Fix Your Fashion Emergency at the Elysian

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

As soon as you walk into the Elysian Hotel, it’s pretty obvious that someone stylish is running the joint. From the Coco Chanel-inspired chandelier to curtains styled after runway dresses, there’s a fashionable theme going on from inside out.

And for guests, staying at such a stylish joint means access to top fashion items at all times, just in case of emergency. The hotel has just launched the Elysian Style Program, offering private consultations and exclusive access to top designer items whenever the occasion arises.

Created by stylist Eric Himel, the program offers private style consultations that will be available to guests before and during their stays.

Chicago’s Elysian Hotel Saves Your Style

Monday, January 24th, 2011

In spite of winter weather delays, you’ve finally made it to Chicago only to find that your luggage did not. No need to waste your time throwing a fit in O’Hare. Head Downtown to the sleek and chic Elysian Hotel for an instant fix.

The luxury hotel is now offering a style program for those last minute fashion emergencies. And don’t expect a cheap toothbrush and packaged undergarments. The Elysian’s women’s style kit includes a Donna Karan little black dress, Jimmy Choo pumps, a MAC lipstick, Wolford tights and a Lanvin clutch. The items can be purchased separately or as a complete ensemble. And even if your belongings made the trip, you still might be in need of a mini makeover. Stylist Eric Himel is now offering one-on-one fashion consultations to update your look. Kit prices range from $15-$1,000.

How to Look — and Stay — Hot This Winter

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Stylist Eric Himel divulges warm-weather style secrets

Baby, it’s cold outside. And windy. And all-around wintry. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look fab, now does it?

Stylist Eric Himel shows us how to dress for the Antarctic without looking like a giant marshmallow.

What are some key warm weather pieces that we can incorporate into our wardrobes?

Obviously, there are cold-weather basics that are constants. The key is, how do I look fashionable in the process? Invest in a good coat. Classic, yet not boring is de rigueur. Down or shearling are the warmest. But, there are down coats that are feather-weight and shearling that are no longer bulky. My faves are Moncler for down and Burberry for shearling. Expensive, yes, but an investment for sure [because they are] well-made and equal parts function AND style. You will own these for years. Also, don’t automatically reach for black. It is equivalent to everyone who travels with the same black roller suitcase. Boring!

How can we dress warm without looking like a complete fashion disaster?

Two easy ways; stylish, warm boots and good accessories. There are so many fashionable choices in winter boots now that keep your feet dry and warm. Gone are the days of the sheepskin Uggs. They have SO many different styles that don’t even look like Uggs, and they are experts in making stylish boots that are actually functional too! Sorel boots used to be very ‘Fargo,’ but they now design fashionable styles that are very functional. Pick edgier looking over utilitarian looking and don’t automatically reach for black because it’s easy.

What’s the best stay-warm outfit for trolling around the city on a Saturday afternoon? What about a night out?

Saturday Afternoon: Thin-wale corduroy pants in a sandy/taupe/beige color, cream colored wedge down-filled boots, waterproof wedge boots, a long and lean chunky cream-colored sweater and a cream-colored down jacket, topped with a white knit hat with a mink pom-pom! Very chic, yet, cozy! And creams and beiges always compliment the snow.

Night out: A black turtleneck or cowl-neck sweater dress over burgundy cashmere tights, black suede wedge booties, a black shearling motorcycle-style jacket and a cashmere beret!

How do you master the puffy coat while still looking chic?

Belt, belt, belt! You must be in control of the shape! If it doesn’t come with a belt, get a utilitarian looking suede or leather one with a metal buckle. It should be about 2 1/2″ wide. Also, the lighter the down-filled, the more streamline it will look on you! If you are on the shorter side, the coat should fall just below the knee. Down coats can be altered.

What about hat options? Are there any rules for wearing hats?

Yes — don’t emulate Cindy-Lou Hoo from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ or Elmer Fudd. Think ‘chic’ and not ‘cute’. Pom-poms are fine, but pick a fur or faux-fur one with a solid bottom. Save hats with sports teams logos for actual sporting events. Channel Elizabeth Taylor skiing on the slopes of Gstadd. Or better yes, get a chic pair of white mink earmuffs — the color white always brightens up the face.

Who do you think really gets the ski bunny look right in the celebrity world?

