Sassy, Classy, Sophisticated


Sewing Adventures

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 11, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


So I have decided to share my "expertise" with the world. I am now teaching sewing classes. I have also decided to use my blog to talk about my classes and some other interesting things. I am hoping that I can figure out this time lapsed photography thing and put together a few videos of me making some of my upcoming Spring wardrobe.


Well the first class was today, the rain didn't stop them. I got everything set up in the living room of my house, since there is no furniture it works great with the 6 foot table I have. I was so anxious, as teaching is not one of my best things. But I guess when you are talking about something you are passionate about it is easier. Anyway it went swimmingly well. What made it better was their interest in the program


I was also elated that one of them brought their own machine and the other one is purchasing one from me, since I have 3. I think I will limit my classes to 2 or 3 max; that way I can give them personal attention and answer their questions one-on-one. Also it makes them less intimidated about asking questions.


In the class, that last 4 weeks, we will go over the basics of sewing, patterns and fabric selection. This week we covered the basic tools of the trade and look at how the machines work. We will build on that and do a few projects, some field trips to the fabric store and cover more of how to make clothes that fit.


Of course teaching this course at home is a little of a challenge, with 3 kids, but it worked out fine. Even Kindal is a "student"/assistant in the class. I had her going to get things for me; it's her way of paying for the class as she has no actual money.


Well over the course of the next few weeks we will be doing projects. The first is a pillow or tote bag just to get them familiar with the pattern cutting process as well as the sewing process. From there we will get into more detailed projects. We have a men's vest, women's skirt and eventually a dress that we are going to do. I man even do some simple pants as one of the students in a man.


So I will use this blog to keep you all posted on what is going on in class as well as let you know if I figure out the video thing so you can see me in action.


Happy Cutting!




Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 30, 2012 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A fine wine just gets better with time. A well-aged Scotch gets smoother. The jury is in and it wants to be an expensive alcoholic beverage. But in the world of human beings, getting older means a lot more than the general wisdom over pricey booze. Being wiser, having priorities in life settled, a certain calm comes over you. Now here’s the bad news: We all know as women we all know what getting older means, worrying about our looks more.


So since I will be turning 34 this summer, (feel free to gasp because I can't believe it), I wanted to talk about how to look great at any age and what you can do to continue to age beautifully.


After reading article after article I have found a few tips that I plan to put to the test. They seem simpler than Botox or a facelift.


SKIN: First the face since this is the first thing people see it is important to put our best face forward. Most importantly you have to clean your face daily, really twice daily. This will help to keep a clean pallet to start from and will keep blemishes down. There are a few makeup tricks that can help us look young, and some foods that can help too. Great article “Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin” from Discovery Fit & Health is a great place to start your studies.

LIP GLOSS. I know it seems like a kid thing, especially since my daughter can’t live without it. But it will make your lips look more luscious and full. A pink coral or blue-based pink will work on most skin tones and will also make your teeth look white. I love multitasking. I am a fan of not spending too much on things. Here’s one of my favorites. In this case a little color goes a long way.

Rimmel London Stay Glossy – Stay My Rose (2176) or Fuchsia Fever (2318)

EYEBROWS, they frame your face and help give you a fresh wide awake look. It is important to groom and have them look full, not crazy. All you need is an eyebrow pencil to fill in the gaps that time has caused. The color needs to be slightly lighter or darker than your hair color to help them pop. Remember I said slightly. Don’t forget to set them with a clear brow gel.


Want that fresh youthful glow you once had? You can get it back with a little dusting. Bronzing power is an item you don’t want to leave home without applying. Find a hue that mimics the shade your skin turns with a light tan, and apply with a blush brush instead of a larger powder brush.


HAIR, aargh! What’s the big deal with a little gray hair? I got mine and I earned them. A few were gifts from the husband and kids. As with everything it’s about the confidence you wear your “do” with that will make the difference. I have seen some beautiful silver haired ladies in my own family and it wasn’t due to age but how they worked it.


FASHION, my favorite! Next it’s all about how you dress. Instead of holding onto an image that is associated to a former time in your life, learn to let go and move on. A large part of looking attractive at various stages of life is knowing what works for you and doesn't. Show your confidence by wearing what you know makes you feel and look good. Let go of what doesn't. The key is taking ownership of your self-image, but being flexible as it changes. Select fashions that highlight your best features and learn how to de-emphasize others. If you have great legs, show them off. They are often the last feature on women to show age. It may mean replacing your mini skirt with a mid-calf one and choosing low heels over three-inch, pointy ones. But, when you take strong, confident steps in comfortable stylish shoes, wearing outfits you feel great in, you will look attractive at any age. Try experimenting with new colors and interesting fabrics that show off the changes you see in your face and body. Instead of shopping at your old haunts that worked when you were in your 20s and 30s, find stores and designers that make you feel great about yourself. You are always changing, so allow your sense of style to change as well.


