Archive for the ‘how-to’ Category

How to: Dress for a Costume Party

October 20, 2009

Costume parties can be a lot of fun. Dressing for them when you’re a true fashionista means playing with your inner child and bringing her to center stage. Now I am not much for dressing up for Halloween but I know some people who swear by it. Choosing a costume is the best part!

Select your attire based on the theme. Is it a sassy 70s party? A Victorian ball with all the trimmings? An elegant century-inspired gown would do the trick, complete with a petticoat and corset. A character party? A carnival theme? Whatever the theme, dress accordingly. Nothing is worse than showing up to a party where you’re the odd one out.

Make up. If you’re not a makeup person this is the one time when you should indulge and get creative. I don’t usually wear eye makeup so if I went to a Halloween party I would surely put on my best face and add some metallic eyeshadow and glittery mascara.

Put your best foot forward. The beauty of shoes is that you can use them to create a mood. The right shoe can only enhance your costume, especially when it goes well with the look. For example, if you’re a modernized Catwoman, a pair of over the knee boots would be kick ass. Playing nurse? How about a pair of patent leather white Christian Louboutins? Whatever you decide, make your footwear complement your costume.

Overall at the costume party have fun! Wearing a costume is one time where you can be anyone but yourself!

(Photo: Naomi Campbell plays nurse at Louis Vuitton, courtesy of Style.com)

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Career Guides: Girl on Top by Nicole Williams

October 13, 2009

Are you a girl on top of your game? Tired of spinning your heels in the same old career?

Why not apply the rules of dating to your career to get ahead. Author of Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, Nicole Williams challenges you to do just that.

To see if you’re a girl on top–or one who needs to be, take this quiz: Girl on Top Quiz.

How to: Dress When You’re Plus-Size Woman

October 7, 2009

Dressing a plus-size figure doesn’t have to be a challenge. For every woman who is a size 2, there are 5 who aren’t. The key to successful plus-size dressing is to know what works for you, buy clothes that fit, accentuating the positive.

Here’s a few tips:

Buy your correct size. Not the size you want to be, wish you could be, or need to be. As a plus-size women buying clothes that fit will prevent fashion don’t. Trying to fit your body into something that isn’t made for you is a no-no. If you’re uncertain about your size, try the garments on to be sure.

Toccara: Not bad and better.

Choose a signature color and a color that slims. If you have a favorite color you like to wear, weave it into your wardrobe. Like red? buy a red blouse or sweater to pair with your slim-color bottoms. What are slimming colors? Black, gray, navy, and brown. Perhaps it sounds like a cliché to say black is slimming but it really is. Pair black with your signature color to complement your look. What about white? White can be right as long as the fit and texture of the garment isn’t one that has a frumpy, lumpy, or dumpy. The fabric should fall flat against your body and have a nice, neat finish.

Accessories are your best friend in fashion. No outfit is complete without the proper accessories. Great jewelry, great shoes and handbags are excellent options for completing an outfit. You can coordinate or mix and match to get the most from your look. Accessories are an expression of your personality so always choose the right ones!

Know your assets and use them to your advantage. Large women are usually quite curvy. If you’re working with a full bosom but don’t want to draw attention to it, avoid low-cut garments or use embellishments like ruffle detail or a brooch. Have a great rear end? Wear pants that hug but don’t smother. Want to take attention away from your midsection? Cover but don’t hide. Try a nice cashmere shrug sweater or a tunic. And yes, you can do prints and stripes. Just remember horizontal stripes make you appear wider, and vertical stripes make you appear taller.

Selecting clothes for your wardrobe is the fun part. If you aren’t good at picking out clothes for yourself, find a stylist or a good friend with good taste to help. Check out the list of stores below where you can do your shopping:

Ellen Tracy
Eileen Fisher
Kenneth Cole
AK Anne Klein
Kristen Blake
Ashley Stuart 
Lane Bryant
Baby Phat 
House of Dereon 
Michael Michael Kors 

Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Christopher & Banks 
Nordstrom
Macy’s

See some Hollywood’s hottest plus-size ladies!

How to: Dress for a Cocktail Party

September 2, 2009

Dressing for a cocktail party is simple, be fabulous…But seriously, there are rules. And one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t pay attention to the dress code on an invite. It’s not only rude, it makes you look inélégant.

Prior to choosing your attire, consider the invite. A phone call or email invitation allows you to get away with less formal attire, for example a suit and a simple blouse might suffice. If you received a invite via mail on formal stationary, you might want to dress to impress.

