MDC – Our Captain, Angler and Entertainer

The MDC loves the water in the summer! If it involves water the MDC is on it or in it. This summer, it’s all about fishing. Fly fishing and bone-fishing are in the cards.

The MDC did some shopping, and he has some simple recommendations for your next fishing trip and the socialization that follows. For swimsuits, the MDC likes options from Peter Millar, Vineyard Vines and Vilebrequin.

For extreme sun exposure, he recommends the Columbia Bahama PFG shirts.

FM7048_100_f

And for aprés angling Vineyard Vines new Bonefish or Harbor shirt.

Vineyard Vines Bonefish Check Harbor Shirt

The MDC says, “Good fishing, my friends”.

MDC’s Summer Fashion Recommendations

 

AvatarsWe are turning our column over to the MDC this month and we asked him what a guy should wear for 4th of July festivities, summer rush parties or backyard barbecues? Here are a few of his favorites for the guys in your life.

This summer, the MDC is sporting some Southern Tide, Peter Millar, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines.

His go-to casual outfit is the Southern Tide Seersucker Short Sleeve Sport Shirt and Peter Millar light weight cotton shorts.

 

If your fête is a bit more upscale, he recommends the Peter Millar Linen Silk Soft Coat, collared shirt, no tie, with a pocket square, or the Ralph Lauren Madras Blazer with any khaki short or pant.

Now, anyone who knows the MDC appreciates that he loves a good pair of flashy pants. So this summer he opted for Brooks Brothers’ Clark Fit Nautical Print pant.

MR00376_BLUE

Vineyard Vines embroidered chinos are also appropriate for any serious social activity! Vineyard Vines also has a great selection of belts to accessorize the summer look and Peter Millar has distinctive pocket squares.

With all these options he knows your dude will look great at any summer fete!

Weekend Water Warrior

Water Warrior

Summer is here and you’ve been invited to the lake or beach for a weekend! Woohoo! Both venues have their own elements to contend with, but what to wear on and around the water and how to stay pretty and fresh after a day of surf and sun is the same. Be prepared for any invite with this simple guide.

Overnight Bag

Bathing suit, cover-up and hat, flip-flops or boat shoes. Shorts, shirt, casual linen or cotton dress, light sweater, sandals, pajamas, and simple jewelry.

Show up in simple shorts or a casual sundress. Pick a swimsuit that is activity friendly, a two-piece with straps and tight bottoms or a strapped one-piece. The waves and water sports can be less than forgiving on a loose swimsuit, so be prepared and avoid a wardrobe malfunction. Bring simple waterproof flip-flops or Sperry boat shoes for walking on sand, boats or docks. You can throw on a coverup or shorts for board walking or lakeside lunching.

For evening, a jumpsuit or maxi dress is ideal for a quick change. Pair it with simple sandals, like Jack Rogers, and you are ready for a night out on the town or dinner on the deck.  Remember: Flats are usually best, as heels on boat docks and beaches are seldom comfortable. A hat and simple jewelry can also tie your look together.

Cosmetic Bag

Don’t bring or wear a lot of make-up! The surf and sun are not makeup friendly. Not to mention a full face of make up is not appropriate or sustainable in the heat or water. Mimi and Mademoiselle have always followed a simple and effective strategy much like the expert Bobbi Brown’s recommendation: “Summer makeup should be easy and quick. Keep your routine simple with a tinted moisturizer with SPF, concealer, lip gloss, blush, eyeliner and mascara.”  There are lots of waterproof options so find those that give you a simple sun kissed look.

Beach Bag

Towel, cover-up, sunscreen, lip gloss, aprés sun moisturizer or aloe, hat (we recommend a Helen Kaminsky Newport Standard), hair ties or headband, sunglasses w/Croakies or strap, brush, tissue, cash, Ziplock bag or waterproof carrier for your phone and money.

If it is long day on the boat you may want to stash dry undergarments. You will be the smart one on the long boat ride back if you can slip out of your wet suit and into a dry outfit. The night air can be chilly!

