Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas in Haddonfield

No matter where we are right now or where we’d like to be the rest of the year, that old song rings true as temperatures drop, expectations rise and Santa begins the pre-flight check on his sleigh. There is no place like home for the holidays.

And home for me is a small colonial town in New Jersey.

Fifteen minutes from Philadelphia, ninety minutes from New York and a world away in time, the historic Village of Haddonfield takes on a special magic every Christmas.

It all begins the day after Thanksgiving with candlelight shopping and weekend carriage rides through the center of town to the delight of young and old.

Now wrap up tightly and let’s take a stroll along Haddonfield’s main street.

First stop, the local fabric store where a group of carolers in top hat and muffler has stopped by to offer a hearty “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in return for a warm smile and a hot cup of wassail.

Have they left Tiny Tim outside to warm himself by the fire of roasting chestnuts? Or perhaps he stayed behind to feed a shiny red apple to the carriage horse.

A few doors down we pass Accent Studio which features the work of local artists. The glow from the candlelight illuminates the beautiful glass creations displayed in the windows (Artists l/r:Richard Stava, Little River Hot Glass).

Shall we stop for a cup of tea at the Picket Fence?

This is a wonderful place to pick up every accessory imaginable for the perfect afternoon tea.


Here we are at the Haddonfield Floral Company where I buy all my flowers.

How can you possibly resist this adorable snowman with his little twig arms wrapped around a beautiful Christmas bouquet?

He’s even cuter than the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Don’t you just want to poke his fat belly?

And a little farther along Kings Highway we come to one of my favorite shops in all of Haddonfield, Georgie Girl.

This delightful, two-story boutique is a treasure trove of clothes and accessories with a decidedly European flair.

The second floor is devoted to gorgeous lingerie ranging from cute and cuddly to drop dead glam. Cynthia and her staff are as knowledgeable as they are helpful. I wouldn’t buy my lingerie anywhere else.

And………….want to know a little Christmas Secret? Rumor has it that Mrs. Claus, herself, is a regular customer. Who do you think puts the rosy in Santa’s cheeks???

And, of course, no visit to Haddonfield would be complete without wishing our oldest resident a very Merry Christmas.

The hadrosaurus foullkii was the first intact dinosaur skeleton every to be discovered. And she was found right here in Haddonfield.

I think she looks just fabulous for her age, don’t you?

Right about now your feet must be starting to ache. Time to stop by the Haddonfield Inn, pull up a comfy chair by a cozy fire, sip some mulled wine and feel the warmth of family and friends.

I hope you have enjoyed your Christmas visit to my town as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.

Come back again very soon.

Until then, may I wish you and yours all the love and beauty of this joyous season.

(All photos courtesy of Town of Haddonfield's official website.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Closet Therapy for Florence - Florence Learns How to Shop

In this final behind the scenes look at how Florence found her style, Fifi and I teach Florence how to shop.

Now that Florence had become an expert on her own body, her color palette and her own style, she needed to become an expert at shopping -- in other words, how to shop like a Pro.

Here are three of my top shopping tips:

1) Never go shopping without a list. Mother never went to the grocery store without her list and Santa never leaves home on Christmas Eve without his. In our first session, I gave Florence a one-page list of Wardrobe Basics, all of which can be found in Fifi’s armoire. We used it to determine what Florence had and what she needed, which was almost everything.

2) Never go shopping without lipstick. Sound silly? Not really. Store lighting is notoriously unreliable in determining color, especially in dressing rooms; therefore, your perfect shade of lipstick is a good clue as to whether the lighting has yellow or blue undertones. If your lipstick color looks “off,” check the color of the garment in natural light, if possible.

3) Never go shopping with friends. Do I even need to elaborate on this one? For the Pro, shopping is not a social, recreational activity. Friends slow you down and even the most well intentioned can have a negative influence on your choices. Just because she’s your best friend doesn’t mean she has any taste. Remember the last boyfriend who left her with a broken heart? He wasn’t even worth a broken fingernail!

In her youth, Florence had been a recreational shopper spending hours happily wandering around stores like this one with her girlfriends.

The mix of bright colors and patterns all thrown together in a cramped space is designed to catch the shopper’s attention, but ultimately the eye becomes fatigued by the riot of colors and the mind becomes confused about how to put pieces together.

