved Reem Acra. I was also impresed with the way she carried off this gown from the  Zuhair Murad Resort Collection. Nice costume change!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 8 costume changes she was bound to hit a few strikes; she lost me with this Georges Chakra runway gown from the spring collection.  I’m not sure of it was the color or the print or the way it sagged on her… whatever it was, it didn’t work. Let’s face it – it wasn’t that great on the runway.

 

 

 

 

 

 Two For One –  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill always look spectacular.  The very simple  Chado Raplh Rucci  gown is one time when it looks better on her than it did on the runway. I also loved that she went retro with the hair and makeup. Personally I would like to see some accessories.

 

 

Less is More– Jennifer Nettles in Naeem Khan. This gown has everything going for it; a perfect fit and just the right amount of sparkles.

More is too Much – LeAnn Rimes must have been channeling old school country music when she picked this Badgely Mischka gown. Too many ruffles does nto compliment her recently diminutive frame.

 

 

 

Costume or Gown? Nicole Kidman looke like Morticia Adams in this Jean Paul Gaultier. The color, the way she wore her hair, the choice of accessories was very severe. Also someone needs to tell Mr. Urban that the ultr-slim fitted calves on his suite is a little date. Pee Wee Herman’s tailor called…

 

Least but not Last – Reba McIntyre is a legend. Her voice, humor, fiery hair and true southern spirit. Maybe that southern thing is why she was wearing a gown that appeared to made from one of Elvis leftover Vegas jumpsuits and Scarlett O’Haras curtains. Tsk, Tsk Reba, you are better than this.

 

Check back tomorrow for the final roundup of hits and misses!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Tan for a Day – Which method works best for you?

Tanning is one of the most controversial topics related to skin care and beauty. Most people believe that they look ‘healthier’ with  sun-kissed skin, and in most cases it is true. However, you will always encounter the types who go a bit far and all you can see is the whites of their eyes.  They are missing a key point here: sun-kissed, not baked to a crisp. That means a light glow on light skin…. even the Bain de Soleil lady is a few shades lighter than she used to be.

There are so many more options now than there used to be. Whether you choose a self tanner, spray tan or a tanning bed is up to you; there are pros and cons to each option. It is best to be forewarned.

Tanning Beds-Tanning beds use UV rays that are up to 100 times stronger than direct sunlight. This is important to remember since some people think that this is ‘safe’ tanning when it is not. If used in moderation and for the right reasons, tanning beds can be safe and effective. Most tanning salons have limits to how long and how often you can tan, you need to follow their rules and do not try to get all your tan in one day, this is dangerous and stupid. Make sure the salon is clean and the beds are completely  cleaned after each use. There is some speculation about how the UV rays affect your vision a nd eye health so you should always, ALWAYS wear goggles.  If you are still not sure about tanning beds, try another option.

Self – Tanner – Everyone I know has at least one really funny self-tanner story and it seems that for every story, there is a new ‘streakless’ product on the market. I have my own self tanner story and it ends with me having to wear gloves on my son’s first day of Kindergarten….. in August. Experts recommend practicing on your legs and also starting out with a light shade and layering it. DO NOT try to self tan for the first time the night before your wedding. This is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately many of the products now come in a mist form which is much easier to apply than the lotions. In my opinion they are still kind of messy and unreliable.

Spray or Airbrush Tan –Probably the fastest and easiest  method of darkening your skin. The spray tan lasts about five days and is basically safe. I only say ‘basically’ because there are 40+ chemicals used in these sprays and only about 11% of them have ever been tested and/or approved by the FDA. Of course there are dozens of products available so you can find one you are comfortable using. The difference between spray and airbrush is that the airbrush tan is applied by hand by a professional and the spray tan is usually done in a booth with nozzles turned on and off in intermittent cycles. 

 ALWAYS exfoliate before any type of tanning treatment.

ALWAYS protect your eyes.

ALWAYS ask questions if you are unsure.

 NEVER use any lotions or perfumes or other products on your skin unless they are recommended by the salon for the type of tanning you are using.

NEVER attempt any new skin procedures less than two weeks  before an event.

AVOID obvious tan lines by keeping your neckline in mind. 
AVOID any type of artificial tanning if you are pregnant.

If you decide you are fine with pale skin, you are not alone, Nicole Kidman and Madonna both  speak out strongly against tanning and many more celebrities are opting for less color. There also is the hope that the lack of pigment in Robert Pattinson’sskin in all of the famous Twilight movies might just prove a new trend… unless I’m wrong – which happens a lot. One fact is true – tanning ages your skin and makes you appear older than you are. Moderation is the key, use it wisely.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Oscars 2011 – Worst Dressed

Sometimes you’re just feeling bold and you want to mix it up and take chances. I can assure you there are two times in your life that this is not the time to take a serious fashion risk. One is your wedding day and the other is if you have the honor to attend the Academy Awards. These are the times to let your individuality shine but, use good sense and listen to those around you. On that note, lets go over my picks for the WORST Oscar Fashions from the 2011 awards show.

Cate Blanchett – I don’t even know where to begin. Cate took a bold fashion risk, I’ll give her that.  But, this apron-fronted Givenchy gown had just about everything wrong with it. The fit was flawless but the rest of it should have been left on the proverbial ‘cutting room floor’. By far the most confused look  of the night.

Nicole Kidman – Many years from now, Nicole is going to look back on this gown and ask herself  “What was I thinking?” I am already asking. In her Dior Haute Couture beaded peplum gown, she reminded me of a futuristic meter maid.

Penelope Cruz –  The L’Wren Scott gown accented her  figure beautifully, her hair, make-up and accessories were all beautiful. Unfortunately there was no real style to the gown and I felt like I could have seen the same thing in the Miss Universe pageant.

Helena Bonham Carter – A great actress really immerses herself in her character. However, after the film is released to DVD you can stop dressing like the the Mad Hatter, or whatever she had in mind when she picked out this  Colleen Atwood disaster. On a bright note,  at least she had time to stop in Chinatown and pick up a little plastic fan in case she broke out in a sweat.

Scarlett Johansson – We get it …you have a rockin’ bod and gorgeous hair. This Dolce & Gabanna gown, however, was too heavy looking and did not have any elements that fit your tiny frame. I also don’t think the Oscars is a good  time to have “bed head”.

Amy Adams – I have never been a huge fan of turtleneck sleeveless gowns. This navy blue, beaded, L’Wren Scott gown is no exception. Paired with the fact that the hair is too casual for this look and the necklace was too matronly, this entire look fell short for me.

Michelle Williams – When you have a gorgeous face and adorable figure, it is easy to look great in anything. Michelle’s ivory, pearl encrusted, Chanel gown is the exception. This  silhouette is designed for a very small busted, less curvy woman. It was too heavy looking and the lack of color made  this petite pixie beauty look like a faded photo of herself.

Marisa Tomei – She opted for a vintage gown circa 1950’s by Charles James,  which is a difficult choice – obviously. The truth is that women today are not built the same way the were 60 years ago. If you decide to wear vintage you have to fill out the dress completely and have it fitted to your frame. This means you have to bring your ‘A’ game and your ‘C’ cup. The  beauty of the gown was lost while we sat and tried to figure out where her boobs were.

Agree or disagree? Let me know! In the meantime, you can see the hottest couture bridal designer fashions by clicking below:

http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=823d669ebc3c999e7ad29cad873bbc56

Tomorrow we tackle the Tuxes in our ‘Menswear Review’!

– Penny for Bridal Expo Chicago