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!

Friday, August 31, 2012

So Many September Events!

Dear Readers,

This week's blog was supposed to be about Women's Fall bags as a follow up to last week's blog about Men's Bags. However, I was so busy preparing for my myriad of fall events that I ran out of time! Sorry Dafna! So instead, I invite you to check out the events I have going on over the next month. In addition to the fashion show at Potomac Mills Mall, house party in Potomac and Trend Talk with Mama's Link in Bethesda, I will be giving a Trend Talk for my Cleveland Park Mom's group on September 29th. The details will be posted soon.

Feel free to email me with questions about any of the events and I hope to see you soon!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Kind of Bag Does Your Man Carry?

What kind of bag does your man carry? Or, gentlemen, what does your bag say about you? The mark of a recent male college graduate is the nylon backpack they use to carry their laptop and/or gym clothes to and from the office. The mark of a mature man is a gorgeous leather messenger bag. Below are some of my favorite "man bag" options. Most of these bags have added features such as a padded section for your tablet or laptop. And for those of you who need a laptop backpack for ergonomic reasons, I've found the coolest one ever! Start scrolling!

Just need a place for your water bottle, tablet, and a snack? This compact bag is rugged enough to be cool but still appropriate enough to bring to the office.

Fossil Estate Canvas City Bag in Olive, $108.00

The shiny textured surface of this black leather option is terrific both for someone in a creative field such as advertising, and someone in a more formal field such as banking.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Simple Leather Robbie G Messenger Bag, $500.00

Another greater "commuter bag" for someone who doesn't need to carry a laptop back and forth.

Mulberry Antony Large Leather Messenger Bag, $780.00

The epitome of a "gorgeous leather messenger bag." Love this one for travel especially!

Dunhill Leather Messenger Bag, $900.00

Cool AND luxurious, this Mulberry bag reminds me of an old fashioned briefcase yet can handle the weight of a laptop.

Mulberry Ted Leather Satchel, $1,350.00

Love the price and the beat-up cool of this Frye messenger bag. Note to self: buy some Frye boots for Fall!

Frye 'Logan' Messenger Bag, $448.00

This Tumi bag is a tremendous value, comes in multiple colors, and has a padded area for a tablet.

Tumi 'Centro-Verona' Messenger Bag in Navy, $375.00

Cool AND cheap! Must have! Check out the entire Abingdon line.

Abingdon Laptop Bag, $98.00

So sophisticated!

Montague Leather Satchel, $298.00

The Ultimate Laptop backpack.

Tumi Dror Backpack, $595.00

This Gap bag is perfect to stuff your gym clothes into.

Nylon Buckle Cross Body Bag, $70.00

Another sophisticated option for a gym bag that doesn't look like a gym bag.

Ralph Lauren Scrape Canvas Messenger Bag, $70.00


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Only 3 Days Left To Get To New York! Hurry!

I have been determined to see the latest Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Exhibit, "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversation" in person. Despite at least half a dozen work trips to New York between May, when the exhibit opened, and now, the LAST week of the exhibit, I just couldn't seem to make it. Every time I tried to carve some time out of my "impossibly" busy client schedule or tack an extra day onto a trip, something would come up. Just as I was pondering making a special day trip this week, a client called last minute to ask for an emergency shopping trip on Madison Avenue, right around the corner from the Met.

I had everything perfectly scheduled: an hour left at the end of my solo pre-shopping day to run through the exhibit. I knew better than to try to see anything else at the museum, as painful as that was once I was already in the building. I arrived at 5:10pm on Tuesday, only 10 minutes off schedule. Here is a transcript of my conversation with the guard on duty near the unmanned ticket booth.

Lani: Is there anyone here to take my money?

Guard: You can come in for free, we close in 15 minutes.

Lani: But I thought you closed at 6pm on Tuesdays?

Guard: Not today.

Lani: Where is the Costume Exhibit?

Guard: That’s closed already.

Lani: Oy…not again….

Luckily, my Wednesday client had an afternoon meeting with her architect to make, giving me just enough time to run through the exhibit, and buy myself a few treats from the shop before making a run for Amtrak. This poster will be the centerpiece of my dream closet one day....I know, I know, I just got a new closet but I'm talking about the converted-bedroom size closet I hope at some point before I die. A girl has to have dreams, right?

The concept of the exhibit, exploring the “striking affinities” between Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) and Miuccia Prada (b. 1949), both Italian fashion designers and revolutionaries of their time, was inspired by Miguel Covarrubias’s “Impossible Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s. In addition to the seven sections of the exhibit which compare and contrast the designers’ clothing by common theme, there are 8 video shorts of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada, as directed by Baz Luhrmann. Judy Davis, the Australian actress who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Judy Garland, plays the role of Schiaparelli. The combination of the stunning displays of the designers’ artistry up close and personal, along with the artfully crafted, intellectually intriguing video element, is what put this exhibit over the top for me.  Most of the Schiaparelli pieces are from the late 30’s, when she collaborated with such art luminaries as Salvador Dali, while most of the Prada pieces are from the 90’s on. 

