Thursday, January 24, 2013

Belts are a cinch

Just because it is winter doesn't mean you have to feel frumpy in your clothes.  Stay warm while keeping your shape by cinching your shirt or cardigan with a belt.  Wearing a belt over an outfit or a dress is an easy way to polish off your look.

Just look at this top without a belt, 

and the many ways you can finish this look with a belt:

Some ideas on choosing a belt for you:

1.  Try it on in the store as you intend to wear it.  Everyone has a different shape and so it is important to try it on in the store.  Furthermore, you may wear a skinny belt over a shirt and cardigan, but you'd probably wear a thick belt over something like a black dress.  Think about how you'll wear it and try it on right there in the store.

2.  Find the right belt position for your shape.   Here is a guide from  Sometimes your sweet spot will be a little higher than your natural waistline and sometimes a little lower. When you’re regular bust size and carrying a little extra around the midriff, positioning a belt just above the waistline is usually the sweet spot. When you’re short-waisted and well endowed, positioning a belt lower than the waistline in front and at waist level in the back is often the solution. If you’re long wasited, wearing a belt high on the natural waist is usually most effective.
This is so true.  I'm short and of average weight, and I've always been afraid of belts over maxi dresses or tops because I thought they would draw attention to my waist or make me look shorter.  But with a little bit of practice, I found my "sweet spot" and a way to make it work for me.

3.  Think about proportion:  long-waisted=wider belt; short-waisted=thinner belt

4.  Use a belt for texture.  If you're afraid of wearing a belt, try layering a cardigan or open sweater over it.  It will not draw so much attention to your waist, but rather add texture and dimension to your outfit.

5.  Look for elastic.  Belts can be uncomfortable for some people, so try one that is adjustable or has elastic.

6.  Avoid knits and stick with woven fabrics under your belt.  Structured woven fabrics like button-down shirts will help you avoid that unsightly "spill-over" that you might get with a knit.  

7.  Experiment with fabrics, textures, and sizes.  Think outside the box-sometimes a pretty silk scarf works great as a belt.  As a matter of fact, the first lady fashioned a JCrew scarf into a belt and wore it over her coat at the recent inauguration.  Check your closet and see what you can do with your belts and scarves.  Or, pop in to Honeysuckle and try on some of ours!

Photographs from Honeysuckle Quality Consignment
Advice from and

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

5 Easy Tips: Caring for Designer Handbags

Walk into Honeysuckle and you'll notice the extensive collection of designer handbags in excellent condition.  You can tell that their previous owners gently cared for these investment pieces like jewelry.  Pick out your favorite one, take it home, care for it the right way, and you too will have a beautiful bag for years to come.  Here are 5 EASY (but too often forgotten) tips from the pros on how to care for your designer bags.

1.  Store your handbag in a dust cover.  If you can’t find the bag’s dust cover, a breathable pillowcase will work.

2.  When storing your bag, consider
-stuffing it with bubble wrap or plastic bags (paper can attract moths) to maintain its shape
-unbuckling any buckles; this prevents deep buckle marks on the straps
-storing metal or chain parts inside the bag to avoid scratching the leather
-keeping it out of the basement or attic.  These places tend to be damp and this moisture can mildew your bag.

3.  Try using a handbag organizer or a few small cases to avoid soiling the interior of your bag with makeup, pens, or lotions. 

4.  Be careful where you store your bag; the floor of your car, shopping carts, and office desk drawers may have dangers like water, tacks, or sharp metal edges.

5.  Pre-treat, clean, and condition your leather bags.  Remember that the bag is investment and the fine leather should be treated regularly to maintain quality.  Use leather cleaner and conditioners only; household cleaners will damage your leather.

Take care of your designer bags and you'll be rewarded with investment pieces that last a lifetime.

Photos from Honeysuckle Quality Consignment, Arnold MD
Tips courtesy of: