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, July 25, 2013

I'm In a New York State of Mind

It is amazing how much one can see, do and eat during 2 days in New York! And yes, this was a work trip!

Most of the stores are now at 70% off their sale merchandise. The shoe departments mostly have the cool and quirky shoes left. I fell in love with these Rupert Sanderson heels at Saks Fifth Avenue. They remind me of something Jem would wear from Jem and The Holograms, my favorite cartoon when I was little.

My favorite new discovery this trip is a barely year-old line of jewelry called Tower 67. You can purchase off their website but for a huge selection of the latest designs, you should really make it over to Henri Bendel, where they have been asked to hold monthly trunk shows. My client bought two awesome Buddha bracelets and I almost walked out with a long white beaded necklace with a giant amethyst hanging off of it. The prices are super reasonable and the owners/designers are happy to accommodate custom requests.

Can you believe these amazing shoes are Cole Haan? I was a little skeptical now that the company has new owners (no more Nike collaborations!) but the brand seems to be gaining back the design chops they had lost in the previous few years. Isn't fuschia and olive the coolest color combo one would never think of?

Although I think DC has some great food, they have a definite lack of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Hanging in NY with my best friend the vegetarian always gives me the chance to get my fill. Her birthday was the excuse I needed to finally indulge in the super scrumptious but a bit pricy cuisine at Dirt Candy in the East Village. See the caption link for the blog entry detailing the creation of the signature dish pictured below, broccoli dogs! I know, it sounds crazy. They taste as good as the months and months of work that went into creating the dish.


The Union Square farmers market is one of the things I miss most about New York. Walking through on Wednesday morning, I was struck dumb by the beauty and bounty of the seasonal produce. Five kinds of plums! Teeny tiny purple eggplants! And then...the most perfect little strawberries I'd ever seen. I bought them without a second thought and they were the holy grail of REAL strawberry flavor and texture, so fresh they wouldn't have lasted more than the day. And they didn't! In between client shopping and a trip to the Met, I had a picnic of the tiny strawberries, drippy goat cheese and just-baked cranberry walnut bread from Dean & Deluca for lunch. Heaven! 

And finally, the one thing I was determined to accomplish during this trip to New York, the Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The opening display below was my favorite as it placed high fashion looks from contemporary designers next to punk looks from Seditions, the original punk boutique started by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in 1970's London. One literally could not tell the difference between the two. It was absolutely fantastic and said it all before you had even entered the rest of the extensive exhibit.

The exhibit made one question what is punk as well as recognize its diversions where one otherwise would not. Dolce & Gabbana, punk? "Never," I would have said, until I saw the spray-painted dress display below.


How awesome are those wigs????

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Beat the Heat at the Office: The Radio Interview!

I think most people on the East Coast have been standing in front of their closets every morning for the past week thinking, "How the heck do I look professional when the heat index is 105 degrees?" WTOP thought so too, which is why they did a whole morning on the subject and interviewed yours truly. (Scroll to the bottom of this blog for a link to the brief segment which includes some advice for men too). Three minutes and thirty-six seconds did not leave a lot of room for substantial advice so I thought that I would elaborate for you on the blog this week. Basic advice: No tank tops or flip flops and keep a pretty blazer at the office. Need more? I've put together three gorgeous combinations guaranteed to have you sitting pretty in your boss's office no matter how hot it gets outside. 

Beat The Heat Combo One: Cool dress, Pretty blazer, Classic Nude Pump

Beat The Heat Combo Two: Long tailored vest, Silk Maxi dress, Gladiator Sandal

Beat The Heat Combo Three: Silk blouse, Tailored skirt, Colorful scarf and flats

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Don't Let Your Bag Wear You

It's odd for a fashion stylist to say (I know), but I've never been into wearing bags featuring designer logos. I just love it when someone says, "I love your bag, what is it?" Of course I don't love it when I have to tell them it is an obscure Italian brand they will never find in the store...

My clients are often burdened with the pressure of choosing a bag. Some don't want to foot the bill for a "name" bag, and others don't want to be characterized by the brand they're carrying.

Worry no more, dear readers! The search is over. I've found three brands, all of varying price points, which should satisfy most lifestyles and budgets. Happy shopping!

Everlane is a brand I first heard about from Rosa Loves DC in this blog post about her fabulous reverse denim tote. I saw it in person last weekend and let me tell you, these bags look like they cost four times as much as they actually do!

I've also newly discovered IIIBeCa. I literally stopped in my tracks the first time I saw this line at Lord & Taylor. Great quality leather, fabulous colors and good design: what else could you ask for? 

A Clean-Cut Bag That Respects Its Owner's Style. This is the title of the New York Times article that introduced me to AB A Brand Apart. Doesn't that just say it all?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Made in America, the Easy Way

If given the choice, I think most of us would prefer to have our fashion products "made in America." The question is, how do you find red, white and blue-produced items that are right for you? From fast-fashion to designer apparel, most companies have found that they just can't compete unless they have their products made very, very far away.

However, there are some companies that have committed to making their products in America. "Who are they and how do I find them?" you ask. Keep reading!

Etsy shops are a great place to find small, independent artists making high-quality clothing and accessories. With their search function, you are able to find designers in any given area of the United States, including a neighborhood near you.

American Apparel is one of the most well-known retailers that prides itself on sweatshop-free clothing made in LA. They even have adorable kids' clothes! What's my favorite thing to buy hipster babies from American Apparel? Black basics! You'd be hard pressed to find a black onesie or logo free baby black hoody anywhere else. If you are able to ignore the weird, sexist advertising, it's possible to find great clothes for the whole family!

Splendid is an American clothing company that sells at department stores such as Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, as well as Anthropologie, Shopbop.com and Zappos.com. Their soft cotton has long been a favorite of many of my clients.

Other small designers, such as Barbara Lesser and Jolie and Elizabeth, offer unique outfits designed and produced in America.