Comfort Clothes, Dressed Up!

Comfort is stylish this season! Sneakers have replaced heels on some of the world’s trendiest runways, and modified sweats in a variety of materials and prints have been spotted on fashion bloggers, models, and celebrities. But this trend can easily veer toward sloppy rather than chic if you don’t follow a few key styling rules. Read on for advice for turning comfy into cool.

One thing at a time. Don’t go overboard with the casual pieces when putting together your outfit. Pick one piece that says comfortable, then aim for a more elegant look with the rest of your ensemble. Bottom line: Sneakers with a tracksuit—no matter how fabulous the labels—are still best suited for hanging around the house.

Fit is key. Unlike your dad’s bargain sweatpants, the comfort trend relies heavily on fit if it’s going to look polished. Pieces should give a nod to gym wear without being confused with it. Look for form-fitting, sweatshirt-inspired tops and athletic-style pants that flatter your shape and accentuate your legs but don’t overwhelm your frame.

Layer on some luxury. Once you’ve picked your one casual, comfortable piece, give the rest of your outfit that styled-by-a-pro look by adding luxurious pieces that up the overall glam factor. Add a heel to your athletic-style pant to dress it up. Wear your fabulous new sneakers with a cocktail dress and leather jacket. Add a blingy necklace to your sweatshirt. Fancier pieces paired with casual ones show that you made consciously stylish choices—and you’re nobody’s fashion victim.

It’s all in the details. Traditional loungewear is pretty basic. The new dressed-up versions usually stand out from the crowd thanks to pretty embellishments, like leather trim, interesting necklines, fabulous patterns, or witty writing—all of which make this super-wearable trend feel new and fun.

Keep them fresh and bright. These are not your trusty laundry-day sweats! Fashionable casual clothes require special care to keep their shape and continue looking fierce—not to mention feeling soft. Wash your pieces inside out on a cold or warm setting with a liquid laundry detergent, then tumble dry on low.

How to Shine in the Spotlight

Who among us hasn’t envied how calm, cool, and beautiful celebrities look as they walk the red carpet? If you’ve ever wished you could grab some of their star wattage and put it to use in your own life, now’s your chance. Here’s how to kick up your confidence for your next big event—whether it’s a big presentation at work or a fancy night out—and shine in the spotlight.

 

Trust your personal style. Don’t just wear the newest trend because it’s, well, the newest trend. Pick an outfit that makes you feel amazing, one that allows you to move with ease and comfort and that telegraphs the vibe you’re going for—be it professional and polished or elegant and sexy. And go easy on the extras: Pick one eye-catching piece of jewelry or a gorgeous pair of heels, then choose other accessories that are more understated.

Give your senses a treat. While you’re getting ready for your special event, crank up some mood-boosting tunes and light a scented candle. Uptempo music and a wonderful scent will help you prepare for whatever the day or night might hold.  

Keep your makeup simple. After applying foundation and concealer where needed, do some subtle sculpting of your face by dabbing a soft rosy blush under your cheekbones. Then, choose whether you want to go with dramatic eyes, such as a smoky shadow and liner, or brightly colored lips. And don’t forget to toss some translucent powder or blotting sheets in your bag for quick, shine-removing touch-ups, as necessary.

Carry yourself confidently. Your mother was right! Posture counts: Stand tall with your head held high, your chest lifted, and your shoulders back. Relax your jaw, keep your chin slightly lifted, and make friendly eye contact during conversation. And whatever you do, smile subtly, as if you have a juicy secret you’re just dying to tell.

Visualize yourself rocking your performance. Before the big event, mentally rehearse the way you want to come across and how you’d like the presentation, interview, or romantic dinner to unfold. Picture how you’ll look, what you’ll say, and how you’ll feel. Chances are very good (dare we say excellent?) that you’ll create the positive outcome you envision!

Pamper Yourself Like the Pros

 

TLC for your tresses.

 

 

Megawatt stars wouldn’t consider posing for the paparazzi without first treating their locks to a “hair facial.” This relaxing spa service generally includes special ingredients like soy proteins to smooth and moisturize damaged locks. For an at-home treatment, look for hair masques or deep conditioners with botanical ingredients that soften strands and add star-quality shine. 

 

Lights, camera, action.

 

 

When it comes to looking your best, it’s no small feat to gear up for the season’s biggest award show—whether you’re a starlet or a spectator. By the time the telecast begins, we’ve all heard details on who’s wearing what, the latest hair and makeup trends, and which stars are likely to bring home the gold statues. All that buildup is especially fun if you can plan a day of Hollywood-style pampering with your friends before the show. So get the party started with our step-by-step regimen, and look relaxed and red-carpet fabulous in time for the big event.

