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Could you give advice on wearing vests for men? Should thin guys wear vests? What type would suit jeans?

Thanks

-Nicholai

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Dear Nicolai,

Hi there and thanks for your question. I was psyched to find your query in my inbox, I was afraid that my new girlie pink banner might have the potential to scare the dudes away.

I think guys in vests are nifty. In fact, I bought my guy a Rivers Cuomo Weezer like sweater vest this past Christmas. In my opinion, a guy wearing a vest always seems like he's got his fashion act together, carrying off a look that says "Yeah, my arms don't get cold."

When it comes to male vests, there are a few no-nos. Resist anything fur-lined (unless your last name is Zhivago and you live in the Ukraine). You should also avoid pink or polka-dotted vests, and refrain from wearing vests with shorts, particularly sweater vests...unless you're invited to a stuffy country club, you'll look like a putz.

Thin guys can definitely carry off vests and accentuate their thin frames in the process. I usually prefer the unbuttoned casual look, but to each his own. Here are just a few male vest styles you should definitely invest in, depending on the season.

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1. Winter - What's black, white and red all over? ...This Zoo York Men's Vest from CCS Skateboards. This vest is so cool, it'll have you counting off the days until it snows. I take that back, guys don't count off the days until they can wear something...that's totally a chick thing. Nevertheless, you'll love wearing this Reversible quilted nylon vest with your favorite tee or button down, and it's on sale for $39.99. All the Skater Boys will want one.

2. Spring - Try on this Ryan Woven Vest from Heritage 1981 for a classic, masculine and trendy look that serves as a great alternative to a blazer during warmer months. It's $19.90, but looks expensive and so seductively suave. Wear it with a long-sleeved button down with the sleeves rolled up. Warning - Wearing it with a plain white tee might welcome comparisons to George Michael.

3. Summer - This Unisex Solid Rib Vest from American Apparel is a slim, form-fitting vest both you and your girlfriend can enjoy wearing all summer long. Available in black, navy, lapis (which is a fancy word for blue) and cranberry, this V-neck button down lightweight vest is a great layering piece that you won't have to put away when the weather chills up. Only $36.

4. Fall - Perfect for Fall and to carry you all through winter is this handsome Wool Crucis Vest from Todd Shelton. It's a little pricier for $169, but adds a richness to any pant and shirt combo that is oh so worth it. To look money, you have to spend money...right?

Hope this helps Nicolai.

xoxo,
sammy

p.s. They all go great with jeans.


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!


Model profiles

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I've used this Model Pose before, but it's so patriotic, I thought it deserved a new caption.

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Save me a piece of pie and Happy 4th!

Our favorite vampire damsel in distress, Kristen Stewart, is taking time away from sucking face and blood with Robert Pattinson on the set of Twilight to slip into the hot leather pants of rock and roll legend Joan Jett in the highly anticipated biopic, The Runaways.

Before Joan fronted her burly band of Blackhearts, she was rocking hard alongside a band of foxy female Runaways, making some noise with the likes of fellow guitarist Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West and Jackie Fox in the first teenage all-girl rock band to hit the mainstream with hits like "Cherry Bomb," "Queens of Noise," and "Born to Be Bad".

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Taking a VH-1 Behind the Music look at the band from it's inception to the imminent breakup, The Runaways is getting a Marshall amp worthy level of feedback with gossip running amok surrounding Kristen's new mulletesque hairdo to a bad reputation rumor concerning a hyped up lesbian kiss between Kristen and Twilight co-star Dakota Fanning who plays Joan's cherie amour, Runaways' frontwoman Cherie Currie.

Personally, I Love Rock and Roll, so I'll be the first in line to decide whether Kristen can make a smooth transition from clumsy to Clashy. Word is she's getting guidance from Ms. Jett herself, so I'm guessing she won't fall A-flat.

In the meantime, kick out the jams with this Jam Tee from dELiA*s and this Ramones Tee from Alloy. Or if you only have eyes for Kristen as Bella Swan and aren't feeling her punk'ed up look, pick up BB Dakota's Bella Jacket worn in the movie available at Chickdowntown.com.