This is a place to pick up an interesting piece or two (or not) to add to a great, classic wardrobe, but it’s not a place to start building that great, classic wardrobe.

This is where you start to build your wardrobe basics, in a spacious, well lit store like Talbots or Anne Taylor, where great classic pieces that won’t break the piggy bank are organized by style and color. Clothing modules containing pieces that all work together are grouped together, and mannequins display how to pull it all together with accessories. Since they’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you, you can tell at a glance what items to pull for the dressing room.

Working from our list of Wardrobe Basics, we pulled quite a few items for Florence in the warm, neutral shades that complemented her coloring so perfectly. And then and only then did we take a quick look at the “Sale” rack where we found a few pieces that worked with several of the items we had already selected. (The old Florence would have started and stopped at the “Sale” rack.). In under an hour, we had pulled together at least five mix-and-match clothing modules and Florence left not only not feeling exhausted, but dare I say exhilarated.

After hitting a few more stores, we came pretty close to completing our list while allowing for one or two “must have” impulse purchases; after all, I’m not totally heartless. Now it was time for a little fun -- accessories. At H&M we found some colorful, inexpensive scarves and fun jewelry. At a vintage consignment store around the corner we picked up some high end costume jewelry from the 50s for next to nothing. Vintage stores are a great place to find one-of-a-kind statement pieces that can add that all important je ne sais quoi to any classic outfit, and the quality is usually far superior to what is made today. By the end of the day, it was obvious that Florence now had the tools and the confidence to fly solo.

I am happy to report that Florence’s closet is now cured of its identity crisis. You can look in Florence’s closet today and get an immediate sense of the woman and her style. Fifi is very proud.

But, before I close the book on the Florence chronicles, I have one last update to share with you. Do you remember the handsome gentleman who asked her to help him pick out a tie? Well, it seems that Florence has been picking out Alan’s ties ever since that fateful meeting in the Men’s Department at Nordstrom.

This is my latest e-mail from Florence.

“Yesterday, Alan asked me to meet him in the Men’s Department at Nordstrom after work. He had an important meeting the next day and wanted my advice on picking out the perfect tie.

When I got there….no Alan, so I started browsing.

Suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder and there he was holding a dress shirt in one hand and three neckties in the other. Sound familiar?

‘Excuse me, Miss’ he said, ‘but, which tie do you think goes best with this shirt? You look like someone who would know.’

As I started to laugh, he put a tiny blue box in my hand. ‘Florence,’ he said, ‘would you do me the honor of picking out my ties for the rest of my life?’

Suddenly the Men’s Department at Nordstrom was the most romantic place in the world!!”

Fifi, I think our work here is done.

To read the whole Closet Therapy for Florence series, just click on the titles below:

“Closet Therapy for Florence”

“Closet Therapy for Florence – Florence Learns about her Body”

“Closet Therapy for Florence– Florence Learns About Her Color Palette”

“Closet Therapy for Florence– Florence Learns How to Shop”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Closet Therapy for Florence – Florence Learns About Her Color Palette

Once Florence began to understand and appreciate her own body and what the right clothes could do for her (See "Closet Therapy for Florence - Florence Learns about her Body") she then needed to learn what the right colors could do for her.

For Florence the world of color was a confusing land where everyone spoke a foreign language – “toasted, tinted and tertiary……lions and tigers and hues, oh my!!!”

In order to make sense of this strange world, Florence had “had her colors done” by an “expert,” who had taken one look at this blue-eyed blonde and declared her to be a “Summer.” While summer is the hottest season of the year, the colors associated with its seasonal color palette are cool – steel grey, icy pink, sky blue. The typical Summer woman often has blue eyes, will have a pink or rosy tint to her complexion and probably had flaxen hair as a child.

Florence’s closet was full of the cool pastel colors of summer and, like most blue-eyed blondes, she loved her pink lipstick. But were the cool colors of summer right for her? It is easy to mistake a blue-eyed blonde for a classic Summer woman; however, Florence’s complexion showed me what I needed to know. Now it was time to show Florence.

I put Florence’s left hand on a silver metallic drape and her right hand on a gold metallic drape. “Now,” I said, “look at your hands and tell me which one looks better?” After giving it some thought, Florence replied, “the right hand looks better. Somehow, it just looks younger and smoother.”

Next came the earring test. Gold earrings were clearly more flattering on Florence than silver. Florence was beginning to catch on.

