Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

INDIANAPOLIS (LIN) –It’s good to renew at least once a year, whether you purge your closets down to the last shoe or simply treat yourself to a mani-pedi. You don’t have to completely recreate yourself, but rather evolve.

Let loose of bad eating habits, worn-out clothes or soleless (soulless) shoes and start 2012 fresh.

Dare to wear festive footwear and flair

There is nothing better than having new shoes, in my opinion. You can fancy up an outfit by simply getting a bright pair of heels, DIY-ing some faux jewels on some old ones or simply breaking all boundaries with new over-the-top footwear.

A shoe says a million words, and boring, understated flats can make or break an outfit. Take a chance and go with some footwear flair.

To follow up fancying up your feet, statement pieces – bright scarves, bulky costume jewelry, and feathery hats – can take an outfit from frump to fantastic.

Fascinators, faux fur and feathers are all fun and can add the right amount of feng shui to your frocks.

Plan outfits ahead

Definitely a great resolution for eliminating the last-minute wardrobe failures, planning ahead can keep you from experiencing that, “Oh no, what was I thinking,” moment when you are too far away fix your fashion faux pas.

Play dress-up, try things on and experiment with accessories the night before work or school or that big important meeting. It will help you feel more confident knowing you have tried on your outfit and will give you some extra time to prepare yourself mentally the next morning.

You’ll also have more time to grab a new pair of stockings if you’ve got a run or find that perfect matching nail polish when you plan the night before.

Get rid of the old, bring in the new

Do not be a hoarder! Clean out your intimates’ drawer, throw out those stockings with the runs and dump out your make-up bag.

There is no need to start a brand-spanking new year with ill-fitting, overworn hose and goopy, dried-out makeup.

Treat yourself to some new color-rich stockings. These make an outfit pop, especially if you normally wear a lot of black and gray.

And toss the old makeup. Makeup does have an expiration date even if there is not one on the package. Mascara should be tossed after 6 months and anything else you just keep hanging on to needs to be renewed.

If you keep your makeup in the bathroom – a big no-no – you’ll definitely want to dump the older stuff. Moisture collects in powders and eye shadows that can allow bacteria to grow and it’s safe to say if you’ve had anything for 6 months to a year, then toss it out and start from scratch.

Let your brows go native

I think most women are horrified of the unibrow and the slim chance that if they quit plucking or waxing their brows they are going to look like Bert from Sesame Street.

Get over it! It’s fine to pluck the extra hairs between your brows, but keep it minimal. Let your brows go for a while, and only wax or pluck to shape. You’ll see the difference in fullness in 6-8 weeks.

Fuller, healthier brows can make you look younger and help maintain a good face shape. Use a similar brow color shadow or eyebrow pencil to fill in any thin spots. If you have sparse brows, you can even try a weave.

Start a regular beauty routine

It’s hard when you are tired or have had a late night out on the town to maintain a beauty regimen on any regular basis, but try this year to really commit.

Like anything else, most of us have some aversion to commitments, but this routine is vital to healthier, happier skin.

Plan out a simple routine that would also be easy to carry in your purse for nights you are working late in the office or you are traveling or you end up not making it home. Be a good Girl Scout and be prepared.

Drink more water and eat better. Although this could be in its own category, it is a major component to clear, healthy skin. Water IS a moisturizer and the more you drink, the more elasticity you maintain in your skin.

I’d go far enough to say that skincare is the most important resolution to hold your self to this year from these tips. If your skin doesn’t look good, what you’re wearing won’t matter.

Lastly, remember to love yourself. Clothes, makeup and shoes can make you feel good, but keeping a healthy attitude, good self-image and a positive outlook can make you not just look good, but look and feel fantastic.

Happy New Year!

"Good, smart style doesn’t die, it evolves." – Me.

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Make a great impression at the work holiday party

Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

It’s beginning to look a lot like holiday office party time. This year make the impression you’ll take pride in the rest of the coming year and not the one you’ll find photocopied, photoshopped and already an Internet meme come Monday morning.

The holiday office party is one of the few opportunities you get to hobnob with your bosses and coworkers outside of work, but avoid the pitfalls of opening up too much of your personal life. Stay focused, the party is an extension of the workplace as much as anything else and maintaining a professional attitude is very important.