Accessorize boldly. Try sporting something you haven't ever worn before -- a red handbag, a bright scarf or bold jewelry. Experiment with flamboyant, bright colors. It's an option men don't have, so take pleasure in it! Some women, who never enjoyed short skirts or high heels, are more comfortable taking risks as they age by accessorizing their outfits. Bigger, brighter and bolder accessories when matched with sophisticated age-appropriate clothes keep you looking current and show a sense of style that is ageless.


So yes you are getting older but aren’t we all. Do it gracefully and beautifully. Look to women you respect or ladies in your family for inspiration. Hey my mom was hot even in her 50s so I can only hope to follow the legacy of her timeless beauty.

Work That Body

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As a personal designer and custom clothing maker for clients I am often confronted with the same problem: When it comes to fashion, women are not always fond of reality. As is, every trend is not for you. We want one thing and sometimes that one thing is not made for our body type and won’t look as good as we are so sure it will. A big challenge to my job is to offer these trends and make them look good on as many “types” as I can. In most cases people will judge the designer not the wearer when an outfit or dress is custom made. Therefore, I decided to discuss body types and the styles that accent the positive and mask some of the flaws of each type.

In essence there are many types but for the purpose we will discuss the main four: Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear and Inverted Triangle.


Curves for days? You got everything in good proportions. It is important to keep hips and shoulders balances to show off that shape. Belts are always worn at the waist. Avoid boxy cuts that don’t show you r shape. You don’t have to wear tight clothes but don’t go to the other extreme. Suggestions:

• criss-cross under bust to emphasize shape.

• horizontal patterns

• pencil skirts or high waist skirts

• tailored jackets and pants


In this case you carry the bulk of your weight in the middle. Your hips and shoulders are about the same measurement with your waist measurement being very close to the same. This is the case for a lot of women I know. So what do you do to create a waistline and curves? You want to avoid drawing attention to your waistline, or lack thereof. Don’t wear boxy clothing or pants/skirts with too much detail at your middle. Show off your legs with some fancy footwear. Some suggestions:

• empire cut dresses

• swirly prints to add softness to your silhouette

• flare leg pants

• create shape with tailored jackets with a nip and flare at the waist to fake the curves.


Baby Got Back! Your hips are the largest measurement with narrow shoulders. Also, have a defined waistline. You want to direct attention upward away from the hips. Wear full collars, scarves that drape you horizontally. You want to avoid anything with details that cross the hipline like low slug belts and tops that have wide bottoms. Some suggestions:

• jackets with large lapels and strong shoulders

• dark bottoms with graphic tops

• boot cut or flare legged pants and jeans

• a-line skirts

Inverted Triangle

Is your bust your biggest measurement? Then you are an Inverted Triangle. What you want to do is distract from your shoulders to your slender hips. Wearing low slug belts will draw attention down from your bust. Avoid large lapels and shoulder pads and tight tops that button up. Suggestions:

• jackets that cinch in at the waist and flare at hips to create illusion of hip volume

• slim skirts to make hips look wider

• stripes or details on bottom to draw attention to hips and legs

Keep these tips in mind when shopping and when getting dressed. Have fun with it. Work what you got in confidence, it’s the best accessory.

New Year: New You

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Well it’s that time again. Time to start making plans for the New Year and all that we plan to accomplish. I figured since this was my last trend article of 2011 I would focus on what the New Year should bring. I know we all make these resolutions to do better, eat better, save better, just be better than we were in the year prior. Well I think it is a good time to plan to look better. I’m not saying that you don’t have style but we could all use a makeover every now and again, why not make a plan to overhaul or tweak your style. So in this week’s addition of the Trend Notes I will be giving you some tips on how to up your style game for the New Year. We will look at hot hair and make-up trends for 2012 that will take your style to the next level.

Let us start from the top - hair. What is the hot, must-have hairstyle to set off your style? As with everything, retro is seen here too. I tweeted about this article last week from Fashioning.com (www.fashionising.com/trends/b--2012-hairstyles-2012-haircuts-2012-hair-trends-4338.html) I think runway is great but not always what you want to wear everyday to work and play. So here are some of the trends that came down the runway that can be versatile for everyday.

For ladies with long locks who don’t want to cut. These styles are easy to manage since most of the look is just curling the back but they look luxurious and will fit into your lifestyle. And with these styles you can jazz it up with different hair accessories to complement your outfit or agenda.


For ladies with less to work with or who want to cut up a little there are these cute styles. Again we are looking at ease of the look while giving it lift and personality. With this first look you can add as much curl or as little as you like. It is sleek and fun at the same time.

And for the daring ladies that want to go for the big chop, here are the cuts I love. Chops and cuts are not just for the steakhouse anymore. Who knows? Come spring I might be wearing one of these myself. Star style doesn’t mean you have to be in the movies to rock it. Be the star of your life with this look. It’s carefree and easy to maintain plus can go from day to evening and can be switched up depending on your mood. And if you really wanna cut it all off and save time with styling there’s the ever enduring Pixie Crop from the 70’s. I wear it off and on and it never goes out of style.