 

 

Get comfy.

 

 

Freshen your fluffiest towels and plush terry robes with a liquid fabric softener and an in-wash scent booster. Try soft, luxurious scents, such as vanilla or herbal lavender, which will soothe your guests’ senses and set the mood for the pampering to follow.  

 

 

Freshen your face.

 

 

Provide a range of facial masks and soothing creams that work for various skin types (dry, oily, sensitive) as well as chilled cucumber slices and moistened tea bags, both of which may help reduce under-eye puffiness.

 

 

 

Get ready to glow.

 

 

Baring your arms or legs for the evening? Exfoliate with an emollient sugar-based body polish in the shower, then add a bit of shimmery loose powder to your most luxurious body cream before slathering it on from your neck to your toes.

 

 

 

Give yourself a hand.

 

 

Soothe dry, chapped hands with a rich moisturizer, then paint your nails with your favorite polish. Cool shades like pale pink, powder white, gray, and taupe are trending for 2014, as are flirtier dark reds and metallics. And don’t forget to hydrate your skin from the inside out: Sip fresh juice, soothing chamomile tea, or herb-infused water while your nails dry.

 

 

Treat your feet.

 

 

Soak your tootsies in a tub of warm water, then push back cuticles. Buff rough heels with a pumice stone or file, apply a thick, creamy moisturizer, and give your toes a fresh coat of lacquer (matching your nail and toe polish is optional, of course, but encouraged by most old-school screen stars). Once you and your pals have completed the pampering circuit, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward—and raise a glass to the night’s most beautiful winners, including yourselves.  

 

Get Dressed: 5 Ways to Brighten Your Wardrobe

 

Pucker Up

 

 

This season’s hottest beauty trend is a bold, bright lip. Try a blue-based red for a bright pop of color against fair winter skin. Two of spring’s hottest lipstick colors, pretty pink or bold red-orange, can complement more neutral winter wardrobes too. Plus, it just feels good to change up your look with something special that doesn’t break the bank.

 

 

Go Bold and Bright.

 

 

Neon and super-bright colors don’t seem to be going anywhere, and it’s a look you can wear now and through spring. Help keep colors bright by washing garments inside out with a liquid laundry detergent. As always, be sure to read each fabric care label for any special instructions.

 

 

Layers Work.

 

 

It might feel as though you have nothing fun to wear when it’s super chilly, but layering your winter pieces over brighter, more exciting warm-weather items can spruce up your look now. Try pairing cozy winter sweaters with bright pants and skirts or layering a cardigan over a favorite floral blouse.

 

 

Nailed It.

 

 

Ditch the nude digits for something more colorful. Manicure artwork and designs have been popping up on the pages of the fashion magazines and on the hands of in-the-know fashionistas. Bright nails aren’t just for summer anymore, either. Add a pop of color now and brighten your week.

 

 

Dots, Checks, and Stripes.

 

 

If loud colors aren’t your thing—or you just can’t wrap your head around neon in February—let graphic stripes, vivid plaids, and girly floral prints lift your wardrobe out of its winter doldrums. An exciting pattern draws the eye to you—and can give an outfit the pop that we all need when spring can’t arrive soon enough.

 

Reboot Your Midwinter Wardrobe

No question, this is the time of year when deciding what to wear can feel like a Groundhog’s Day moment. A little closet rehab will do the trick.

Closet Conundrum: The rich, dark colors you loved last fall are making you feel washed out.

Style Solution: Add a bright accent like a scarf or chunky necklace close to your face. Even if that necklace seems summer-y, it’s fair game to slip one off-season piece into the mix (see tip, below).

Closet Conundrum: You want to buy new clothes. Your budget says…wait till spring!

Style Solution: Take a weekend afternoon and have a try-on party. Pull your winter pieces out and mix things up in front of your mirror. Once you start experimenting, you’ll see that you have more outfits than you thought.

Closet Conundrum: You have new spring clothes on hand, but it’s too cold to start wearing them.

Style Solution: Layer one spring piece with your warmer staples. You’ll look fresh, and you’ll still stay warm. Example: Pair a flirty floral dress or colorful new capri pants with a chunky oversize cardigan or a leather jacket and your favorite booties.

Closet Conundrum: You waste time each morning trying on several outfits.

Style Solution: First, organize your closet. Just looking at it should inspire browsing. Tidy up the piles of shoes, toss old wire hangers, and spray a little fabric refresher for a scent boost. Second, have a try-on party (see above) and take pictures of the looks you feel amazing in, so you can reference them later. Even better: Share photos with your best friends and see what you can swap!