My Baby Shower

A personal post—just for fun!

baby shower at Nico & Vali Plymouth, MI

baby onesie decoration station at baby shower with baby block letters

onesie decorating station

decorated white baby onesies with stencils and fabric markers at Lena's baby shower

A sampling of the decorated onesies—aren’t my friends creative?!

hot chocolate bar with martini glasses filled with toppings—crushed peppermint, truffles, marshmellow, sprinkles, whipped cream

hot chocolate bar, compliments of Signature Grill in Detroit

diaper cake filled with...diapers, towels and toys!

diaper cake filled with…diapers, towels and toys!

baby shower centerpieces baby socks with flowers on top of baby books

stacks of baby diapers

the result of Mike’s diaper party; this should last awhile, right?

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An Example of How a Guy Can Wear Joggers

Here my friend and fellow Stylist, Alvin, shows how a guy can wear joggers (i.e. dressed up sweatpants).

This look isn’t for everyone, but over the past year I’ve gotten so many questions about how to pull it off, that I thought it time to show how a real person (non-model) wears them while going about his day.

When you see mainstream brands, like Banana Republic, featuring the style, it has many men asking if it’s something they ‘can’ do. But a better question is, “Do you want to?” (Or are you just being lazy and the idea of wearing sweats and having it be acceptable is enticing.)

If you are in a non-corporate or creative environment or are an entrepreneur, this may be an option for you. Something to think about before each time you dress, “How would my client/the people I’m seeing today feel about this?” If you’re trying to win a client over or seal a deal (this includes dating) give some thought as to how you’ll be perceived, then proceed!

* Part of what makes this ensemble ‘work’ is that it’s all cotton. You don’t see Alvin grabbing one of his wool suit jackets (would look ridiculous). Also, shoes are important. He has on Cole Haans; other boots or sneakers are smart choices too—just don’t throw on wingtips or monkstraps etc. The idea is to stay casual, instead of hodge-podging your dressy + casual clothes.

white dress shirt, brown cole haan boots, Bonobos khaki jacket, black joggers

Photo Credit: Alvin Cooper III

grey and yellow plaid tie, copper tie bar, orange pocket square

Photo Credit: Alvin Cooper III

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My Favorite Winter Boots Are Clogs

Are you still wearing UGGs? Do you hate me for implying that it’s not the coolest winter choice?

Unless you are living in SoCal (Jill! Sara!) we’re all pretty much looking for the same benefits in a winter boot:

  1. They have to be comfortable.
  2. They can’t look torched after walking through:
    salt
    snow
    rain
    brown slush
  3. They have to be warm.
  4. Ideally, you can wear them around town, day and night.
  5. They aren’t solely suitable for mountain resorts.
  6. They are as esthetically pleasing as possible—because sometimes a stylish winter look is tough to achieve, especially when the rest of you is layered and bundled.
    For example: Hunter boots look darling when skin is showing. Think: Kate Moss at a muddy concert.
Kate Moss wearing Hunter Boots at muddy concert

Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Today I had a check-up and my doc was way into my No.6 clogs. I adore them and probably should get some sort of kickback for all the orders I’m sending their way. (!)
Last week, I sat on the steps of a dressmaker’s shop to take off my boots so my client could try them on and establish her size. (She then bought a pair that day.)

I’ve been living in these boots, and though 6 months have passed—filled with heaps of snow, slush and ice rink-like streets, they still look as good as new. Isn’t that refreshing to hear about a boot living in the Midwest?

black sherling lined No.6 store clog boots

No.6 clogs have:
* water repellant leather
* lacquered wooden base

So you simply wipe clean after getting home. I have the fully lined shearling boot because I live in Michigan. For you 310’ers, there are tons of fun non-toasty leather or suede clog options. Check out the ones for spring too—because “technically” that’s a few weeks away.

Old School Clog on High Heel in Cement

Photo: no6store.com

P.S. A note on swingers?
Mike’s friend was over the other day and, after entering our house, informed us that pineapples are the new indicator of a swinging couple. I had just gotten this new doormat…and we had 2 pineapples on the counter. (Hey—they’re in season!) Oops! Is this a geographical thing or have you heard of this too?

black clog boots on pineapple doormat

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$20 Off a New Pair of Jeans + Maternity Options Too

Look in your closet, at that stack of denim.

