Monday, September 27, 2010

Taking it outdoors

What do we Southerners do when Fall arrives? We head outside! After enduring the summer heat, the weather is finally cool and comfortable and we are ready to embrace the chill. Whether it’s a football game, an oyster roast or a cocktail party under the stars, we search for occasions to enjoy the cool air and beautiful fall foliage. As such, I’m always on the quest for the perfect jacket. For me, outerwear is like a book cover…just a little preview to what fab outfit lies underneath (or not! Throw on a tank top and jeans…no one will know! That’s the beauty of bold outerwear).

A blazer, a trench, a jacket, a coat...fur, leather, cotton, canvas… The possibilities are endless.

My outerwear advice to you this fall: Seek classic looks and purchase the best you can afford. A consignment shop like Labels is the perfect place to get a designer jacket that will last for years at the fraction of the original price! These wardrobe work horses can be enjoyed year after year. Very true- I love to bring out a classic micro suede trench that my grandmother purchased 40 years ago!

Here’s the lowdown on outerwear that I can’t live without:

Believe in a Blazer- I am always happy to break out my little navy corduroy blazer by Marc Jacobs. Nothing can remake an outfit quite like the power of a blazer. This classic jacket looks great when paired with a sparkly top and fantastic designer jeans. And for a more intellectual look, I like to pair it with a simple skirt and a scarf…I immediately feel like a book worm…to the library I must go!

Quilted Comfort- Nothing – I mean nothing- is better than living in the south in the Fall. It’s not too cold to be outside, regardless of the time of day and we sure do take advantage of it. Whether you’re headed to a football game, an oyster roast, a hike in the mountains or a simple trip to the grocery store, I consider this Ralph Lauren quilted jacket the official chief work-horse of all jackets. Every girl needs one. They are classic, durable and super chic regardless of what ya pair it with.

A Passion for Pattern- Whether you are 22 or 82, a jacket with just the hounds tooth can make the basic black dress go from understated to va va voom! This is not your everyday coat…a statement maker. You can make it versatile by pairing with black skinny pants for a night out or cargo pants for weekend casual. Pair with simple jewelry and a great red clutch to create an outfit with pizzazz for any occasion.

Trust in the Trench- Whether you are headed out to a night at the symphony or throwing on a jacket over your sweats for a quick run to Wal-Greens, the perfect trench like this one Burberry, can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit and can remake your look from head to toe. Dress it up, make it sexy, choose a funky pattern, buy an exquisite brand…this trusted wardrobe staple can change your life (well maybe not your whole life, but at least your wardrobe).

Feelings for Fur- My feelings for fur run deep. I love the fact that we can go for a rustic look and pair a little fur jacket with cowboy boots and a trendy plaid shirt. Or we can invest in a fabulous formal fur coat that can be worn to even the most sophisticated charity ball. Though it never really gets all that cold here, it’s still fun to glam up with a little fur.

Singing in the Rain- Every girl needs a good rain jacket. Actually you need two. First you need a Saturday- fun rain jacket that can be worn with a mini skirt and wellies. Second- It’s imperative to have a nice, classic nylon rain jacket that can be paired with a cocktail dress. Nothing is worse than arriving soggy to a formal affair. I really like this by Dana Buchman with removable fur trim collar.

Mr. LaBelle and I are headed to the mountains this weekend for a little romantic getaway and some serious antique shopping. I have my jackets and coats packed and ready…no matter the weather, regardless of the occasion, I have what I need to make a statement. Who said jackets were just for warmth?

Cheers Fashionistas!

Lulu LaBelle

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We're going PINK

Breast cancer affects everyone not just the person who is diagnosed- mothers, sisters, brothers, husbands, children, friends and co-workers. In the time it takes me to type this sentence, someone in the world will be diagnosed. You girls know I can be really passionate about things….and breast cancer is one of them. No one is immune from the possibility and regardless of who you are, at some point in your life, chances are you or someone you care about could be diagnosed. That’s why I am joining women across the country to fight for a cure.

