Fat-Burning Foods You Must Try

With rising temps come rising hemlines, bare shoulders... and eventually, bikini season. Add these metabolism-boosting foods and drinks to your shopping list, and you'll score a leaner and sexier body.

Chicken Breast  
Meet the ultimate wonder food. Chicken is packed with protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass-and the more muscle mass you have, the more efficient you are at burning calories. Even better, protein takes more time to digest than carbohydrates, so you'll feel full longer than if you ate the same number of calories in a carb-or fat-heavy meal. An ideal serving: the size of a computer mouse or a deck of cards. 

Scramble up two eggs for breakfast tomorrow-it's a fat-melting morning meal. Part of the reason is that eggs are loaded with protein (which will keep you feeling full for longer), but also, eating in the a.m. means you end up taking in fewer calories during the day, research shows. 

Greek Yogurt  
Calcium consumed in tandem with an amino acid found in dairy products has been shown to burn fat. Consider it a fab excuse to add more yogurt, milk, and cheese to your meal plans. What makes Greek yogurt a standout dairy option is that it has more protein that the regular kind-so you boost the fat-burning benefits. 

These nuts contain the right balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, and together they rev your metabolism and keep you feeling satisfied. About 50 pistachios equals one serving, so pop some in a bag and munch when you're feeling snacky. 

Chili Pepper  
Capsaicin, the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fiery kick, can also fire up your fat-burning furnace. Order more hot curries and other spicy dishes when you eat out, or just add a tablespoon of chopped chilis to your pizza or soup at home. 

Green Tea  
Research suggests that consuming two to four cups of fresh brewed green tea daily can help you burn about an extra 50 calories a day. It's teeming with catechins, nutrients linked to increased metabolism and a smaller waistline. 

Cold Water  
You've probably heard the tip to drink water when you're hungry, in case the pangs you're feeling are actually thirst. Well, here's another reason to down the H2O: When you drink ice water, your body actually expends energy, warming the water up to your natural temperature. 

Sugar VS Artificial Sweetener: Side Effects Comparison

How do the side effects of “artificial sweeteners” compare to the side effects of eating sugar?

Recent studies show Americans average 22 teaspoons (352 calories) of sugar (sucrose) a day, leading to many serious health problems.

Respected health organizations all around the world consistently speak out about how our modern refined high glycemic diets, loaded with sugar, lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and more. 

But even though we’re warned, that sweet taste seems to be addictive. 

So what are your options? Must you give up sweets altogether or could “artificial sweeteners” possibly be considered a healthy alternative?

The Side Effects of “Artificial” Sweeteners 

To begin with, the term “artificial” sweetener is NOT accurate. Just like sucrose, most of these sweeteners come from natural plant sources and are even less processed than highly-refined “natural” table sugar.

However the FDA requires that they be called “artificial” sweeteners, which gives them an undeserved negative image. Who influenced this decision – the powerful sugar industry? We’ll probably never know. 

The critics of “artificial sweeteners” claim they cause health problems, including cancer. But once again, in reality, who are these critics?

According to the National Cancer Institute and many respected health agencies around the world, there’s no valid evidence that any US approved “artificial sweetener” causes any major health problem.

And numerous valid peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that the “artificial sweeteners” listed below are safe, even for pregnant women: 

•  Acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One) is 200 times sweeter than sugar, can be used in baking and its safety is backed by over 90 studies.

•  Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), made from two natural amino acids, is 160–220 times sweeter than sugar. Numerous studies show it to be safe except for people with a rare disorder, phenylketonuria (PKU). 

•  Neotame is 7,000–13,000 times sweeter than sugar and is the most recently approved sweetener. It’s made by NutraSweet, but is metabolized differently and is not required to carry the PKU warning. 

•  Saccharin (Sweet ’N Low, Sugar Twin) is 200–700 times sweeter than sugar. It was nearly banned in the 70s based on studies linking it to bladder cancer in rats. But was then found to be safe for humans. 

•  Sucralose (Splenda) is made from sugar, but is 600 times sweeter and can be used in baking and cooking as a spoon-for-spoon sugar substitute.