How many pairs do you have?

Now how many pairs do you actually wear?

Maybe you don’t like the wash anymore. Maybe they haven’t fit, for awhile. Whatever the reason, if you can get rid of a pair, here’s a fantastic opportunity to help people in need and insulate their houses!

I’m on-board with the Madewell + Blue Jeans Go Green repurposing denim mission. To provide you do-gooders with some fun, Madewell (inside Somerset) is having an in-store party this Thursday and they’re giving you perks:

  • $20 OFF a new pair of jeans
  • FREE hemming. (That’s like $40 total and a time save.)

Here are the details.

Madewell is recycling denim into housing insulation in partnership with Blue Jeans Go Green

Now for the pregnant set:

Before I was pregnant, I’d often hear of how important it was to have a ‘good’ pair of maternity jeans. Since I appreciate a well-made, comfortable pair of denim, I agreed with this statement. Then, I was the pregnant one. From the start, I wanted to wear my own clothes for as long as possible. It wasn’t for reasons of denial or vain, I just like what I own and didn’t want to overhaul my closet.

Jeans, it turns out are crucial. It doesn’t matter what is your lifestyle, job type or due date, a comfortable pair of jeans that looks great on you is essential and will carry you through all four trimesters.

I couldn’t have said it any better than 9 In The Mirror, so click on the link below to see their beautiful maternity denim options. I adore how they’ve broken down your ideal choices based on trimester. And the very last thing to discover is “which woman are you—over the bump or under the bump.” One of them will feel best. 9 In The Mirror: Denim Guide

first, second, third and fourth trimester style options

pregnant woman in red and black plaid coat and light jeans

Photo: 9 in the mirror.com

 

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Loungewear Instead of Lingerie

Loungewear sounds so much more sophisticated than sweats, don’t you think?

Since most relationships go through phases (flirting, courting, officially dating, then whichever direction you choose—moving in, getting married and so on), so to does your form of dress. Disclaimer: I’m not saying that everyone should start off in sport coats and heels and then plateau at hoodies and sweat pants. But you all know that a level of comfortability comes with longevity when you’re a couple.

For a lot of newer romances, Valentine’s Day gifts = lingerie. For the lay person, it’s a trip to Victoria’s Secret. But, what if you’ve been there and done that? Why not tap into loungewear aka cute sweats. ‘Cute’ meaning something someone past college would wear.

It’s cold, it’s snowy and we’re all busy, which means shopping online sounds like the best idea. For this type of clothing however, the material is really important. No one wants a scratchy cotton PJ set.

* I adore modal (fabric).

I’ve seen the below brands in person and would vote ‘yes’ on the fabric and design.

2 piece blue women's pajama set Eberjey

Photo Credit: shopbop.com

white tank top and pants pajama set Eberjey

Photo Credit: Shopbop.com

pink cashmere dance yoga sweater Athletica

Photo Credit: Athletica.com

grey romper

Photo Credit: BananaRepulbic.com

A Last Minute Valentine’s Gift For Your Guy:
Don’t you want the man by your side to look good too?
With J.Hilburn, you can choose casual or dressy clothes—you know it will fit since the shirts are custom made. Yes! Gift cards are easily available online.

men's custom shirts, J.Hilburn gift card, cashmere sweaterHappy Valentine’s Day! (And remember, gift-giving yourself is completely acceptable. :))

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Celebs Who Have Upgraded Their Style

While watching the red carpet lineup of the Grammys via E! News, I started to think about a few of the ‘stylish’ celebrities and how they used to dress. Kelly Osbourne, for example, is one of the hosts of Fashion Police—so that means she’s regarded as a style expert. She dresses her shape well and embraces a style all her own…now.

Kelly Osbourne red hair, grey hair

Photo Credit: Getty Images, WENN via whowhatwear

I’m not re-posting these pictures to knock any of these ladies. Instead, my intention is to bring awareness to your own style and to go easy on yourself. For many of these women, their style transformation was due to age (teenager to adult), changes in lifestyle (you’re now a princess) or career. And yes, for others, their style upgrade is credited to now working with a stylist.

