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July 2013 Archives

Tomorrow we celebrate one of my most favorite federal holidays, Independence Day. Odds are, you're either hosting or attending a star-spangled soiree seething with homemade apple pies, tri-color popsicles, American craft brewed beer, and various barbecued foods on sticks.

If you're looking for a last minute independence day outfit, try to resist the urge to run out and buy anything with a flag on it. My declaration is that you most likely already own something cute in your closet that will be the perfect salute to Uncle Sam.


Feast your eyes on anything that follows the red white and blue color code, i.e. a blue and white or red and white striped top or maxi dress, a flirty solid colored sundress in pure white, bold red or navy, and you can never go wrong with a good ol' pair of American blue jeans or cut-offs paired with a plain white tee. Just add a simple red or blue accent, be it a bangle, sunnies, a bright red lip or bandana, and you're good to go.

Or you can always resort to that pair of flag imprinted platforms you just have lying around.

El Carmen Platforms, Nasty Gal

Sometimes we women feel the uncontrollable urge to do something drastic to our hair. Cut it, dye it, gloss it, layer it, shave it, bleach it, keratin treat it, we've all been there.

It can stem as innocently enough from spotting a darling new 'do in a magazine, irrationally enough from ending a toxic relationship that you firmly believe was defined by your hairstyle...or it could simply be boredom, split ends, or the need for a trim.

I am currently feeling the need to liven up my own locks, toying with the idea of treating my tresses to the Karlie, but I'm a wimp and don't want to spend the next 6 to 8 months wishing I had my long layers to keep me company.

If bold color is your kryptonite, you no longer have to worry about committing your hair to a hot pink streak that you may or may not regret 24 hours later. Just chalk it up to experience with a non-commital set of Ombre Hair Chalks from Free People.


You get a set of five multi-tonal chalks that are easy to apply and even easier to wash out. They're great for the beach, concerts, costume parties, and weekends when you want to just let your hair down. Choose from pink, blue, green, yellow or black sets that will punk up your plaits in seconds.

Added bonus? You can finally break up with the colorist who's been bleeding you dry. Chalk your hair happy for only $14.

Model in the Pink

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She pulled off the perfect beach shoot despite a raging case of pink eye.


Hi Sammy,

I'm looking for the perfect sun dress for summer that will show off my legs and isnt too much $$$$. oh and I hate flowers.



Dear Jill,

You're right on track. The only staples a girl really needs this summer are a great fitting/slimming bathing suit that makes her feel awesome, shorts that will go with everything from a chiffon blouse to a cropped tank, and last but not least, the perfect leg showcasing sundress.

I don't know what too much $$$$ means to you, but I have found two pretty cute options on both sides of the price spectrum, in my favorite classic summer print, the polka dot.


Eva Dress, Anthropologie, $198
Xhilaration Fit and Flare Dress, Target $24.99

p.s. dELiA*s has one in red.

Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Here Comes the Pac Sun

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Hi there Let'sTalkStylers. I hope your week has gotten off to a splendid start and that you have even more splendidness to look forward to this coming weekend.

We've been experiencing a bit of bad weather here in South Florida, but fortunately for me, the clouds are starting to part. In a little over 48 hours my weekend will be starting early as I will be heading to South Beach come rain or come shine to celebrate the first day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.

I just love getting a first peek at all of the swim trends that are bound to make a splash next season and predicting the exact styles that I will see strutting on the sand in spades. On my last surprise birthday beach resort getaway I had a full view of all of my favorite predictions spotted last year -- including twisted bandeaus, fringe one pieces, and the reversible bikinis that allow you to get two looks out of one bottom, a godsend for beach bunnies who love to pack light. They've got 'em all at Pac Sun.

Shop it while it's hot:
Rip Curl Tropic Tribe Tank, $22.12
Volcom Tropical Tiny Reversible Bottom, $31.46

Last night, in spite of a few pesky raindrops, valet issues and sand in my stilettos, I had the pleasure of celebrating the Official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Kick Off Party as well as the 25th anniversary of Roxy with the launch of the Roxy Pop Surf collection.

DJ Chelsea Leyand was spinning, the Russian Standard Vodka drinks were flowing, and a handful of Roxy models were on display, showing off a sampling of suits that will hit the stores next summer.

I loved all 6 of the sexy, always surf-friendly wetsuits, bikinis and swim separates I saw, just as much as I loved noshing on waiter passed deviled eggs and duck confit, shrimp toasts, figgy flatbreads and my new favorite libation hybrid, the popsicocktail (mini berry and lemon popsicles nestled in a glass of champagne).

