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Would love to have your thoughts on what a 54 year old grandma can wear to an American Idol concert with her granddaughter. I am pear shaped 16w bottom heavy but would like to look cool to make my granddaughter proud. If you could give me some tips I would appreciate it. Oh and I cannot wear heels because of a bad knee…

Thank you!!!



Dear Kathy,

I have two words for you.... Rock on.

Your email warmed my heart. I think it is selflessly sweet that you're seeking concert fashion advice in order to make your granddaughter proud, but I've got news for you Kathy... I'm pretty sure your granddaughter is already proud of her Not-your-run-of-the-mill-Nana. Having a grandma who wants to hit the concert circuit is pretty cool regardless of what she's wearing, but I'm going to personally see to it that you are the hottest grandma in the arena. I don't know when the concert is, so let's not dilly dally and get down to stylin' business.

First off, let's address your bottom half. I don't know if you recall my advice for pear shaped beauties, but in terms of pants, dark wash stretch bootcut jeans work wonders on a pear-shaped bod. This pair from Jessica London balances out your curves, and the stretch fabric moves with you whether you're jumping, standing, sitting, dancing or cheering on top of some nice bearded man's shoulders.

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Considering your top half, wearing a perfectly faded and broken in concert tee is always a safe choice. Vintage or modern, Adam Ant or Adam Lambert, wearing a commemorative band tee to a rock concert is like wearing your iPod playlist on your sleeve, a concert uniform that you can never go wrong with. If you don't have a concert tee handy or want to look a little more polished, go a little mod with this cool graphic tunic from Modcloth that shows off your waist and flows outward, concealing your pear-shaped parts. You'll find a wide variety of tunics out on the store racks now, from halters to cap sleeves and long sleeves. Try on a few until you find your perfect fit. Oh, and bring a little denim jacket or a light hoodie/sweater, just in case it gets a little chilly in the arena.

As for your feet, Converse sneakers are usually the concert footwear of choice, but some strappy metallic sandals or colorful flats will keep you feeling comfortable while showing off your toes and leaving your knees rocking steady. Just make sure they're closed toed if you plan on visiting the mosh pit. In terms of jewelry, don't wear anything priceless that you'd cry over losing, a little hammered cuff completes the look with a little solid gold thrown in for good sparkle.

With these tips in mind, I'm sure you'll be able to pull off a look that will get a thumbs up from everyone, even man-boobed Simon Cowell.

Have a great time cheering the Idols on Kathy, and I'd love to hear an update.

I'm sure you're already your granddaughter's American Idol.


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

One of the many things I learned during Miami's Swim Fashion Week is that models have guts, just like us.

They may be teenie weenie mini guts, the size of a mini stack of silver dollar pancakes, but they're there and sometimes they need some help sucking it in.
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Years ago, on those rare days when I would wake up carrying a food baby from the overindulgent evening before, I would slip on a pair of ratty pantyhose with the legs cut off. Then, lo and behold, Spanx were created! But as much as I love my Spanx, I would never want my boyfriend to see me in them. Flesh colored scuba shapers aren't really much of a turn on, are they ladies?

I recently discovered this secret little lingerie/shapewear line that I've fallen in love with. It's called Du Mi, and it does me right.

Du Mi is an organic cotton Italian made lingerie line that doubles incognito as high impact shapewear. Referred to in the fashion biz as the “Skinny Girls Secret”, Du Mi panties, camis, tanks and thigh shapers look prettier than anything in a blushing bride's trousseau, while smoothing shapes and sculpting away. Wherever you need a lift, Du Mi has you covered with cheeky boy briefs, tummy control thongs and total body sculpting boy shorts and bra tanks that conceal every flaw.

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Finally, shapewear styles that transcend your average granny girdle style shapewear garments. Disguised as sexy lingerie in shades of taupe, black and leopard prints, Du Mi appears to be designed more for play than work, but oh how they work. The fabrics are soft, luxurious, lightweight and gift women with gorgeous silhouettes whether they're wearing low-rise jeans, high-waisted skirts, or any other flirty and fitted looks in their wardrobes. Who knew shapewear could be good for the environment, feel comfy, hold it all in, and look sexy as all get out?