Now for the final touch – a dab of sunny coral lipstick on Florence’s lips. “Wow,” she said. “Look at that! My face looks brighter and younger. I had no idea lipstick could make such a difference.” In fact, Ladies, the right shade of lipstick makes all the difference.

Florence has bright blue eyes, warm honey-toned skin and golden blonde hair.

While the cool colors of the Summer palette drained all the life from Florence’s face, Florence began to see how the warmth of the Spring palette breathed new life into her delicate features.

Lovely Jody Foster is my favorite example of a beautiful Spring woman.

I took out my color drapes and set to work showing Florence what the right colors could do for her.

When we finished, I gave her a pocket-sized set of Spring color swatches as a guide and told her not to worry about all those scary color terms that had intimidated her in the past. “Some of these colors will be more flattering than others, but if you stick to this guide, you really can’t go wrong, because these, Florence, are your colors.”

Like a beautiful Spring morning, Florence began to blossom before my eyes.

There were two final areas to cover in our discussion about color.

1) Neutrals: Since we will be building a classic, versatile wardrobe for Florence, neutrals will be playing a key role. All neutrals are not created equal. One man’s beige is another man’s taupe. In other words, neutrals, like their brighter-colored cousins, are either warm or cool. The neutrals we choose for Florence need to be warm (i.e., yellowy beige) rather than cool (rosy beige).

2) Color Placement: The color that really counts is the color closest to your face. Florence has a great pair of wool crepe trousers in steel grey which we will be keeping. In order to make this cool color work for Florence, we will top it with a warm yellow sweater and a brightly patterned scarf that will pull the warm and cool shades together and/or a tweed jacket that will do the same. Get the picture?

Time for the three of us (Florence, Fifi and me) to go shopping. Stay Tuned as Florence learns how to make the most of her shopping experience.  Click here.

Pictures and graphics from

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Closet Therapy for Florence – Florence Learns about her Body

In my previous piece, I introduced you to Florence and her schizophrenic closet (See: "Closet Therapy for Florence"), and we saw how, with a little guidance from me, Florence was able to channel her inner Fifi and find her own style. Now when you open Florence’s closet instead of seeing “The Three Faces of Eve,” you see Florence, a woman whose daytime style is casual chic and sporty and whose nighttime style is classic and elegant. So, how did we get there? Well, here’s a little behind the scenes look at how Florence found her style.

The first order of business was to make Florence an expert on her own body. Like most women, when Florence looked in the mirror, all she saw were the bits she didn’t like. Before she could update her wardrobe, she needed to update her perspective.

To do that, we started by deconstructing and evaluating each part of her body from top to bottom. Then we put it all back together. Florence began to see how each part worked together to create the whole, and she started to appreciate that whole – her own unique proportions.

For the first time in a long time, perhaps ever, Florence looked in the mirror and saw the whole woman. Through the prism of this new perspective she could clearly see what did and did not work for her body type and why.

Florence’s body was rather boyish when she was young. Age and children have taken her body from rectangular to tubular. Like many of my clients, she does not have a defined waist, which gives her two very good options.

Option 1: Florence can let her clothes create a waistline for her. This Bill Blass blouse with ruffles above and below the nipped-in waist will give the illusion of a tiny waist on any woman, and the ruffles gives a feminine flair to even the most boyish figure.

Since Florence is small busted, the ruffles down the front of the blouse are very figure flattering.

Jackets structured along the same lines will also go a long way to creating feminine curves for Florence.

The waistline on this adorable little cocktail dress hits Florence right under her bust line, which is very flattering for women with Florence’s body type; plus+ a higher waistline makes your legs look longer.

The detail of the diagonal bow cutting across the front minimizes any tummy issues while simultaneously enhancing Florence’s small bust line.

Florence has nice shoulders, firm upper arms and a lovely long neck, all of which are showcased in this strapless dress.

Option 2: Florence can bypass the whole waist issue by wearing a tunic top with skinny jeans or leggings.

This vintage-inspired, pleated top in silk is available at Nordstrom.

You don’t need a tiny little waist to look feminine in this graceful and flowy top.

Because Florence is tall, she can carry off this bold print beautifully. And those lovely bell sleeves just cry out for this season’s hot accessory – big, bold cocktail rings.

An unstructured swing coat with big collar and cuffs in a great neutral color, such as this Shawl coat from Barney’s, is perfect for Florence.

