Welcome to Real Life Style Blog!

Can changing your wardrobe really change your life? Of course it can! Imagine how light and powerful you would feel if 100% of the clothes in your closet were the right clothes for you right now. Imagine that your wardrobe reflected both your personality and your personal style, while suiting your lifestyle. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Real Life Style. Want to be able to look and feel put together in just 2 minutes a day? You can.

Click here for more information about how you can work with Lani and click here to schedule your free consultation. Because fashion should be an outlet for fun, not frustration!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Day in LA is Not Complete Without a Fonut

I was lucky enough to spend a day in LA trolling cool vintage and home stores with fellow stylist Laurie Brucker of LaurieBstyle, in between our weekends spent in the Style for Hire Style Closet at Westfield Mall in Topanga Canyon. First stop of the day, Fonuts!
Unable to choose, Laurie and I indulged in the Strawberry Buttermilk, Maple Bacon and Cinnamon Sugar flavors. See below the damage the two of us were able to inflict on three large Fonuts. These baked (not fried!) yeast donuts were a highlight of my trip. 
After fortifying ourselves with Fonuts, we decided to go shopping. First stop, Reformation, a "vintage" store unlike any other. Who wouldn't swoon over interesting, well-designed, reworked into practically new, vintage clothes? And like all stores I love when I travel, turns out there is one in NYC too!

Satine struck me as a very LA store. At first glance it is boho chic/oh so cool. At second glance you realize it is a studied nonchalance and the least expensive designer they carry is Isabel Marant. It was lovely to browse through though!
The only good thing about losing your sunglasses while traveling is that you get to buy new ones! Polkadots and Moonbeams has both a vintage and modern outpost on 3rd Street in LA. The vintage store was the more interesting of the two to me. The sign outside, "The Real Deal Vintage Costumes" reminded me that this was a way better option for Halloween attire than one of those huge costume shops that seem to sprout like weeds this time of year. Do you like my new sunglasses?!

One last, exhilarating discovery was the shop OK store. The store is not big yet you could spend hours looking at all of the unique gifts, jewelry, house wares and art books featured. I picked up a chic, eco-friendly baby gift while I was there and will certainly be trolling their website for more!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inaugural Post: My Favorite Style Icons Series

I'm so excited to bring you the inaugural post of my new interview series: My Favorite Style Icons. This week we start by speaking with Leah Hoffmann, a writer whose avant-garde style I've been admiring for more than a few years now.
Copyright 2011 Georgina Richardson

Lani: What is your first style memory? 

Leah: When I was in the seventh or possibly the eighth grade, I was desperate to have one of those Levi's "Button Your Fly" t-shirts. My mother took one look and deemed it irretrievably vulgar. Then I asked about the second shirt in the series: "Sit On It." Needless to say, I didn't get either of them.

Lani: I have to say, that is not the answer I was expecting! 

Leah: If you want to go back even further, we could talk about the puffy-sleeved, pink-and-white striped blouse and skirt combo I adored at the age of 5, or fast forward to high school, when I was wearing my 6'6'' dad's khaki pants and trying to pull off a chain wallet...Then again, maybe that's best left alone. I was something of a late bloomer. 

Lani: Who is your style icon?

Leah: My mother. It took me years to see past the bulky silhouettes and shoulder pads of the eighties to the classic tweed, leather, and wool - not to mention the suede skirts that she packed up in the seventies  -  but I'm now so appreciative that I've made off with several of her pieces and adapted them to my own needs.

Lani: What is the best piece you ever bought?

Leah: When I was dirt poor in grad school, I spent $100 on a long, white, diaphanous Alberta Ferretti dress that I found in a consignment store. In my fantasy life, it was the sort of thing I might wear to a summer garden party. In my real life, it hung, neglected, at the back of my closet until I dyed it blue and wore it to a friend's wedding.

Lani: What is the best deal you ever got?

Leah: Years ago, I got a pair of black wool trousers at a Helmut Lang sample sale for $25. I no longer have time to hunt for that kind of bargain, though I still have and wear the trousers. 

Lani: Where do you buy most of your clothes?

Leah: I'm a cheapskate and I don't like crowds, so I do a lot of shopping online: yoox, eBay. I used to go to sample sales, but I'm choosier now with my time and only go to ones that I know that I like.

Lani: Some of us would just say you are a smart, savvy shopper! How would you describe your style?

Leah: Evolving? I admire the work of avant-garde designers like Oliver Theyskens and Veronique Branquinho, but I try to keep things simple. I stick to clean lines, muted colors, and subtle accents. I've only just learned about belts. Give me another 30 years and I might actually learn to accessorize! 

Lani: And I always thought your judicious use of accessories was deliberate! What piece do you wear the most?