So come and take your time and dance with me.

Ow!

Bachelorette style

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Ahhh... Lazying around during the dog days of summer in a posh LA mansion with a dream date scheduled every night, bubbly champagne by the gallon, and 30 hot guys clamoring for your attention. Most girls would envy the sweet set-up of current Bachelorette, Canadian cutie Jillian Harris, but after the past few episodes, Jill has had all of America wondering if host Chris Harrison was slipping her some crack before every rose ceremony.

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Thankfully last Monday, millions of viewers tuned in to finally watch Jillian give the cowboy boot to super shady suitor/country wannabe superstar Wes. The baddest boy in Bachelorette history was rumored to have a girlfriend and was even outed to Jillian by Jake the pilot, although the woman in question - his ex Laurel swears it isn't so.

Regardless of whether Wes had a girlfriend back in Austin or not, the dude had an agenda from the moment he stepped out of the limo, and wasn't afraid to admit it. Practically whipping out his guitar to serenade the girl before they had a chance to shake hands, he performed his silly little ditty 3 or 4 times....I actually lost count and found his shameless self-promotion embarrassing, even more so than his shabby corduroy blazers.

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Gossip aside, I've adored Jillian Harris' style since she peddled her hot dog theory on the last season of the Bachelor. From her chunky rose gold watch to her colorful mini dresses and red urban cowboy boots, her interior decorating background definitely translates to her quirky, trendsetting personal style. I don't know if Jillian is dressing herself in outfits she's brought from home or if she's getting a little help from a band of ABC stylists. If it's the latter, I'm 5'3 and pretty close to Jillian's size if you guys need to clean out the ABC closets.

If you want Jillian's rainbow colored tie-dye bikini pictured above, you can get it on sale from Victoria's Secret.

p.s. Wes, I think your song sounds like a jingle for a laxative commercial.

Model Boobs

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56 hours until the kick-off of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach and I am a bundle of fashion nerves. I'm fired up, I'm frantic, I'm nervous, I'm nauseous. This will be my first time attending the event and I'm more jittery about losing my fashion week virginity than I was when I lost my actual virginity.

I applied for press accreditation last month, hoping I might be able to sneak into a few shows. Here I am, three weeks later, my metallic clutch overflowing with invites to twenty something fashion shows, meet and greets, interviews and other i-can't-believe-i'm-invited-to-these industry events. I even have a free mani/pedi and blowout scheduled with a top celebrity manicurist and hair stylist! Have I died and gone to heaven?

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I should be elated. I should be dancing on the ceiling. I should be thinking I'm hot stuff baby this evening. But in all honesty, I'm absolutely terrified and have found myself feeling similar emotions to the seven stages of grief.

1. SHOCK & DENIAL- Me?! They're inviting me?! No, there must be some mistake. I am not good enough to have an assigned seat at the Cabaña Grande.

2. PAIN & GUILT- As the initial shock wore off, it was replaced with the unbelievable pain of trying to decide what to wear. Guilty feelings and remorse follow after I spend exorbitant amounts of money on buying the perfect Fashion Week ensembles.

3. ANGER & BARGAINING- Frustration and stress give way to anger, and I find myself lashing out, my dog and boyfriend the poor, undeserving targets. I try to bargain in vain with the powers that be at the department stores - "Can I get a discount on this sample shoe? It's totally scratched."

4. DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- I don't like the clothes I bought. Who am I? What am I doing with my life? No one is going to talk to me.

5. THE UPWARD TURN- As I start to adjust, sending back rsvp after rsvp, life becomes a little calmer and more organized. My physical symptoms lessen, and my "depression" begins to lift slightly. I realize I'm going to get a sweet goodie bag of schwag. I look at myself in the mirror, splash some cold water on my face and say "Dude, I'm going to Fashion Week".

6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- As I become more functional, my mind starts working again. I find myself putting smart outfits together, writing clever interview questions and planning a budget for the next 6 months to help me pay off all of my new purchases.