Always wear appropriate shoes, this is not a time for flip-flops or your platform sandals. Opt for a simple, well-made pump, peep-toe, or stiletto sandal. An elegantly embellished flat is also feasible for a cocktail party as well.

A simple clutch or evening case will do. Jewelry should complement your outfit, but not over power it. If you’re wearing a bold necklace with a simple sheath, avoid distracting earrings or an obnoxious bracelet.

To get the most from your look, keep it simple and polished.

Here’s a few Suggestions on Cocktail Attire:

Knee-length skirts or dresses
cardigans with brooches (think Michelle Obama)
a tailored suit with a bold tank or blouse underneath
Crepe wool slacks for fall/winter, rayon, silk, or linen for summer
A sleeveless ruffled top paired with a pencil skirt and killer pumps
Delicate or bold jewelry, nothing in between
Just the right amount of bling is appropriate
Silk dresses can work just about any season

Item Details: 
Encontrada dangle earrings, $75, Kate Spade
Animal puff dress, $100, Topshop
Boulc

é dress, SOLD OUT!, Bill Blass

Izzy courier satchel, $390, The Out Net
Anaconda Violet ring, SOLD OUT!, Barney’s New York
Sequin pattern tunic, $78, Arden B. 
Dunovant cocktail ring, $20, Aldo
Roma Dress, $285, Isabella Oliver
Platform open-toe pump,$285, Stuart Weitzman
Slingback, $39.95, Miss Me 
Clutch, $1,895, Marissa Collections
Bristol stacked heeled pump, $69.50, Guess 
Cubic zicronia studs, $50, Lola Dee
Alta Iowa pumps, $855, Christian Louboutin
Bracelet, $35 , Max & Chloe

9 Items to Keep in Your Handbag

August 12, 2009

A true Chocolate Fashionista is never with out a great bag or the tools to get her through life (in a fashionable way of course). Storing these items in your handbag can make life a lot easier:

1. Wallet with identification, medical cards, a $20 bill, a credit card or debit card.

2. A spare tampon. They always come in handy and you’ll need one when you least expect it.

3. A cell phone with camera and emailing capabilities. Why because this isn’t the stone age. You never know when you may need to snap a picture or give an update on that report.

4. Your business card or calling card. Let’s face it, most people hate the cliche business card exchange but they are a requirement for every professional or those who aspire to be.

5. Lip balm or gloss. Cracked and dry lips are not sexy–ever.

6. Mints because fresh breath is essential and gum is tacky.

7. A pen and pad (counts as one item) for jotting down notes, thoughts, and oh yeah, lists like this one.

8. A pair of designer shades. Why? The sun and because they are tres chic and oh so mysterious.

9. Hand cream or lotion. Dry skin is annoying and if you’re on the go and interacting with people throughout the stay, a soft hand as better than a rough one any day.


Give em’ the Cold Shoulder…

July 27, 2009

Give em' the Cold Shoulder

Give em’ the Cold Shoulder by chocfashblog featuring Miss Selfridge

Asymmetrical dresses are always sexy. Turn heads in dresses that expose a little skin in a classy way. Complement your dress with a pair of ankle-strap shoes (they make your legs look slim), and a skinny belt and you’re more than ready to takeover the room. It’s all about class with this look. Item Details (L to R): Adam, one-shoulder dress, $425, 25park.com, Jimmy Choo strappy sandals, $353, net-a-porter.com, Snake skinny belt, $25, topshop.com, RM by Roland Mouret fill length silk gown, $2,954, brownfashion.com, Christian Louboutin platform pumps, $1,025, net-a-porter.com, Larare Miranda patent sandal, $351, farfetch.com, Alexander Wang, one-shoulder goddess dress, $595, lagarconne.com, One-shoulder dress, $49, misselfridge.com.

10 Items You Need for Fall

July 21, 2009
10 Items You Need for Fall
Studded ankle-bootie, Fendi, $1,042
Studded silk dress, Just Cavalli,
Bag, Valentino, $2,633, luisviaroma.com
Belt, Burberry, $218, farfetch.com
Skirt, Marc Jacobs, $550, net-a-porter.com
Cuff, Erickson Beamon, $465, elle.com
Blouse, Moschino Cheap & Chic, net-a-porter.com
Necklace, Alexis Bittar, bagborroworsteal.com
Wool coat, Alberta Ferretti, $1,824, net-a-porter.com
Shoes, Betsey Johnson, $150, piperlime.gap.com