Your clothes, your attitude and your ability to go easy on the drinks can mean that next raise or potential promotion. Don’t ruin it by falling victim to the wrong choices in attire, inappropriate conversation and too much booze.

Wardrobe:
Women unfortunately have a lot harder time with this than men. With so many more choices, it can be harder to come up with something sophisticated and classy, without being too sexy or uncomfortable.

Poor clothing choices can make or break you in the eyes of your superiors. Steer clear of outrageous overpowering outfits, ones prone to wardrobe malfunctions or low-cut or overtly sexy attire.

Try something simple, and accessorize with fun jewelry, bright scarves or colored tights. The LBD – Little Black Dress – is always a safe way to arrive, look professional and look feminine all at the same time.

For guys, it is not as hard, but the main point is to use clean lines and leave the tacky joke light-up tie at home. Stay away from less formal attire, unless your office is more laid-back. Also, add a touch of color. Men tend to steer away of color and go for blacks, whites and grays, but adding a bright shirt under a tux style jacket can add a bit of festivity to your outfit.

Attitude:
Maybe even more important than your wardrobe is the attitude that goes with it. Soapboxing, complaining or bragging can get your name scratched off Santa’s list.

You’ll want to listen just as much as you talk. Politely offer your great ideas to the conversation and impress your superiors and coworkers by acknowledging theirs. Remember, to get your ideas heard, you’ll need to show you care about what others are saying as well.

Wallflowers don’t be disheartened. Try working up a few questions or conversation topics to give you a jumping off point. The office holiday party is a great time to let YOU shine.

Manners:
Stay away from the drink table as much as possible. You do not want to end up being “That Guy” or “That Girl” by consuming way more alcohol than you intended. When you are too inebriated you can’t focus and you definitely can’t give a great impression.

Getting tipsy oftentimes leads to slips of the tongue, and you’ll want to avoid any opportunity that leads you to say something you will regret.

Being beverage savvy, points out image consultant Sola Adelowo, can help you “keep your professional edge, enjoy yourself and help others remember you as a fun, engaging person. Mix drinking water in between beverages to ensure you continue to speak clearly and present your best image.”

*See Sola  on Indy Style for more Office Party Dos and Don’ts.*

And always, remember your manners. Basic etiquette rules apply as always. In this day and age, many people under 30 years of age aren’t familiar with Emily Post. Even so, simply being polite, refraining from pigging out at the hor d’oeuvres table and limiting yourself to two or three drinks can say volumes to your bosses about what kind of person you are professionally.

To make a great impression, wardrobe, attitude and professionalism must go hand in hand. Follow these tips and make a positive impact professionally at this year’s holiday office party. Maybe next year you’ll be the one people will be looking to impress.

More great style solutions from  Sola Adelowo and ImageCube. Check her out here on 

"Good, smart style doesn’t die, it evolves." – Me.

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For more on Twinkle’s thoughts on fashion, music and much more, check out twinkvanwink.tumblr.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

Midwest Fashion Week approaches quickly – October 19-22 – featuring designers from all over the world, including a line-up of great designers from all over the Midwest.

Three designers that are breaking rules and pushing for higher standards in the fashion world will appear at Midwest Fashion Week. These talented artists are making waves, from recycling and upcycling, promoting fair trade and equal pay to making fashion affordable and accessible for everyone.

Securittee BrownMadame Couture:

Born in Chicago, Brown’s love for fashion began as a small child. Her love grew and developed, leading her into the fashion-merchandising field at Harrison College in Indianapolis.

At Harrison she was involved with the local growing fashion scene, helping produce and curate several fashion shows including Harrison College student fashion shows, IFT with Denisha Lang in 2009 and 2010, IBE fashion show with Leslie Turner in 2009 and also 2009’s Midwest Fashion Week with Berny Martin.

Brown’s urban appeal of her line speaks volumes for her influences – from Bob Mackie to Rihanna. She designs for all women, from thin to curvy, drawing in her urban background with a nod to hip-hop and punk details.

Brown will present her 2012 spring collection for Madame Couture at Midwest Fashion Week during the “Taste of Fashion at Sensu” event at Sensu Restaurant and Nightclub, Friday, Oct. 21.

Nataliya KiticStudio NTK:

Nataliya Kitic’s fashion career began as a child in Bulgaria, with the added influence of her father as a manager of a local apparel factory. Kitic was immersed in every aspect of the design process in this factory – from textile creation to design to pattern making.