7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- I may be a new kid on the Fashion Week block, but this is a brilliant, once in a lifetime opportunity. I will have an exciting time, meet amazing designers, blog like I've never blogged before, drink tasty Chambord cocktails (the Official Liqueur of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim) and maybe share a few words with some choice celebrities...and P. Diddy will just have to accept me for who I am.

Tonight, as the clock strikes twelve, millions of fans from eight to eighty-five will be flying into theatres on their Nimbus 2000's to check out the second to last installment of the JK Rowlings trillion dollar book series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Hogwarts Express will soon be making it's last stop with only one more film in the queue, so young stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson need to start thinking about their post Harry Potter prospects. While Daniel experimented in the buff on the London stage and Broadway in Equus, our lovely lady of the Harry Potter trio, actress Emma Watson, has been earning an extra paycheck while keeping her clothes on. The stunning 19 year old was unveiled last month as the new face of the British fashion house of Burberry.

Watson looks Oxford bound in her Burberry trench from the autumn/winter collection in a campaign that was shot by Mario Testino. This is the first major advertising campaign that Emma has landed, but I'll bet you a mug of butterbeer that it won't be her last.

Better start networking Ron Weasley.

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I enjoyed a little taste of the Bohemian life last night, poolside at The Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, as Boheme Boutiques kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2010 with a revealing runway show featuring over one hundred beachy keen looks.

All of my pre-show nerves were tossed aside the moment I took my seat on a comfy white chaise lounger, seated for approximately one minute and forty-five seconds before I was handed an exquisite Chambord concoction from a lovely lady in white. One sip of the Black Raspberry Chambord cocktail made me feel like I had definitely arrived. Two sips made me realize I had arrived sober, but would not be leaving that way.

Boheme Boutiques certainly rose to the occasion, setting the tone for what should be a brilliant week of fashion, polish and panache. The entire evening had the air and ambience of a posh vacation getaway, which is fitting considering the owner of Boheme Boutiques jetsets all over the globe in order to find the perfect merchandise that captures the very Bohemian chic feeling found in their four locations in South Miami, South Beach, Fisher Island and Key Biscayne.

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(Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

I had a chance to speak with a few Boheme representatives, and we all shared our mutual appreciation for the Boutiques' stunning collection of cover-ups. From beaded tunics to sequined, pale blue to green gauze gowns, I found the coverups almost as sexy if not sexier than the belted, pin-up and macramé Boheme bikinis I coveted.

"Our coverups are the highlight of our stores...Wear the coverups over a tank top with sleek shorts, jeans and heels and you're good to go to a nightclub or wherever!"

Here's a closer look at the models wading their way down the chlorine catwalk-

My favorite celebrity spotting? Mrs. Ari Gold herself, Entourage actress Perrey Reeves looking smashing in a glitzy top and cuffed up jeans. After mentioning how great the new season was, she hinted that next week's episode would definitely impress. Thanks Perrey, and thank you for not bringing any Drama to Miami.

My favorite piece of the evening? A frilly white tiered gauze dress that was more romantic than the Puccini opera that shares my favorite new boutique's name.

p.s. The boys in boardshorts weren't bad either.

Looking forward to Day two.

Viva La Vie Boheme.

Model down

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Today is Friday, and I simply cannot allow the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim frenzy to get in the way of my weekly model pose. Keeping in the spirit of Fashion Week, I'd like to point out that after two days of shows I have yet to see a model fall. Way to go girls!

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Today is officially day one of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2010 and I felt a little more confident and a little more sober (No thank you waiter, I am working. Kindly keep your pink and yellow 30 proof drinks to yourself).

Out of the entire Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim line-up, I was most excited about feasting my eyes on the new Tibi collection. The absolute epitome of casual chic, the fresh new Tibi swimwear line was everything I dreamed of and more, consisting of 41 looks, all inspired by the island of Bali.

