Fabulous Fridays! – Dressing for the Theatre

There are few places left where appropriate dressing follows strict guidelines. Dress codes at all but a few tony establishments have gone the way of fox stoles and men’s hats being de riguer. Religious services – with the exception of some where dress is part of the religious observance – have discontinued any dress code expectations that used to define “Sunday Best”. The work place took the road from casual Fridays to business casual and made a left at wear whatever you feel like. Schools have moved the line of having a dress code, for students and teachers alike, so far away from having a uniform that as long as you don’t reveal too much flesh you’re okay (unless it’s Halloween and then you can come as the “slutty version” of whatever you want to be).

Another hallowed ground has apparently reached the final frontier of dressing for the occasion – attending the theatre. Since I was very little attending Broadway was an event, an extravagance – an incredibly special occasion. This feeling has remained for me to this very day – which is probably why I am so very disappointed to see the seats around me filled with those who seemed not to know they were attending a Broadway show (or leaving the house, or not cleaning their garage),.

I thought I would try to be helpful and share some tips to hold on to the last great event to dress up for – attending the theatre!

Top Ten Tips For Dressing for the Theatre

10. – If any part of your ensemble fastens with Velcro you probably shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

9.  – If your outfit shows your enthusiasm for any sports team, television show or band you  shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

8. – If you felt under dressed and got the stink eye from other diners at Junior’s you shouldn’t wear that outfit to the theatre.

7. – Unless you are in the cast of Lysistrata Jones you shouldn’t wear sneakers to the theatre.

6. –  If you are over 21 you probably shouldn’t wear your “fan” tee shirt to the theatre (or out of the house, but that is another post topic!).

5. –  If your outfit can take you directly from the matinee to your league bowling night, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the theatre.

4. – If your slip dress looks a heck of a lot more like a slip than a dress, perhaps you should add another layer before you arrive at the theatre.

3. –  If you are wearing jeans that are not dark rinse, trouser length with dress shoes and appropriate accessories they don’t belong at the theatre (if they are elastic waist, ripped, rinsed or decorated they don’t belong anywhere).

2. –  If you are wearing a hat, remove it when you enter the theatre. It doesn’t matter if you are cold, if it’s part of your outfit, if you didn’t bother to comb your hair or if you are Lady Gaga – hats are removed at the theatre. (your hair style should also not obstruct other theatre goer’s views either horizontally or vertically).

1. –  If your personal fragrance invades the air space within five feet of you – do not wear fragrance to the theatre.

I hope you find these basic tips helpful!  If you have some you would like to add I would love to read them!


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Freakin’ Fabulous Friday!

I had such a great “streets of New York encounter” on Tuesday in Tribeca – got to say hi to Clinton Kelly!  If that name isn’t familiar to you he is the co–host of What Not To Wear on TLC and The Chew on ABC.

I have always enjoyed Clinton’s insight and advice on What Not To Wear – if someone has made it to the point that their nearest and dearest sent them in as a subject they need that unrelenting honesty! Clinton has a perfect mix of kindness and snarkiness that I appreciate.

One of the cool things about actually running into Clinton was that I got to tell him how much I LOVE his book Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone ElseThink Emily Post meets Martha Stewart meets, well Clinton Kelly! This book is a great read, funny but yet very helpful. I think it is a terrific gift for someone just starting out, or perhaps someone needing to start over!

Fabulousness to me is so much more than how you look. Who you are inside, how you act, how you treat others – it’s all part of the package.  Let’s face it – the truly fabulous didn’t get there by accident. Thought, consideration, learning and willingness to take advice all helped along the way. Freakin” Fabulous is definitely that advice book to help you along or help you brush up and get back on the path.





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Fabulous Fridays!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles,” 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech)

How often do we hold back who we truly are out of fear?  Fear of not fitting in, of not being good enough, of being lonely of being foolish, of being ridiculed or of being wrong.  What if that fear weren’t there and we put ourselves out into the world as the very best version of ourselves?  What if we tried without being afraid of failure or criticism?

Not all efforts would be successes, but not all would be failures.  The trial and error of discovering who we are, where our true talents lie, would be the journey of an authentic life. What we put out into the world, take us or leave us, comes from our most inner self.

