Step Into Fall in Style
Head over heels
If you love wearing heels, then you’re going to love this fall’s lineup of shoes that are reminiscent of skyscrapers. But if heels just don’t suit your lifestyle, don’t despair. There are plenty of stylish options for you, too.
Try Coby distressed leather ballet flats ($69) from Nine West’s Vintage Americana collection. They’re comfy enough for the playground, yet stylish enough to satisfy your inner fashionista. Find them at Nine West stores and at www.ninewest.com.
Find jeans that flatter
Jeans are one of the most versatile and useful items in your closet. Not only are they comfortable and durable, jeans are great for both daytime and evening looks. Simply change your top, shoes and accessories, and you have a whole new look!
But to look good, you need to choose your fit wisely. Here are some tips to find the perfect pair:
- Be prepared to spend an afternoon trying on jeans. Shop with a friend who will be honest or find a knowledgeable salesperson you can trust.
- Hem jeans properly. A skilled tailor can cut off the hem and reattach it to keep the original look of the jeans. A bad hem can ruin a great pair of jeans.
- Decide on heels or flats before jeans are hemmed, then stick with your choice of heel height so they are the right length. Jeans should almost reach the floor. If you really love a pair, consider buying two and hem one for flats and one for heels.
- Make sure your jeans have well-proportioned back pockets. Oversized pockets that hang too low look sloppy, and pockets that are too small will make your rear appear larger. Welt pockets on trouser jeans are especially flattering, but steer clear of jeans with no back pockets at all.
- Select a pair that fits at the waistband. If a muffin top forms around your waist, go up a size. If the jeans fit through the hips and thighs but gap at the waist, a trusty tailor can take them in.
- Choose darker denim. Darker washes elongate your figure, are chic and contemporary, and are more slimming and flattering than lighter-colored denim. So toss away your old, unflattering jeans and invest in a pair that makes you look and feel fantastic.
Get caught red-handed
With a modern take on traditional styles, Redhanded handbags are making an eco-friendly splash in the marketplace. Created by a hip N.C. mom, these bags are made from non-PVC and VOC-free vinyl and are lined with organic cotton, bamboo and hemp fabrics.
Try the tote or messenger styles to carry the mother load, or pick up a clutch for just the essentials. Redhanded bags are long on form and function while leaving behind a small carbon footprint. Find Redhanded bags (from $30 to $167) at Nativa, Beleza, Epona & Oak, and Revolver in Raleigh; Nativa in Apex; and at www.redhandedbags.com.
Rub away the stress
School is back in session and your family’s schedule is in full swing. Lessons, meetings and a list of to-dos can stress any mom. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage and benefit from the powers of touch?
“Studies have shown massage to be one of the top three stress relievers, yet it’s one that is underutilized,” says Karen Bernard of Massage Heights in Cary. She recommends that women (and men) get a massage at least a couple of times a month for prolonged and lasting benefits.
But regular professional massages may not fit into everyone’s budget or child care arrangements. Why not take turns giving massages with your spouse or partner? You can also teach your kids to give you a quick neck and shoulder rub to diffuse stress quickly.
Calorie-free sweetness without an aftertaste
If you’ve had it with artificial sweeteners and their long list of chemicals, you may be interested in something new. Truvia is an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener created from the stevia plant. The secret to Truvia is that it’s made from rebiana, the sweetest leaves of the stevia plant, so there is no bitter aftertaste.
The smooth, tongue-pleasing sweetness works as well in coffee as it does in baked goods, making it perfect for diabetics and those who want to cut down on sugar. Look for Truvia at your local grocery store. For more information and recipes, go to www.truvia.com.