I'm loving this line so much, it makes me want to break out in song...

Du Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do!

Mad About Style

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I was trotting along through my favorite mall the other day, and did a complete double take as I passed the often khaki themed Banana Republic window. There, behind the glass was the handsome and debonair Creative Director of Sterling Cooper, Don Draper, staring at me in his crisp, impeccably tailored suit. Hello gorgeous.

It's no secret that I'm madder than a hatter about Mad Men, so I think this new Mad About Style campaign from Banana Republic is sheer genius. BR has gone mad, but in a good way, introducing their new Mad Men Style Guide that gives you the 60's moxy to put together your own Mad Men and Mad Women inspired ensembles with various pieces from their very own Fall collection.

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Whether you're into Don's suits, Pete Campbell's shirts, Joan Holloway's chic pencil skirts or Peggy Olson's sophisticated sheath dresses, the looks are all put together and laid out better than if Betty Draper had laid them out for you the night before herself. What a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new season that returns to AMC on August 16th by the way.

Now the world won't only be watching Sunday nights, but they'll also be properly outfitted in wool plaid fedoras and classy corporate attire for Monday morning, inspired by all of their favorite characters. Oh, and did I mention that if you upload a photo of your best Mad Men look, you'll be entered for a chance to join the cast with a walk-on role on the Emmy and Golden Globe winning drama?... Scotch and cigarettes not included.

Cheers to AMC's 3rd season of Mad Men, and cheers to Banana Republic for hopping on the mad bandwagon.

The ad men at Sterling Cooper couldn't have come up with a better campaign.

I received a fun email forward this morning containing a batch of clever demotivational posters, so I decided to craft my very own for today's Model Pose because 1). it's Friday, and 2.) we could all use a little demotivation.

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Happy Monday everyone! It's time to play yet another thrilling round of Fashion Trends I Just Don't Get. This month's fashion WTF on the street?....the 80's workout outfit.

I've seen this Sporty Spice get-up on more than a handful of chicks lately and am confused...more confused than I was the first time I picked up a thighmaster. Two-tone sunglasses, bright torn sweatshirts, bike shorts and classic Keds wouldn't seem so out of place if I had eyed them sweating to the oldies on an elliptical at the gym or an episode of VH1's I Love the 80's, but out in the open at the movies, mall and brunch? I'm not feeling the burn.

Don't get me wrong, this trend might work out for you if you're under the age of twelve and/or have a slamming body...but for future reference, when you buy athletic clothing it might be a good idea to reserve them for athletic activities. Unless you want people to hear your body talk.

p.s. Accessorizing with cute bangles doesn't help. It just makes your outfit seem even more purposeful.

**Is there a fashion trend you just don't get? Send it to Sammy and be featured on Let's Talk Style!

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devon aoki.jpg When it comes to exotic beauty, the first face that comes to mind is the fresh and freckly face of Devon Aoki.

You might recognize this delicate Japanese flower of a fashion model as the daughter of former Olympic wrestler and founder of the hibachi house Benihana chain, Rocky Aoki. Today she turns 27, but has already lived a semi-charmed kind of life.

Taken under the skinny wing of Kate Moss when she was thirteen years young, Devon replaced Naomi Campbell as the face of Versace three years later. Fortunately for Devon, Naomi did not have a cell phone handy to throw at her at the time.

Since then she's modeled for a family of first-rate fashion houses, shot dozens of memorable ad campaigns, and has starred in Sin City and the Sin City sequel, slated for release in 2010.

I just love her because she's walked the runways for Chanel and Versace, even though she's 5 foot 5.

Happy Birthday Devon.

Hope your day is A-OK-i.

I caught a bit of the Teen Choice Awards last night, and although I felt a good decade older than the intended demographic, I still found myself slightly fascinated...like that time I was up until 4am watching Kids Incorporated clips on YouTube.