On your way to personal fabulousness first and foremost lose the idea that you will find it by following someone else’s path.  By all means take a look at other’s style that appeals to you, read magazines and blogs, look at catalogs and take in the sights in the mall. Now take all of that information and find what appeals to you, what works for you. Don’t adapt the “uniform” of the moment – regardless of the price of the uniform rather than being a statement of fabulousness it is a statement that you are not secure enough to make your own mark. If you show up to work, or your kid’s school or a night out and you are wearing the same exact  thing as most of the people there – that is not fabulous, it is hiding in safety. The first person that had the look was fabulous, the rest too easily fell into the trap of following the pack. It is probably a very nice looking pack, but if you are seeking out fabulousness this is not the way to get there.

Today take a risk, change it up, try something new.  Head to the back of the closet, the bottom of the drawer. Who knows, the pack may just start following you!!

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Fabulous Fridays!

When was the last time you went on a treasure hunt?  You don’t need to sail to the Caribbean – just go through your closets. More specifically your bathroom closets, linen closets, under your bed, in shopping bags,  in plastic bins or wherever you put impulse buys and samples. 

How many hair products do you currently own? The ones you use everyday, the ones you needed to create the hairstyle you saw in a magazine, the ones you bought because your stylist used them and they would magically give you the same results, the ones you had a coupon for, the inexpensive ones you bought to be frugal and the crazy expensive ones you bought on a retail therapy bender. Now just for fun add in the samples, travel sized products and the souvenirs of every hotel you’ve ever stayed at. 

Next, take stock of your skin care cache. Again the stock pile ranges from your daily routine, the splurges that promised the miraculous results, the inexpensive products promising high end results, and samples. Move on to lotions and creams – from the layering properties of our favorite scent to the vat of store brand because we couldn’t resist the value many of us could moisturize a small nation. Speaking of scents – how many bottles, vials, towelettes, atomizers and samples do you have?  Whether you are loyal to a signature scent or spritz depending on your mood I challenge you to find at least five different options at your fingertips (at least!). 

How often did the promise of a tan to envy the spray ons sported on Dancing With The Stars motivate you to buy a self tanning product? Lotions, sprays, mousse, towelettes – in every shade from day glo orange to caramel coffee and everything in between. Don’t forget the exfoliators, moisturizers, extenders and correctors that promise to make you look evenly sun kissed. For many of us the promise just didn’t deliver, or the time involved in preparation, application and maintenance just didn’t make the bronzing worth it. Add these products to the good intentions gone bad pile.

Finally take a moment to consider your make up collection.  The go to products used daily, the professional work look, the evening look, the “going to a gala/black tie/wedding” look, the drugstore collection promising to give you the same results as the air brushed movie star in their ads, the high end collection promising to make you as hip as the tattooed, pierced sales person that convinced you the edge was only one brush stroke away. Now factor in the samples, items you bought for the beach bag/store promo and the various shades that just didn’t work in real life.  Quite a haul!!

If I were mean I would tell you to calculate the value of your personal stash, but the point here is to positively move forward and not calculate how many shoes/bags/groceries you could have bought instead.  The task here is to take stock, evaluate and take action.  The whole point is to move toward fabulousness, not wallow in the past when we didn’t know any better (or chose to ignore our wiser inner voice). Now that we have owned up to the staggering arsenal of beauty we have amassed it’s time to sort it out – honestly and brutally. 

First group, what you use everyday. These are the products that work and give you the results that make you feel best about yourself, or at least good enough to leave the house. Second group – what you use when you step it up and  really feel good about yourself. You can keep all of these things! Put them away and take stock of your supply – keep no more than one back up on hand and know that you have a system that works for you.

Now look at what remains and separate into the never used/opened pile, the gently used, sample sized and the way past expiration date group.  Ditch the last group, throw it all out and do a dance of joyful accomplishment (always celebrate small accomplishments, waiting for big ones is self defeating!). Take a look at the never opened/never used pile.  Do you know someone who swears by any of these items? Pass them on as a random act of kindness. Do you know of a woman’s shelter or of a group helping those reentering the workplace – your extras would be greatly appreciated there. You might also consider community centers or donations for the military for practical items that might be sent in care packages or be a small treat for someone relying on support right now.

