Ask Robert...



Danial B. from Orlando, FL asks Robert "Here's my question of the day. Thanks for your help today and in advance. I'll be heading to New York city in early December. And I'll be attending some dinners that requires me to wear a jacket. What is the best color and style for NYC and for two dinners. Thanks."

OK, so here is the deal~ Jackets or sport coats are the most sensible investment when buying for a special event or classy dinner out in New York Or Orlando. The most modern classic colors are black & charcoal. Navy & camel brown are more conservative casual & less imaginative. In the charcoal I like a tonal stripe or plaid pattern. The black I like solid & clean. The 2 button jacket is still classic in styling, 3 & 4 button come & go.

While your looking at jackets, check out trousers... flat-front. I know pleated pants are perceived more comfortable, but less tailored looking & when you sit down you have a wad of fabric in your lap. Again, black, charcoal & midnight are my favorite; a lite weight wool material is wearable 9 months out of the year in most climates.

Pick up a tie here & there. Consider a paisley, or stripe by Etro, in deep rich tones like maroon, dusty grape or a festive gold for your winter evening.

Here is your shopping list: 1 jacket, 2 ties & 1 or 2 trousers; 1 white & 1 black button down shirt will do too. The above pictured items are suggestions, you can shop for these similar silhouettes anywhere from Men's Warehouse, Macy's, Nordstrom or Barneys NY.
You don't have to buy everything all at once or from the same place. Wherever you go, make sure they will tailor your trouser or jacket for you. It is worth the additional fees, because the whole point is for you to look put together, polished & confident.

Ask Robert...


Erin D. from Kansas asks Robert "I have to go to a fancy auction/fund raiser dinner thing tonight and am wearing a black strapless dress (falls just under the knee). The event starts at 7:00, do I have to wear panty hose-tights??? I'm still tan from the vegas trip but don't want to be too casual or dressed inappropriately :) black or nude...I just have no idea what's expected! and you are the only fashion guru !!"

OK, here is the deal, if you were on the West Coast I would say bare tan legs are perfectly acceptable. Your in the Midwest so tights or hosiery is more proper. SO.... if your bare tan legs are flawless, no bruises or unsightly blemishes, not a second thought. But if you feel it would be more appropriate I would recommend a sheer black, smokey translucent color hose. Avoid designed or crystallized ones for this weekend... could appear to "costumee"... save that for the upcoming winter holiday events.

Bonus tips:

Wear a wrap or "Pashmina", not a coat if possible. It appears more elegant to hand off a wrap than a quilted snow coat. LOL

Accessories should be statement or vintage pieces. Nothing dainty. Don't over do it. Before you head out the door, look in the mirror & remove one piece (as practiced by Coco Chanel & myself) This shows you have discerning classic elegance, no matter what your frock is.

Have a fantastic time to night, your going to WOW them.

Thank you to Saks 5th Ave, Barneys NY & Nordstrom for the images above.

Hey Guys... a little skin talk with me

Interview About MENS' SKIN with Robert Ballew, Phoenix-based Wardrobe Stylist

Instant Gift Certificate (click on link)

Ever since I was a young girl (don't laugh), I have always had an interest in chatting with people about beauty, fashion and grooming habits. A few days ago I asked my fellow "Twits" on Twitter for a male volunteer to interview for my blog about men and skin care.

Robert Ballew, a Phoenix-based Wardrobe Stylist, who I have been Tweeting with for some time now graciously granted me a telephone interview. We talked about his personal thoughts and experiences with skin care and facial treatments as well as grooming tricks for men!


To learn more about Mr. Ballew, check out his bio.

Here's my interview with http://twitter.com/robertballew

{ME} Hi, Robert! So nice to finally talk to you on the telephone! It's a real pleasure, considering we have been "Tweeting" together for months now!

[RB] Thank you, Lori. I am so excited about doing this interview with you! I enjoy reading your tweets, as well as other people's tweets!

{ME} Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself, your skin care regimen and facial treatment (if any) experiences?

[RB] Sure. I'm forty years old, grew up in Manhattan, and I have been living in Arizona for the past six plus years. I've been getting facials for the past ten years, thanks to my best friend who owns a day spa. For the past three years I've been more focused on treatment facials and get skin treatments every two weeks.

{ME} What kind of treatments have you been getting for the past three years?

[RB] I go to an Esthetician at a skin clinic for microdermabrasion and dermaplaning (exfoliation using a razor) as well as peels. Sometimes she does a calming facial, but there is no facial massage or extractions. My skin goal is softening of fine lines and smooth skin. Occasionally I will go to a day spa for a relaxing facial that includes massage of face and neck.