After graduating in 1999 with a fashion design major she began her journey to the United States and eventually landed in Indiana in 2008, enrolling in the fashion design program at The Art institute of Indianapolis. A short time after, she opened her own creative space – Studio NTK in Greenwood, Ind.

Her studio specializes in consulting, design and small run manufacturing, hoping that her contribution to the world of fashion in Indianapolis will attract and draw more people to invest in the growing Midwest fashion industry.

Kitic’s designs will be highlighted at Midwest Fashion Week during the “Fashion is Empowerment” event, Saturday, Oct. 22, at Old National Centre.

Liz Aliglizalig.com

Liz Alig has grown her passion for fashion and her love of green living into an awe-inspiring business that not only creates great fashion, but also gives a fair shake to producers around the world.

“Liz Alig is dedicated to creating clothing that is both fashion forward and ethical. We do this by working with a variety of fair trade producers around the globe and using the most eco-friendly fabrics - recycled materials.” –company’s website

Alig began creating as a teen, replicating designs she couldn’t afford, and eventually leading her to study fashion and textiles at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.

Traveling the world on a fashion journey after college, Alig took note of the poor conditions and lack of ethics in the fashion manufacturing business in other countries. This concern for fairness and equality lead her to create Liz Alig, a clothing line made of recycled, upcycled, eco-friendly, and fair trade materials.

Alig’s line will be presented at Midwest Fashion Week during the “Taste of Fashion at Sensu” event at Sensu Restaurant and Nightclub, Friday, Oct. 21.

For a complete list of designers and event times and locations check out midwestfashionweek.com.

"Good, smart style doesn’t die, it evolves." – Me.

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For more on Twinkle’s thoughts on fashion, music and much more, check out twinkvanwink.tumblr.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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– Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

Fall has arrived almost instantly this year, with sweltering temps turning quickly into grey, cool skies.

With that comes the immediacy to flip your wardrobe for the changes in the weather. 

Comfort and warmth are key words this autumn season for casual and professional, but don’t fall into easy fashion faux pas traps.

Getting knitty

Over-sized sweaters are popular for fall, but don’t let that lead you to think sloppy is “in.” A smaller weave, rather than a large one, will look sleeker and more slimming. Larger weaves tend to accentuate your curvier figures negatively.

Belting an over-sized sweater can also help give added shape, and take casual up a notch for a more office-friendly outfit. Paired with wide-legged pants and a classy wedge, you can take slouchy to smart in three wardrobe moves. Checkmate.

Breaking down the layers

Layering is an evergreen statement, from spring to summer, from year to year. Don’t let that make you think that anything can be used for layering. Simple layering can help keep you warm on a chilly day, but can also be a great look.

For work, try a wool business jacket with several layered linen tees. Neutrals are still in for fall and so are vibrant jewel colors. Two or three different shades of purples works well with the jacket combo. Add a touch of gold, pearls or minimal accessories for a classy, professional look.

Heading out for a casual day, leggings, with over-sized socks and high-cut boots work well with layers of over-sized tees and a slouchy sweater.

"Good, smart style doesn’t die, it evolves." – Me.

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For more on Twinkle’s thoughts on fashion, music and much more, check out twinkvanwink.tumblr.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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Have fun, make your own style with Twinkle’s fashion editor this week!


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Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

One of the most popular shows on television has successfully brought back a love for classic mid-century style. Over the course of the last few years, AMC’s “Mad Men” has re-awakened within mainstream fashion the love for the curvy, feminine vintage look.

Pencil skirts, stockings, blouses and pumps have made a huge comeback everywhere from everyday attire to the office.

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Many times we get bogged down in what’s trending and popular. “Mad Men” has recycled a well-loved vintage look that fringe fashionista’s have been incorporating into their wardrobes for years.

Strictly limited to the rockabilly sub-culture for the last 15-20 years, these styles have been made more accessible to all women. The flexibility of how you wear it opens up possibilities for those more conservative of us to those of us that want to advertise (bad pun) their more “cha-cha” side.

Recently, Banana Republic released a “Mad Men” line, styled with cooperation of the show. It’s classy, muted and so far has been well received. Click the photo to see Banana Republic’s entire line. Sidenote: the men’s line is fairly swank, too.