The show commenced with an array of lovely white suntan-enhancing suits that effortlessly evolved into an array of eye-catching pieces featuring delicious prints and brilliant colors, closing with a 14K all that glitters gown and asymmetrical cutout one piece that were both good as gold. There was something for everyone with 2 piece ikat suits, one-piece wonders and luxurious coverups that made my heart go Tibi-Tibi bang bang... I literally wanted to rip a few designs off of the models' long, willowy frames.

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Evening highlight - Interviewing the lady behind Tibi's triumph, designer and founder Amy Smilovic (*Full interview posted next week).

Evening lowlight - My new wedges dug into the back of my right heel drawing blood. No pain, no fashion gain, right?

Celebrity Spottings - Reality TV stars were on the loose with Bravo's Real Housewives from the East Coast - NYC's Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Jersey girl Dina Manzo taking front row seats at the Cabaña Grande. I actually pointed out directions to the Tibi tent to Dina and her entourage, and didn't receive so much as a thank you in return. I'm glad I failed to mention the toilet paper that was trailing from one of their stilettos.

My archenemy, Olivia Palermo from The City was also spotted, and she ignored me the entire time. I guess she still has hard feelings about being named Let's Talk Style's Villain of the Week.

Here's to a fashion forward weekend!

Dear Letstalkstylers,

Having hot fun in the sun at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim! I even found some lovely retro ladies to conga with on the beach. More details to come!

xoxo,
sammy

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Day 2 of Mercedes-Benz Swim Week and I found myself seeing red.

I had the best seat in the house, front row at the Red Carter show last night and enjoyed a theatrical event that burned hotter than the pack of Red Hots in my gift bag. Red (no stranger to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) ran the red light on the Beachway catwalk, pulling no stops and driving full speed ahead, taking me on the fashion ride of my life.

Since bursting onto the Miami swimwear scene in 2004, Red has enjoyed immense success within the thin walls of the Mercedes-Benz tents, always taking risks that have paid off well...with interest. From the roaring twenties to rockin' hookers circa 1984, we love Red for his refusal to play it safe. The theme this year? A little bit animal, a little bit rock and roll and a whole lot of space-age glamour. An arty video installation set the tone, featuring one of Big Red's pretty pompadoured girls from his print campaign posing Cirque du Soleil style on swings and things in the center of the ring just like a circus.

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Much like the perfect cocktail, Red's vision was the ideal blend of spicy and sweet - a mixture of one part animal kingdom, two parts Judy Jetson, half an ounce of Nabokov's Lolita, and rimmed with rocks of Gwen Stefani sugar to taste. I was completely intoxicated after the 4th look. Styled with black, white and gold accents, neon pink and yellow heart-shaped sunglasses, stacks and stacks of bangles, beads, belts and black painted puckers, the models all represented tough street chic while remaining feminine, young and feverishly fresh.

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With forty looks total that ran the gamut from intricate rock-star monokinis to skirted bottoms, bandeaus, hipsters and futuristic robes, there were also a few choice looks for the boys with suits that flattered while the male models flexed their wares down the runway.

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Welcome back Mr. Car-ter...
We'd never want to face a semester of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim without you.


I feel like I've seen it all this past week, with the trends of the summer and the proposed trends of summer 2010 washing over me like the Atlantic tide. Here are a few of the most popular Miami Fashion Week Swim trends I spotted a-splishing and a-splashing at the Raleigh. Most were good, some were bad, some I couldn't escape if I had tried (see #9).

1. Revealing rompers were all the rage from Seven for all Mankind denim to flowery Shoshanna and bold and silky Anna Sui. Showing off their spray-tanned gams, all of the rompered girls were ready to beach rock n' roll.

2. Some women wore chunky wedges (myself included), others wore sky high wooden heels, espadrilles and Havaianas. The smart and stylish girls wore Studded gladiator flats that looked glamorous and kept them from sinking in the sand while leaving their tootsies callous-free.

3. Neon pink toes - Essie's Flirty Fuscia. I saw a crew of drunk bachelorettes sporting this high-voltage shade on their toes a few weeks ago and initially thought it looked kind of tacky. After seeing the neon painted on perfectly pedicured toes all week long, I'm having second thoughts.

