Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

My New Love….

I am now officially in “love” with a new man in my life who knows my curves, hugs me in all the right places, and knows just what I need: Michael Kors.  Truth be told, I’ve never paid much attention to Michael Kors’ collections and I suppose I dismissed his designs as conservative and basic.   That is, until the below peach-colored dress caught my eye last Friday in NYC Bergdorf Goodman department store and I slipped it on along with the LBD above.  A-Mazing!  Now, I’m a real dress-person and wear them all the time… walking the dogs, casual dinners out, fine-dining… I know dresses.  And, I have just discovered that Michael Kors makes dresses that fit better than any other dress designer I’ve tried.  Of course, it is all subject to individual tastes and body type, but if you typically enjoy wearing Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan… give Michael Kors a try.  Once the zipper was up, it was mine… promising timeless elegance and vowing to behave out on the town.  Was it an epiphany?  Not really… it was just dress shopping… but now I absolutely adore Michael Kors for dresses.

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Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Psstt! Let’s Talk…

Hello there ladies,

This week signals the flow of champagne rivers as holiday parties get into full swing, and that means lots of dresses, heels, manicures, blow-outs, and… SPANX.  If you’ve just raised an eye-brow of confusion, don’t worry.  Many women still are not familiar with the contouring under garments which help smooth and slim your bits and bumps into mounds of perfection.  Forget about looking super skinny or trying to squeeze into a tight dress, the purpose of control under garments is to create a smooth line beneath your clothes and improve your confidence on a big night out.  Several brands make control undergarments:

Wolford is sexy + function+ premium.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and Prince’s Building boutique shop

Spanx is all function + not so attractive.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and internet delivery

Marks and Spencer undergarments are functional + well-priced + less comfortable

Victoria’s Secret, H&M, La Perla, and many other brands offer body suits in sexy patterns which also help keep everything in check.  My advice: try to exercise 5x/week, eat well, drink lots of water, get your beauty rest, buy a fabulous wardrobe, and then wear Spanx from time to time on those evenings you need to wear a slinky white silk dress to the holiday party.  The point is, unless you’re hitting the gym to perfectly tone your tush… a bit of under garment magic will work wonders on your special occasions and Christmas parties.  Have fun this weekend!  x

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

My Blue Jean Rebellion

The right pair of jeans with the right t-shirt is classically hot and I’ll always love denim.  Sometimes though, a girl just wants to slip into a pair of comfy trousers for everyday life – jetting out to buy milk for example – which are not yoga pants.  Skinny jeans make “slipping into” an impossibility, they flatter so few bodies, and they aren’t comfortable.  Bootcut denim these days is all about looking great  with a 4″ heel due to pant length and the aspect of hip-leg length proportions.  I could just give in and wear jeans and running shoes like Jennifer Garner for the Soccer Mom look… but this doesn’t feel too removed from the aforementioned yoga pant.  I’m a bit tired of blue jeans being all about the backside and less about the freedom to move and relax on the weekends like they were when I was 16.

So… I’ve decided that I will hugely embrace the new upcoming trend of silk trousers.  I feel liberated!  They look pulled together and elegant, while extremely comfortable and lovely for Hong Kong’s tropical climate.  Sure, they verge on pajama territory, but DVF at left shows how it’s done and Marc by Marc Jacobs (see below trousers) has at  least 3 pairs  in IFC Lane Crawford which I spotted last night at their 160th birthday bash ( in for a quick look-see, a flute  of bubbly, and glancing the new Spring collection arrivals).

Rue Madame in IFC and Lee Gardens has a HUGE assortment of silk trousers (I bought a pair in burnt orange/red last week).  Expect to see a huge number of designers carrying these trousers for Spring 2011.  However, lighter colors will make your bum and hips look bigger and will reveal cellulite if you have any.  Wear darker colors and pair with cute flats and a slimmer fitting top so the whole look isn’t baggy.  Buy a pair, wear them, love them… and feel a bit relieved from the skinny jean and leggings trend.