Another natural-sourced refined non-caloric sweetener comes from the Stevia plant. Although Stevia is not FDA approved, so it hasn’t undergone much research, it can be called a dietary herbal supplement:

•  Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It has a long history of use in South America and has been the main choice of non-caloric sweetener in Japan since the mid-70s, with no known side effects.

Health Benefits of “Artificial Sweeteners”

While it’s vitally important to curb your taste for sweets, in the meantime, artificial sweeteners have many health advantages over sucrose. 

And since they’re 160 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, you need only a tiny fraction to get the same sweet taste. Plus, they’re low-glycemic and virtually calorie-free. Here are some of the health advantages: 

1. Lowers your calories for weight management. Excess weight has been shown to contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and many other major health problems. Artificial sweeteners can help you to reduce calories, lose weight and keep it off. 

2. Helps control blood sugar to prevent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes and out-of-control blood sugar are becoming epidemic all over the world. And unlike sucrose, artificial sweeteners don't raise blood sugar levels. 

3. Reduces risk of diabetes-related heart disease. Strokes and heart attacks are prevalent among those with diabetes. As a matter of fact, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. 

4. Prevents cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. Sugar, unlike artificial sweeteners, contributes to cavities and other dental problems, such as gum infections, which can seriously compromise your health. 

5. Decreases your susceptibility to other diseases. Since sugar has been shown to weaken your immune system and to disrupt your body’s mineral balance, it can lead to a multitude of health problems.

So, what’s the bottom line? 

All the valid research shows that, compared to the side effects of sugar, “artificial” sweeteners side effects are negligible to non-existent.

Swimsuit for Your Body Figure

Let's be honest: shopping for swimsuits isn't terribly fun. There's always a huge selection of string bikinis for women with "bikini-ready" bodies but not a lot of options for the rest of us. But that doesn't mean you can't find something perfect for your shape. To help ease your swimsuit shopping experience, we found a bunch of super cute suits for every body type. 

Big bust
Always stick with solids-they do a much better job of minimizing. And never-ever!-go strapless. Try a halter with thick straps, which emphasizes shoulders instead of your bust. Look for suits featuring underwire and nylon or Lycra fabric-it helps lift breasts and create a leaner look. 

Small bust
Bandeau styles, make the less endowed appear voluptuous. Add some built-in padding and color and you'll be ready to hit the beach. Cute bottoms also draw the eye away from the bust area. 

Plus size
The most important part of a suit is the material. Make sure you find something well structured with solid support. Look for built-in bras and tummy support panels. And don't forget: halter-tops are universally flattering. 

Long torso
The best way to flatter a long torso is with a two-piece suit. A two-toned one is even better: one color on top and another on the bottom makes the waist look smaller. Also, it's best to avoid bottoms that cut straight across the waist-they aren't the best style for this body type. 

Bottom heavy
Find a suit that adds a little to the bust area-think ruffles. Skip string bikini bottoms and instead opt for something with more coverage made from strong material to help hold you in. 

Belly bulge
A suit that doesn't hug your curves? Yes please!  If you've got a little belly, this is the perfect suit to camouflage your trouble area-and look totally on trend! 

Tight clothing isn't comfortable when you're pregnant-and maternity swimsuits are no exception. While you don't want the suit to be baggy, you do want to make sure you won't feel constricted or uncomfortable when wearing it. Skip the big prints too. Solid colors are the most flattering.

Boyish frame
Add some femininity with a cute pattern and some ruffles or gathered material.  A cute halter-top will bring the eyes towards the bosom. 

Cutting 100 Calories The Easy Way

Cutting calories may seem like a daunting task, especially when you're trying to cut hundreds of calories each day to lose the recommended 1-2 pounds per week. Will you go hungry? Will your meals taste like cardboard? Will you have to give up your favorite foods? 

Don't worry. When you make small changes, the only difference you'll notice is a drop in the scale! Keep in mind that cutting calories can involve smart substitutions or changes in portion sizes, too. Just remember, start small and work your way up to a new-and healthier-way of eating. 