Hosted by a trio of Jonas Brothers, the show catered to a boisterous bubble gum and surfboard loving Cali crowd and the teens and pre-teens in the audience reminded me of a small, four-eyed dorky girl in middle school who used to perform the New Kids on the Block Right Stuff dance every night on her bed (Oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh).

Rather than compile a best and worst dressed list, I'm honoring these kids with the ultimate teen honor - the Senior Superlative. In the Teen Choice Award 2009 Yearbook, here are the stars I'll be remembering.

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Teen Choicecoming King and Queen - When it comes to Teen Choice royalty, Chace Crawford and Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl receive double honors as King and Queen and Best dressed male and female. Leighton looked young, fresh and adorable in a Louis Vuitton Resort striped silk taffeta dress paired with the perfect bright-red platform pumps by Brian Atwood. Chace Crawford looked sexy in slate with a gray long sleeved shirt and vest combo and a new manly do with bangs styled away from his forehead.

Best looking dude - Josh Duhamel

Most likely to become a game show hostess if acting doesn't work out - Hayden Panettiere

Most likely to give you a dirty look for checking out her boyfriend - Vanessa Hudgens

Best accessories - Ashley Tisdale with spiked peep toe Laboutain stilettos, matching cuffs and mirrored clutch

Most Likely to Flub her Speech - Cameron Diaz

Best pit stains - Hugh Jackman

Most likely to pull off a onesie - Kristen Bell

Most likely to lose her religion in 5 years - Miley Cyrus

Most Likely to molest a Jonas brother - Kim Kardashian


For the past decade I have had the same recurring dream. I'm back in high school, late for class and unable to retrieve my books because I don't know my locker combination. Beads of sweat build up on my forehead until I am eventually apprehended by an irate security guard who drags me down the hallway to the Principal's office.

Most of my dreams fall into this category - stressful situations that I cannot escape, even during my deepest slumber. But last night, my dream routine changed for the better. I dreamed a dream better than the dream that Susan Boyle sang about on Britain's Got Talent. I dreamed a dream as good as Martin Luther King's dream. Scratch that. It wasn't nearly that good of a dream, especially on a humanitarian level, but it was a dream that I never want to wake up from...

I dreamed I woke up on a pile of designer handbags. Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, totes, satchels, hobos and clutches...they were all there, cushioning my head and every inch of my body with lush, divinely fragrant leather. I woke up startled; frantic that I might have drooled on my priceless plethora of purses...and then I realized I wasn't sleeping on Guccis or Fendis...I was sleeping on Zoey, my dog.

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What does this mean? I always chalked my locker lunacy dream up to excess stress over being unprepared for work, but what does this mean?

My friend gave me a dream interpretation book for my birthday, but it doesn't list any explanation for finding yourself atop a heap of handbags - oh wait, snap, it does have a reference about luggage!

Let's see...

A dream about luggage may refer to the dreamer's emotional baggage.


Sorry Dream Dictionary, I'm going to have to pass. Sweet dreams are made of this, who are you to disagree? I wholeheartedly believe that this dream is my subconscious telling me that I need to buy a new handbag.

Model flexibility

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Dear Sammy,

I just came across your site when I was in real need of fashion tips and
learning. And as I don't know a big deal about this subject (I'd like to by
the way ^^ it's just that I can't find a good website which can teach me
the basics), I'm asking you about some little problems and I hope it won't
take a lot of your time.

My first problem is that I've never put on bras. My mother tries to make me
wear them but never succeeded. She even asked my father to convince me O_o.
The thing is that my breasts are tiny and little, so it's not like
they're going to lose the form and shape that they don't have. I just
can't stand tight clothes on me (I've never had a pair of jeans in my
life). But, as I'm willing now to pay more attention to my looks, I'd
like to know if it would be a real problem not to wear them, and if
so, is there anything else that I can wear instead. I tried some kind
of sportive bras but that wouldn't do it either. I couldn't bear
having something so short and tight around me.

I hope this can be solved and I'm waiting for your answer.

Thanks for your time,

Pearie critter


Hi there Pearie,

You win the prize for longest Ask Sammy query ever! Congrats! I decided that your dilemma was so compelling that I would break it up into 2 parts. What you see above dear readers is Pearie's Query, Part 1.

Pearie, I understand your overall bra resistance. You hate the constrictive way it feels, especially after years of going commando up top. The first time I tried on a training bra, I couldn't stop scratching myself (much to my mother's embarrassment). I felt weird, restricted, my boobies itched and I was miserable. The fact of the matter is that they're called training bras for a reason and eventually you get used to them after the training period is over.

I'm a fellow small bra cupped chick myself and sure, I can get away without wearing a bra on most days, but I firmly choose not to. Even though foundation bras and undergarments aren't meant to be seen out in the open, they are still an essential part of every woman's wardrobe and have a mega effect on your overall appearance. Bras can smooth out silhouettes, protect breast tissue and keep the girls properly supported, no matter what your size is. Even though your boobs are hanging high now, they may be hanging low later in life...and truth be told Pearie, no one wants to see your nips when you're walking down the street, least of all your parents.

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I'm going to do my best to try to make you, your Mom and your Dad all happy. Bear with me and check out the bra pictured above the navel. The American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Cross-Back Bra is my #1 go-to bra when comfort is key. They're only $14 each, work great for smaller boobed girls who don't need a ton of support for Fred & Wilma and are available in 19 handsome hues with solids, polka-dots and two-tones that are adorable enough to wear under white tees and sheer tops for an unexpected peek-a-boo pop of color.

They're super soft, super comfortable and super flattering and even have a sweet cross-back that keeps your bra straps concealed no matter what top you're wearing. Try on a few and make sure you get a size that feels comfy.

If it doesn't work out for you, go back to hanging loose and tell your folks this is just how your boobs roll.



Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!


I've been attacked by a wild animal in the woods but continue to wear these leggings as a symbol of my survival. I wear my pelt on alternate days.

Seriously, the allure of these leggings is lost on me. Once upon a time in a fashion galaxy far, far away, I had pair of leggings like this. They were the unfortunate victim of a rare washing machine mishap when I accidentally left a Lady Bic in the pocket of my gym shorts. I tossed them immediately thereafter.

Unless you're Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood the morning after a wild night with Vampire Bill Compton, you have no reason to be wearing these during the light of day. If you must, at least pair them with a long sleeved shirt, long sweater, blazer or something else that covers up your top half, balancing out your revealing bits.

p.s. if you wear these you may also run the risk of people thinking you're the Incredible Hulk.

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I've been sitting on pin cushions and needles waiting for my beloved Project Runway to return, and thank heavens to Heidi Klum, tonight is the night.

Tune in and watch what happens...but on a whole new station with Project Runway debuting on Lifetime, television for women (and gay men who love Delta Burke). Get ready for a three hour extravaganza featuring:

- A two-hour All Star Challenge at 8pm with 8 old runway veterans like Jeffery Sebelia sporting a mean handlebar 'stache, Uli Herzner and Sweet Pea...

- The Season 6 premiere at 10pm with 16 new designers all aching to make it work.

I think this is going to be the season of a lifetime.

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Model 'do

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Shop your closet

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Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend.

I had a surprisingly lovely Saturday and Sunday. I decided that this might be a good time to start shopping for the autumn season, but after balancing my checkbook I realized that a shopping event was not in the credit cards (although I did splurge on a too-cute-to-be-this-cheap Forever21 sundress, but half of my purchase was secured by gift card, so technically it doesn't even count).

The shops were filled with busloads of Back to Schoolers, all searching for the perfect Back to School outfit. I saw plenty of perfect Back to Work on Monday outfits that I wanted, but the price tags were working against me. When I got home I felt defeated, clutching my sad and lonely Forever21 sack close to my chest. Then I remembered a magic phrase I had heard recently...

"Shop your Closet".

carrie's closet.jpg I don't remember where I read it or who said it, (Nina Garcia perhaps?), but the idea was so intriguing to me. If you can't afford to go to the mall or shop online, treat yourself to a shopping spree in your own closet! Pretend you're going through a rack at your favorite store and enjoy prices better than any clearance rack. Odds are, you were attracted to these pieces once upon a time, if not you wouldn't have bought them. You're bound to rediscover something you once loved and if you don't...at least you've cleaned out your closet to make room for some new goodies.

So I took a shower, did up my hair, put on some blush and liquid liner and went a-shopping.

Just like in regular stores I found things I wasn't crazy about...things I liked but were either too large or too small...and things that I had been desperately searching for since last October.

Amongst my finds:

Steve Madden Brown peep toe leather heels
Cute little H&M shoulder bag
Plaid trousers from Abercrombie (part of my Monday ensemble)
Royal blue Skechers skimmer flats
Navy off the shoulder American Apparel sweatshirt

...and I don't even want to tell you what I found after I shopped my jewelry box.
Happy shopping and enjoy your 5 finger discounts.

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It's official.

Scarlett Johansson is the fresh face of the new Fall/Winter 09/10 campaign for Barcelona based clothing company, Mango.

Here she is in an inviting ad photographed by Mario Sorrenti and is looking just as juicy as Mango's former four-season cover gal, Penelope Cruz (Scarlett's Oscar winning co-star in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona).

I think Scarlett is the perfect Mango match. No one can pull off a leopard print like she can...Although Saturday Night Live and Chris Kattan fans were wondering why they didn't go with the more obvious choice...

Such is Mango.

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If you have an iPhone or iTouch, odds are you spend a good hour or so a day searching for and downloading new applications. *If you do not, please disregard this blog post. It was written by an obvious loser who is going to have to face it, she's addicted to apps.

Apple tempts us more than Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden with iPhone ads glorifying easy to use apps for the gamer, the traveler, the sportsfan, the penny saver, the clubber, the chef, the health nut and more Apple treats that serve as fodder for the iPhone appaholic.

Whatever you're into, whether it's dining al fresco or expelling gas... Apple has an app for that.

Good news my fellow fashionistas, Apple even has apps for us. We may not be featured in our very own Apple spot just yet, but we're only a four inch stiletto away... best of all, most of them are free.

Here are a few of my favorite apps that are totally what's 'appening on the style scene.

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1. Lucky at Your Service - If you've ever wanted your own personal digital shopping concierge, Lucky is at your service. The magazine about Fashion and Style has brought us an app about Fashion and Style, allowing us to browse their must have shoes, bags and jeans of the season, featured in the pages of Lucky magazine. Then they'll find the nearest store that carries our favorites, check to see if they're in stock and availble in our size.

If it's a must have app for The New York Times, it's a must have app for me... and it's free. I don't even have to leave a tip.

2. ShopStyle - I need the perfect red cropped cardigan. I don't have the time to search dozens of stores and rifle through rack after rack in search of perfect red cropped cardigan. Nor do I have the time to Google "red cropped cardigan" and sift through hundreds of listings, most of which are not cute. ShopStyle shows me all of the perfect red cropped cardigans available from the stores I love, all in one place.

Perfect red cropped cardigan is mine.

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3. Style.com - I can't get enough of watching models do their little thing on the catwalk, especially after Miami Fashion Week. Get front row status and take in all the latest looks from the runway shows from Paris, Milan and New York. All in the palm of your hand. Oh yeah, it's free.

I'm also digging Carrie's Closet, DKNY and iShoes

If you heart fashion apps, trust me. These are the app-les of my eye.

Happy downloading.

Model dog vs. jacket

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New York Fashion Week 2010

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Guess who is packing her bags for a trip to NYC to check out all of the Spring 2010 collections featured at MBFashion Week at Bryant Park?

I'll give you a hint. Her first name starts with an S and ends with a Y.

...and it ain't Sally Struthers.

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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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