Christa Fletcher’s Fashion Clips

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to write many fun pieces about fashion. Here is a collection of style-related articles and slideshows I’ve written for various publications in case you missed them.
Trend Pieces:
Fashion Advice:
Fashion Advice From Stylish Celeb Moms (Originally Published by Babble.com)
Shop for Charity:
Discover Your Perfect Denim (Marie Claire)
Charms for Charity (Marie Claire)
Dazzle in Drop Earrings (Marie Claire)
Lather Up for a Good Cause (Marie Claire)
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Image By NFL.com/women

Women Shoppers Blitzed by NFL

The NFL is all about the ladies this year, from selling team-branded gear at top women’s stores, to rooting out sexism within the league toward women sports reporters. And I have to say, these new efforts are totally a win.

Known as the ultimate boys’ club, the NFL is now reaching out to women and improving their image to include more equality. And, it makes sense, both men and women enjoy football and it’s smart to avoid alienating nearly half of your audience with sexist spats in the locker room, one-sided marketing and ill-fitting apparel.

Image By NFL.com/women

Did you know that 44% of NFL fans are women? Yep, that’s why the league is launching a $10 million marketing effort with television commercials and a new website at http://www.nfl.com/women. Though the campaign officially begins today, I was surprised to see Jets branded panties, tanks, flip-flops and other items at the Victoria’s Secret PINK store in SoHo this weekend.

When I came across this article about the new campaign, I realized this was a huge step for the professional football organization, yet it also seems like a no-brainer. I mean, football fandom is intense and people who love a team really want to show it.  Most women I know follow a team and support it by wearing shirts, sweatshirts and whatever else works for them.

I’m just glad they are finally making clothes for women that fit our shape, have cool designs and are generally more attractive without being uncomfortable, unrealistic, or overtly “sexy.”

Supposedly the league has thousands of new designs for all the pro teams and will be selling the products at over 3,000 stores.

Image By NFL.com/women

In an effort to gain some yardage in women’s interest, the NFL put together a Look Book with wives of football players modeling the clothes on the new website mentioned above. Plus, there are bios of each woman and webisodes in the “Beyond the Sidelines” section.

Now, I get selling a wide variety of products from apparel, to yoga mats and lotion, because everyone expresses their athletic zeal in different ways, but I’m going to be honest, I’m calling a flag on the phrase, “Who says football isn’t pretty?” What does that have to do with clothes that fit properly? In fact, a few of the phrases in the Look Book are a bit annoying, including one of the names for the tees, “Oil Can Flirt Tee.” Other than that, the whole thing seems pretty great.

Jezebel disagrees in some respects, asking the question: “What Does Football Have to Do with Lotion?” They think it’s stereotyping women’s behavior in the types of products they are branding, which is partly true, but I’d totally buy the lotion for a guy who’s a fan.

And, I get it, it’s fun to put festive lotions, soaps or towels in your bathroom on game nights or if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party — no matter the gender of your guests. I mean, it’s for decoration, it’s not a must-have like a T-shirt, but someone will totally buy it.

The National Football League has finally opened their eyes to the fact that women like football too, though it was motivated by money and not feminism, I’ll take this as a score for equality.

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Image By fashionsnightout.com

Fashion’s Night Out 2010

I’ve lived in New York City for four years, but have never been to Fashion’s Night Out until now. What a great time! Free drinks, glitterati and all the fab fall fashion collections.


Bryan Adams Exhibit, Image By Christa Fletcher

Our night began at Calvin Klein on Madison Avenue where my friend Krystle Monzon and I saw a beautiful exhibition of celebrity portraits shot by Bryan Adams, who also performed.

Clad in black, guests filled the uptown flagship store as Calvin Klein greeted and posed for photos. Adding to the excitement, Cynthia Nixon was there, taking interviews in front of her portrait featured in the exhibit by Adams. Nixon was impeccably elegant and poised.

During the party as Bryan Adams took the stage, my friend and I chatted with Anthony Williams from Project Runway. He is my favorite person out of all the contestants since the beginning of the series. And who wouldn’t love the dress featured on the cover of Marie Claire that he designed for Heidi Klum?

Williams was kind and dressed to the nines. We talked about mixing silver and gold jewelry and shared a couple of hugs before my friend and I made our way to Michael Kors in search of a glimpse of the camel clogs I’ve been coveting and for a chance to see Idina Menzel.

When we arrived, the store was packed and we went straight to look at shoes and a leather jacket in the back.

We were welcomed to the back of the store with champagne as we unknowingly got in a line. To our surprise and excitement, we were second to meet and talk to Michael Kors. As we waited for our turn, we learned he takes his iced tea with four Splenda packets and was just as excited to greet us, as we were to shake his hand.

