Hello internet! My name is Amanda Valentine. I’m a fashion designer, wardrobe stylist and amateur astrologist. For as long as I can remember, I have also been a giver of advice. When I was in elementary school, I stood by a specific tree during recess and would dole out my view on pressing preadolescent issues: boys, fashion, what to get for lunch, who knows… (what were our problems back then?!). People knew where to find me each day and I reveled in providing a logical impartial view. I’m also a classic Gemini, which means I always see both sides to an issue and I love to communicate.
From that tree at recess to the pages here on Listen! It’s Vetrano, I’m still here to help. I hope you enjoy this column –think of it as the tree, where you can come and ask me anything! You can submit your inquiries, questions and daily woes here or on Twitter using hashtag #AskAmanda.
Name: Innis S.
Star Sign: Virgo
Message: I have a great dilemma! I am going to the Cannes film festival this year and am meeting up with friends at various bars. I have the chance to go to a great party later on but this would involve dumping my friends without a care in the world and leaving them while I go off and enjoy a night with the stars. My question is: what would you do in this situation?
You’ll never believe this, but I have been in a very similar situation. I was on a work trip and felt totally obligated to hang out with my boss and the “work crowd” at a swanky club (totally not my scene, by the way… They didn’t even want to let me in because I was wearing jeans and sneakers…). All I REALLY wanted to do was hang out with my friends and have a much better night goofing off in pubs and wandering the streets. Well, fast forward to the end of the night and I haven’t had an ounce of fun. The club was loud, the crowd was douchey and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference if I would have been there or not. Now, you’re a Virgo, so you can be a little black and white- and fiercely loyal. It is easy for you to choose your friends! It’s tougher for other signs. I’m a Gemini, so I constantly see both sides and I am swayed WAY to easily… and usually do whatever I can do to be a people pleaser. Now that I’ve learned this about myself I know I have to check my motivation and ask, “What would REALLY make me happy?” “Great parties” come and go- but real friends will always be there. Even years later!
Name: Karri W.
Star Sign: Scorpio
Message: I live in a very small town where NO ONE dresses up and there is NO shopping. I would like an example of a casual outfit that a woman in her late 40s could wear to look chic, but still somewhat fit in where style is average at best. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I totally get it. I grew up in a smallish town in Nebraska and we didn’t have much in the way of shopping. My mother taught me to thrift store shop with the best of them, and then alter clothing to make it my own. That’s how I started designing! It came from a desperate need to stand out. Now, as a Scorpio, you are the most independent of the bunch –and want things your way, so I understand your frustration not being able to find what you want to wear. Here’s a good tip: keep it classic. Get a killer pair of black jeans, (I adore the options at TopShop.com or try JBrand or Paige brands – they are so, so comfortable), a casual jersey top (try anthropologie.com for a swingy tee or striped tunic) and a killer black blazer (try a longer, slouchier one so you don’t feel “buttoned up.” I find my best blazers at Goodwill!). And when all else fails, add red lipstick, which will perfectly compliment your fiery Scorpio personality. This way you won’t feel too “dressed up,” but will look perfectly put together. Here’s my biggest styling secret: Asos.com. It’s an amazing site with a huge range of styles and prices, fast shipping and because they are based in the UK, you’ll have items no one else has! I swear I am not sponsored by them, I just can’t get enough of that site! Best of luck!
Name: Karen C.
Star Sign: Capricorn
Message: Dear Ms. Amanda V, My plate is so full and I’m literally worn out doing all of the things I love to do. I can’t complain because, in all the stuff I’m running around doing, I’m seeing dreams being realized. But I really just want to sit and read a book sometimes. How do I balance work/family/music/reading/doing laundry without shortchanging any of them? Thanking you in advance for your insight!
Oh my sweet Capricorn. You are ambitious and resourceful. People are amazed by what you can accomplish when you really focus. Downside? You like to do it all yourself. What’s really great is that you seem very grateful to be able to do all that you want to — and it’s that attitude is probably why you are so successful. And listen, I have the same problem. The modern woman is under the impression that we have to have it all/do it all, all the time. You may just need to be a little more realistic about what you can accomplish by yourself. And maybe enlist some help. Delegate! I know it goes against your nature, but you have to take something off your plate so you can focus on what you really love. Can you divvy out the household chores or, if you are really lucky, even hire a cleaner? And what if you SCHEDULED this “sit and read a book” time? I know you love a schedule! You’ll be a more rested, more relaxed and more efficient person if you allowed yourself a little downtime. Start small with one night a week devoted to “nothing” time. Take a bath, read a book, thumb through a magazine. It will make all the difference in the world!
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