This versatile, understated statement coat can be worn over almost anything in Florence’s wardrobe from skinny jeans (add a fringed, cotton scarf) to a dressy day dress (add a large Hermès square).

This is a go anywhere do anything coat that is also a great signature piece for Florence’s wardrobe.

The next step in Florence’s transformation was to find her perfect color palette.  Click here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Closet Therapy for Florence

The average Frenchwoman’s entire wardrobe fits neatly into an armoire, and she wears everything in it. By contrast, Surveys show that the average American woman’s wardrobe is bursting through the seams of her walk-in closet, and she wears less than one-third of what’s in it.

Every morning the American woman opens her closet, stares at its bulging contents and says the same thing, “I don’t have anything to wear.”  How can this be? What’s wrong with this picture?

Here’s a clue:

French Fifi and American Florence walk into a store. Each tries on a blouse.

Fifi wrinkles her nose and asks, “Est-ce bien mon style?” (Is this my style?)

Florence looks at the tag and asks, “Is this on sale?”

Get the idea?

Fifi chooses each piece she buys with great care. She likes a bargain as much as Florence, but she won’t buy something just because it is on sale if it is not bien son style. As a result, she wears everything in her armoire because everything in it is bien son style.

Fifi will walk out of the store with the perfect little white blouse which will look fabulous with at least five other pieces in her wardrobe.

Florence’s closet, by contrast, is stuffed with stuff she never wears because she does not ask herself the right question at the store.

Florence will walk out of the store with a fuchsia top that doesn’t go with anything she has, and she will never get around to getting the anything that it would go with because, in fact, the color doesn’t looks quite right when she gets it home, so she’ll never wear it. But, hey, it was 50% off! Can’t pass that up, or can you?

After years of shopping this way, Florence’s closet is experiencing a major identity crisis, and I have been called in to help.

Florence is a woman of a certain age (“une femme d’un certain âge”), by which the French mean any woman over 40. It’s a polite way of saying, “It’s none of your damn business how old I am, mon cher.”

Florence runs a successful business from home, the last of her children has been packed off to college, and after two years of widowhood, she would like to start enjoying a social life again, particularly the company of the opposite sex; but before she can do that, she needs some serious closet therapy.

A survey of Florence’s closet shows that, as I suspected, it breaks down into roughly three sections:

(1) Flo the Frump: This section contains the uniform of the American woman who has given up on her appearance – sweats, shapeless sweaters, T-shirts, flip-flops, sneakers and worn-out slippers. True to form, the clothes she wears most whether working at home or running out on errands come from this tiny section at the front of her closet – the grab and go section.

(2) Flora the Floozy: The other tiny section in the very back contains items that she wears when she wants to play “dress up.” With a few exceptions, it consists of items that are not flattering, if they ever were, as they are too revealing, too tight, or just too, too much. In short, they are not age appropriate and they look cheap because most were bargain and impulse buys.

(3) Where is Florence?: The rest of the closet contains a dizzying mish-mash of unrelated items. Here we find the fuchsia top that she bought along with other items like it still wearing their tags. Here and there among the mass of mismatched items are stuffed power suits from the 80s and other reminders of younger, thinner times, what I like to call the Nora Desmonds of a woman’s closet who wait for Mr. de Mille to call them for their close up – a call that will never come.

Florence leads a busy, complicated life. The last thing she needs to face each morning is a complicated, schizophrenic wardrobe. What she needs is a wardrobe of great basics like those in Fifi’s armoire. These are the great classic pieces that are versatile enough to be dressed up or down at a moment’s notice for any occasion -- your “go to” pieces which form the backbone of every well dressed woman’s wardrobe. Think Chanel and casual chic.

I go over my list of Wardrobe Basics with Florence and we get started. Flo the Frump can stay, for now, if Florence promises never, ever to let her appear anywhere other than in front of her computer screen. She agrees. Flora the Floozy is banished to the bin.

The dizzying mish-mash that had overtaken the bulk of Florence’s closet like creeping moss has been removed.

Over the next few months, Florence channels her inner Fifi and begins to pull together not only a great wardrobe, but a great sense of herself and her own style. Flo the Frump is making less and less of an appearance.

Florence discovers a love for scarves and displays a great knack for picking the perfect accessory that will add that all-important je ne sais quoi.