  • Drink two 12-ounce light beers this weekend instead of two regular beers. Save 100 calories!
  • Eat a medium orange instead of drinking 12 ounces of fresh orange juice. Save 106 calories!
  • Enjoy 5 ounces of chocolate milk instead of 5 ounces of a chocolate milkshake. Save 110 calories! 

  • Spread your whole grain waffles with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter. Save 110 calories!
  • Try 1 ounce of maple turkey bacon instead of maple (pork) bacon. Save 118 calories!
  • Ditch the glazed donut and eat a bagel instead. Save 93 calories!
  • Grab a small bagel instead of a medium bagel. Save 99 calories!
  • Top your small bagel with 1.5 ounces of fat-free cream cheese in lieu of regular. Save 108 calories! 

Snacks and Sides
  • Dip 1 cup celery into your favorite salsa or hummus instead of 1 ounce of tortilla chips. Save 125 calories!
  • Snack on 2 ounces pretzels instead of the same size portion of potato chips. Save 94 calories!
  • Bake 2 ounces of oven fries in lieu of 2 ounces of fast food fries. Save 88 calories!
  • Try 1.5 ounces of fresh grapes instead of 1.5 ounces of raisins. Save 98 calories!
  • Swap 1 cup of canned pineapple in heavy syrup for crushed pineapple in juice. Save 119 calories! 

Lunch and Dinner
  • Build a sandwich with 1.5 ounces of deli turkey breast instead of an equivalent of hard salami. Save 119 calories!
  • Forget broccoli-cheddar soup. A 7- ounce portion of vegetable soup is better. Save 119 calories!
  • Enjoy 12 ounces of steamed rice (choose brown rice when possible) as an alternative to fried rice. Save 96 calories!
  • Unwrap your 13-inch tortilla wrap and make a sandwich on a 3-ounce whole grain bagel instead. Save 96 calories! 

Condiments and Sauces
  • Dip your salad in a side of ranch dressing (2 teaspoons) instead of pouring 2 tablespoons of dressing on the salad. Save 97 calories!
  • Skip the 5 ounces of Alfredo sauce and eat 7 ounces of marinara sauce. Save 129 calories!
  • Add flavor with 3 ounces of hot sauce-not 1 ounce of bleu cheese dressing. Save 117 calories!
  • Try either cheese or croutons on your salad-not both Save 72-116 calories!

Sweets and Desserts
  • Serve ice cream in a dish instead of a waffle cone. Save 121 calories!
  • Try a healthier peanut granola bar instead of a peanut candy bar. Save 94 calories!
  • Finish dinner with 1 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt instead of regular ice cream. Save 121 calories!
  • Substitute 5 ounces of apple pie with 5 ounces of baked apple crisp. Save 85 calories!
Cutting 100 calories here and there is an easy way to form healthier eating habits without feeling deprived or hungry. With just a few of these tricks up your sleeve, you'll be on your way to reaching your goals in no time!

Best Little Black Dresses for Spring 2012

Now that spring has officially arrived, don't forget to update your special occasion and evening wear ensembles with at least one little black dress. The Little Black Dress is a closet staple any time of year but you can pick out a style and cut that is in line with the season's latest trends. Spring's hottest trends include, flutter sleeves, one-shoulder styles, futuristic prints, and color-blocking. When you're shopping for a black dress this season, consider accessorizing with some of these trends in mind. 

Hint: Wear the Little Black Dress with a pair of bright, neon-colored platform heels or color-blocked pumps for a head-turning ensemble.

Here are five little black dresses to add to your spring wardrobe:

Flutter Sleeve Dress
Remember when flutter sleeves were all the rage last fall and winter? They're back this spring in a lighter version, showing up in long tunic tops, cardigans, and yes - even the little black dress. When you're going for a more dramatic look, try on something like the Elizabeth and James Mabel Flutter-Sleeve Dress. The dress itself is just a basic shift dress but the super-long flutter sleeves with slits at the elbows give it a more contemporary look.