Kate Hudson always looks adorable when skiing in Aspen. But she has had many years of practice going there with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell who have had a place there for years.

Kim Peiffer is the founder of The Glow List, an online magazine dedicated to fitness, beauty, diet, spa and travel.


The Elysian Hotel Creates Emergency Style Kit

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Chicago’s Elysian Hotel, wants to make sure their guests look good this holiday season. The stylish luxury hotel’s Elysian Style Program offers more than just a toothbrush or spare hairbrush for those who might have forgotten a few things. Fashion stylist Eric Himel worked with the Elysian to create the Emergency Style Kit for men and women as well as private fashion consultations both before and during guests’ stays.

The curated Elysian Emergency Style Kit is available for both men and women. Items in the women’s Emergency Style Kit range from $15-$1,000 and the men’s from $170 to $595. The women’s kit offers items such as a Donna Karan Black Infiniti Convertible jersey dress; Jimmy Choo Black Gilbert Kid Leather Pumps; MAC Viva Glam lipstick; Wolford Power Shape tights and a red Lanvin Ouloulette clutch. The men’s kit offers dressed-up style option like an Ermenegildo Zegna white French Cuff dress shirt; Hermés silk tie; David Yurman Armory cuff links; Gucci moccasins and Byredo “Fantastic Man” cologne.

The Elysian Style Program is available to those who book an Executive Suite or higher and includes access to Himel and his exclusive Shopping Hot List, outlining the seasons’ hottest items and where to find them in the neighboring shopping district. Guests can contact Himel for a complimentary pre-stay consultation in which he can provide professional fashion insight and shopping recommendations. A styling session can also be booked at $150/hour.

Code Blue: TV Reporter Jason Knowles Ditches Dark Suits in Favor of a Technicolor Wardrobe

Monday, November 15th, 2010

AS A REPORTER FOR ABC 7 NEWS, Jason Knowles has a strict dress code. “The traditional attire is a dark suit, a light shirt and a tie that pops but isn’t too crazy,” says Knowles. “You want to stay relevant and connected to the younger audience, but you don’t want to offend older viewers.” Audience demographics aside, there’s one cardinal rule in the newsroom: “Don’t distract from the story.”

Like many other Chicago men who must tuck their style away to conform to industry dress codes, sartorial restraint is a tall order for Knowles. A dapper gent who digs color and patterns and dons Hugo Boss and Theory in his off-hours, Knowles feels he’s played it too safe in his work wardrobe. “I’ve always liked fashion, but I’m just realizing how important it is. It’s your statement to the world; it’s who you are.”

Looking to infuse his highly visible professional threads with a bit more personality, Knowles enlisted the help of renowned stylist Eric Himel. A staple on the Chicago fashion scene, Himel is well aware of the men’s office attire gray area, where a suit and tie is too stuffy, but jeans and a tee are unacceptable.

Himel began the “man-over” at square one, giving Knowles his signature closet purge. After weeding out the fashion misfits, Himel brought Knowles to Maxine (712 N. Rush St.) for a sophisticated haircut. Then the duo hit up the Saks Fifth Avenue men’s store (717 N. Michigan Ave.), where Himel selected two looks for Knowles: A classic suit and a business casual ensemble. “When you want to distinguish yourself while still being professional, it’s all about the subtleties,” says Himel. Little details such as a pocket square, a scarf, a subtle stripe and a classic watch—all paired with expertly fitted attire—can quickly and affordably take any look to a new level.

The result? “Jason looked amazing,” says Himel. Knowles was equally pleased, noting that Himel pushed the limit, selecting items that initially seemed too wild for work but looked clean and sophisticated when Knowles tried them on.

So, how will this affect him in front of the camera? “I felt like I was a different person,” he says of the man-over. “If I can put some of what I learned into my wardrobe, it will improve my confidence on air.”


1. Don’t be afraid of bright colors. Bring out color in your tie, shirt pattern or pocket square, but make sure you do it in a sophisticated way.
2. The pocket square. It’s such an easy way to bring a little zing to your ensemble and set yourself apart.
3. Ditch the messenger bag or the worn, soft leather briefcase. Invest in a structured leather briefcase or even a hard-sided one.
4. Grow up. Ties shouldn’t represent sports affi liations, humor, abstract art or small repetitive animals.
5. Sick of plain ol’ black or brown shoes? Try cordovan, a rich shade of burgundy with almost-black undertones, which goes with every color.