A Word About Shorts

Shorts have come a long way. A long way down and long way up. It is hard to believe we Americans have only been wearing them without shame for about fifty years. Shorts have a funny history and it’s hard to believe they could have been such a hotly debated moral topic.

We find ourselves at the doorstep of summer again, the official time for shorts. Our gams have not seen the light of day for months and now its time to get some sun and keep cool in the heat. It appears the fashion gods got Mimi’s message that she was seeing too much Kardashian and are now offering shorts in a variety of new lengths between the “daisy dukes” and “pedal pushers”. Mimi recently found several pairs at Vince that are both fashion forward and length appropriate for a woman of mature age, as they say. Most of them even have an elastic waist. Can you say, “Oh, yeah” or “Yes, I will have another?”

Tory Burch made some “short sets”, shorts with matching shirts, jackets and sweaters that are worth a look. Vince also has stylish Bermuda shorts which is hard thing to do! J. Crew also has a slew of styles to choose from. Many designers have the inseam between 3 and 7” which makes the perfect flattering short for most every woman. It goes without saying that “daisy dukes” are only for the young, but even the young should consider many of these new lengths and styles. Mademoiselle recently got the Vince Belted Chambray Short and it’s a great compromise length and very flattering.

Mimi and Mademoiselle suggest you get out and get a pair of these new flattering style shorts!

Bring back the one-piece swimsuit, s’il vous plaît!

Okay, Mr. Timberlake… Let’s bring sexy back! Ladies, let’s bring the one-piece swimsuit back in vogue! It has been awhile since American women have really embraced the one-piece suit. However, one-pieces are making a comeback and are far more fashion forward this year. So we say, “One-piece and sexy are not mutually exclusive!” Statistics bear out that 53% of women generally prefer to wear a one piece. However, there seems to be a certain style backlash and shaming apparent when you hit the beach in your one-piece. Many of us cannot help but feel judged, no matter how cute our one-piece, by our bikini clad brethren. We say no more! A stylish one-piece is fashionable and honestly, who doesn’t like a little coverage as a bonus? It can be every bit as sexy and then some. Doesn’t anyone remember Farrah Fawcett and her iconic red one piece swimsuit (that now sits in the Smithsonian) that made her a star? In 1976 she was sexy in that suit and in 2015 she is still sexy. Have you seen Elle in her black one-piece? Need I say more…

Do we really need a tan tummy all the time? What’s the big deal about bikinis anyways? We are not hating on the bikini. Au contrare, we love them and they remain a viable option. However, we know that as fashion ebbs and changes, so do social mores, and the one piece offers good fashion for all women, coverage if you need it and sexy if you want it! Let’s all try a one-piece this summer and see what happens! There are so many styles out there it was hard to pick our favorites. Vix, Carolina Herrerra, La Perla, Ella Moss, Mara Hoffman, Norma Kamali and Tory Burch have outstanding options. Virtually every swimwear designer is offering an attractive one-piece. So, clearly Mimi and Mademoiselle are on the right track! We assembled a few of our favorites at Meristocracy.com! Check out the site! So go on, try one and give any woman you see in a one-piece a nice compliment. 

 

Spring scarves have sprung!

A decade ago scarves were mostly seen as an accessory for older ladies or working women to accessorize their suit. Today, they are a haute accessory for any outfit. The colors, fabrics and textures are too numerous to fathom, but suffice it to say, there is a scarf out there that compliments your new outfit or refreshes an old one! Whether it’s a shawl, pashmina, neckerchief, square, infinity or rectangle, you can find your perfect shape for the perfect look.

If wearing them and tying them presents a conundrum for you, there are several app resources for you to check out:

There are lots of great and unique ways to wear scarves. Whether as a headband, belt, pocket square or purse tie, the accessorizing potential of a scarf is outmatched! The larger ones also double as a shawl to keep you warm. Great for travel and cool spring breezes. Here are few of our favorites from Hermes, Tory Burch and Kate Spade.

You, On View

youonviewMimi and Mademoiselle believe that you, on view, is a combination of many facets of your behavior: the way you dress, the way you talk, the way you act, the way you interact with people you meet, the way you behave at parties, the way you act at work and the way you are with your friends and family. If you are conscientious and considerate in all of these facets of life, you are on your way to a positive you, on view. We want to ask you, what do you think about yourself? What do you think is you, in the view of others? Your clothing and accessories are a mirror of how you feel and think of yourself. Whatever your “style” it sends a clear message to those around you. Personal style is hard to define and each of us have our own personal interpretation of “style”. Clinton and Stacy made a living out of teaching poor interpreters of style, “What Not to Wear”… but in almost every show Mimi and Mademoiselle watched, the “you” was not happy with themselves.

That said, lets think about “spring cleaning” your self-opinion and looking at your style and what message you’re sending to others. Let’s have the you, on view, be one of style and a smile!

1. Good Grooming

Grooming, there’s a word no one uses. However, we think a lot of us have forgotten the importance of being well-groomed. It means: shower when you get up in the morning, especially if you are hungover, or after the gym or exercise; If you wear make-up, keep it touched up; If you get manicures and pedicures the polish is either all on or off, no in between; regular hair cut and/or color (no roots); modest use of fragrance. Hair management could be a beauty topic all its own, but suffice it to say we all spend a ridiculous and inordinate amount of time and money ridding our bodies of hair. So whatever hair removal you choose from your head to your toes, keep it up on a regular basis.

Good grooming is a habit. It does not mean you have to get up every day, put on a full face of make-up and a nice outfit. You can be well-groomed in yoga pants and a sweatshirt or t-shirt and jeans. Casual dress does not beget casual grooming. Making an effort, no matter what your mood, is key. In the words of the great Estee Lauder, “There are no ugly women, just laziness.”

2. Clothing and Accessories

Style and good grooming refers not just to ourselves, but to our clothes. It means: clean clothes, event appropriate attire and appropriate accessories. Dressing well and following fashion is always appropriate, but even though everyone’s budget will differ, it is no excuse for clothes that are not clean, in need of a wash or dryclean or just plainly, inappropriate attire. Appropriate also has many interpretations as it refers to style. Mimi prefers you young ladies begin to exercise a bit of restraint or modesty in some of your clothing choices. Instagram, Tumblr posts and Snapchats are full of girls, all in tiny dresses, boobs and tushes hanging with bare legs and stilettos, leaving me to ask, how has it become the norm to dress like a stripper? What about that old adage, “Leaving a little something to the imagination.” Being half naked is neither fashionable nor smart. There may be a time and place for the “tiny dress”, but we assure you overuse or misuse of the “tiny dress” does not equate to a positive you, on view.

Although, Mademoiselle understands the allure and attention from the “tiny” dress, she applies the “either/or”:  Either skimpy top/conservative bottom or conservative top/skimpy bottom. Heels are always appropriate if it’s a dress-up event, but above 4 1/2 inches is rarely fashionable. Tights are appropriate in winter, as are wraps to stay warm. Accessories generally make the outfit, but too many are distracting. Simple and Classy is always best. I’d rather be the girl everyone did not talk about than the one they did.

3. Civil Behavior

How do you relate to strangers? To your friends? With your family? Mimi once heard a story on style that went something like this:

A young woman was shopping with her mother when they saw a prominent woman in their community who was considered quite beautiful and stylish. The young woman asked her mother why she was considered so stylish. Her mother suggested she ask the salespeople helping the woman with her purchases. She did and they all said the same thing: the woman was an intelligent, kind, and thoughtful person. The young girl reported the comments to her mother who purportedly said, “Well, now you know what being stylish really is.”  True or not, the story has perfect application to our post. Being the best you can be (most of the time): civil, polite, courteous and thoughtful is very important in the message that you send to others. We are also quite sure that practicing these traits will improve your own self-opinion. This seems a bit “old-school”, but some advice never goes out of style and we want you the be the best you, on or off view!  

White Shoe Showdown

Its soon to be Spring, and Mimi and Mademoiselle are always questioned about when and where to wear white shoes? Well, we had a bit of a shoe showdown and came to a consensus. Yes, there is really a “rule” or rather a “tradition” commonly interpreted as a post Labor Day to Easter moratorium on wearing white shoes, clothing or accessories. The origins of the “rule” have been debated, defended and even dismissed by the “fashion forward” set.

Mimi says please, don’t be to quick to dismiss a tradition steeped in history and still followed by many. Most style conscious traditionalists commit themselves to no white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. I’ve heard that some squeeze in a few more days, wearing them from the date of the vernal equinox to the autumnal equinox, buying them about 30 extra days of white! However, every place has a change of seasons and as a traditionalist, I would stick to wearing white shoes only from Easter to Labor Day with no exceptions unless you are going south of the border for the winter. White clothes are up to a lot more interpretation and depend on the season, outfit and type of fabric. A white shirt is never out of style and always appropriate. However, shirting or other clothing in linen, eyelet, terry, etc. are “traditionally” summer fabrics and a no-go after Labor Day. If you must continue to wear white then go for a heavier fabric. Think silk, chambray or denim until winter sets in. Heavier fabrics like wool, cashmere and corduroy in shades of white can be functional and stylish, making quite a fashion statement in the dead of winter.

Mademoiselle is truly progressive and says, while I mostly agree with Mimi, I think there is a little more wiggle room for wearing white clothing in the other seasons, especially when it comes to pants. There is something really edgy about a pair of white denim pants with an oversized Vince black cashmere sweater and Jimmy Choo boots in the winter. I also own a few of the “winter white” pieces of clothing Mimi alluded to and they are an absolute go-to when the summer whites are out. “Winter white?” you ask. Now what on earth is a “winter white” as compared to a non “winter white?” A “winter white” is closer to an ivory, cream, champagne or ecru color where as a more summery white would be much more stark –think the pure white Crayola crayon. Remember, Coco Chanel was well known for wearing white all year long (usually her exquisite suiting), but the fabrics she used were appropriate for the season. 

We both agree the white shoe answer really depends on whom you ask and where you live. White shoes are hard to find and like and really do not look good on anyone, sort of like a bikini. Its better to be safe then sorry so for us, only Easter to Memorial Day, please. And seriously, how many awesome pairs of white shoes has anyone ever seen? Shoes are much more fun in colors!

2015 Workout Chic

Mimi and Mademoiselle are like everyone else, they always resolve to eat less and exercise more. We suggest a good way to get started, instill confidence and persevere toward our goals is by dressing the part! Great gear is a great motivator.

Mimi’s noted the trend of fitness clothes that go from workout to coffee, errands, class or a casual lunch. There are excellent choices on the market from old standards like Nike, Under Armour, Athleta and Gap to newer brands like Fabletics. Fabletics allows you to create a personal profile with a VIP membership and then each month you will receive personalized outfit ideas based upon your profile. However, Mimi believes that no one does workout clothes better than Lululemon Athletica, especially if you are looking for clothes to go from the gym to the street or rather, yoga to coffee or even the grocery store. Warm or cold, Lululemon has the gear for any age group and any exercise. Mimi’s latest cold weather favorite is the Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Shirt, Base Runner Pant and the Wrap it Up sweater. The wash ability and wear ability of the brand is proven, and despite a setback with last year’s too sheer tights, they seem to be leading the game. To be fair, there are other new brands like Dona Jo Fitwear, Koral Activewear (especially the faux leather legging and bra- to oohlala for Mimi) and this spring a line from Track & Bliss that could also give Lulu some competition. I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know!  

Mademoiselle loves the classic Wunder Under Pant, in all shades, but especially black. On the top, she usually pairs them with a college t-shirt for the day time, but when running around town or off to a yoga class, she sports the Power Y Tank with either a Lulu sweater or Daily Practice Long Sleeve. Even if Mademoiselle doesn’t make it to the gym or yoga class that day, she at least looked stylish wherever she went! Looking the part is everything, is it not?

Travelling Savior-Faire

We spent a significant part of our last year in airports! Travel requires good planning. Ironically, a newbie world traveler wrote in and asked our advice for being a stylish and organized traveler–a question perfect for our first fashion post! We observed that most travelers were far from chic and composed, so, of course, have some sage advice for organized and fashionable travel.

What Carry-on?