Taylor Swift in moccasin boots and long navy coat

Photo credit: WENN, Getty Images via whowhatwear

Kate Middleton in jeans and knee high boots, green dress

Photo Credit: Getty Images via whowhatwear

solange knowles yellow outfit

Photo Credit: Getty Images via whowhatwear

We’ve all looked through old photos and had some ‘eek’ moments. Since so much of our world is focused on the looks of musicians, actors and…people that don’t act but are on TV, I think it’s important to remember that people are people. We all go through changes in life which alter how we feel and how we want to be perceived. If you are in a rut style-wise—your usual go-tos just aren’t feeling like you anymore—know that this is normal. How do you get out of it? The best place to start is to pay attention to what catches your eye: maybe it’s cruising around Pinterest, ripping out of a magazine or really digging the ensembles from your favorite TV show. Without putting any pressure on yourself, this mess of pictures will start to form a look just for you. {If this is too much effort, you can always hire a stylist! (cough: me)}

 

 

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3 Pieces to Hack into Maternity Work Clothes

Guess what? I’m having a baby!
I’m seven months pregnant!

I’ve written before on maternity clothes—resources and ways to wear them…I even offered a Chic Mama style package several years ago. (No one booked it, by the way. It turns out the post-baby mamas like to come to me to tweak their style.) Anyway, I’m not negating my previous pre-natal posts; I’m now adding on to give a first-hand perspective.

In talking to lots of mothers, I’ve learned that each pregnancy is different (from when you ‘pop,’ to delivery, to the behaviors of your newborn).

making a snow angel in Plymouth, MI

My playing in the snow activities are now limited to…

This past fall, while working with Saks Fifth Avenue on their fashion marketing, I found myself needing to be in a corporate dress code, daily. When I’m working one-on-one styling women and men, I don’t wear suit separates and pencil skirts; the environment is much more relaxed. I.E. I’m deep in someone’s closet or carrying armfuls of clothes through a store. In order to blend with the rest of the executive team for a few months and look appropriate, I hacked my wardrobe. Please note that I was 4-5 months pregnant and not massively showing. It was an in-between stage where maternity clothes were too big and my regular clothes, a bit tighter. So what did I do?

1. I paired a blazer to cover the fact that my dress pants weren’t able to zip up all the way. (It wasn’t like I was running around with my pants undone! But an inch or so was definitely not zipped.) No one knew.

2. Wrap dresses with knee high boots became my go-to. These dresses are like an elegant version of elastic pants! They will grow with you. And as long as your boobs aren’t spilling out of the V-neckline, you can wear these for quite awhile during your pregnancy. IF, you do start to notice cleavage, simply pair a cami underneath.

3. Speaking of camis, I’m loving the Ingrid and Isabel ones that were gifted to me. They were the first pieces of pregnancy clothes I got and can be worn at any body stage: normal self, all stages of pregnancy self, and I believe post pregnancy as well. (Thanks Kara!)

paisley wrap dress, burgundy wrap dress custom made

The dress on the left has a cinched belt. As pregnancy progresses, move it up to give definition to your body. The wine colored dress on the right is made of structured material with a pre sewn wrap design. This doesn’t allow as much for expansion and therefore you may not be able to wear through all 3 trimesters.

wrap dresses

The sleeveless wrap dress allows you to get creative and have multiple looks. Wear a long or short sleeved shirt underneath or blazer or vest over top. It can be worn year round! All 3 styles shown can be worn through all 4 trimesters as the belt is self adjustable.

* If you are wondering about the “W” and “D” hand stitched inside each dress, that isn’t the designer. For me and her customers, my grandmother would sew one of these letters inside each garment she made so that the wearer would know if it had to be dry cleaned or could be washed. Smart and easy!

The ‘maternity clothes journey’ has been interesting. No other time in your life can you potentially wake up each day and have things fit differently. I also want to talk about forecasting for your future size—my adventures in maternity swimwear—will save that for another post.

If you know of someone that is pregnant and her job requires a business dress code, please share these tips. Knowing ways to extend your wardrobe is always useful!