Getty Images

Now that we have our hair did let’s move to make up. This is simpler and trends can change on a whim. I like to adjust my personal style based on how feisty I am feeling. Harpers Bazaar had a wonderful slide show of the hottest makeup trends for 2012 from the runway. I think these will fit every lady depending on what you have to do and your own personal style. Mix it up and have fun. Spring is around the corner and color is still great for the Winter. Here are my favorite looks:

Reds: Do a pop on the lip and keep it the rest neutral for drama or darken the eyes for more drama. And really any shade will work. Just find the right one for your skin tone and work it.


Brows are back. I am so glad for this. Although it works for some, I hated the super thin style, but now a return to bold brows means that I can once again walk and drive with my eyes open.


And neutral is always glamorous especially if you hit the cheeks with a little color. This is a great daytime work look, clean and simple but cute.

Kristina WilsonImaxtree.com

So ladies now is the time to upgrade your style and if you’re looking for new clothes to match the new you check out my web store to see how you can get a custom style assessment for the new you.

Color of Sping 2012

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The tally is in and Pantone has finally named the color of Spring 2011, thank you very much. Drum roll please! And…Tangerine Tango has won the top spot. Please hold your applause. Bold and lively is what's in for Spring. In September, the runway has been splashed with Tangerine spice. Here’s to tango not costing too much cash (that was one for the older peeps).

Anyway, here are some of my favorite looks featuring this hot color.

Elie Tahari Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearElie Tahari Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Elie Tahari Spring 2012 RTW Photo: Filippo Fior / GoRunway.com

Nanette Lepore Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearNanette Lepore Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Alessandro Viero / GoRunway.com

When wearing this color you’re definitely making a statement. The great thing is you decide how loud that statement is. Wear it as the main backdrop or as highlights to your look.

"Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Here are a few looks from the collection that give a nod to the winning color. My inspiration came from things that the Pantone executive mention: sunlight/sunsets. I want the women who wear these dresses to standout from the crowd.

Here are some ways to wear it more subtly.

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

style #305136001 orange leather large clutch Giuseppe Zanottistyle #312230502 orange and ivory leather 'Hamilton' reversible beltMichael Kors

style #315644601 orange patent leather strappy slingback sandalsDolce & Gabbana

Tribal Trends

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

One trend seen on runways from NYC to Milan was the tribal influence, as exhibited in animal prints and catchy ethnic styles, it could be found everywhere. Tribal from the 80s is not what this is but it is sleek, stylish, urban and sometimes even sophisticated.

In the Big Apple, the looks mixed ethnic print and crafts into some interesting territory. For example, with Donna Karan you can see influences of a tribal feel but with a style that is totally urban with the body hugging silhouettes.

Donna Karan Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

Photo: Gianni Pucci / GoRunway.com

Another hot designer who was sporting that tribal style in NYC was Herve Leger by Max Azria. This was one of the more trendy collections, using tribal motifs in simple silhouettes. These dresses are for the woman with a place to go and a desire to create a drool rich environment along the way.

Herve Leger buy Max Azria Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

Paris brought a flare for sophisticated to the tribal style. The motifs on the tops were like just scarves draped around the body to produce interesting looks with pants made this woman look grown and stylish while still being in step with the times. These are looks for the everyday woman going about her errands or to work even.

A.F.Vandervost Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Alessandro Viero / GoRunway.com

Milan wrapped up the year with its own tribal thing going on. From prints to texture they had a different, broader outlook. For instance Mochino took inspiration from Spain and made tribal both carefree and sexy. These looks have different functions but both let you be a little wild.

Mochino Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

In the MiikelleDeFo Spring 2012 line you can see that tribal influence with the prints of the fabric and the easiness of a few of the looks. So you don’t have to go big or go home when it comes to tribal prints.

Back to the Future

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on November 30, 2011 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

So as my mom always said, "Fashion always repeats itself." Well my mom was right as usual (I know I’m not the only one). Take a look at what's coming in Spring 2012 and you will see some fabulous blasts from the past. This is an awesome season, showcasing an elegance and refinement that was thought to be long gone. Glamour from the 20s to the 40s are back in full SWING. Get it? Welcome back, Jazz Age.

Check out the inspiration from the Dior NewLook in the new season from Dior to Rochas.

Christian Dior Spring 2012 / Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

Rochas Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Rochas Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

We see that the famous fit and flare silhouette is back. Which I so love and am excited to see. Here is one of my takes on that style from my Spring 2012 line.


MiikelleDeFo Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Crispin Fowler / CrisAnler Photography


Another look returning to the scene is the 20s Flapper. We have seen a lot of 20s themed parties pay homage to the free, energetic fashion style. Here, they have married flapper with art deco to add pizzazz. Some stand out designers are Gucci and Etro.

Gucci Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Monica Feudi / Feudiguaineri.com

Etro Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Etro Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com


And here is another of my translations of that style. Of course mine is a much more modern appeal to the look.

MiikelleDeFo Spring 2012 RTW / Photo: Crispin Fowler / CrisAnler Photography