Aside from silk trousers, dresses are a feminine and liberating option.  Have fun with your fashion and try new  things.  Why not?  🙂

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Silk trousers, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , ,

Best Shopping in Hong Kong – Department Stores

Harvey Nichols shop in The Landmark, Central, ...

Image via Wikipedia

People often ask me “where is the best place to shop in Hong Kong?”  My personal preference is Central – blissfully surrounded by convenient suspended walkways connecting the power hubs of Landmark and IFC shopping malls which boast Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols… with Princes Building, Alexandra House, and Chater House dotted along the way with their luxury Chanel, Prada, LV, Armani, etc.  In terms of the best area to shop, my answer is Central.

In terms of where to shop?  Oh my… thought you’d never ask!

  • Lane Crawford, is my first-born and favorite because it feels easy.  I love shopping in either the Pacific Place location in Admiralty or the IFC location in Central because the layouts are welcoming… and their accessories are presented well with extremely helpful staff.  I would say the layout seems more American… which feels comfortable to me and it is busy, hip, and less intimidating than other HK department stores.
  • Harvey Nichols in Central is for a unique taste level and a confident shopper will do well in this mecca of a department store.  The costume jewelry section and ladies’ dresses are particularly different with slightly off-beat, yet very hot labels.  It is more European … and the store is never busy which means that while the staff will hound you, the service is excellent.  Worth a walk-through at the very least… particularly the beauty floor with refinement not found at other department stores in Hong Kong.
  • Joyce is a totally different kind of shopping experience for someone who has a little bit of time to appreciate the unique quality and selection chosen by their buyers.  I really enjoy shopping here… and I always find myself inspired to try something new and  different because when I shop here, I feel more fashionable.  I think that is important – to feel fashionable when one shops.  Joyce offers a wide selection of carefully chosen clothing labels.  Beyond that, Joyce Beauty is the place to find premium cosmetics, perfumes, candles, and all things lovely for gifts and spoiling oneself by labels such as Eve Lom, Diptyque, Annick Goutal… and my favorite parfumeur  – L’artisan.  Yes, Joyce is a fun place to shop and explore.
  • The “IT” and “it” stores in Hong Kong offer totally unusual and special designers.  “IT” carries more European brands, while “it” carries causal Japanese jeanswear and young street clothing.  My experience is that the staff, sizes, and brands are tailored for the fashion savvy and artsy local Hong Kong population.  Go in, look around, and don’t feel bad if you don’t find anything because some of it is hard to wear and difficult to integrate into your wardrobe.  It takes time… but try because you’ll find many gems in these stores.  My favorite designer – Isabel Marant is part of the IT group and her shop is located on Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay and sold within the IT stores.
  • Seibu – I’ve very rarely found success shopping in Seibu, a Japanese department store.  It is definitely tailored for the local market, though the brands are international and interesting… I must be on a different wave-length with the buyers for this company because it genuinely feels like I’m looking in someone else’s closet and I don’t like anything they own, though it might be full of well-designed pieces.  The fitting rooms, music, staff, and lighting all feel dated and somewhat stale – not my pick unless I need a particular brand sold here.

Filed under: Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the love of cable-knit

Marilyn Monroe effortless in a cable-knit sweater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn understood the power of a simple sweater.  What a fox!

My most recent and easy-to-wear closet obsession: the cable-knit sweater.  I was recently in the US for a long break and delighted in purchasing a “women’s chunky cable cowlneck” cotton sweater for just $69.50 from Lands End Canvas (www.landsendcanvas.com)… and honestly, what feels better than soft cotton?  Sure, I could have paid more for a luxe version at Lane Crawford, but why pay a premium for a comfy weekend staple that begs to be cozied up with a book or on a walk with the pooch?  Now that I have my cream-dream of a sweater, I have noticed cable-knits on trend watch-lists, in store window displays, handbags and scarves… and along with this classic, a ton of East-coast throwbacks to the early 90’s are floating around… Tretorn shoes, tartan skirts, pleated chinos, and braided belts.  I half-expect French-braids and twists to come back any moment.