Our beloved Greenville is joining me and we are painting the town PINK to build awareness and FIGHT! I will be the first to say that I am not typically a PINK kind of girl, but this cause brings out the PINK in me. There are several events next week to raise money for this cause so I decided I needed to get out there and see what Pink I could find.

Here’s the thing, even if you, like me, are one of those girls who shy away from PINK, we can all admit a little PINK, can do wonders to bring out the rosy glow in your face. And what girl doesn’t want to show off a youthful rosy glow? And the other beautiful thing about PINK is that it goes with most every color: chocolate brown, black, caramel, white, navy and even red (one of my favorite pairings).

So- here’s what I found: For the Thursday night cocktail celebration in honor of a dear friend who was just diagnosed, I plan to wear a little black dress, this cute PINK wrap and this great Lilly grosgrain ribbon clutch. You can always count on Lilly to make PINK so chic!

Friday I plan to skip out on work and meet the girls for lunch and shopping (I always try to take a few Fall Fridays off to enjoy the PERFECT weather). I found these awesome PINK Seven chords. Pair them with a white t-shirt and this great Kate Spade chocolate brown purse with a subtle pink accent on the side and I am ready for whatever comes my way.

For the Susan G. Komen race on Saturday, I figure the morning will be a little chilly, so I found this classic Burberry PINK quilted jacket. It’ll add a little Jackie O’ to my shorts and running shoes!

And since I was in the mood for PINK, I found a few other must-haves to add to my wardrobe. It’ll be nice to step out of my black and white box! I love this great Tahari PINK and caramel jacket. The lush texture of the fabric screams indulgence.

I also fell in love with this Carlisle jacket and skirt. Feminine suits are all the rage this Fall. This jacket with subtle, not so frilly, PINK and chocolate brown twill and attention grabbing detailing is perfect for the board room and can even be paired with jeans for a night out.

WOW- I never really thought I could find PINK so fun and fabulous. I am ready to raise money for a great cause. If you want to join me, head down to Flour Field on Saturday morning…Don’t forget your PINK!

Cheers Fashionistas,

Lulu LaBelle

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shop like the royals do!

My September issue of Vogue arrived this week and I couldn't wait to spend the weekend browsing it cover to cover. Lo and behold, I was thrilled to find an article on Prince Charles' support of vintage and consignment shopping in order to do his princely duty to help the environment. So shop like the royals and stop by Labels today for a treasure or two!

Article below from

"It was a great surprise to have been invited by the editor to contribute to one of the defining journals of world fashion—a surprise owing to the fact that I am not entirely sure I fit the description of being "fashionable." Sometimes there have been those generous enough to call me "well dressed," but if they knew how much of what I wear is many years, even decades, old….

I have a passion for reusing things and repairing them (think of all the new small-business opportunities this presents). On the whole, the older some things are, the more comfortable and familiar they become; they can even be adapted to look new in a different context. For example, someone has been imaginative enough to make sets of cuff links out of the previous engine from my 40-year-old Aston Martin and to sell them in aid of my Trust for young people. I even have a pair of shoes made from bales of leather salvaged from an eighteenth-century wreck off the Southwest of Britain. They are totally indestructible and will see me out.

Not so long ago, wearing old or secondhand clothes—never mind recycled ancient artifacts—tended to be an embarrassment to many, and yet now "vintage" outfits are seen on red carpets all over the world. This sets a trend that others follow, and in Britain, secondhand shops and "upcycling"—taking old clothes and refashioning them with a modern twist—have become hugely popular. This is a perfect example of why I believe fashion has a role to play in helping to confront some of the environmental challenges we face. For this trend is not only about an attraction for retro design and the charm of the old, it is very much about the future.

It is clear that on every front mankind is overexploiting nature; the more we waste, the more we have to use our irreplaceable natural resources and prejudice the lives of our grandchildren. This can be seen in the depletion of our ocean's fish stocks, not to mention the destruction of the world's rain forests. When you add the threat of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, few can doubt that our lifestyles will need to change if we are to avoid environmental catastrophe.