Leah: I do most of my work from home, and my go-to outfit is a black top and jeans. When I need to look presentable, I wear a beige cashmere dress that I got a couple years ago at a Lutz and Patmos sample sale. I pair it with ankle boots and a leather belt my mother bought me; it's a comfortable, idiot-proof ensemble. 

Lutz & Patmos cashmere dress, Barneys New York

Lani: Tell us about your closet set-up.

Leah: Right now, I've got one of those Metro garment rack set-ups stashed in a little half-room next to the bedroom. We live in and old, unrenovated Brooklyn townhouse, and there aren't really any closets, but the rack seems to work pretty well. I've also started using wall hooks to hang my bags and jewelry - out of sight, out of mind, when it comes to me and accessories. 
Lani: I love how you've used all my tricks! See the hangers and shoe boxes. With a wardrobe this organized and edited, I bet you wear most of it. What percentage would you say you wear?

Leah: I go through phases, like anyone, but I actually quite enjoy the biannual process of editing out the stuff I don't wear, so with a few sentimental exceptions (and high heels, which I'm generally too tall for) I'd say I wear almost everything.

Lani: Oh, I love that! Thank you so much for giving us insight into your style development. You truly are a style icon!

Leah in Helmut Lang & Lani in Alberta Ferretti at an Alberta Ferretti Fashion Show
Copyright Fame Game, Photography Company

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who's Your Style Icon?

When most people think of Style Icons, they think of the usual suspects, such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Onassis. I tend to think of women I know who are confident in their style and work with--not against--their natural body types.

Isn't that what we are all striving for, to master a consistently flattering, uniquely recognizable style?

Most women tend to name the same style icons over and over. We don't do this because we want to copy the icon's taste exactly. Rather, we admire the icon's ability to master her personal style at a young age and evolve this style through the decades while remaining age appropriate.
A recent feature in Vogue on Lucette Lagnado, a successful writer and Egyptian-Jewish immigrant who made her way to Brooklyn in the 60's, inspired this post. Lagnado relied on her style icon, Emma Peel from the TV show The Avengers, as a guide through her awkward, insulated first years in America. Lagnado admired Peel's mod dresses and her courage as a secret agent fighting in a black leather catsuit. For Lucette, the clothes were a conduit to courage.
Working off of the inspiration Peel gave Lagnado, rls is proud to announce a reoccurring feature on this blog: My Favorite Style Icons.

Next week we'll start with someone whose style I've admired for a long time. Ok, she modeled for a few minutes in college but has since forged a career based not on her looks or awesome taste in clothes. A writer, her style tends toward the avant-garde, which is what I like to call the intellectual woman's style type.

Do you remember who your first style icon was? Mine was JEM from JEM and the Holograms. Then I went through a Rainbow Brite phase, which was a precursor to the Punky Brewster period experienced by a lot of girls in 1985. Of course I never dared wear as much color as my favorite TV characters, but I admired my style icons' ability to color their own world happy through their wardrobes.

Who is your style icon? Send your emails here, and your icon may just become an rls blog feature!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are You A Chic Commuter?

How do you keep your feet looking good while commuting to work in bad weather?

I owe this post to my fashionable sister-in-law, Amy, who inquired about stylish shoes that can endure the elements. I jumped at the opportunity to address this issue, as un-stylish, bad weather gear really gets my goat!

All women need at least two "bad weather" shoes in their arsenal: a stylish rain boot and a stylish snow boot. Easier said than found, you say? Lucky for you, I've done the legwork so all you have to do is click and buy. Happy shopping!

Don't you hate wearing your rain boots to work and then getting stuck wearing them home while the sun is shining? DKNY has come out with a brilliant solution to the quandary. These packable rain boots fold into their own nylon pouch! This is also a great solution for travel. Hurry though, the adorable raspberry color are selling out everywhere!
The classic rain boot, which has been quite in style the last few years, is the Hunter. I like to amp up the style quotient with the glossy version. Burgundy, anyone? The problem with some brighter colors is that they can seriously limit the colors in the rest of your outfit, and you might be embarrassed to walk into a meeting wearing them. 
If color is too much for your workplace or personal style, do what I do and just wear a classic black riding-boot style rain boot. I love this one from Cole Haan!
Rain boots can have color, and snow boots should be black. Those of you who have seen my green Orla Kiely snow boots with tea cups on them are probably laughing right now, but we're talking about the work commute, not the weekend. I have a pair that looks like these for more formal occasions. Have you heard of La Canadienne? They have an incredible section of stylish waterproof boots on Zappos.
Aquatalia is another favorite brand for weatherproof shoes you can wear to work and beyond. These may not be commuter appropriate, but how sexy will you be in the next snowstorm wearing these?

What do you wear to commute? Post your pictures of stylish commuting shoes! 
Do you have a good idea or burning fashion question that you'd like me to turn into a post? Let me know!