Any make up you have sampled throw away – as a germaphobe I shudder at passing those items on – even to your best friend (especially to your best friend!). If what is left isn’t something that is snatched up in your communal sharing effort ask if local school or community theatre groups would be interested. Often these groups are running on a tight or non-existent budget and would greatly appreciate some free stash. You might also ask women’s shelters or groups helping women re-entering the workplace if they accept unused make up as donations – they might truly appreciate it.

Gently used items are purely to pass on among friends and family, run it by them and see if anyone else wants to give what didn’t work for you a try.  Perhaps this swapping of product could be a great way for all of you to get rid of what you don’t use and perhaps try something else at no cost.

Sample sized/travel sized items take on a life of their own in that we are saving for a future use we are sure will come – most likely it won’t!  If you don’t use that deodorant or toothpaste everyday why do you think you might want to use it on vacation or business travel? If you wouldn’t buy that shampoo at full size why is it attractive in the tiny bottle – does it just look cuter to you? Twenty q-tips in a cardboard box really aren’t necessary when you have the warehouse sized crate in your closet and zip lock bags. Finally, the lure of product in hotels is something we just can’t avoid. Often we look at them as a boon for our next trip, or a benefit owed to us for the cost of the room.  Therefore, we have collections collecting dust waiting for a trip that sadly for them will never come. These are perfect for military donations, pack them up and ship them out. Many local scouting groups or school groups organize shipments – look into it and do some good. These are also good items to donate to shelters and community centers – our family program also made up bags of sample sized basics and donated them to the pediatric hospital for parents staying overnight with their children.

This exercise takes time and will power, but holds great promise.You should now be able to look at what you did decide to keep and know what works for you and what makes you feel good. Fabulousness should be part of who you are and fit into your lifestyle seamlessly. If  your past efforts to be fabulous have resulted in  clutter, depleted cash flow and disappointment it is time to move on!



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Fabulous Fridays!

What does it mean to YOU to be fabulous?  Is it what you wear, what you do, who you do it with??  I think it’s who you ARE in all of the ways you express it when you are at your very best. 

We all know when we are at our best – we walk a little taller, enjoy socializing, show a strong self-confidence and give attitude in all of the best possible ways. We also should be honest enough with ourselves to know when we are just phoning it in – sweats, pony tail, baseball cap, flip flops, over sized tees – you know what your incognito crutches are! Those are fine to have every once in awhile, but when they start to become the norm and we convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter because “I am only running errands” or “I won’t see anyone I know” it severely limits your fabulousness. Every Friday I’ll share some tips to help you put your best and brightest forward – don’t think that it will require a big investment of time and money, you will be surprised at how much fabulousness you can mine from what you already own.

Today’s Tip = an investment of $00.00!!

Your first step to fabuousness, or becoming even more fabulous than you already are, clean out your closets!!  Not exactly the most original tip you have ever heard, but I want to tell you exactly what you will be getting rid of:  anything with tears or holes, anything stained, anything more than two sizes smaller or larger than what you are wearing right now, anything that is only “for in the house”, anything that was a gift you know you will never wear but you feel guilty about giving away.

Next make an effort to come to terms with what you are “saving for good” – many of us were raised by depression babies who were so appreciative of having nice things that those things got stored away except for company or holidays. There were outfits, shoes, coats and jewelry that never saw the light of day unless there was a wedding, funeral or dinner dance.  Sets of china, dishes, towels,sheets – you name it – were stored away for special occasions or for when company came.  Sadly, at least in my case, after my mother passed  I came across so many of her things I knew she would have enjoyed every day packed away for”good”. With this mindset came an implied or sometimes stated feeling that if you were using or wearing good stuff everyday you “thought who you were”.

Well you should think pretty highly about who you are, you should wear your best and set your table and decorate your home with every beautiful item you own.  If it tears or is stained, get rid of it.  If it breaks throw it out.  Live your life to the best of your ability every day – don’t wait for the day that might never come and deprive yourself of the life you were meant to live.

So for step one get rid of the things that say I am not worth the effort and break out the good stuff! See if it doesn’t lift your mood, put some attitude in your step and just make you feel better about yourself and whatever you are setting out to do. 

Next Friday – some other treasures you didn’t realize you had!!


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