Draped One-Shoulder Dress
Another glamorous, black dress style to add to your collection, a one-shoulder dress with billow sleeves and a slightly contoured silhouette will show off your figure without showing off too much. This Maggy London Iridescent One Shoulder Dress is perfect for date night or a girl's night out.

A-Line Chiffon Dress
If you're looking for something feminine and sophisticated, go with a layered, chiffon black dress. I like the simple cut and boat neckline of this MARC by Marc Jacobs Cunningham Chiffon Dress, an unconventional twist on your usual tunic or A-line dress. Pair this with a pair of sparkly heels or neon-colored pumps to show off your retro side.

V-Strap Little Black Dress
A slight variation on the halter dress, a V-strap dress can accentuate your curves and create a very slimming silhouette. This Adrianna Papell Tonal V-Strap Jersey Dress is designed with wide, curvilinear ribbons which really bring out your curves while making you appear slimmer. The V-strap is a fresh take on more conventional styles.

One-Shoulder Bandage Dress
Bandage dresses are still a hot item this season and you can show off that gorgeous neckline and sculpted arms in a one-shoulder bandage dress. Bandage dresses are perfect for showing off that trim figure you've worked hard for this spring and are also among the most versatile styles for the year. Pick up this budget-friendly Wishes Wishes Wishes Dress, Sleeveless One Shoulder Bandage to round out your wardrobe this season.

Best Bangs for Your Face Shape

Bangs are a surefire way to upgrade your look and bust out of any hairstyle rut. But since not all faces are created equal, make sure you flatter yours by finding the best face-framing fringe based on your shape.

If You Have a Round Face...
A perfectly round face will benefit from lots of angles. Go with long, side bangs and style them with a deep side part.

If You Have an Oval Face...
If the distance from your forehead to chin looks longer than ear-to-ear, you've most likely got an oval shaped face. And luckily, most styles work on you! Try blunt bangs for a trendy style. If that's too dramatic, ask your stylist to cut bangs that are shorter in the middle and get longer on the sides.

If You Have a Heart-Shaped Face...
If you have a wide forehead and a chin that gets narrower, almost like a point, avoid a thick fringe of bangs. Copy Reese Witherspoon and opt for side-swept fringe or wispy bangs that are parted in the middle.

If You Have a Square Face...
If there's an equal distance between your temples and both sides of your jaw, you've got a square face. Try soft bangs to lessen severe angles, and ask for a little bit of layering. The texturizing will add some flattering dimension. 

Must-Avoid Horrible Fashion Mistakes

Although there are an increasing number of fashionable-forward guys in today's modern style-conscious world there are still plenty of style atrocities committed by millions of men daily. There are many common issues with the male style sense, covering everything from socks and sandals to gender's general disregard for properly fitted clothing. The good news is that you are reading this and from now on, you will no longer unknowingly commit these style crimes. It is easy to be commanding and stylish and there are many small details that can add that extra polish to give you, the modern day man, a fashionable, yet masculine edge. Here are 10 easy tips to navigate you away from potential blunders. 

Forget about logos

Many men are under the assumption that they have good taste in fashion if they are covered in designer logos from head to toe. This is a very common misconception people hold but the reality is that having style is truly more about color coordination and thinking outside the box when it comes to personal expression than it is about brand names. Dressing brand logos from head to toe is not stylish.

Clothing should fit right

Men around the world tackle the world each day dressed in a suit; unfortunately, most of these guys are strutting around in a suit that is too big for them. Suits are great but wearing a suit that is too big for you gives you an unflattering image. But this isn't just true of professional attire; in fact, wearing any article of clothing that doesn't fit properly will give you a messy and unpolished appearance and is thus a style sin. Improper fit can also influence the perception of your health making you look bloated or sickly.

Choose appropriate "kicks"

Knowing which shoes are appropriate for what occasion is a rule many men disobey. One of the biggest fashion taboos, which is surprisingly sometimes broken, is wearing athletic sneakers with professional garments. This is completely inappropriate. There are more casual shoe style options that provide a casual feel, such as "fashion sneakers." These shoes encompass the best aesthetics of a formal fashion shoe and comfortable sneaker. They are available in a wide variety of styles ranging from conservative to bold, casual to formal.

