A Bra Recommended by an On-Line “Buddy”

Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms one would think there would be enough sites on which to network.  Today people need people to interact for support, to share information, and to buddy up with, therefore the more outlets the better.

When it comes to fashion, women love to get affirmation from their friends about their “finds” or about a special product they thought was especially worth sharing.  Networking is one of the ways they discover each other and get tips, ideas and friendly advice.

There is never enough information about bras.  What is more of a challenge than finding that perfect bra?  I mean, haven’t we all gone through bras that dig into our skin, where our cup runneth over, where one size in one style isn’t the size in another, where we have to visit more than one store for that perfect workout bra? And then, what with designers finding every way to cut away a neckline or create “peek-a-boo” openings it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack to find an undergarment that will suit what you need.

Now, if you’re like most women they feel more comfortable with a bra under their outer layers.  Really doesn’t matter if it’s a tee, a halter, a strapless or backless number, what one wears underneath is the foundation for that perfectly turned out look.  A good bra that fits makes the difference in looking and feeling good.

Many of us have made the trek to department stores to look for a style that suits our bodies and lifestyles.  Try and find someone in a department store to help guide you to styles that might fit you or what you’re looking for. Then there are the specialty stores where you are being fitted by an expert who convinces you what she has brought you to try on will be what you will always wear.  Until that company no longer manufactures that style and then you’re back to square one.

Let me introduce you to a very unique site called Brayola.  It’s not just a site that tells you to take out a tape measure and measure here, there, and everywhere to get to the size you wear.  I don’t know about anyone else but I have never found the right size following these directions.  And, usually these measurements that take a good amount of time sends me into contortions.

Brayola invites you to join their website by asking a few pointed questions such as the name of your favorite bra, your size in that particular bra, your lifestyle, etc.  This connects one to the site where you are matched up to “buddies” who present similar size and pastime characteristics.  Think match.com or eharmony.com where you are supposedly being matched with the love of your life; except you will get better results with Brayola. And you will love your next bra! Really!  Because your “buddy” is recommending it.  She is your size, has similar fashion tastes, leads a similar lifestyle, has tried and worn the bra.

It’s also fun because your bra horizons will open up to almost every bra manufacturer that exists around the globe. You will be exposed to a world of bras you never knew existed because Brayola has almost every brand, style and size you would ever want to try.  If you’re not happy with what you wind up with, you just return it. You will thank your “bra buddy” and Brayola for making the introduction to your next favorite bra…that fits.



When we were dating my husband gave me my first bottle of perfume.  It was called “Femme.”  I was never interested in fragrances before that time but now I was being given this romantic gift that was so personal. No other boyfriend had given me an extravagant gift such as this. I was impressed!

The fragrance was a little strong but lovely.  When I dabbed it on, it was done very gingerly as I didn’t want this scent to take over a room.  I have been in elevators where a woman’s perfume permeated every corner of the cabin.  The elevator door could never open fast enough for me and I felt like I was wearing that woman’s perfume for hours afterwards.

“Femme” was my perfume because of sentimental reasons but it wasn’t the one I ultimately settled on. Since that gift I have tried other perfumes but I never found one that I felt suited me. Perfume is very personal.  It defines the wearer.

Walking into a department store one day I passed a counter with little sample bottles of a fragrance called “Y” by Yves St. Laurent.  It drew me in.  After a few minutes at the counter I purchased it.  It was exactly what I wanted to wear any time of day, any season.  It became my signature scent and I have been wearing it ever since.  But lo and behold “Y” is no longer being sold in stores.  I have looked everywhere including Duty Free shops.  It is out of production.

But not all is lost.  Recently I was introduced to another fragrance which I find equally appealing.  It happens to be one that has recently been introduced by my client. I make it a practice not to mix business with personal recommendations but this fragrance is special. It’s light, floral and very feminine.  It’s called “Broderie” and it’s by a French couturier named Hayari.

Hayari-Paris Broderie Bottle in Box

The other reason why I love this perfume is that it is exclusive.  It isn’t available at every department store or beauty or drug store.  It has limited distribution.  That makes it special and unique.  I like that.

I have already been stopped on the street and asked the name of this perfume by several women and a few men.  That leads me to believe this exclusivity will not last forever because it won’t be long before this perfume will be scooped up by retailers that sell fashion, beauty and fragrances.  That’s when I will have to start my search all over again.

Alas, that is the price one pays for individuality.


Brave soul that I am I ventured out Friday morning through New York City’s first winter blizzard to attend a fashion show.

Fashion shows as a rule are quite entertaining in and of themselves, and judging by what I witnessed Friday morning during Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, one doesn’t have to bear witness just sitting in the front row to enjoy the spectacle. All one has to do is stand or sit inside the lobby of the building and just watch what people are wearing. I am pretty immune to strange dressing but even I raised an eyebrow or two at some of the getups that clearly announced, “Look at me!”

As I entered the building a statuesque figure preceded me through the door. Waist-length blonde hair, mustard colored coat over a print dress, bright turquoise tights and the obligatory 4 or 5 inch heels didn’t look too out of the ordinary, until I saw the profile. This trendy dresser with long mane was a man with full beard and mustache. Really!!!

Guy & beard small

Then while waiting for my colleagues outside the fashion show venue my eyes settled on three-not-so-little-maids (also male in gender). One wore a leather biker’s jacket with metal studs, leather cap and lo-and-behold a full length diaphanous net skirt… let’s not forget the lace up leather boots either. The other wore a full length fur coat of undisclosed origin, red skirt, high heels, and shoulder drop earrings. As I’m not the world’s best photographer I didn’t capture the third fashion victim wearing the white fur-like coat over knee-high boots let’s just say it was out of the ordinary.