So, back to the cable knit.  Wear it loose, wear it effortlessly, and keep in mind the knit pattern is the most visible in light colors.  My preference – soft grey, pale pink, light lavender, baby blue, or classic cream.  Pair this closet essential with just about anything for a timeless and comfortable style… perhaps with tan loafers, minimal jewelry, and great undergarments for emphasizing the few curves visible in a chunky sweater.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , ,

Horizontal Stripes are OK

Horizontal stripes have been a fashion faux-pas for years… right next to tight white jeans – AVOID, AVOID, AVOID unless you’re very slim.  The good news is, horizontal stripes in the correct pattern and size will make you look slimmer… just like wearing the wrong vertical stripes will make you look wider.

SLIMMING LOOKS:

Thin horizontal stripes, evenly spaced, contrasting tone (navy/white; red/white, etc) or very muted – such as the Isabel Marant shirt pictured above.  Thin stripes work well to slim because the eye will see the pattern and keep moving up and down along the pattern.  This look is especially popular in the classic Breton sailor style in both snug-fit knit shirts and dresses.   These days, a good look is throwing a blazer or jacket over a striped shirt with a pair of chic jeans.

Thin vertical stripes – a safe bet, these stripes will elongate and slim.

Very wide horizontal stripes in 2 tones are very popular now.  The bold color and pattern should not be worn too snug (unless you have a rockin’ bod) and is best bought a bit over-sized and matched with slim-fit jeans or a slim skirt to balance the proportions.  The below is Kate Moss wearing Isabel Marant – my favorite designer.

Descending horizontal stripes and color:  a flattering look is a top or dress with horizontal stripes that become thinner and more closely spaced towards the waist as seen below in Eva Longoria Parker‘s dress.  She accentuates her waist with a bold belt.  Also nice is wearing a brighter color on the top, and darker color at the waist and below to create an hour-glass shape.  See dress below.

AVOID – thick vertical stripes.  The eye will count the number of stripes and make you appear wider.

AVOID – horizontal multi-colored stripes in bright colors.  It is an unflattering and widening look unless you are very young.

A good rule of thumb when you are in doubt – go for it.  It’s only fashion… be confident and look terrific!

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Anna Dello Russo – Editor At Large and Creative Consultant for Vogue Japan Visits Hong Kong

Anna Dello Russo and Jennie Hope Peterson

Jennie Hope Peterson with Anna Dello RussoEditor At Large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan.

Anna Dello Russo – the absolute definition of a true fashionista!  Her career in the editorial side of the fashion world (Fashion Editor at Vogue Italia, Editor of L’Uomo Vogue, Editor At Large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan) is inspiring, but it is her personal flair with clothing and accessories which is mesmerizing.  In person, she is captivating and charming… wearing a whimsical and alluring ensemble consisting of a white corset mini-dress and sky-high heels, with netted cherries on top.  Sensational!

The evening I met and briefly spoke with Ms. Dello Russo about this season’s trends was at a cocktail reception hosted by Lane Crawford in an intimate walk-in wardrobe, complete with all of the new essential pieces which clearly represented the direction of fashion for the coming year.   Our brief conversation touched down on this season’s newest, most innovative trend: faux fur, an essential for the coming season which is likely to continue as designers seek innovative and sustainable textiles to translate luxury into affordability.  A win-win trend which I, personally, will consider embracing this year during the two cold weeks of Hong Kong winter.

Filed under: Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dressing Your Bump: Maternity Style Solutions

Perfecting the art of dressing your bump in style is the first step to becoming a Yummy-Mummy.  Read below for the essential maternity clothing style tips:

  • Keep your sense of personal style.  A nine month pregnancy is not a small amount of time, so choose outfits that reflect your style rather than simply buying something because it fits.  Many of your favorite designers offer maternity collections and most large brands ship internationally.
  • Create a capsule wardrobe of 10 pieces which all work together.  Purchase basics in 2-3 neutral colors (black, brown, cream, tan, grey, olive, khaki, white, beige, navy) with accessories and layering pieces in 2 accent colors (bright red, soft pink, royal blue, lavender, etc)  with 1 or 2 patterned pieces (pattern should have at least one of the neutral colors and one accent).  Accessories should be neutral or in one of your accent colors.  This ensures everything easily mixes and matches for comfort layering and a put-together look.
  • Pay attention to the pattern.   Printed dresses worn alone and printed long tops paired with plain leggings/jeans are easy and stylish choices for Moms-to-be because they require fewer accessories and are easy to mix and match.  The right print will de-emphasize large hips and thighs.  Look for dresses with relatively smaller prints on the hips and thighs, and large pattern on the bust or upper torso.  The idea is to keep the eyes moving over your less favorite areas and more focused on your face or body parts you like.  As always, vertical stripes are generally slimming, and wide horizontal stripes should be avoided.
  • Try the celebrity maternity style by opting for non-maternity empire-waist dresses, stretchy skirts and jersey tops.  It is über stylish to dress in non-maternity tops and dresses if the fit is accommodating for your bump.
  • Style essentials: long maxi dresses, wrap dresses, maternity jeans, and a few figure-hugging maternity tops are key elements for your new wardrobe.
  • Ballet flats, wedge heels, and pretty flat sandals are beautiful alternatives to running shoes and flip flops –> but bring along your super comfortable shoes in the car or handbag in-case feet swell to uncomfortable proportions.
  • Pedicures, manicures, facials, blow-outs, spray tans, and lots of beauty sleep will have you looking polished and glowing.  When the hair and skin is perfect, you can just throw on a man’s white button down and look hot – so when all else fails, book a wash and blow-dry at your salon and you’ll be golden.

Share your own advice at the bottom if there are tricks and lessons you’ve learned along the way.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Expectant Parents, Fall Fashion 2010, maternity, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal tools, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maternity Clothes in Hong Kong

Looking fabulous while preggers is easier when you know where to shop.  Below you’ll find my top picks of Hong Kong’s maternity clothing specialists and popular retailers who ship internationally to Hong Kong.

Where to buy maternity clothes in Hong Kong:

  • Bumps to Babes
  • Formes
  • Fragile Maternity
  • Jolie Maman
  • H&M
  • Linea Negra
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Mother Court
  • Nine Months
  • Sono Vaso
  • Twiggy Maternity Wear
  • Zara

The following retailers ship internationally:

  • A Pea in the Pod
  • Destination Maternity
  • Due Maternity
  • The Gap
  • Motherhood Maternity
  • Sierra Lane

If you have additional suggestions or comment for Hong Kong maternity shopping, please post the comment below or email me at jennie@imageandlifestyle.com

Have a great day!

Filed under: Expectant Parents, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal tools, Shopping Advice, , , , , , ,

Blue Jeans for Athletic Legs


For Ladies with Athletic Legs:

Finding your soon-to-be favorite pair of jeans is pivotal to your 2010 Fall/Winter wardrobe.  As a person with athletic legs, I know the denim shopping process can be particularly stressful for an otherwise easy-to-dress person.

Typically, when we find jeans which fit over our quads, the waist and hips are too big.  Or, the waist and hips are a perfect fit, but our muscular legs now look like sausages.  Before you begin shopping, know whether you will wear your blue jeans with flat or heeled shoes so you are able to have them altered in the shop (if possible).  It is important to be cool and relaxed during the process, as nothing is more frustrating than trying on clothes in a sweaty rush.  Lastly, ask for feedback.  It’s hard to listen to criticism, but it helps to shop with someone who will be honest.  Below with my opinions and rankings for different denim options for women with beautiful, muscular legs:

*****Classic straight-leg cropped, rolled. Just like the skinny boyfriend, but with a more forgiving leg and less slouchy than the original boyfriend.  My favorite new jean.  These feel fashionable and slim… showing the booty, skimming the thighs, and revealing the ankle and calf.  They look effortless and cool and will be wonderful for the rest of summer with strappy sandals… and with an ankle boot for fall.  I purchased mine at 7 For All Mankind and have seen many celebs wearing similar cropped looks these days.