Finding the Right Pair of Jeans

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Get that booty in the right-fitting jeans for fall

Finding the perfect pair of jeans can be a daunting affair. With a million brands and styles on the market, who’s to know what kind is best for you?

Stylist and Fashion Expert Eric Himel shares his knowledge on how to pick out the perfect denim for your body type. But first thing you need to do is take a deep breath, he says.

“The only thing worse than buying jeans is buying a bathing suit!” Himel says.

Here’s how to pick the best denim for your type:

Attack of the ’80s Jeans
Attack of the ’80s Jeans

Attack of the ’80s Jeans

PHOTOS: Glamorama 2010
PHOTOS: Glamorama 2010

PHOTOS: Glamorama 2010

Good Jeans are in the DNA
Good Jeans are in the DNA

Good Jeans are in the DNA

The Trend: Cigarette
Who should be wearing them: The Cigarette jean is a not-as-skinny version of ‘Skinny’ jeans and can elongate the leg. But beware; if you have saddle bags or a pear-shaped figure, this look is a no-no, Himel says.

The Trend: Boot Cut
Who should be wearing them: A variety of sizes, from taller girls to petite and round, can get away with this look because it’s flattering. Himel says to update the boot cut look (which is a little dated), try a ‘slight’ boot for a more subtle effect.

The Trend: Cropped
Who should be wearing them: While cropped can end up looking more “cutesy” than sexy, it can be a good look. Himel says to pair them with a high wedge to sex them up and make sure that they hit at the perfect place on the leg; it can always be shortened. Who shouldn’t wear them? Petite girls; the cropped look cuts off the leg, making legs look even shorter.

The Trend: Straight
Best for: For girls with hips and butt, the straight leg is an excellent choice. “This is a great standard for ‘Real’ women who have thighs, hips and a butt,” Himel says. And when choosing a size, buy jeans that fit snug. Himel says they ALWAYS stretch out as the day progresses. “You don’t want ‘S.B.S’ – Saggy Booty Syndrome!”

The Trend: Skinny
Best for: Skinny minnies or taller ladies. The skinny look is hard to pull off, but the good thing is that it’s very versatile. Leave the jeans a little bit longer for a scrunched look at the bottom, Himel says. The look can be dressed up or dressed down easily. “They go with flats, wedges heels, sandals, booties and tucked into high boots,” Himel says. To elongate legs, wear a heel with skinny jeans, and make sure that jeans have a bit of stretch in them (Spandex), Himel says. “They will feel more comfortable and they will fit better.”

The Trend: Wide Leg
Best For: “Women with a badunkadunk and hips!” Himel says. “These definitely need to fit very well to work. They need to flare out at the right place on the leg as to not emulate Saturday night Fever,” he says. But if you get the perfect fit, they can be head-turners!

The Trend: High-Waisted
Best for: According to Himel, no one. “Maybe, Carmen Electra can get away with them,” he says. Enough said. “Those famous ‘Mom Jeans’ that Jessica Simpson wore were not actually Mom Jeans, but ‘High-Waisted’ jeans.” This style is very difficult to wear and is not for the faint-of-heart, he says. They are trendy and highly-stylized and you need a ‘perfect’ body, not to mention the perfect proportions, to pull them off.

The Trend: Mid-Rise
Best for: Those with body issues and a tummy in the mid-section. “The days of the ultra-low rise (i.e. – you can see my g-string) are O-V-E-R. Period,” Himel stresses. If you have body issues in the mid-section, stick with a mid-rise, it’ll work wonders and help conceal any belly bulge.

The Trend: Boyfriend Jeans
Best for: Those who are not trying to show off their figure. Himel says this look is not his favorite. Why? That shipped has sailed, and should have never even docked,” he says. “They make you look wide and square. Need I say?”

No matter what kind you end up going for, give yourself adequate time. Jeans shopping is not something you can rush in and get done in 20 minutes. “Be patient and try on A LOT!” Himel says. “Once you find your style that is totally flattering, buy multiple pairs in different washes so you have plenty of back-up pairs.”

Kim Peiffer is the founder of The Glow List, an online magazine dedicated to fitness, beauty, diet, spa and travel.