Here are a few of my happy snaps -


Day 2 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week did not disappoint with clear skies and chic designs that more than made up for the stormy weather that members of Miami's fashion elite had to endure on Day 1. From black leather bikinis to neon green thongs, it didn't take long for things to heat up inside the Cabana Grande and Oasis tents.

Colombian swimwear brand Agua Bendita got things off to a swimming start debuting their newest collection, christened "Time For Us".

Celebrated for their bold prints, handcrafting and vibrant colored designs, the collection threw in everything but the kitchen sink, gravitating from edgy black leather bondage themes to blood diamond tribals, touristy camera motifs to jungle fever and desert fatigues. In spite of being captivated by the creativity, I was beginning to suffer from a swimwear identity crisis once the sweet pastels, white stars, zebralicious and liony prints came down the catwalk. Cohesive? No. Unexpected and dynamic? Yes. There's a reason their designs have graced the pages of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition 7 times. It's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. Go bold or go home.

You're going to have to wait until next year to own these runway looks, but you can still get your Agua Bendita bathing suit fix over at Swimwear 360. Tell them Sammy sent you.

More to come.

For those of you who didn't already know and/or gather by my alias, your blogging hostess with the mostest, Sammy Sanchez, is of Cuban descent. This means I can make a mean palomilla steak y tostones, I have a fiery temper when provoked, and, well...I got back.

Last night I had the immense pleasure of joining Nicolita Swimwear on their Search for the Perfect Booty, a theatrical throwback to all of the vintage styles my mom once rocked back in the day when Cuba was a playground for the rich and famous.

I think you're ready for this jelly.

The scene: 1950's Havana, Cuba
The styling: Mini trenches, Rosie the Riveter doo rags accenting pretty pompadoured buns, chunky necklaces and I Heart my Booty bags
The suits: Pin-up inspired high-waisted bikinis dominated the runway, splashed with chevron, floral and polka dotted prints, pastel peach and mint hues all seamlessly blended with lace, trim and hardware accents. Ay que rico!

Celebrated designer, Nicole Di Rocco, believes that behind every great woman, is a great booty, and instead of trying to hide or squeeze it into something that doesn't fit, flaunt what your mami gave you and show it off in style. Indeed, the cheeky bottoms displayed Nicolita's signature Cuban style No-Pinch fit, designed to flatter a vast variety of booty shapes. In addition to falling in love with a dozen suits that Dita Von Teese would die for, I was pleased as Cuban rum punch to see a medley of bootylicious model bombshells rock the runway.

Pour some sugarcane on me. My favorite collection thus far, Nicolita's sexy swim show made me embrace my backside unlike ever before, and that's the bottom line.

Last night I enjoyed the fourth installment of MB Fashion Week Swim, and while I'm normally pooped out by the end of Day 3, I was surprisingly peppy, pumped and perked up for Paraiso, the show that shook up the Cabana Grande, courtesy of the Miami-based, Cuban American swimwear brand Luli Fama.

What can I say? I'm bound to love any event where they give me mini orchids and bobby pins to don in my hair pre show, but that only served as a precursor to the fun and flirtation that was about to ensue, featuring an opening salsa number that turned up the tent heat at least 25 degrees.


The lineup: Divided into 4 electrifying themes inspired by the ocean, dreams, sirens and beautiful islands, the Paraiso (paradise en Inglés) collection had something for everyone, with 67 looks that included a full range of bikinis and one-pieces, as well everything a girl needs to go from beach to street including cover-ups, tunics, caftans, rompers and dresses made from the lightest, most flattering fabrics that easily transition from day to night.

My favorite pieces? Me gustó all of the pretty lace trim and fringe embellishments, the tassels and sultry tie-side bikini bottoms, but I found myself seductively salivating over the tangerine caftan, coral crochet cover-up, and plunging neck maxi dress most of all.

Photos by Getty Images

I'm in good company, amongst the other ever-growing number of Luli Fama fans are A-list actresses Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston, top supermodels Marissa Miller, Bar Rafaeli, and, wait for it, Beyonce.

This must be just like living in Paraiso.

I am still basking in the afterglow of the 9th season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, trying my best to do all of the designers justice via quality coverage and posts, but sometimes, a style blogger needs to call in for reinforcements. Cue industry expert, Nivara Xaykao.

After viewing twenty-something collections, it's difficult to keep the swimsuits, caftans and tunics from amassing into one big bikini blur. As the Intimates and Swimwear Editor at Stylesight, it is Nivara's job to single out and predict what will soon be hot or not, and she was sweet enough to allow me to pick her brain about this years' collections, general swimwear tips, and what to expect to see in the swim and resort shops next season.

Q & A with Nivara Xaykao

50’s retro pin-up style suits were big this season, are there any other decades you see making a comeback?