Unfortunately, up until now the central message of change has largely been communicated in negative terms—we have been told endlessly what we should not be doing, rather than what we should be doing. What we have failed to do is explain to people the benefits, for them and the planet, of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.

This is where the fashion industry can help. Vintage clothes and upcycling are just the start because they save scarce resources and avoid waste. The great strength of the fashion world is that it knows how to make new ideas attractive and to do so rapidly and on a grand scale—something that is essential if collective action is to have a genuine impact on the problems we face. Fashion clearly makes people feel good, but now it has to do the world good, too, by contributing to the creation of a virtuous circle, with nature protected at the center. An excellent example of this is the use of wool for clothing. It is natural and renewable, it has a far smaller environmental footprint and is far less flammable than man-made fibers, and it is fully recyclable. I have already started promoting the rediscovery and reuse of wool and will, later this year, be launching a campaign for wool in partnership with designers and retailers to try to persuade people that this natural fiber is infinitely more "sustainable" than artificial fibers made from oil derivatives.

It is this sense of a sustainability revolution's being a "good thing" that inspired my new project, called simply Start. Start is about showing people the easy steps they can take to tread more lightly on our planet; and where better for Vogue readers to start than with what they wear? Leading designers are already producing clothes that are appealing, genuinely desirable, and, most important, don't harm the environment. Those who design these fine things and those who wear them can make a huge, positive, and long-lasting impact on the environment.

I hope many more people will see how solutions that work with nature rather than against her will make our lives richer and more fulfilled than we can possibly imagine. I can only urge you to join me in making a Start in this way, and if by chance you find yourself in London this September, when we are opening up the gardens of Clarence House for a twelve-day sustainability festival complete with a fashion show, please come and see the modest beginning that we are working on here."

For more information, go to

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Football Essentials

I admit it. I don’t really like watching football. But I LOVE tailgating! I don’t think I am the only southern girl who feels like this. Maybe I am just the only one willing to admit it. Nonetheless, football season gives me a reason to find all kinds of fun trendy Saturday wear for a variety of weather conditions and best of all indulge on some serious junk food…and bourbon! Girls-Calories don’t count on game day!

I haven’t quite switched out my closet from summer to fall so I had to do a little shopping to prepare for the upcoming games. I probably could get away with summer styles since it is so hot, but I am ready for Fall!

Here’s my run down on football must haves to make the day stylish and comfortable:

A cute dress: I found this cute little dress by Karlie. It’s a great fabric that won’t show when I glisten a bit in the September sun. And check out these great earrings. This is the perfect game day outfit.

A light sweater: This week the game is at 7:00pm which means we will get there mid-afternoon and it will be hot- like 90 degrees. I’m going to bring along a cute little J. Crew Cardi like this one that I can throw on when the sun goes down.

Flip flops: I’m going to start off the day in these cute shoes by Dani Black….but will bring my flip flops just in case. Sometimes when we are at away-games, we have terrible parking spots and I have to walk/hobble for miles. Not so fun in these fab shoes.

Great shades- Let’s face it, most of the day, you’ll be wearing shades. They must make a great fashion statement. Nothing says chic anymore than these shades by Smith.

Hand bag: Just call me the bag lady! One bag just isn’t enough….here’s my list-
Essentials Bag - I like to have a larger bag like this Kate Spade that I carry a little touch up make up, a few magazines (just in case it’s really boring), sunscreen, my aforementioned flip flops and comfy outfit to change into for the ride home.
Sassy Bag 2- But I also like to bring a smaller more glam bag just in case we head out on the town to celebrate the big win.
Survival Bag 3- I can’t survive without lots of snacks, some Dixie cups and of course a little bit of bourbon (and whatever other food items I am assigned….though I normally sign up for the fried chicken. After a long week at work, who has energy to cook on a Friday night to get ready for the big game day?)