Keep your shoes clean

One of the first impressions women are said to notice about men is the state of their shoes so it is crucial to ensure that your shoes are well maintained and always clean. Dress shoes should always be polished and buffed every 3-5 uses and cleaned using the appropriate cleaner. Ensuring that your shoes are clean will not only give them a longer wear life but it will also give you a polished and crisp image. 

Note your tie length

Another common mistake many men make is to wear their ties too long or too short. Doing this gives your body a very disproportionate appearance and although you may not notice it close up, it is very noticeable at a distance. The correct length for a tie is to sit just above the belt. Many use the triangular tip as a guide as it should be touching or sit just on top of the belt buckle. This gives your torso and legs the correct proportional image and gives you an overall lean appearance.

Stains don't magically disappear

Men are definitely more careless when it comes to maintaining their clothing. Accidents happen and stains do occur but they should be taken care of immediately. This is especially important if you invest large amounts of money into your wardrobe. The longer a stain is left unattended, the harder it becomes to wash out, so clean it up immediately. For anyone who thinks minor clothing stains will go unnoticed, think again. 

Avoid matching socks with sandals

The, perhaps, most widely spread issue involving senseless male fashion is our gender's popular fascination with wearing socks and sandals. The entire functional purpose of a sandal as footwear is to allow the skin to breathe and ventilate itself. This cannot be achieved with a thick layer of fabric between your skin and the air. Choosing the right socks (or no socks) for the right occasion makes a larger impression than you may think. Wear business appropriate socks to work; this means no ankle socks or white gym socks.

Less is more when it comes to cologne

There's no need to use up half the bottle on one night's outing. Many men douse themselves in cologne from head to toe in fear of smelling bad in public. Contrary to popular belief, saturating your skin in cologne only blocks its ability for the essential oils in the cologne to react with your body's chemistry. In turn, you come off as a strong powerhouse of overbearing stench. There are many different application techniques for cologne but it is important to spray body areas where heat is generated. One of the best areas is the chest, neck or back. The legs, right behind the knees, are also a great area to spray once on each side, as the heat will cause the scent to travel upwards. 

Take care of the mane

Hair care is an essential part of grooming for all men. Constantly covering messy hair with hats and toques does nothing but constrict your image and your hair. Getting a haircut every 2-4 weeks is a great way to ensure your hair is tamed, healthy and fashionable. When choosing a hairstyle, choose a style that is appropriate for your head shape and size. The key is balance. 

Backpacks are meant for school

With the amount of versatility in the men's fashion industry today, it's necessary for men to keep in accordance with the overall trend. This trend, however, does not include using backpacks at work, yet it's more common than you might think. Carrying a backpack in the workplace will give off the impression you're still an amateur; a student in your field. For a more mature and professional image that allow the comfort and easy of a pack, consider investing in a messenger bag; although briefcases never go out of style. There are a variety of designs for all tastes and budgets. 

Being more fashion wary will not only improve your appearance but it will also improve your confidence and attitude.

Best Neckline For Your Body Shape

Who knew that switching up your neckline could enhance your best features? Or that considering body type and shape could guide you to the most flattering style?

Crewneck: Crewnecks circle closely around the neck. If you want to cover or shorten your neck, a narrow crew is the style to look for! Though the least "open" compared to other neckline options, the crewneck emphasizes larger bust lines. Look for crews that fall just below the clavicle, and skim your body, to flatter your curves!

Cowlneck: A cowlneck has a turtleneck-style opening that adds interest with the addition of fold-over fabric. Like the scoopneck, this style is also great for adding volume to the chest...the extra fabric gathers over the bust as it hangs!
Cowlnecks are great for narrow, boyish-frame body types because they balance out the bust-line while drawing attention to the face, neck, and collarbone!