How to Build a Killer Wardrobe

June 17, 2009

How to Build a Killer Wardrobe

Too much is never enough. I have rows and rows of clothes, yet still, I have nothing to wear. Don’t blame me, blame the glossy magazines I scour every month, the online magazines, the designer discount sales with prices so low you would be a fool not to buy. I can’t help it, fashion obsession runs in my blood just as much as writing does. I help people get ready. I am the one my family members call when it’s time to plan outfits. Getting dressed is just that, but getting dressed is an art form. It requires extreme care, diligence, intellect, and patience. I think about my outfits as much as I think about banging out my novels. I perpetuate in my mind just how many heads I will turn when I hit the avenue. Every woman wants to be remembered. Those that don’t may be experiencing some anti-cornucopia breakdown. They don’t get it. They insist on scouring the marts of the world in search of shoulder pads, spandex, and polyester remnants. No. Looks should be put together. Building a killer wardrobe is simple.

Here’s how:

  • Do a T&K (toss and keep). Get rid of everything you know darn well you will never wear again. And no your sister doesn’t want it.
  • Buy for your size not your fantasy. Buy clothes that fit. If and when you lose (or gain) that weight, you’ll have a reason to go shopping again.
  • Use color. I love color. And with color, you can make a statement or say nothing at all. My signature color is chocolate brown (hence the “Chocolate” in Chocolate Fashion Blog), so I pair it with red, gray (yes gray), navy, white, or camel. Find a color that you love and use it in your wardrobe to create your signature look. For a long time I used brown because I wouldn’t be caught without one of my Louis Vuitton handbags. It’s all about having fun with color.
  • Mix and match. I enjoy matching, but it’s not an absolute must. Mixing is all about taking things and giving them a new twist. Mix and match with flavor; choose pieces carefully but have fun with your look. And vow never to mix a Cheetah print with Leopard.
  • Accessorize properly. Have a love affair with shoes, belts, jewelry, and handbags. Make them work for you, not the other way around. You never want to look as though you are trying too hard.
  • Always buy the best shoes you can afford. Shoes are an accessory but they can also make or break an outfit. If you’re in a killer dress with runover shoes, no one cares about the dress. All they are going to remember is how bad your shoes were. If you can’t do designer, go for brands like 9 West, Enzo Angiolini, or Aldo.
  • Try trends, but do not become a slave to them. Trends are fun but like the latest cell phone, they come and go (unless it’s Ugg boots). It’s great to take a trend or two and add them to your look, but if you’re head to toe trendy, pretend you’re an employee of an airline on third-shift and lose them like baggage.
  • Always have the basics: a dark (preferably black) lean suit; a pencil skirt, a white shirt, a great pair of jeans, a little black dress, a shift dress, cashmere cardigans, white tees, trousers, white jeasn, a Boulé jacket, a trench coat, a camel overcoat and a sexy tuxedo for evenings when the LBD won’t do.
  • Find a fashion role model. This is someone whose style you admire. Halle Berry is my fashion role model. She’s always classy and dresses down appropriately.

When in doubt, just say no. Fashion is one thing, style is quite another. You can become fashionably stylish by following these few simple tricks.

The Basics

CFB Fashion Reads: 5 Books You Should Have in Your Library

June 12, 2009
That Extra Half Inch by Victoria Beckham

The One Hundred: A Guide to The Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nancy Garcia
Style 101: What Every Stylish Woman Should Know from the Editors of In Style

Harper’s Bazaar Great Style: Best Ways to Update Your Look by Jenny Levin

Style from A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, & Everything Glamour by Rachel Zoe with Rose Apodaca



Date Night: Dancing With Idris

June 9, 2009

Anight of moving and grooving wrapped in the arms of chocolate hottie Idris Elba. Hey I’m not one for dancing but I with him as my partner I just might have to take up a few lessons. Whether you enjoy Salsa, the Tango, or ballroom dancing, this ensemble is classy enough to turn heads, and flexible enough to turn legs!

Item Details:
Twisting 18-karat yellow gold hoop earrings, $290, forzieri.com
Idris Elba
Strapless corset dress, $777, my-wardrobe.com
OPI Nail Polish Mod About Brights Collection-The It Color, $12.50, nailpolishdiva.com
Cuff, A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz Pave Twist Cuff, $40, bagborroworsteal.com
Heart-shaped rose, Wedding Designs, altacathers.com
Shoes, Yves Saint Laurent, $750, matchesfashion.com
“Candy” leather clutch, Chloe, $523, net-a-porter.com
Salsa Dance Steps, justsalsa.com
“Yes” Necklace, $11.99, modcloth.com