Win of the Week: The Gal in Green

So I know the Kate Middleton (Or Duchess Catherine, whatever) thing is probably over-reported and run into the ground. But ya got to admit, most ladies probably did not look this classy on St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, there’s a costumed dog! The whole picture is completely charming.

And Kate really favors these coat-dresses (probably because they’re so flattering to her figure.) She wore another coat-dress—in a stunning blue!—for her first public speaking engagement.

So the question is: how to steal Kate’s current outerwear-heavy style and transition it into warmer weather? Continue reading

Kate Middleton’s Style Secrets

Whenever I see photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, I can’t help but wonder what goes on behind the scenes. She’s always perfectly coiffed in a neatly tailored ensemble with just a hint of trendiness. And she tops it off with that megawatt smile– no matter the location, event or time of day. Such perfection must be exhausting. How does she do it?

She sticks to a color palette
To flatter her complexion, the princess favors navy, neutrals and sometimes red. If she wears a pattern, it’s often black-and-white. On the rare occasion that she dons a bold color, she still wears her favorite neutral pumps.

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Fail of the Week (now with added holiday spirit)

Is it a faux pas to still make Black Swan jokes?

FotW might be a misnomer as I’m not sure when this special aired. (I don’t live in the U.K. although I think it would be fab if I did.) But I just saw the video this week, so I guess it counts. And I have two different thoughts about Ms. Rowland’s outfit, and lucky you, I’m going to share both.

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More Middleton Madness

Kate and Wills (aka He Who Looks More Like Prince Charles Ever Day, the Poor Sod) have completed their North American good will tour. And I was going to stay completely out of it; I was. I’ve been feeling Middleton-ed out, what with the Kate-this and Kate-that, and oh look, Pippa, too! Let’s throw her in for good measure. But then the Royal Newlyweds just had to go and be endearing. I mean, look at that photo.

Don’t they just look completely happy? Not to mention, they could model for Cavenders or Wranglers. Or I could meet them at the Ft. Worth Stockyards or something. As a girl from Texas, I know my cowboy fashion.

Plus, Kate managed to look the height of foreign diplomacy fashion by rockin’ it in red with fabulous maple leaf pin given to her by the Queen. I just wish I could take a look at the Queen’s fab jewelry collection, much less wear some of it.

BONUS: Marilyn Monroe moment! And a gorgeous yellow dress.

–By Lindsay Ray

Princesses and Sparkly Things

Every time Kate Middleton breathes someone somewhere writes a story about it. Middleton madness is still in full effect, and it almost seems as if she can do no wrong. I always like how the media have created a faux competition between Kate and sis Pippa. Kate shops for groceries. She’s just like us! We love her. Whatcha got, Pippa? Pippa runs in a triathlon. She’s a super woman! We love her. Kate better watch her fashionably attired back.

But the dress Kate donned for a recent charity event is certainly newsworthy.

It’s so sparkly! And shiny! And she’s so happy. The dress is Jenny Packam from the Spring 2011 collection, and if you think you’ve seen it before, well, you might have. Leighton Meester wore the dress on Gossip Girl as her character Blair Waldorf pursues her own prince.

Clearly a dress meant for a princess. (It’s a bad pun, I know, but I couldn’t resist.)

–By Lindsay Ray

Get your “beach body” on a budget

You don’t have to look like (or have the cash like) the Duchess of Cambridge to feel good in a bikini.

Ah, Memorial Day weekend—the unofficial beginning of summer and season of the “beach body.”  Instead of stressing over attaining a so-called “beach body,” it’s more important to focus on feeling healthy and comfortable with your body as temperatures rise and you can no longer hide behind a hoodie.  However, if you’re strapped for cash, sometimes cultivating wellness can seem difficult.  Buying raw and organic foods, gym membership, and exercise equipment can leave deep gouges in your bank account.  Here are some practical tips for inexpensive ways to improve your health through diet and exercise:

1.     Pick and choose what you buy organic.  Buy nonorganic fruits and vegetables that have thick skins, such as bananas and onions.  They belong to the “Clean Fifteen” fruits and vegetable s that contain little to no pesticides.  Produce such as apples and salad greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.) belong to the “Dirty Dozen” and can contain from 47-67 pesticides per serving.  Plus, foods belonging to the “Dirty Dozen” taste much better organic.  (Try biting into an organic apple and then into a nonorganic apple and you’ll notice the difference.)

2.     Grow your own fruits and veggies.  Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow some of your own produce and herbs in containers.  Growing food from seeds saves grocery and gas money and it’s a cost effective way to eat organic foods.  For concise and user-friendly tips, check out About.com’s selection of links listed under Fruits & Vegetables – Growing Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs in Pots.

3.     Keep your eyes peeled for free classes.  By doing a Google search or browsing Craigslist.com, you can often find listings for instructors and studios that host free fitness classes.  Of course, the range of your selection depends a lot on where you live (areas with bigger populations and a high level of public interest in fitness generally have a wider selection of free classes).  Additionally, the YMCA offers temporary reduced membership rates for individuals and households and they have a variety of fitness classes to choose from.

4.     Don’t buy what you can borrow instead.  Between the public library and Netflix (starting at 7.99 a month), getting exercise DVDs is incredibly cheap.  Also, it’s easier to incorporate a wide range of workouts this way because you’re not shelling out money tons of money for each DVD you get.

5.     Go the “French” route.  I love Mireille Guiliano’s approach to fitness in French Women Don’t Get Fat.  Guilianp endorses the way in which French women stay trim, which is by playing sports, walking, cycling, and opting out of doing things the easy way (i.e. taking the stairs instead of the elevator).  Staying active doesn’t have to mean doing P90X workouts; it can be as simple as taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

And, as a final note, if you’re taking care of yourself but still feeling anxious when it comes to your body, do yourself a favor and read this gal’s take on how everybody has a “beach body.

–By Jenna Cooper

Michelle and Middleton Meet, Fashionistas Freak!

I studied abroad in England a few summers ago (I could really go for a pitcher of Pimm’s right now), so I know how hard it is to pack for the fluctuating weather. Which is why I’m so in awe of Michelle Obama’s revolving wardrobe of classically styled dresses.

Isn’t this photo just lovely? It doesn’t say “Hey, we’re married to two of the most powerful men in the world” but rather “Let’s sit down, chat and have a nice cup of tea and a scone.”

You know what else is lovely? The color of Mrs. Obama’s dress. It’s a beautiful, bright shade for summer, and the belt is a nice touch.

So what exactly does one wear to meet the Queen? Why, an ivory Tom Ford gown with elbow-length gloves, of course.

Personally, the dress reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina—yards of skirt and way off the shoulders. The same words could describe the black frock Mrs. O donned for dinner. However, I prefer the less severe hair and more simplified look of the first dress, but she still cuts a striking figure.

And then there was the big meet, the one everyone’s still buzzing about: When FLOTUS met the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate Middleton’s style might be even more followed and more imitated than Michelle Obama. Kate’s beige Reissa dress sold out and frantic fashion fiends crashed the retailer’s site.

Mrs. O, on the other hand, went for a retro vibe with silver kitten heels. (Nice!) Perhaps she resembles another famous Mrs. O?

P.S. Catch some of Kate’s most popular looks.

–By Lindsay Ray