Scoopneck: Scoopnecks can be deep, rounded u-necks, or squared off into boatneck styles. These necklines add definition, fullness, and volume to the top, which is great for pear-shaped body types.
Broader, wider necks help balance a smaller top half with a larger bottom, and can also camouflage broad shoulders. These styles also emphasize your curves!

V-neck: A v-neck is the most universally flattering style because it elongates the neck. It has an open neckline, drawing the eye downward to a point, which is great for preventing hourglass figures from looking top-heavy.
V-necks can be deep or shallow, depending on your preference. Wide, fitted v-necks are great for showing off a tiny waistline, while open, boyfriend v-necks highlight the neckline without clinging to your chest.

Try on a few different styles to see which cut is the most flattering. Chances are, you will find yourself liking more than one!

Fitness and Strength Enhancement Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are those that use your bodyweight instead of equipment like dumbbells or gym machines. Using bodyweight was one of the original forms of strength training. It's easy to learn, effective, and you can do it at home, at work or traveling - much like a portable gym. 

Although you can get quite inventive, the following 10 bodyweight exercises are great exercises to work all the major muscle groups. Many, like the squat, are compound exercises that work more than one muscle group.

What are bodyweight exercises?

It may seem obvious to seasoned gym trainers, but many forms of resistance and related exercise regimens sometimes use your own bodyweight. Programs such as yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and plyometrics all use bodyweight to enhance strength, muscle, flexibility and fitness at some level. In the context here, bodyweight exercises use a recognizable strength and resistance training model of concentric, eccentric and isometric exercise to achieve the fitness and strength targets.

The following are the 10 exercise for fitness and strength:


The push-up is a classic bodyweight exercise, and it demonstrates quite clearly the principle of bodyweight resistance training. While facing the floor and propped up on hands and toes, push the body to and from the floor.

One "up-and-down" is one push-up repetition. Don't go too fast or too slow. Keep the head and neck steady. Do as many as you can in one minute; rest, then try again. Rest your knees on the ground if you find the exercise difficult when you first start out.

The Squat

The squat without weights may seem easy, but once you get up to around the 15-rep mark it starts to take a toll on the knees, upper legs and butt until you build some condition. The squat develops legs and butt muscles and, over time, may strengthen knee joints. However, be cautious with this exercise if you have an existing knee injury or feel knee pain at any stage in the workout.

The Pull-Up and Chin-Up

These exercises are variations of the one movement in which you haul yourself up off the ground so that your face is more or less level with a high bar.

Pull-ups and chin-ups are difficult exercises for many people, especially women. Although pull-ups or chin-ups are good examples of bodyweight exercises, you may not have access to a pull-up bar at home. Most gyms have a pull-up bar, and you can improvise at home or away with a beam or bar meant for other things. But make sure it's solid and secure.

The Wall Squat

Stand against a wall and slowly bend the knees while supporting your back with the wall. Hold the position with thighs parallel to the floor for 10 seconds, then return to the standing position.

The Wall Push

Stand facing a solid wall, raise the arms and push hard against the wall for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat three times. This is an "isometric" exercise.

The Lunge

The lunge is a fundamental bodyweight exercise. Done in sets of eight or more (each leg), lunges provide strength, balance and flexibility training. You can see how to perform the lunge in the example of a weighted lunge.

Options include a variety of arm positions - at the sides, straight out in front, raised at each side, crossed at the chest or straight up overhead. For example, the arms raised at the sides provides better balance and stability than arms crossed at the chest.

Other more advanced options include the backward lunge and the 45-degree angle side lunge.

The Crunch

Crunches are a popular exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Many different types of crunches are possible.

Some of the best are:
  • Standard crunch, in which the shoulders are raised off the floor while you contract the abs.
  • Reverse crunch, in which the legs and knees are raised off the floor while you contract the abs.
  • Combo crunch, which is a combination of both of the above.
  • Bicycle crunch, which includes all of the above and you peddle your legs in the air.

The Dip

Dips are performed with a chair or bench. You push up from a chair with arms behind and legs out front. You can also use a special machine at the gym that makes it easier. These are called "assisted dips."