*****Boot-leg jeans. Unfortunately, this jean takes me back to circa 2000 with the flare that balances the hips… so be careful when buying bootleg that there are updated, fashionable details on the jeans such as distressed interest, or some design detail which is modern.  The flare should be subtle and not bell-bottomish.  I suggest wearing with high heels for a long, lean leg.  Your backside is almost guaranteed to look great in these.  Wear with a top that shows your backside and is not too long or over-sized.  These jeans also look stunning with a suit jacket or blazer for a dressed-up/dressed-down look.  As always, for a slimmer look, go with a dark, clean wash.  I like True Religion for their Boot-leg jeans – the stitching is unique and creates a slim leg illusion.

****Wide leg jeans. These are great for athletic legs for a more laid-back vibe.  Shop till you drop to find the perfect pair, in a darker wash and then wear it with a top that has less volume so it balances all the fabric on your lower half.

***Skinny jeans are harder for us, but it is the look of the moment.  Acne and J Brand are the only skinny jeans I like.  Go with slightly heavier weight and darker wash denim that is not too stretchy.  I highly recommend saving skinnies for cooler months, tucked into knee-high boots with a longer top, jacket, or scarf hanging down past the widest part of your hips.  The skinny jean is not the focus of the outfit and you shouldn’t show too much leg in this look.  Stay away from thigh pockets, skinny cargos, and skinny pants with any horizontal detailing across your thighs/quads.

***Flare jeans. Really hit or miss with this style which evokes a more hippy-dippy feeling.  I suggest wearing a more slim top which hits at the waist level if you are slim, or a peasant-style loose top if you are not.  Pair with an attractive belt and a shoe that has appeal when it peeks out from beneath the flare.  As an exception to the rule, this style tends to look fabulous in a lighter wash for a more worn-in look.

**Leggings & Jeggings – A similar aesthetic to skinny jeans, but often more comfortable and less flattering.  These are cute with an even longer top/dress, and high-heels or ballet flats for casual day-to-day excursions.  Sometimes tucking into boots works if the fabric doesn’t bunch at the knees or at the tops of your boots.

**Boyfriend jeans. Not my favorite trend.  It usually looks somewhat  frumpy and unfeminine on most people.  I feel shapeless in this style, though I think 45 RPM makes the cutest options, and in lovely denim quality and true indigo.  This is a great alternative to the classic Mom-Jean if you must.

*Straight-leg jeans are currently slimmer than in previous seasons and tend to look like skinny jeans on muscular legs.  However, they won’t do us too many favors and are only worthwhile if a pair makes the hips and backside look perfect.  These are so-so in my book and I think either go skinny, or go boot… but straight isn’t my cup of tea.

*Skinny boyfriend jeans. I love this trend on celebrities, but after trying on 10 pairs of skinny boyfriend jeans today, I’m here to tell you that this is not our look.  Baggy bum, tight calves, tight thighs, loose waist – worst of every world.  Again – love the look, but it doesn’t suit stronger, thicker legs.

Mom jeans – AKA anything with the double threat: pleat and high-waist.  Pleats tend to make hips and thighs look larger, so try to find trousers with a flat front, and extra stretch for comfort.  Try the brand “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans” which have been receiving positive feedback as the socially acceptable and ultra flattering “Mom Jean”.

The below link will take you to another blog all about blue jeans for different body types with prices and photos.

http://www.google.com.hk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.womenshealthmag.com/files/images/0910-athletic-build.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.joomcool.com/forums/showthread.php%3F9393-The-Best-Jeans-for-Your-Bod&usg=__W9sheDv1DU5ns2ZZa3DLp0NIcKc=&h=375&w=450&sz=64&hl=en&start=38&sig2=2z_uMkLiSyu5b5XdU0V9YQ&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=vaq0edfVyi4VKM:&tbnh=106&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhot%2B-%2Bathletic%2Blegs%26start%3D36%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US:%257Breferrer:source%253F%257D%26rlz%3D1I7ADFA_en%26ndsp%3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=7GxXTNi9CsbQcKuFhMAM

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Legs, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,