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The New Fashion Feedback App

Should I get this?

Lena Porter tries on a Andrew Marc x Richard Chai leather jacket for the Snapsure app

dressing room decisions

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a picture of yourself while in a dressing room or at home, to help decide if you should buy it/wear it?
You may have also sent this photo to someone—usually a friend, family member or significant other for their opinion.

If you’ve answered yes, check out this brand new app, Snapsure. It simplifies the whole debating to buy something/does this look good question, that we sometimes ask ourselves.

BONUS: I’m going to be a guest Fashion Expert this Saturday for the app. So, although you love your sister, if you’ve been dying for a professional’s style advice…whether that be on an item you’re thinking about getting or on an outfit combo that just needs another set of eyes to help make a verdict, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. :)

Read here for the official press release:

Let me help you shop the holiday season in style!

Great news, everyone! I’ve been selected as a featured fashion expert in the Snapsure 12 Days of Instant Fashion Feedback event!

Snapsure is an app that makes it quick and easy for you to get instant feedback on the things you buy from the people you trust. Snapsure has chosen a select group of fashion experts to use the app to provide instant feedback on holiday shopping purchases.

On Saturday, December 13, as my gift to you, I will provide FREE personal styling advice to you as you shop and style your way through the season.

Connecting with me on Snapsure is simple:

1. Download the Snapsure application in the App Store and register yourself as a user.

2. Connect with me on Snapsure–my username is Lena.

3. On Saturday, December 13, use Snapsure to take a picture of your holiday style or a holiday shopping item, set the timer and send it to me. I can give you instant fashion feedback as you shop. You can also send your pic to other friends and family. All the responses come back in one easy to read graphic. NOTE: You must have an iPhone or iPod to participate.

Let me help you shine this holiday season with styles that work best for you and your loved ones. Every fashionista could use a little feedback… see you on December 13!

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8 Accessories to Update Your Fall Look

“The Great 8: all the essentials you need to update your fall look”

This was a recent story I styled for Birmingham Magazine. It’s out now, so pick up your copy, then head to downtown bham (Michigan) to check out the goods in person. Ooooh!

photo shoot displaying a lacy bodysuit, chunky chain necklace, blue suede and pony hair bag, Miu Miu tote, wool camel coat, black leaner wrap belt by Jarbo, Pinch Provisions mini emergency kit, Elizabeth Sayles icon bracelet

Styled by Lena Porter
Photographed by CJ Benninger
Birmingham Magazine Fall 2014

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“No Fish No Nothing” You Can Wear Its Sweatshirt

While pulling for a photo shoot, I learned of Kenzo’s “no fish no nothing” slogan.

More and more brands are getting a conscious (or at least being more vocal about it) and that’s something that excites me. Whether you are empowering people to create a better life for themselves, giving access to greatly needed resources, or gifting a kid with a new pair of shoes (!) incorporating philanthropy into your business model is becoming second nature.

Anything that has to do with water is high on my charity list. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, but when I see water being wasted, I itch (with helpless anxiety). We can’t act like we have endless resources, especially us Americans (which sadly, have a bad rap for being wasteful consumers).

Enter in Japanese born, French luxury retailer Kenzo. The brand is speaking out against the dangers of overfishing and pollution. To help raise awareness, they’ve designed a unisex capsule collection where ALL proceeds will be donated to the Blue Marine Foundation, which ensures the protection of the world’s oceans.

I’m picturing this sweatshirt paired with light blue/grey/black jeans. Hey, maybe even a leather skirt with some asymmetrical zipper action to give it some punch. Or if you’re the kind of person that prefers to break the rules, get nuts with volume and pair it with culottes.

 

model on runway in Kenzo no fish no nothing sweatshirt

photo: blogs.nordstrom.com

Kenzo no fish no nothing tank

photo: farfetch.com

* Good news! This capsule collection is now on sale.

 For you retail marketing junkies, read below on how Kenzo put a spin on its pop-up shop in Paris (digital)!

in Paris spring 2014, electronic fish swim on Kenzo's digital pop up shop

photo: Kenzo.com

 

 

 

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