Banana republic does Mad Men

Personally, it is a little on the bland side for me, but in general, Banana Republic leans a little towards the simple sophisticate, with neutral color schemes.

Don’t get me wrong. I really love the line, but it is just not bold enough for what I want in my own wardrobe. Basic grays and blacks need a splash of color to give a little pop, and generally your shirt/skirt/pants combo can be the backdrop to showcase any great accessories you own.

Bright colored bangles and a pair of bangin’ kicks can cause applause where without that snap you may be destined to be the wallflower, muted against a tableau of taupes and mauves.

Don’t be afraid to wear a little bit of leopard print. If you aren’t sure you want the full dress experience, a pair of heels or even a smaller touch, like a skinny belt, can kick your outfit up the tiny notch you want.

Weekly Wardrobe | Mad style - crazy about classics

Weekly Wardrobe | Mad style - crazy about classics by twinklevanwinkle featuring bangle bracelets

One sharp criticism I have about the Banana Republic line, and it really has no bearing on the actual outfits, is the sheer black stockings worn by the models. I have and never will have one ounce of love for those.

Black sheer stockings only look good on models who have been photographed in the right lighting. The shadows and definition caused by the fabric either over-accentuate or downright make real people’s legs look awkwardly unattractive.

Not to mention, if you have any sort of nicks, bruises or – heaven forbid – forgot to shave, it’s all she wrote. Black sheer stockings draw attention to those fine lines in the curve of the leg, but also will draw attention to every single thing you may be trying to hide.

Solution: Fishnets. Micro-fishnets I have mentioned before, and they really add a classy touch. If you are looking for toned down, you can find them in neutral colors and the small weave is less flashy and less Betty Page centerfold. It’s ok to give the hint of Betty in the office, but for professional dressing I would steer clear.

Whether this look is for you or not, I think there are definitely parts everyone can work into their wardrobes and feel comfortable. It’s a simple look that can go from one end of the spectrum to the other by just adding a bit of color or accessories.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to look good. Take stock of yourself, your wardrobe and make your look work for you.

"Good, smart style doesn’t die, it evolves." – Me.

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For more on Twinkle’s thoughts on fashion, music and much more, check out twinkvanwink.tumblr.com. and follow on Twitter.

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Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

It’s more than likely we have all felt the crunch of the economy in some way lately. But it doesn’t mean you have to let your wardrobe go. It just means it’s time to re-evaluate and get crafty about how and where you shop.

There are plenty of alternatives for keeping your wardrobe fresh and fun even on a tight budget.

Look for sales, watch the web and follow fashion shops on Twitter to keep your eyes open for deals. Being a sharp shopper means paying attention and not falling victim to your own lack of self-control, which for some – especially me – canbe little to none when out clothes shopping!

Yes, I know just how hard it is to see something amazing and leave it behind. Sometimes when pinching pennies, we have to reign ourselves in and look for alternatives.

Check out Twinkle’s “Weekly Wardrobe” polyvore collection this week for lots of items $50 and under.

A few stores to check out if you are on a budget are Forever21 and H&M. There are plenty of cute items, mostly between $20-30. The accessory selection at both places may not be Tiffany’s, but it’s definitely diverse and fabulous. Most pieces range from $5-20.

H & M blouse for $24.95

Fabulous finds $50 and under

Don’t forget about your base pieces that compliment your wardrobe. You can definitely find these on the cheap. Need a gray or white tee? Old Navy and Target should have these for under $10, as well as leggings, tights or such basic apparel items.

Mossimo black tissue tee at Target $9.99

Fabulous finds $50 and under

Another alternative I highly recommend is thrift shopping. Most cities have at least one, and usually the profit goes to a good cause. Goodwill even has an online auction site for name-brand like-new items.

Tired of something you already have? There is absolutely nothing wrong with recycling clothes. If you are crafty, a good upcycling can make something too large or too frumpy into something fabulous. Check out some ideas here at Etsy.

The point, people, is that even though your cash flow may not be big, being aware of sales, clearances and second-hand are great ways to create gorgeous get-ups, even on the theoretical dime.

Want to create your own looks?Try out Twinkle’s mini-editor from Polyvore.com.