As he waved us over, jubilant to meet his guests, we asked him how his night was going and he claimed to be nervous. He was anxious about his performance with Idina Menzel. At nine o’clock they sang “Defying Gravity” together.

Kors signed two branded makeup pouches for us and wished us a fun evening as we clutched them gratefully. This was definitely the highlight of our evening.

I only wish I had remembered to tell him how much I love the white patent leather wedges of his that I wore to my wedding. Perfect shoes by an amazing designer on my big day. Thanks Mr. Kors!

Next we walked down Madison Avenue and visited DKNY and Ann Taylor. At Ann Taylor we saw Vanessa Carlton play “1000 Miles.”

Next, we hit up Fifth Avenue and hung out in front of Bergdoff Goodman and watched live performances in the windows and admired living window displays.

We would have gone inside, but the line was super long, stretching around the block. It’s no wonder since Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Nicole Richie and Heidi Klum were inside!


Bergdorf Goodman Window, Image By Christa Fletcher

However, our trip to the ladies room in Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store wasn’t without excitement — we saw Tom Ford. After stopping by the Rickshaw Dumpling truck and eating by the fountain outside the plaza, we headed to the Meat-Packing district. The streets were filled with a veritable best dressed list.

Inside, designer stores had free photo booths set up and drinks were aplenty. We ended our night hanging out at the Diane von Furstenburg store, listening to great music with a fun crowd of people.

All in all, an amazing night!

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Boot Season is Back

Labor Day has come and gone and Fall Fashion Week is upon us — all dressed up with tons of places to go for Fashion’s Night Out, the ultimate set of chic celebrations fashionistas adore. As I got ready this morning, excited by the thought of visiting shindigs across the city, I noticed that fall temperatures are here. So, I pulled out my boots.

That’s right, boot season is back and better than ever.

This year, anything goes — ankle, slouchy, studded, flat, stiletto or platform — the gang’s all here. To some, it may seem overwhelming with the possibilities. The fall fashion magazines and blogs are flooded with an amazing array of boots that we’ve added to the boot style file: from bold biker and bohemian, to the outrageous-over-the knee trend. How does a girl choose?

If you’re short, like me, you’ll probably skip the sky-high over-the-knee trend because that may be a little too Puss in Boots (a la Shrek) for the petite, but everything else is a go. And, if you haven’t guessed, fall is my favorite and it has a lot to do with the put-together looks that go along with such pronounced and polished footwear.

It has taken me a few years to build my boot collection and though it is small, I’ve thought a lot about them, read magazines and seen the eclectic styles walking down Fifth Avenue. So, now, here’s what I’ve gathered on keeping your autumn footwear staple up to date.

Chinese Laundry, Image by Amazon.com

First, buy a couple classic styles in two neutral colors, that way, every season, you have your go-to shoes that match everything in your wardrobe. If you want to buy something plain without many details, those boots will be timeless, but a buckle, stud, or two, won’t render them out by next year.

I also recommend picking up pairs that have different fabrics. If you buy all

suede shoes, you’re totally out of luck when rainy season hits, so vary the color and fabrics, for sure.  And, seriously, don’t buy fake leather to save $20-40. It may look o.k., but trust me — from my experience, they only last one season. Good leather can last a long time and can save you from having to buy another pair.

As for the style of the boot, go with what catches your eye. An interesting shoe can totally change the look of an outfit, go for something chic, especially if you already have two classic staples. I recommend trying an ankle boot, they are perfect for the autumn because they go well with pants, dresses, skirts and tights. Plus, they are a nice transition from your sandals and wedges. Ankle boots are more durable than pumps.

Image By Mod Cloth

There are two ankle boots I’m obsessed with right now. The first is a pair of suede boots from Chinese Laundry. They are very modern and also fit the classic code. However, for those of you on a budget, like me, who may also ruin suede from time to time by stepping in a puddle, these micro fiber boots are adorable. I found them on the Mod Cloth blog and they are very now — beige with studs (and you can’t beat the easy care of micro fiber).

Another good pick for boots are lace up styles. Whether they are flat, platform or stiletto, they all look fab with anything in your wardrobe. I’m wishing I’d held on to a pair of brown lace up boots from high school I’d totally wear them now. See, that’s another tip, don’t give away stuff unless it cannot be repaired. Lesson learned here!

Well, it goes without saying that you should make sure you select boots that fit with your wardrobe. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a beautiful pair you can’t wear because it doesn’t fit in with the style or colors of clothes in your closet.

Alright, that’s all I have on my beloved boots. Enjoy boot season because it won’t be long before you’re pulling out those sunny sandals again!

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Celebrity Mother Knows Best?

Gwyneth Paltrow, Image By Virgin Media

There are many celebrity moms who are taking the media by storm as “pregnancy pundits,” touting parenting tips, fitness advice and more. Stars like Angelina Jolie, Bryce Dallas Howard and celebrity bloggers Kourtney Kardashian and Bethenny Frankel, dazzle audiences with their openness and cute photos. And people are reading it.

Now, the list of pregnancy pundits continues to grow beyond the third trimester. Gisele Bundchen is a champion for breast-feeding and home births, while Gwyneth Paltrow is releasing her new cook book and revealing her struggles with postpartum depression. “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life,” Paltrow wrote in her newsletter, GOOP.

Yet, these moms aren’t the only ones willing to share their family secrets and personal insights on motherhood. A number of celebrity mom and babe sites are filling the Google search engine, baby powdering the web with photos of  A-list babies and the products their famous mommies use, sometimes, without their permission. So, why all the interest in these leading ladies and their broods?

Gisele Bundchen in Vogue

Well, I think there are a few things at play, first, people are nosy and they want to know everything about these women’s personal lives. Second, pregnancy, birth and motherhood are no longer taboo to discuss. Over the last ten years the pregnancy bump has become a trophy, rather than a reason to stay out of the spot light (or off the red carpet) for a few months.  And, thanks to women like Angelina Jolie, women are can still land high-powered and interesting roles after mommy-dom.

Even in India, things are changing. Look at actress and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, she’s one of the few actresses to continue her successful career in film after getting married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. Often, after an Indian actress marries, in Bollywood it can mean bye-bye career. Hopefully after Aishwarya Rai has kids she’ll be able to continue acting if she wants too.

Anyway, back to the point, I think the paparazzi’s obsession with celebrity baby photographs is a little scary and potentially dangerous, but if the mothers are willing to give photos and speak about their experiences, I think that’s great. People obviously want to read about their lives as parents and who doesn’t want to see their cute babies?

I mean, truth be told, when they do comply and offer advice, I’d be willing to follow their tips if I were shopping for a friend’s baby. They have access to the best fashion, beauty and baby products — why wouldn’t I want to know what’s the best? In fact, when it comes to style these moms know best.

Not sure how to tap into all these celebrity parenting tips? Well, here are a some websites where these moms are featured:

Babble.com — Famecrawler blog

People Magazine — Moms and Babies

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Heidi Klum, Image By Access Hollywood

Fashion Advice From Stylish Celeb Moms

Originally Published by Christa Fletcher on Babble.com, July 2010

Being a mom is a tough job — from parenting, to clean up, there isn’t much time for the woman behind the mommy. So how do those gorgeous celebrity parents keep it together? We have advice from your favorite stylish stars on how to avoid the frump.

Image By Babble.com

Heidi Klum, Supermodel and Executive Producer of Project Runway

In an interview on LifetimeMoms.com, Heidi Klum revealed her fashion advice for mothers. “Busy moms have to be organized — you have to narrow down all of your things in order to really make it work. Start with your closet — get rid of all the things that are too ‘mom-sey,’ too slouchy,” she said.

Klum added, “Keep only the things that are working for you so that you eliminate all of that extra time in the mornings — you already know what you put on is going to look good.”

Image By TeenyManolo.com

Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress, Producer and Fashionista

Having a sense of style is more than playing Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City and designing perfumes and clothes for Halston Heritage, for fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s about sticking with what she knows best. When she’s at home in the West Village, she’s “mom” and her best advice comes from her own beauty routine. Keeping it simple.

“I confess, I am very bad at makeup. I don’t where any in my real life — personal life. There’s no time for it and I’m not good at it,” she explained to Elle Creative Director Joe Zee. “I can cover a zit, I can put on mascara and put some eyeliner inside my eyeball, but that’s it.

Image By E!

Katie Holmes, Actress and Designer

At this week’s film premiere for The Extra Man, OK! Magazine caught up with the starlet on the red carpet in NYC where she can typically be spotted shopping at boutiques and cruising Central Park with her daughter Suri. “Every day my husband inspires me. My family inspires me. My daughter inspires. We’re always sort of creating new things whether it’s a party, or a script or a movie. We try to have a very creative household.”

Turns out, her daughter has inspired her style choices and to create a fashion line, first for kids, and now for women. “We want to create pieces a woman can wear over and over, and people won’t necessarily say, ‘Oh, you wore that last week,” said Holmes about her line. The star’s sophisticated venture has been called “classic with twist” by other celebs like Eva Longoria.

Alright, now that you’ve organized your closets and pared down to the chic essentials, how about some style advice from a four-year-old with her own spin on these fashionable celebrity moms.

Images by TeenyManolo.com & E!

To see my other freelance blog post published on Babble.com about Betty Draper, follow this link.


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Clothes Make the Woman?

American Apparel
Image via Wikipedia

There’s an expression, “clothes make the man,” but based on recent events, apparently, they make the woman. As you probably know, I love clothes and fashion. Creating outfits and getting that satisfaction of a well-balanced look are things I enjoy, despite the challenges of a limited budget. However, sometimes I wonder, who am I dressing for and why?

I’d like to think that the exercise is purely for my own entertainment, self expression and self-confidence, but given the pressures women face to be pretty, I’m concerned that it’s more than wanting to express myself and there’s a dress code for women. Whether she’s a young woman applying for a job at American Apparel, or an employee at Citibank, what you wear will determine your “success.”

According to New York Magazine and Gawker, American Apparel has a strict dress code that requires women (and men, though to a lesser degree) to adhere to its very specific guidelines, “some employees have accused AA of telling them to lose weight, and posting photos of their dress-code infractions on the company’s intranet for purposes of mocking.”

NY Mag researched the dress guidelines for 10 clothing retail franchises to see if American Apparel’s desire for employees with little make up, long hair and full eyebrows is out of the norm. They discovered that most companies, particularly in fashion retail have dress codes particular to their style and aesthetic, so American Apparel’s desire wasn’t too weird.

But what about the creepy voyeuristic ads and gossip about mocking women’s weight? (Maybe you should look into working at one of those other retailers if you want to work in clothing sales, just to avoid the chance of sexism in the work place.)

Meanwhile, Debrahlee Lorenzana is in the process of suing Citibank for firing her because her attractive appearance was too distracting for men in her office. “Her bosses told her that ‘as a result of the shape of her figure, such clothes were purportedly ‘too distracting’ for her male colleagues and supervisors to bear,’ she says,” in a report by the Business Insider.

When Lorenzana dressed more conservatively and went to work without makeup, that didn’t work for her boss either, “when she responded by not wearing makeup, they told her she looked ‘sickly’ and when she left her hair curly instead of straightening it, they told her she should go ahead and straighten it every day.

Image via Business Insider

‘I could have worn a paper bag, and it would not have mattered,’ she told the Village Voice. ‘If it wasn’t my shirt, it was my pants. If it wasn’t my pants, it was my shoes. They picked on me every single day.'”

This blatant sexism on the part of Citibank, that fired her for being too attractive, is a symptom of our culture’s pressure to be beautiful and men’s inability to control their sexual desire when women fulfill their role as sex objects. Women can’t win. If you aren’t pretty and do not fill the typical stereotype of what a woman (or girl, in the the case of American Apparel) looks like, then you aren’t employable or professional (evidenced by this list).

Yet, if you are too pretty and “sexy” (which is completely subjective and wholly inappropriate to define) you get fired. What does that say about men’s perception of women and women’s view of their appearances?

In my own experience working in a corporate office, I find if I wear less makeup or dress down for whatever reason, men ask me if I’m tired or if there’s something wrong with me, “Are you ok? You seem really tired?” While I think this is also another issue, I talked about in a post called “The Lookie Loos,” their comments also coincide with my appearance. Meanwhile, women rarely say anything about their looks in my office unless it’s to compliment each other.

In fact, Psychology Today conducted a study about appearance and whether men approach women who wear makeup more than women who don’t. In this same study, they found that: “Attire status had an effect on women’s attractiveness ratings but not on men’s.”

This pressure to look a certain way is exhausting, which is why, I prefer to dress how I want, versus what others expect. Except, how do I know if I’m dressing for me or simply following the gender dress code? And, what if what you think is fashionable or good-looking, doesn’t match up with what others think?

In a recent post by Jezebel, one of my favorite websites, the editors examined fashion trends men find unattractive, titled, “What to Wear When You Want to Repel Men.” MSN surveyed top trends this year like harem pants, gladiator sandals and others. The writer discovered, that men think “Harem pants look like diapers and,” to quote directly, “‘scream fashion victim, rather than sex kitten.'”

I’m sorry, but when do I ever want to look like a sex kitten in public? Eew.  I’m so sick of this pressure for women to be sexy all the time. Look where it leads! It’s a vicious cycle and in some cases, like Debrahlee Lorenzana, you could lose your job! I’m not saying don’t dress nice, or to avoid wearing clothes that men find attractive, but seriously, women do not need to be “hot” or appealing, especially at work.

Dress for YOU and wear what makes YOU feel good. There’s so much value placed on how others see us, but in the end, we all have our own opinion about what looks good, so if you live your life trying to dress to impress others, you will always fail. You can’t please everyone.

And, the degree of sexiness of your clothing and hairstyle, whether it’s in fashion or not, does not define your worth, employment value and femininity. It also does not promote equality in the work place or our society. Do you see men stressing over what they should wear to accentuate their butts and figures?

I’m going to guess the answer is no.

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