3 guys

But, let’s get to the reason I was at Fashion Week in the first place; that was to attend the Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2013 presentation. Carmen never disappoints and this collection was especially glamorous and elegant. I was seated in the front row so I saw the details and craftsmanship, which were beautifully executed. The contrasting inserts, the subtle drape created in liquid silk satin and luxurious lace; I was drooling throughout the show. The collection took me back to when I first covered fashion shows and how excited I was to review the lines. Carmen’s dresses, gowns and fur coats were feminine in every respect. The collection was very special! No drama. No quirky pieces. No shock waves… just beautiful designs that begged to be worn by women who love beautiful fashion.

White gownBurgundy Gown

Carmen launched the newest addition to his fashion label and that is a collection of shoes under his name. The shoes are as exceptional as his presentation of dresses, gowns and furs. The heels, as fashion calls for, were quite high but the models seemed to navigate their strut down the runway quite easily. From the strappy leather pumps to the mesh-like uppers with back-tie, each wrapped the foot in beautiful form.

Working my way back from Carmen’s show to the lobby there were some additional stop-in-your-tracks get-ups. But somehow now it all made sense to me. Fashion Week shows take place in the same Lincoln Center venue as the Big Apple Circus. The Circus features clowns such as the iconic Grandma. Her choice of  fashion would not have been considered unique, as a matter of fact she would have been quite comfortable among the fashion clowns that pranced about. I even think Grandma’s style would have created a bit of dress envy by the scene stealers.


I have marveled at how women, predominantly women younger than me, navigate walking in sky-high heels, especially on the streets of New York….. well on any street for that matter. 

Really, can heels get any higher?  Well yes they can! Shoe designers have inched up their designs by adding platform soles providing more height to the existing heel elevation. Black pump platform shoesI don’t know, I think I would suffer from altitude sickness just trying a pair on. 

I suppose every generation has their own fashion statement.  I remember when pointy shoes were the footwear of the times.  Long, narrow and pointy toed shoes, were fashion’s  ”must-haves” by anyone with any style sense.  Didn’t matter if they were comfortable as long as they were slim, trim, and most importantly “pointy.”  I don’t recall the shoes having very high heels though.  My favorite styles were reflective of the Louis XIV era designed by my friend Marda for Margaret Jerrold.  As much as I loved the way they looked, I couldn’t wait to take them off at the end of the day! They were pretty to look at but they scrunched my toes. By the time I finished work I couldn’t feel my extremeties.  I remember how relieved I was when I took them off.

To what heights will women go to be in fashion today? Obviously, the sky is the limit! As I love to walk rather than take public transportation, I have seen several elegantly dressed women take pratfalls on the street due to what they were wearing on their feet.  Some take the footwear in stride however there are a few who I see precariously teeter tottering as they walk. Even professional models to their embarrasment have taken falls as they sashayed down runways .  Just imagine, if a model has a hard time walking on these stilts, how can a woman traverse city streets without breaking something?  I would venture it would be especially hazardous to one’s health walking down pock marked sidewalks. 

But wait.  It seems fashion designers may have come to their senses. According to the latest reports from U.S. and European runways, heels have been cut down to size and now “flats” have become the shoes of preference by leading designers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that couture designers in the recent fashion presentations have accessorized their designs with flats when sending their models down the runway .   That’s right…”no heels!”  Talk about the highs and lows of fashion! Sort of makes you think of a roller coaster ride.  One minute it’s up; the next it’s down. Well, fashion can be an amusing phenomenon. 

I, as many women, love shoes.  I can never have enough in my closet.  So, I am very happy to hear that when I next visit my favorite shoe store I will have more styles to select from. Right now I have enough ballerina flats to dress a Nutcracker production.

Hollywood & Madison Avenue Embrace The Allure of the Mature Woman

72-year-old Valerie Ramsey began her modeling career at 62.

This is the first, of what will be many of my observations, opinions, pet peeves, and perceptions of interesting topics to women who have been honored with the title “grandmom”. 

We are women of a certain age, true, but that should not keep us from exploring our potentials and options.  We have so much to offer: our wisdom (because we should be smarter and wiser by now), our energy (because we should be keeping ourselves fit); our inquisitiveness (because we should never let down our enthusiasm for anything new); and most importantly our sense of humor (we have earned the right to laugh at our idiosyncrasies).  These fundamentals stimulate and invigorate us and make us important in today’s society. 

So let’s explore a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. Our beauty.  Have you looked in the mirror with your glasses on and under the full glare of lights?  It may not be what you hoped to see… now don’t panic and morph into Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” . It’s you!  And you are lovely… a little more mature, but lovely nonetheless.

Truthfully speaking, do you want your skin pulled, or injected?  What’s wrong with looking your age? Nothing, I say! Take a good look at bold faced names such as Judi Dench or Maggie Smith who star in the new movie, “ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”   They are beautiful!!! They haven’t masked their appearance…their wrinkles are there for the whole world to see.

Even cosmetic companies and model agencies have recognized that women in their 50’s to mid 90’s are beautiful in their respective ages.  Mac Cosmetics  is featuring Iris Apfel a 92-year-old woman, wrinkles and all, as their face for a fire engine-red lipstick.  While Valerie Ramsey, a 72-year-old model, has consistently been featured in international fashion magazines and advertisements. 

So ladies, if Hollywood and Madison Avenue embrace our looks why would we ever think of marching into Dr. Nip N. Tuck’s office?