Get your own Mini Editor from Polyvore

Check out Twinkle’s “Weekly Wardrobe” polyvore collection this week for lots of items $50 and under.

For musings about music, movies, fashion, food and more, follow Twinkle on Twitter and Tumblr.

This week I’ve rounded several of the blogs I frequent on a daily basis. I’m generally looking for style tips that span a wide range of body shapes and skin tones as well as just things I love in particular. (And things I think *you* should like.)

I live in Indianapolis, so being involved – as much as I can – in the local fashion scene is important. One person to note is up and coming fashionista Gabrielle Poshadlo, originally from Detroit. She has made Indy her home and is now deeply involved with the Midwest fashion movement.

"I guess Midwestern fashion is in my blood… I think that’s similar to the New York variety only friendlier and with a lower heel." –Poshadlo

Haute in the Heartland

Besides her gig writing about central Indiana’s budding fashion scene in her column, "IBJ Style" in the Indianapolis Business Journal, she also puts out this fabulous blog Haute in the Heartland. Love. It.

The Fashion Bomb, who’s style-blog rankings keep moving up and up each week is another blog worthy of much praise.

“Created in August 2006 by journalist Claire Sulmers, The Fashion Bomb provides daily doses of chic to stylistas of color.” - Sulmers

The Fashion Bomb

Not only does this blog reach out to women of color, but especially women of any color who may not have the prescribed size or shape as most fashion journalism directs itself. A break from the status quo of the fashion world, The Fashion Bomb is exploding old paradigms.

One thing to note that I truly love checking out on Sulmers’ blog is the Fashion Bombshell of the Day. Readers submit photos of themselves in several outfits and other readers get to vote on whether their style is a hit or a miss.

Reader interaction is something I love in general, and checking out personal styles from around the world is a plus.

For a little bit of a twist, Style Bubble is a unique perspective on fashion through the musings of Susie Bubble.

Bubble’s quirky posts are funny, well written and laced with knowledge of all things fashion.

She mixes her posts with vibrant photos of her fashion life, from visiting the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy to critiquing designers. Bubble’s personal thoughts on the wide spectrum of fashion are compelling and creative.

“Looking at Brandys’s collection is like being attacked by a bazillion dichotomies. That’s a good thing. Haphazard textures, unexpected colour combinations, naff materials made good all contribute to an undefinable mish-mash that is hard to categorise by theme and I suppose that’s the point.” - Bubble

Style Bubble

A good read and good use of her personal documentation. +5 for originality and quality.

For more on Twinkle’s thoughts on fashion, music and much more, check out twinkvanwink.tumblr.com. Oh! And follow her on Twitter.

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Japanese Flag

Weekly Wardrobe

Fashion to the rescue

Twinkle VanWinkle -
LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

The tragic earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011 has spurred people around the world to reach out many a helping hand, with donations, prayers and aid in a plethora of forms. 

Those involved with fashion are using what they do best to help those in need that have been affected by the disaster—raising money by designing and creating clothing, jewelry and more.

Lady Gaga, fresh off the high of her first Paris runway show, created a bracelet with the words “We pray for Japan.” The words are written in both English and Japanese with the star’s trademark claw separating the two.

It’s no surprise she raised $250,000 in the first 48 hours the bracelet went on sale earlier this week, which she mostly publicized through her Twitter account. Oh, the power of a tweet!

Check Twinkle’s Polyvore for more ways to help Japan.

In a grand gesture, fashion house Uniqlo, operated by Fast Retailing, isn’t just creating things, but literally it’s president and chairman Tadashi Yanai is donating over $12 billion of his personal wealth towards Northeastern Japan relief funds with additional money coming from the company’s accounts.

On a much more first world level, crafters and designers from all over are pitching in. Folks who sell their wares on the website Etsy have come together to bring their handmade items to the public, offering up hand-printed tees to buttons to jewelry—proceeds headed towards the Red Cross Japan relief fund. See more here.

Fashion at times has been thought of as a shallow art by some, and accused of creating the thought that beauty may only be skin deep. It’s comforting to know that everyone can be a part of helping out mankind in their time of need- model, designer, artist, housewife or whoever.

Just a few links to some others in the fashion world who are helping:

Tory Burch

Forever 21

H & M

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Fashion aids Japan
Fashion aids Japan by twinkle.vanwinkle featuring dark wash jeans