Family and friends begin to notice and clients are responding positively to Florence’s new sense of sleek confidence.

I get regular updates.

Yesterday an e-mail arrived from Florence.

“Just had to tell you the latest. I was browsing in Nordstrom and a handsome gentleman came up to me with a dress shirt in one hand and three neckties in the other.

‘Excuse me,’ he said, ‘but, which tie do you think goes best with this shirt? You look like someone who would know. You’re so put together, and I love your scarf.’

“We had dinner together last night. I think he might just be my style. What do you think?”

I think Fifi and I are delighted.  For the next step in Florence's therapy, click here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paris Street Chic – What’s "en Vogue?"

I have always loved Paris street chic, particularly when the Chic are on their way to the Shows during fashion week. Street and runway reflect and inspire each other and photographer Philip Oh of StreetPeeper offers up some of the most delicious fruits of that collaboration for Vogue on line.

Here are some of my picks.

It doesn’t get more elegant and classic than this, or does it?? Giovanna Battaglia, Fashion Editor at L’Uomo Vogue and former model for Dolce and Gabanna, knows just how to put her own flourish on classic elegance.

This impeccably tailored, lady-like dress in classic white (the white hot color for spring!!) gets kicked up several style notches by the scallop-edged ruffles and hem short enough to reveal miles of long, shapely leg; instead of the classic pump, she has opted for a thoroughly modern take on the classic T-strap to stunning effect.

And, of course, no well-dressed European woman leaves home without a fabulous scarf, particularly on a typically overcast fall day in Paris.

I am also intrigued by the cool bracelet on her left wrist. Is it ornamental, functional or both? Since she’s not carrying a handbag, has she stashed her cell phone in there?

This is clearly a lady who knows how to pose while appearing not to notice the camera. How utterly chic!!

Here, Slovakian super model, Kinga Rajzak, shows us how to transition a summery print dress into a chic fall outfit.

The dark color of the jacket picks up the darkest color in the print and is then repeated in the scarf and the larger of the two handbags.

The smaller handbag takes its color cue from the lighter hues of the print.

The overall effect is of a seamless color palette whose interest comes from the mix of hues and textures.

The look is totally natural and effortless, the essence of true style.

My only quibble is with the length of the dress, which I would have shortened a few inches. I prefer to leave Paris street sweeping to the professionals.

My first reaction to this picture was………..OMG, how cute is this!! Vanessa Coyle, Senior Fashion Editor for Harper’s Bazaar UK is just adorable here. That’s the only word for it.

This outfit is fun, flirty and just edgy enough to suit my taste.

The colors are neutral with the interest coming from the mix of textures and the geometry of the skirt.

Just look at the playful, zig zag angle of that skirt. How cute is that?! It looks as if she just threw it on and dashed out the door.

That cat-that-swallowed-the-canary smile on her face tells the whole story. She looks fabulous and she knows it!

It’s hard to do casual chic better than this!

Here, Teen Vogue’s Senior Accessories Editor, Shiona Turini, shows us exactly how to do it -- accessorize, that is.

The lady-like, buttoned-up look is everywhere this fall, and this retro plaid, shirt waist dress is a great example.

Shiona has added a wide belt with a big, brass buckle to draw attention to a slender waist. The cropped leather jacket which fits like a second skin adds a great modern twist.

The platform shoes, while giving a nod to the past, have her feet firmly planted in the present.

The classic satchel in a dark neutral is perfect, and the size makes it perfectly practical.

In short, she is perfectly put together.

And now (drum roll, please!!) we come to my absolute favorite StreetPeeper shot.

For me, the photo of this unidentified couple represents the epitome of Paris street chic. Look at the artful way this stunning young woman has mixed colors, patterns and textures under a bright red Paris umbrella. Her look is purposeful, her stride is graceful and her companion holds that umbrella over her as if he were holding a canopy over the head of visiting royalty. 

Isn't it wonderful to think that you need only turn onto any cobble-stoned street or walk down any tree-lined boulevard in Paris to see the art of street chic at its finest?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Power of Fashion

The frenzy of activity pre-, during, and post- fashion week in the fashion capitals of the world is over. Designers and their entourages have folded their tents and gone home. Suddenly, all is calm and soothing silence. My notes have been filed away until the spring, when we will know which of those spring/summer trends will actually make it from the runway to the closets of real women everywhere. Will we throw caution to the winds and show up at that backyard barbecue in a crisp white frock? Will we risk looking like our grandmother’s favorite tablecloth and wear that lace dress to a garden wedding? Only time will tell. But, whether we decide to embrace or sit out the spring/summer fashion trends, we women have always understood and appreciated the power of fashion.