Mimi says it’s best to only carry one bag unless you simply must bring more and then two is acceptable. The purse or under seat bag should be one with lots of room and lots of pockets. Mimi’s favorite is the Louis Vuitton Totally MM with Eva clutch; it zips to prevent spills during take-off and landing. It also has an inside hook for the Eva clutch, that can double as an evening or cross-body bag. So versatile! The larger overhead bag should still be a soft sided bag, preferably duffel. Mimi uses the Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 45 (monogrammed, of course). Mademoiselle relies on the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM, packed to overflowing! She rarely needs a second bag, but to be fair always puts her camera and extra’s in Mimi’s duffel.  If Louis Vuitton is not your bag, there are loads of other companies making great travel bags. Some of our favorites are listed below! 

What’s inside?

Mimi likes lots of little travel organizer cases or bags, one for make up, one for jewelry, one for electronics, one for meds and one for snacks. Mademoiselle concurs! Please use our travel necessities and incidentals checklist!

☐ Identity Documents and Foreign Currency (if necessary)

☐ Travel Documents: Itinerary, Hotel and Ground Transport documents

☐ Business or calling cards

☐ Glasses/Sunglasses

☐ Small make up kit (Remember: <3oz)

☐ Travel Size Brush (maybe even some Dry Shampoo!)

☐ Headphones (or earplugs)

☐ Chargers and charging cords

☐ Camera

☐ Sleep app (White Noise is an M&M favorite) 

☐ Socks

☐ Pashmina or sweater

☐ Reading material

☐ Hand sanitizer

☐ Kleenex

☐ Mints or gum

☐ Snacks

Optional Incidentals:

☐ Hair ties (Emi Jay’s are another M&M favorite)

☐ Packable beach bag

☐ Packable Flats

What should I wear?

We highly recommend being a stylish traveler. Plus, studies show if you’re nicely dressed you’re more likely to receive an upgrade! Can you say business class to Paris? Oui oui! We were a bit shocked by the number of travelers in bad t-shirts, sweats and pajamas. While we remember the Mad-Men/Pan-Am days when travel used to be a privilege and everyone dressed up, we recognize that Spanx and heels are a bit impractical for modern day travel and security requirements. We stress – you do not have to sacrifice comfort for style!

Pack your heels. Wear flats. Get “no-show socks”.

If you need heels at your destination stash them in your overhead carry-on bag. Any heel, no matter how comfortable, becomes unbearable when walking close to a mile for your gate. Our solution is to wear a cute flat, paired with a no-show sock. With all the security hubbub and shoe removal we are all grossed out by the thought of our bare feet sharing germs with everyone else’s bare feet, but it’s not an excuse to wear tennis shoes with your outfit. Do not wear sandals, especially gladiators, shoes with buckles, boots, or strappy heels and please, leave the crocs, flip-flops and Chacos at home. 

Mimi almost always chooses Chanel Ballet Flats, Mademoiselle prefers the Chloe scalloped ballet flat or the Tory Burch Reva. We also think Cole Haan’s Grammercy Oxford Cap Toe is too cute, comfortable and stylish. A cute Jack Purcell, La Coste or Prada tennis shoe can be a smart and casual exception. 

Wear layers with pants, boyfriend jeans or leggings.

It’s generally hot in the airport and cold on the flights. Mimi’s go to outfit this summer was a Vince linen drawstring beach pant and striped raglan cotton sweater.  

Mademoiselle’s choice was a Rag & Bone blazer and blouse with a comfortable Hudson stretch black jean.

Both outfits were comfortable and looked perfect even after eight hours of flying. Non-exercise leggings and oversized shirts with a blouse and cardigan or a lightweight sweater over a fashion tee is another excellent choice. On long flights be careful choosing jeans, make sure they are stretchy and non-binding, like the Current Elliot “boyfriend jean” or Mademoiselle’s favorite, the Hudson NICO cut jean. Hours in a pair of tight jeans can be miserable and bad for your circulation!

Here are a few additional Carry-on suggestions to check out:

Cuyana 

Lo & Sons 

Mark & Graham 

Longchamp – Le Pliage

Bon Voyage!