What’s Wrong with this outfit?

What’s Wrong with this outfit?

I always love those what not to wear shows and now it is fun to figure out why my outfits don’t always work. I made these great flannel pants from a Sew Chic Pattern Co. pattern. I put the cozy side inside and they feel like pajamas. With the shirt on the left they also look like pajamas. Whoops! This shirt’s v-neck also makes my torso look too short since these pants are high waisted. 

When I switched to the white shirt and blue sweater, it drew the eye up and elongated the torso. The navy sweater lowered the visual waist a little bit and it all balanced out. My favorite outfit on a chilly day. 

The effect of high waisted pants is to make your legs look longer and as a result your torso is automatically shortened. These pants would not work as well on someone with long legs and a shorter torso unless there was another balancing trick – Perhaps a collar that stood up on the neckline to make the upper half of the body taller as well. 

If you try something on and at first it doesn’t look quite right, play around with the proportions and see if you can fool the eye till you get it right. What problems have you had with proportion?

Your best networking Tool

Your best networking Tool

What’s your best networking tool?

You might think it is a glitzy card or a cute elevator pitch. These are great but in my opinion your best tool to opening the door to genuine conversation and networking is a warm smile.

As I walked the streets and waited in line to take in the Guinness Tour on a recent trip to Dublin I did some people watching and experimenting. Why is no one smiling? We are all about to go on a brewery tour and we are in Dublin and the sun is shining. Will I look like a mental case if I smile? Will I be happier if I smile? Will it get reflected back? Are these people happy? Has someone studied this officially? Are there places where smiling is bad form or forbidden? Do I just feel freer to smile now that I am an older woman and it won’t be taken the wrong way?

I mentioned these thoughts to my daughter who has covered a little more of the world than I have. She said that when she was in Argentina part of her instruction was that she shouldn’t smile as it could be taken as an invitation. I’m not sure if they said what it would be an invitation to, but I agree that a smile could be taken as an invitation. Did the males get the same instruction? It is sad that we feel we have to fear that a smile will bring unwanted attention. Is it a societal more to look sad so we will be “normal”” and unapproachable? Does it save time? Is that the kind of time we need to save?

When I was younger people were always imploring me to smile. My husband is always trying to get me to smile for pictures I don’t want taken of me. So I am guilty of not always being a happy face. And some of that not smiling may have come from fear of being taken the wrong way or having to engage. (Not a problem for me now days – bring on the conversations with strangers). Contrary to all those people who seemed to feel it was OK for them to tell me to smile, I won’t tell you to smile but I will invite you to think about what doors it could open.

When you are networking your goal is to GET invitations to engage and communicate. And if a simple smile is all it takes then why not? Unless you are afraid of what comes next. If you are scared stiff at networking events try a warm smile next time as a part of your introduction. At least in the US you will appear more relaxed and confident, ready to learn what others are about which is the key to successful networking.

Beginning wardrobe color

Beginning wardrobe color

I love color

but I didn’t know what to do with it in my wardrobe. I fretted over what were my best colors and it often seemed nothing I had matched anything else I had. I tried diagnosing myself using online quizzes that confused me more than anything else. This is why I want to help you gain color clarity.

Why should you care about color?

Wearing colors that don’t fight with your natural colors and repeating those colors found in your eyes, hair and skin will allow others to focus on you and not what you are wearing. If you want to create discord then wear colors that don’t match you. Nothing you choose is right or wrong if it feels right to you.

 

How do you find these colors?

Let’s start with the warm-cool-neutral test. Most people have undertones in their skin that are either warm or cool. The best way to find this is to go to the fabric store and get a square of silver fabric and a square of gold fabric. Wearing no makeup,placing yourself in natural light, and wearing white in a space with a white background will greatly improve the accuracy of your results. Now simply drape  those fabrics around the front of your neck? Which color looks better? Does one make your skin look clearer than the other? Does one make those wrinkles and under eye circles fade away better than the other? If so you have an answer to the first question. You are either warm or cool. If both look equally good you are probably neutral and can wear either tone.

Grab yourself a color wheel and use it a guide to begin finding colors in the right tone for you. Start in your own closet. If you are warm (gold looks best) then locate the colors in your closet that have some yellow in them. If you are cool (silver looks best) then locate the colors in your closet that have some blue in them. You can do this by holding the yellow and blue of the color wheel up to that item and seeing which color is more harmonious with the item you have selected. This can be an item of any color. Blue items can be cool or warm and yellow items can be cool or warm. It has to do with what dyes were mixed to produce the fabric your item of clothing is made out of.

This simple exercise will begin to help you select good colors for yourself. And remember wearing colors that are similar to you will enhance your chances of being noticed, being memorable and helping make the world a cheerier place! 

Up next week tints tones and shades! Go forth and have fun.

 

If you want help gaining color clarity drop me a line.

Appearance and Income

Appearance and Income

Studies show links between personal appearance, employment and income that I find fascinating. Google personal appearance and income and you will find some interesting articles.

Malcolm Gladwell did a survey on the height of Fortune 500 CEO’s and found that the average CEO is about 3 inches taller than the average American man. (And you note that he was studying men).

This article discusses results of some of those studies and ponders what that means.

This study from 2006  https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3043406  came up with three transmission channels for the beauty premium.

  1. Physically attractive workers are more confident and higher confidence increases wages.
  2. For a given level of confidence physically attractive workers are (wrongly) considered more able by employers.
  3. Controlling for worker confidence, physically attractive workers have oral skills (such as communication and social skills) that raise their wages when they interact with employers.

Don’t be discouraged or blame our looks for our luck in life. There are tricks you can use to create appearances that match society’s ideal even if you are more towards the average (which is all of us) appearance. You can dress to appear taller and more slender. You can wear clothes that fit. You can learn to create confidence from the inside out that will make anything you wear look better.

The mind perceives (even our own) before logical thinking takes over. Test yourself throughout the day today and observe those background thoughts that you don’t usually notice about the people you meet, see on TV or in the media.

Were you surprised?

As much as you may wish to fight this and stay the way you are if you have dreams and goals, being able to confidently make a good impression visually, with your actions and with your words (including voice) is so important.

Who do you want to be? How much do you want to make? I encourage you to dress as if you are already there.