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4. Bright, bold printed tunics, coverups, mini and maxi dresses. Long or short, they all looked resort-ready chic. One of my favorites - this Poolside Splash Cover-up from Tibi.

5. Drunk people. When in Miami, do as the Miamians do. Miamians love their tropical drinks, and colorful tequila cocktails and goodie bags filled with mini Chambord bottles made it easy for folks to get plastered poolside and inside the tents. *Warning: Do not come to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim if you are a recovering alcoholic.

6. Wristbands. Orange, Lime, Red or Black, if you had a wristband on it meant you either came from someplace fabulous or were going to someplace fabulous. Wristbands did not look cool on hungover chicks with smeared makeup doing the walk-of-shame before noon the next morning.

7. Embellished belts. Adding shape to shapeless minis, worn with rompers, tunics, short shorts and jeans, pretty belts with metallic hardware were high-waisted all over the beach Oasis. My most-wanted? This stunner of a belt from Miu Miu.

8. Printed Headscarves. Lots of headscarves in standout island prints and vibrant colors like this Bamboo Scarf from DVF. Instead of covering your scalp Axel Rose style, weave and wrap around your forehead for a look right off the runway.

9. America's Next Top Model Cycle 7 contestant Anchal Joseph. Seriously guys, she was everywhere.

10. Cellulite. Yes ladies, even models have it.

By Day 3 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim I suddenly felt oversaturated with swimsuits. Lost in a sea of lycra and spandex, I was having trouble keeping track of all of the looks I loved and was wishing that I could afford to be monokini monogamous, focusing on just one designer/collection at a time...but it's not called Fashion Day or Fashion Hour my dear readers, it's Fashion Week, and I was in it for the long haul.

Here's just a taste of the hottest (and hautest) looks from all five shows on Saturday July 18th, including collections from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim regulars Ed Hardy Swimwear, Poko Pano and Xtra Life Lycra, plus newcomers from California and a land down under - Mara Hoffman and White Sands Australia.

Mara Hoffman - Drawing inspiration from both the desert and the universe, designers Mara Hoffman & Klee Van Schoonhoven presented a collection that was truly out of this world, featuring unique silhouettes and colorful psychedelic prints, ranging from bold and bright, to softer and more feminine styles that flatter every body type. Playful bikinis and super sexy one-pieces revealed why Mara Hoffman is a favorite amongst celebrity clientele including Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie and Mischa Barton.

*Fashion Show dish* - People's Revolution ran the front and back of the house and Kelly Cutrone was right there working the show alongside her old Hills protege, Whitney Port from The City. It was great to see Whitney working the runway, completely in her element. She and Kelly are the dynamic duo of fashion production and put on a flawless show with celebrity attendes Olivia Palermo and Dina Mazo smiling from ear to ear. I'm just thankful former People's Revolution intern Stephanie Pratt wasn't there. She would have ruined everything.

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Look 1 - Mara Hoffman, Look 2 - Ed Hardy Swimwear, photos courtesy of Getty Images

Ed Hardy Swimwear - Rock n' Roll was here to stay for another successful year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim for Ed Hardy Swimwear. Rocking an eclectic mix of designs, colors and fabrics with edgy geisha, skull and flowery motifs, I adored their collection of mix and match separates that offer total beach variety, plus unique embellishments and custom hardware that helps the ladies and gents really stand out on the sand dunes.

*Fashion Show dish* - On a personal note, I met one of Ed Hardy's male models post-show who was as sweet as he was sculptured. I love making new Fashion Week friends.

White Sands Australia - Celebrating all the joys of being a girl, White Sands shone with romantic maillots, sweet and frilly beandeau bikinis, itsy bitsy Brazilian bottoms and palm printed swimsuit gems, all featuring flawlessly structured shapes. For a little extra coverage, the White Sands chic resort collection showcased sexy sequin t-shirt dresses, silk jersey dresses, maxi frocks and playful jumpsuits that will take you from sand and surf to walking along the boardwalk with style and sophistication.