{ME} Robert, have you ever considered or have you ever had botox or any other cosmetic procedure?

[RB] I did have Botox. I was resistant to it at first, but my partner talked me into it because he had such good results with it. It worked really well to soften my upper forehead lines and the lines around my eyes. I only get a little, just to soften. I don't want to look frozen, just relaxed. I like a little movement. Ha ha! I did try the new generic Botox and it did not work for me, but I understand the generic works for most people.

{ME} What's your daily home skin care regime?

[RB] I've been using the Obagi system for three years. I also use La Roche-Posay scrub, SkinCeuticals B-5, skinCeuticals C & E Ferulic, Retin-A and SPF 35 every morning. Sometimes I use Retin-A on my entire face, and other times I just use it around my eye area.

{ME} (I'm thinking, "How do I tell him this gently")... So, Robert...Are you saying that you use all of the steps in the Obagi line? (He says yes!). Are you aware that all Obagi steps contain a very dangerous ingredient called Hydroquinone? The FDA is considering putting a ban on Hydroquinone

[RB] Oh, I did not know that. Thank you for sharing that with me. Are there other products that you would recommend for lightening dark spots?

{ME} Yes! Some of them you are already using. For instance, the Retin-A and Vitamin C is helping to lighten your skin. There are also natural lightening products like Epicuren's Skin Lightener, Balancing Cream and Rhonda Allison's Brightening Cream Enhanced as well as Rhonda Allison's Naturale Mega Brightening Serum.

[RB] I guess I have some research to do!

{ME} Okay. What about shaving, waxing, and thoughts on your skin?

[RB] I don't have any problems with shaving. My skin is oily, dry and sensitive. I change up my skin care routine based upon the time of year. Normally, I use fewer products in the summer and more moisturizing products in the winter. I use SPF every day. I get my brows waxed every two weeks and I did a series of laser hair removal for my chest hairs.

{ME} What are your personal tips on skin care and male grooming?

Ask Robert...

Heather S. in Overland Park, KS asked "So, are my boots with heels a thing of the past?"

Here is the deal~ Absolutely not! These Fall|Winter collections are all over the board in material, construction, embellishment & heel height. The above image just scratches the surface of what is available to everyone, for every occasion & price range. Notice the heel shapes, widths & heights are in abundance to add to your own collection. All these options are available so you may create your own personal style & enhance your mood. Some are more casual... some are definitely more fierce.

Shop! Shop now!

Be on the hunt...

Ridding Boots are made to be used for horse ridding, not everyday wear. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup. The sole is smooth or lightly textured to avoid being caught on the tread of the stirrup in the event of a fall.

Equestrian STYLED boots tend to fluctuate in and out of the fashion spotlight... depending on the region you live in, but remain consistent in there practicality.

Some of my favorites are Etienne Aigner, Cole Haan, Cordani Calzature, 7 for all mankind & The Fry Company. Check out these styles for the Fall/Winter 2009 season. The ability to pair these boots with denim, leggings & skirts, for day, night and every occasion in between, makes owning a single pair a bargain... and no horse or saddle required.

Selvage Denim

Selvage denim, is made on old-style shuttle looms (less than 1% of all denim in the world) rather than modern, projectile looms. This means during the fabric weaving process, the cross-thread goes back and forth as one continuous thread, rather than as individual threads for each cross weave. As a result, selvage denim has a nice clean edge.

Japanese selvage denim is the finest and most rare on the market. Some of the hottest brands out there are A.P.C. Denim, Somet Denim; Nudie Denim, woven in Japan, constructed in Italy and Naked & Famous, constructed in Canada. The Stronghold is woven and constructed in Los Angeles, CA.

Recommend care? I was told by my Personal Shopper at Barneys NY, to wait about a year before washing or dry cleaning, so they have time to conform & wear to your bodies unique attributes. So we could call these "Green." (LOL) I love having the comfort of denim and how clean & sophisticated selvage denim looks with jackets & blazers. So find some and check them out.

Sequins & Embelishments










"Fall leggings should be more glamorous & inspiring..." says Lizzie at shiningtrends.com. I must agree, but leggings are just the beginning. Accent the holidays with a sequins jacket, tunic dress or skirt. Tonal sequins, black on black or charcoal on charcoal, creates a sleek, elegant silhouette that can become core value "After Five" pieces in your closet.

If you want to step outside the box, seek out a rich bronze or pewter color. There are flashier, more colorful tops, just be alert, they are "trenditional", one season only pieces. If you are minding your monies & expected to attend (and enjoy) winter parties... be smart, be inspiring & be glamorous.