For bench dips, you can start out with the legs bent at about 90 degrees and your feet more or less flat on the floor. Then, extend them out as you get stronger until you're "dipping" on your heels with your feet stretched out in front.

The Bridge

The bridge exercise has you on your back and pushing up with the legs while maintaining balance with arms flat on the floor.

The Chair Stand

Sit on a chair that is braced against a wall. Sit and stand 10 times then rest. Do three sets.

These 10 bodyweight exercises will build good strength in a fitness program. You can use most of them at just about any time and any place. For complete fitness, add some running or fast walking or even interval training as well.

Winter to Spring Wardrobe Essentials

Here's how to get the most mileage out of items you may already own while transitioning between seasons. 

Cowboy-style, heeled or chunky: booties (ankle or calf-high) are some of the most versatile shoes out there. Keep your toes warm in winter by wearing them with jeans and tights, but come spring bare your legs and pair boots with shorts and dresses for a fun tomboy look.

Cropped Pants
Dressy cropped trousers are ideal for funky in-between weather. Wear them to work with heels and a sweater to fend off chill, and then switch to sandals and a lightweight blouse when temps hit 70°.

Bright Blazer
Another year-round staple, blazers help bridge the seasonal gap by being an easy add-on to any outfit. While black and white are always classic, a bright color will add a spring-y infusion to your ensemble.

Dress Shorts
If you don't already own these, we say go for it! Don't be afraid to treat dress shorts like you would a skirt-they're a modern, edgier equivalent. Stay cozy in the cold weather by adding opaque tights, flats, and a printed shirt and blazer. Come spring, toss the tights and jacket and you're good to go.

Silky Blouse
For spring, wear this blouse with shorts and flats for a casual but polished look. During cold weather, layer with a cozy cardigan and scarf so the blouse collar peeks out.

Wear Your Stripes Fashionably This Spring

Ever heard that horizontal stripes will add a few inches to your waistline? 

This common fashion maxim may not be sage advice. A new study finds that horizontal stripes aren't so bad after all.

In the study, a woman in cahoots with the researchers pretended to be a participant while wearing a dress with either horizontal stripes, vertical stripes or no stripes (her dress was white every time and the stripes were navy blue). Later, the real participants rated her body size.

Turns out, they rated her a little bit heavier when she was wearing horizontal stripes-but the difference was barely noticeable.

People should probably not worry too much about wearing vertical or horizontal stripes. They don't make much of a difference to perceived height and weight.

Six ways to wear your stripes this spring:
  • Match your body size. Keep the size of the stripe in line with the size of your body.  If you're tall or full-figured, then you can wear bigger, wider stripes. Petite women should stick to small stripes that are closer together and women with a medium build should wear-you guessed it-medium stripes. That's going to create a lot of balance. Fuller-figured women often shy away from stripes, but no need. Look for a chevron (v-shaped) stripe to call attention to the center line of your body.
  • Layer your look. Use stripes as an element of your outfit instead of the entire look. Try a striped t-shirt under a solid-color blazer or cardigan, which helps break up the impact of the stripes.
  • Keep it lean. Whatever part of your body is the leanest is where you want to put the stripes. For example, triangles should focus their stripes up top, while inverted triangles can try a striped short or pant. Height matters too: Petite women want to wear small, monochromatic stripes on the upper half of the body, but tall women can get away with murder when it comes to stripes.
  • Dress up. Try a mini dress or jumper and throw your favorite jacket over it or add a pop of really bright color. A bold shoe, clutch, necklace or colored blazer can draw some attention and keep the stripes from overpowering your look.
  • Accessorize with stripes. Play with where you use the stripe. A striped shoe or handbag can spice up an outfit, or you can take a really simple outfit and throw a striped jacket over it. If you're really afraid of the trend, try a striped scarf instead.
  • Play with color. Monochromatic stripes will keep the look leaner and less noticeable. Try black on gray for a more urban, less summer-in-Nantucket kind of look.  Try pairing a striped tank or top with a colored skinny jean or short-short.

Then add a dose of confidence and you're off to the (nautical) races. 

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