My two favorite sections of the exhibit are Waist Up/Waist Down and Neck up/Knees Down. Schiaparelli designed her clothes to be decorative mostly from the waist up, because that is what was most visible in the time of Cafe Society, when women were mostly seated behind restaurant tables. Prada believes in putting decoration mostly below the waist, as that is where the most important things happen, like sex and giving birth. And yes, she really does say this in one of the exhibition videos.

Schiaparelli believed in whimsical, decorative hats both as a way of adding beauty to the wearer and a form of self-expression, while Prada believes in using shoes for the same purposes. The floor to ceiling exhibit juxtaposing Schiaparelli's outrageous hats with Prada's equally outrageous shoes was quite a show stopper! Unfortunately, no photography was allowed so I can't show it to you here, dear readers.

See Schiaparelli's "shoe hat" and the lip theme on both the Schiaparelli jacket and Prada skirt. Read more about "lip fashion" in a previous blog post.

For a good read and more information on Elsa Schiaparelli, read "Shocking Life," her autobiography.

Hope you make it to the Met before August 19th! If not, you can always console yourself with the exhibition book.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to be Your Very Own Personal Stylist for $3.99

I've been hearing about different fashion apps for awhile but none of them have compared to the functionality of StyleBook. Simply put, the app allows you to be your very own fashion stylist. I think everyone (including this fashion stylist!) would benefit from using it as a tool to shop their own closet and plan out their outfits for everyday and special events. Here are the details.

Step 1: Create Your Closet

Take pictures with your iPhone or Android and upload them to the app. Create your own categories such as Cardigans, Skirts and Dresses. You can also add items from online stores as you purchase or consider purchasing them. The app even has the capability of erasing backgrounds from your pictures but I find it easier to just take the picture on a white background.

I think this part of the process, although time consuming, could be a great motivator to edit your closet. Why take a picture of something you really never wear? Why have it in your closet in the first place? This is also the step where you become aware of the items you continue to re-buy, like black cardigans or white button-down shirts.

There are a few strategies you could use in uploading your closet. One, spend an entire day taking pictures of the worthy items in your closet (as you edit!), then add new items as you purchase them. You could also enlist your iPhone obsessed boyfriend, who might really get into the whole thing. This method is not going to work for anyone with small children or 6 day a week jobs that involve a lot of travel. The second method, best for the time-starved, is to take pictures of items as you wear them or plan to wear them. This process will also let you know how much of your wardrobe you actually wear, i.e. did you wear the same khaki pencil skirt 3x last week?! The third method, my favorite, is to have your intern or personal assistant upload your wardrobe for you. Unfortunately, my intern has too much "real" work to do so I'm going to have to utilize method number two.

Step 2: Create Your Looks

This is the fun part! Stuck on the subway? Bored waiting at the doctor's office? Create outfits! Find that skirt you never wear and match it up with something you already own. The bonus here is that you are probably more likely to be creative with your outfits when you don't have to try each of them on!

Step 3: Plug Your Outfits into the Calendar

This is my favorite part! Don't panic about what you are going to wear to that big meeting or wedding next month, PLAN YOUR OUTFIT NOW! You can also be very Duchess of Cambridge by plotting which outfits you can repeat amongst different company. Hopefully, no one will be taking your picture, putting it on the cover of a magazine, and reminding everyone of the last time your wore it!

Step 4: Create a Packing List 

Don't have time to pack when you get home late the night before your trip? Create your packing list in the cab home, then throw it all in the suitcase as soon as you get in. Better yet, email it to your husband and make him do the packing!

Step 5: Inspire Yourself

I love to find images of outfits I love and then figure out how to recreate them in my budget and style. Stylebook allows you to file these images with your wardrobe!

Have fun!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Un-meltable Summer Looks

As my 4 year-old niece has been saying all summer, "I'm so sweaty!" So how do you stay cool as a cucumber during a week (or has it been a month) long stretch of 95 plus degree days? Air conditioning. But really, you don't have to give up looking tasteful and stylish as the temperature heads toward melting. All you need is a cute dress and sophisticated sandals. Add accessories at will. I'm sticking with Cheap and Cheerful looks this week as you don't want to sweat through anything too precious.

The biggest fashion don't for work in the summer? FLIP-FLOPS! I repeat, NO FLIP FLOPS! Thank you, I feel better now :).

Skater Dress with Chiffon Collar and Belt from ASOS, $37.00 with Nine West Fastlife Platform from Zappos, $63.00

Skater Dress In Kiss Print from ASOS, $37.00 with Precisely Sandal from Nine West, $39.00

Master Printmaker Dress from Modcloth, $45.00 with Steve Madden Achilees from Zappos, $43.00

Tribal Print Sweetheart Dress from Forever 21, $23.00 with Clarks Thimble Clover from Zappos, $71.00