*Fashion Show dish* - I sat behind the stars of Bravo's new reality show Miami Social - George, his Russian wildcat girlfriend, fashion producer and Jude Law look-alike Ariel and the lovely Katrina. Katrina's strapless zipper accented minidress was tres sleek, but she spent half the time having to adjust her revealing bra tag. I thought about helping her conceal her tag, but didn't think that would be considered very Miami social.

Xtra Life Lycra - All the seats were cleared out of the Cabana Grande for a free-wheeling party inside the tent with yummy bites passed around, drinks and of course, wicked fashions. Hosted by Gretta Monahan, style expert and co-host of Bravo Network’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, the show featured archival garments from 1960-1990 and swimwear looks from 2010 designer collections containing LYCRA® fiber and Xtra Life LYCRA® fiber.

*Fashion Show dish* - Your blogging hostess with the mostest was the Xtra Life of the party.

Fashion dilemma. My gay male friends said that my royal purple dress with leopard print stilettos was hot. However, my fashion guru boyfriends seems to believe that it's a fashion DON'T. I need the advice of a fashion expert!

Signed,
Future Dr. Rayne

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Dear Mrs. Dr. Rayne-to-be,

I am so excited because for the first time ever, I received an actual photo attached to my fashion query! I feel like I have totally hit the big time of fashion consulting. Thank you for your question Future Doctor's Wife, and you get brownie points for the smashing picture. It's much easier to know exactly what I'm working with when I have a good visual to blow up and dissect.

My initial instinct is to tell you to follow your initial fashion instinct. You wouldn't have written to me if you didn't have doubts about this daring ensemble. I think those pumps are a whole lot of shoe, and although I don't believe in die hard fashion rules, I will tell you that I, myself, would pair those leopard printed babies with jeans, a black dress, or something a little more neutral to make them pop.

Your deliciously hued royal purple frock will stand out on it's own, I promise you. You don't need the shoes to compete. Perhaps a pair of pretty metallics to complement the purple? These are only ideas, as are the tips your gay male friends and fashion guru boyfriends gave you. *Note - Queer eyes from gay guys are usually quite helpful, just beware if they gravitate towards sequins and dress up like Liza Minelli every Sunday while doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

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In summation, remember what I always say - To thine own fashion self be true. Follow your gut and if you feel confident enough to rock the combo, I shall not stand in your way.

Just don't wear it on your wedding day to Dr. Rayne.

xoxo,
sammy


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!


Editor's Note

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EDITOR'S NOTE - It has recently come to my attention that the previous Ask Sammy leopard heels fashion query was from a Future Doctor, NOT the fiancee of a Doctor. Whoops...my bad.

I apologize profusely for the mix-up. Might I add, those leopard print heels will sure add some oomph to a doctor's coat.

xoxo,
sammy

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Model states of being

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It's a week post Fashion Week and I'm experiencing the Week After Fashion Week Blues. Slightly similar to Post Bridal Syndrome when no longer blushing brides realize that the honeymoon is over, the dress has been preserved, the thank you notes sent out and the people who handed them free flowing flutes of bubbly are nowhere to be found.

I went to the beach yesterday and was depressed at the sight of boring old one-piece bathing suits and bikinis. Where were the fabulous prints? The unexpected hardware? The teased hairdos? The bangles, headwraps and bronzed bodies? I looked down and was even embarrassed with my boring bikini and sad sari that seemed just so...vanilla.

All of the excitement and fanfare may be far behind me, but at least I have the memories to hold on to...like my interview with Tibi designer Amy Smilovic.

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I was a little nervous about meeting Amy, the designer and founder of Tibi who is the quintessential queen of casual chic. Producing eye catching pieces that women gravitate to both on the beach and on land since the launch of Tibi back in 1997, Amy is applauded for her prints and her exceptional use of color and looked simply smashing when I found her backstage in a flowing one-shoulder dress featuring a gorgeous print that looked like it deserved its own exhibition at the MOMA.