The 60s are offering a more loosened up, youthful alternative to the ladylike styles of the 50s. The bottoms are lowering to midrise or hipster silhouettes, and the tops are a little sportier. I'm seeing super simple yet graphic Mod-inspired prints and color palettes. Material-wise, too, there is some Space Age influence in ultra-structured fabrics and plasticky accents.
Gottex Collection Photo Credit: Getty Images, c/o Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim

When it comes to swimwear, what is your biggest faux pas?

In viewing the collections this season, I feel like there were some issues with over-designing. The most effective brands kept it simple, focusing instead on fit and fabric. Some designers seemed to put every good idea – cutouts, intricate panels, bondage details, fabric mixing, color blocking, embellishments – they had into one garment, and the sum was not always greater than its parts. It comes off looking too fussy and gimmicky, which is the antithesis of what the beach lifestyle is about.

Are tribal prints here to stay?

I am a little tired of them, but you can never rule out any fashion trend too quickly. They can be reinterpreted with new colorways, surreal elements, digital printing technology and just how they are placed on a garment. I also think that the "keep it simple" philosophy applies here. The tribal prints of the past few seasons have been quite flashy and complex. It would be more refreshing to see them re-imagined in a more pared-down way.

Mara Hoffman High-Waisted Tribal Bikini

Do you have a favorite fashion trend spotted here in Miami?

Again, the more sleek, minimalist pieces were what I felt were newest here. A lot of designers are doing great things with neoprene. It's such a versatile fabric, and I saw it interpreted in so many different ways. It really lends structure to suits without resorting to underwires, boning and various supportive accessories. It also gives off this cool leather-like look. It works from both a fashion and functional perspective.

Any general tips on how to look better in your swimwear/skivvies?

Being comfortable in a suit goes far in looking good. Make sure everything fits properly and sits where it should. I saw a lot of underwire styles this week that were riding up the model's back. The simple solution to that is to find a smaller band size. Unfortunately, bra sizing isn't as developed for swimwear as it is in intimates, so you are often limited. For bottoms, a lot of designers are putting a row of shirring up the center back so that you get a dimensional fit around the bum and, more importantly, no digging in!

What is a swimwear trend you’d never be caught dead in?

The bondage-inspired pieces with all the cutouts and criss-crossing strings are a nightmare for tan lines, although, they look great out of the pool (or under some shade) and in editorials.

What are the three must-have items you gotta have in your beach bag?

1- Sunscreen - I love the sun but not a tan. Sun Bum is one of my favorite brands.
2- A good book - I'm currently reading The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch which, obviously, is perfect for the beach.
3- A cover-up you can rock in any occasion - A long, flowy skirt is perfect for throwing over my favorite one-piece suit. I also love little vintage dresses and rompers.

Thanks Nivara for your time, your wisdom and for giving us major insight into next season's swim trends.


Model Pump

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Models get gas, just like us.


Giveaway is now closed and winner has been notified.
Thanks for entering!

Every summer I have a basic uniform. Last season it was cutoffs and crop tops, the season before it was flirty sundresses in mini to maxi lengths. This summer I have been living in lightweight, pretty patterned pencil skirts for work, textured shorts and chiffon blouses for play.

Oh how I love me a feminine skirt. As a separate, you get more use out of it and can easily get away with wearing it every week paired with a different tee/tank/cardi or blazer on top. The best skirts are ones that do double duty, designs that work for work or for play.

My high fashion friends over at Shabby Apple, my go to online boutique for the prettiest vintage clothing, is offering one very lucky LetsTalkStyler the chance to win the perfect summer skirt to rock Monday through Sunday -- the Newcomb Skirt from their Ferris Wheel Collection.

If there ever was a skirt to bring out your inner twirl, this is it. A $48 value, and yours for the winning.


Here's what you do:

1.Follow LetsTalkStyle on Twitter (@letstalkstyle)

2. Email yours truly here with:

- Your name and Twitter name
- Shipping address
- Desired size (0/2 to 14/16)

3. Leave a comment to this post specifying your favorite summer staple

You have until Wednesday August 14th to enter. One lucky winner will be notified on Thursday, August 15th.

Rules and Regs:

*No purchase necessary
*Contest open to US residents only
*Winner must wear said skirt to at least one romantic picnic in the park and/or state fair

Beach Splurges

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If I were to win the lottery, my summer beach wardrobe would consist of the following too chic for sand designer treasures, all courtesy of Madison Los Angeles.

Rag and Bone beach hat $255
Tom Ford sunnies, $475
Missoni one piece $575
Two Tone French Tip sandals from Tkees, $50
*Throw in an all inclusive vacay to St Barts and my future unborn child's college tuition.

That is all.



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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