In 16th century London, Anne Boleyn, fresh from the French court, caught the eye of Henry VIII, a very fashion-forward monarch himself. She dazzled him as much with her elegant style as with her lustrous dark hair and flashing eyes. Her dropped bodice, long fitted sleeves and beaded headbands were immediately copied by every lady at the English court.

By the end of the 17th century, the first fashion magazine, Le Mercure Galant, was using elaborate engravings from metal plates to keep Frenchwomen up to date not only on the latest Parisian fashion trends, but on the lifestyles of the rich and famous that went with them. From these engravings would come the expression that a well-dressed woman looked like a “Fashion Plate.”

In the 18th and 19th centuries, American women could actually get their hands on a small piece of the latest Parisian designs. Articulated wooden dolls dressed in the latest French fashions from head to toe and from the inside out, accessories included, would arrive by boat to great fanfare. Local seamstresses would charge their clients a fee to look at them, and an even larger fee to take them home and study them.

Earlier this month, Vogue Paris celebrated its 90th Birthday with a splashy, over-the-top (quelle surprise!!) black-and-white bash. The theme “Eyes Wide Shut” was eerily appropriate.

Glossy fashion magazines and the designers they promote have run headlong into the reality of changing tastes, dwindling clientele and troubled economic times, all of which have taken a heavy toll on their bottom lines, not to mention high profile casualties such as Christian Lacroix.

Can they survive? Can Haute Couture survive the demands of a hyperactive society addicted to instant gratification? Or will the industry be forced to turn out McFashion to survive?

The death of Broadway has been predicted for more years than I care to remember; and yet, despite financial and artistic reversals, it continues to pick itself up, dust itself off and come back time and time again. Like the theater, change and innovation are the lifeblood of fashion. This is, after all, an industry which must ultimately give women what they want or suffer the consequences.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Luscious Lips for Fall

In Helena Frith Powell’s delightful book All You Need to Be Impossibly French, the pre-pubescent author meets Sophie, a Parisienne so impossibly chic that she is, so to speak, the word made flesh. Sophie tells her that all she really needs to be a Frenchwoman are two lipsticks and a lover. And one of those two lipsticks should be a luscious shade of red. This simple, straightforward statement puts the priorities of the Frenchwoman into perspective.

When Eurodisney (now known as Disneyland Paris) opened to the north of Paris in 1992, my friend, Sandrine, thought it might be fun to work there. Upon applying for a position, she was told that female employees were not permitted to wear red lipstick. Her choice was either pale pink or none at all. “Quelle horreur!”she responded and walked out on the spot, as did many more like her, until the Disney people finally came to their senses and changed the policy.

Some form of enhancement of lip color has been around since Cleopatra smeared a concoction mixed with iodine and poisonous mercury onto her lips to give her pucker a lethal punch.

The first modern lipstick in a metal tube, the product of a French chemist, was born in the 1920s and baptized “Rouge Baiser” or “Red Kiss.” And at about that same time in America, the Revson brothers created a new company and launched Revlon’s own line of luscious red lip colors followed a decade later by nail polish to match. While there is some question as to whether “Revlon Red” predated “Rouge Baiser,” there is no question about their effect. Suddenly, for the price of a tube of lipstick, any woman could look and feel like a Hollywood film star.

Fall is the perfect season to find your perfect shade of red. Overnight, cosmetics counters have gone from the bright pastels of summer to the golden russets and deep burgundies of fall, and somewhere within that range of rich colors is a red lipstick with your name on it. For those of you “d’un certain âge” or who have full or thin lips and have been told to avoid red altogether, I have only one word to say – “Nonsense.” Simply avoid dark, matte reds and opt for clear, more translucent reds that complement your skin tone. Cool skin tones look best in blue reds (think deep rose) while warm skin tones look best in yellow reds (think juicy tomato).

I found my perfect shade of red, “Poppy,” at the Laura Mercier counter, and every time I slip it on I think about impossibly chic Sophie and wonder if she is right. Are two lipsticks and a lover all a woman really needs? Probably not, but it’s a great place to start!