My fears subsided when I saw Amy frolicking with her two gorgeous sons and I realized that the designer that I admired was also a modern mommy, full of warmth who was probably dying to hit the beach and build sandcastles with her handsome blond boys. I loved our short but sweet chat that ended up being one of my highlights of the week. For the remainder of the interview, I will be speaking in bold.

Hi, I'm Samara from Let's Talk Style.

Amy: Hi!

First of all I just have to say congratulations on a stunning collection.

Amy: Thank you, thank you.

Can you describe to me the first swimsuit you ever designed?

Amy: Oh my God. Well it was actually like last year and it was a great bikini - all strings and everything, but this year we're all into one-pieces so it's kind of a departure.

I was in love with all of your rope detailing, so beautiful. {Her Cotton Voile Rope Strap Dress was to die for.}

Amy: Oh, thank you.

Can you tell us, what is your one biggest swimwear DON'T?

Amy: Don't wear your bathing suits too big.

Right, so keep them nice and fitted.

Amy: Yes. I think it's a bigger don't than wearing them too small.

Okay, three essentials that are always in your beach bag, you never leave home without them.

Amy: A long printed caftan, a super chic solid one-piece and the tiniest bikini in the boldest print.

[A long line of members of the press grow irate, and I am given the cue from PR girl in headset that my time with Tibi is up.]

That's all my time with Amy, so I congratulate her again, bid her a fond Fashion Week farewell, and take a last look at her hugging her beautiful boys who are beaming with pride for their Mom. I'll bet you a long printed caftan they'll be beaming even more when they're sitting front row watching the models prance by at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2020.

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I've been backpaddling, doing my best to salvage all of my Fashion Week Swim notes and lookbooks while fondly reminiscing about my favorite Swim Week moments.

One of the grandest nights at the Cabaña Grande tent was on Friday night, July 17th when the chosen Mercedes-Benz Presents designer of the season - L*Space by Monica Wise debuted her dazzling 2010 swim collection.

If you haven't heard, L*Space is the new MySpace...minus the swimming in spam. With over 500 amped up guests in attendance, all the flirty and fashionable folk were bouncing in their seats, thrilled to view looks from the designer who has won the hearts of Hollywood starlets from Jessica Alba to Cameron Diaz, while scoring countless choice magazine covers. Known for extraordinary silhouettes and flattering fits, Monica did not disappoint with fringed out and fabulous one-piece and two-piece styles, chokered one-pieces, plunging necks, hot jumpers, V-neck tunics and glamorous mix and match print designs that travel from sandcastles to the Shore Club, easier than a dip in the pool with water wings.

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ghd (Good Hair Day) glammed out the bright lipped beauties with sky high hair accented by chic hats, fun fedoras and jewelry provided by Citrine by the Stones that only added the cherry on top of Monica's picture-perfect collection. The evening offered an unexpected treat when the house lights dimmed and a duo of African drummers whose sweet beats signified the introduction to L*Space 's exclusive 16 piece swim collaborative collection with humanitarian fashion company OmniPeace. Models shimmied, pranced and swayed down the runway to Bob Marley’s “Could you be Loved”, with all of us loving what they were wearing.

*Celebrity Sightings* - The tall, non-fat Grande celebs were all there at the Cabaña Grande, in fact I sat in the row behind (2 seats to the left) of the reigning King of Dancing with the Stars and Sex and the City eye candy, Gilles Marini. Gilles looked dashing in white and I kept expecting him to break out into a rumba, but he kept a rather low profile, keeping his mad dance moves to himself. My girl Whitney Port arrived a little late to take her front row spot, enjoying guest status the night before working the Mara Hoffman show. Other celebrity sightings - Real Housewife of New York Kelly Bensimon, 90210 cutie Adam Gregory, E! News’s Catt Sadler, Jason Kennedy and taking a break from filming in the Miami heat was Burn Notice’s Jeffrey Donovan.

If you want to score any of Monica's hot swim looks for yourself, L*Space by Monica Wise is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and specialty boutiques around the world.

Thank you Monica, for allowing me to invade your personal L*Space.

Model marionette

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Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
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