Rain jacket- Nothing is worse than a rainy game day. Soggy pimento cheese sandwiches- yuck! But what’s even worse is a soggy outfit. I always bring along a rain coat just in case (and an umbrella). I found this fab jacket by Zoa’s Art that make a great statement…not your average anorak.

Essentials in hand. Ready to go enjoy some serious tailgating!

Cheers Fashionistas,

Lulu LaBelle

PS: Thought you might like my easy recipe for pimento cheese. This makes the best tailgating sandwiches and spread. It’s a little spicy…just like us girls and so easy to throw together after a long week!

Pimento Cheese with a Kick
1 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded (Don’t buy pre-shredded…not the same!)
1 small jar of diced pimentos
1 can Rotel drained
About a ½ cup or so of mayo…you be the judge. You can use some of the rotel juice and less mayo if you don’t like too much mayo
1 tbsp or so of Worcestershire sauce

Mix it all together and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Game Day Fashion

How can a girl not just LOVE football season?! Even if you care nothing for the sport, the sport of tailgating is fun enough. Being outside, seeing new and old friends, the common bond of rooting for the good guys and, my personal favorite, finding the perfect outfit for showcasing your team's colors.

Now, I know it's more of a confusing southern thing to those outsiders as to why girls and guys get all dressed up for football games - but as I explained to a Yankee transplant recently, a lot of people round these parts consider college football a religion, and like church, we like to get all dolled up for the festivities.

But, for those who still dread each Saturday with a certain fear of the unknown, here's some great options from Labels for the first few hot day games, cooling off into night:

I'm sure you're saying to yourself, yep - easy peasy if you're team's got black as a color, right? But, not to worry I found some great options for those of you with a "brighter" hue that you'll want to wear everyday, not just Saturdays:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ladylike looks for Lulu

Fall Trends 2010

Let’s talk about fall. I love the new styles…did I say love? I mean LOVE! Here’s a rundown of my top picks for fall:

Fifties Inspires:
Hello Mrs. Cleaver…the fifties are back. I love this full skirt paired with a wide waist accentuating belt like this one. If you are daring, pair a fifties style skirt with a sexy bustier for a night on the town. Whatever you choose, show off your hour glass figure to make a great fall fashion statement.

Fur and Feathers:

What can make you feel more feminine than a touch of fur? Faux or real, fur is high profile this fall. Since I received my first fur jacket at age 8, I have been obsessed with fur. I’d be neglectful if I didn’t mention feathers too. But caution…do not wear fur and feathers together. Mother nature doesn’t…nor should you.

Gold is HUGE this fall. Find a touch of metallic and go with it. Whether it’s a metallic design on a jacket or a full gold skirt, feel rich with this glam inspired trend.

Clean Chic:
How about the clean chic look of tailored suits like this one by Calvin Klein. This is especially great for me since I have to wear a suit everyday. Often I feel stuffy and buttoned up…but this fall, I am going to look like I just strutted off of the pages of Vogue. I have my eye on this ultra feminine suit by Sara Campbell…this will certainly make a statement in the board room.

Tone on Tone:
Matchy, Matchy. Tone on tone. No you are not dreaming. I never thought I’d see this trend make a come back but hello dolly…here it is. This trend is sure to make getting dressed in the morning rush a bit easier. I like this cute xyz top paired with these insert color pants. Finish off the look with a similar tone purse. And ladies remember…the right pair of slacks can be so feminine when paired with the right top and of course fab accessories!

Long is back:
And one more GREAT fall trend to round out the list…LONG…everything is long. Pack away your mini skirts and daisy dukes. Trade them in for long pants with a long jacket like this one by insert designer. The runway designers are pairing these looks with kitten heels and flats…but I tend to need the extra height given by a good pair of heels like these black pumps by Jimmy Choos. I think I’ll pass on the flats…but if you are into flats, here is a really cute pair by Cochini….

I couldn’t have created a better fall line-up even if I were a trendsetter in Milan. The fall fashions are so great for this working girl. I’m just going to pretend it’s not 90 degrees and push through to try out some of the new fall trends now.

Cheers fashionistas!
Lou Lou