People will stare – make it good

People will stare – make it good

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” —Harry Winston

 

I love learning more about the people who are quoted. Harry Winston was an American jeweler that supplied some of the worlds most famous people with some of the world’s most famous diamonds and jewels.

I do love this quote because I have always shunned attention instead of embracing it. I can’t imagine putting on a giant diamond and being comfortable. Why would I want the attention? I also know that diamonds don’t have the cleanest labor and human rights records. But imagine having the confidence to put on one of the world’s most famous diamonds and an outfit to match. That is a goal worth achieving. That kind of confidence.

 If you want to learn more about diamonds – their manufacture, marketing, history and value, you will enjoy this podcast from 99% invisible.

Clothing detail – The V neck

V necks have a lot going for them. They automatically create a long lean look for most body types. About the only exception I can think of is if you have an abnormally long neck because this would accentuate it.  (But hey you know my motto – if you love it wear it).  Watch how deep your v goes or you may be sending a message you didn’t intend to (either way).

You can create your own V by unbuttoning the top button of a button down or simply slashing a v in your crew neck t shirt.

V necks have the potential to be a valuable staple in your wardrobe.

Knowing the proper terminology for clothing detail will make online and in store shopping for clothes easier.

layered v neck

Photo from Nordstrom Rack

Style ideas – Balance your body with color

Color plays an important role in balancing an outfit. Where the colors change in an outfit can have an impact on whether the outfit is balanced or not. The saturation and hue affect  also come into play. This is why monochromatic color schemes are the easiest to put together.

How can you use color to create the balanced look you want?  

Triangles could use a lighter, brighter or print top to draw attention up.

Inverted triangles would use that lighter or brighter color or print on the bottom.

Photo from Nordstrom

Hourglasses could use attention focusing details on the top and bottom with a dark middle to emphasize their waist . Photo from Nordstrom

Rounds could use body skimming fit, slightly higher waistline and  monochrome dressing with a brighter scarf or necklace to draw attention up.

 

This color block dress would be great for columns because it adds shape and a waist Photo from JC Penney

What is your favorite trick for body balance? Don’t have one yet? Drop me a line Let’s create some body balance.

Bill Cunningham, Boatnecks, The last of the Summer Colors and the Hourglass

Bill Cunningham, Boatnecks, The last of the Summer Colors and the Hourglass

Bill Cunningham at Fashion Week photographed by Jiyang Chen

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” —Bill Cunningham

 My take on this quote was quite bleak at first!

#1 needing armor to survive everyday life tells me you aren’t  quite on the right path. From what I have read about Mr. Cunningham, this simply wasn’t true. He didn’t use fashion but photographed it, wrote about it and also was a milliner early in his career. He kept his own life as simple as possible, wearing the same thing every day and riding a bicycle around New York.

After reading more about him through his obituary and Wikipedia I would be more generous. I would now conjecture that he thought fashion was useful entertainment and statement as life moved on through time. Mr Cunningham sounds like someone I would aspire to be (without the daily uniform).

How about you? Is fashion your armor?

This week’s fashion detail The Boat Neck

A boat neck is a wide  neckline  from shoulder to shoulder which sits just below the collarbones. It can be square or scooped. It draws visual attention upward so it is a good choice if you need to visually create more width on the upper part of your body and/or lengthen the look of your neck.

Grape Compote Photo from Pantone 2020 Color Trend Report

Brilliant White – Photo from Pantone 2020 Color Trend Report

Ash – Photo from Pantone 2020 Color Trend Report

2020 Trends – more summer colors

2 neutrals and a splash

This week I want to share the last of the Pantone 2020 Summer colors.  I am loving faded denim and ash because they are nice neutrals for me. Which are your favorites and how would you wear them?

Hourglass figures 

The hourglass figure is defined as being equal width top and bottom with a very defined waist.  It is the shape that the eye finds most flattering and if you have an hourglass figure your goals is to not throw it out of balance!

Suggestions include  balancing an eye catching shoulder look like a boat neck with some detail down below and then don’t hide your waist!

While we often think of the hourglass as the perfect figure, they too have challenges and can’t throw on just anything without thought. 

So with your new knowledge in hand,  embrace whatever shape you have and experiment with different looks to see what feels good to you. Remember don’t wear it unless you love it.

Drawing of an hourglass figure

Play, Turtlenecks, The Blues, and Round

Play, Turtlenecks, The Blues, and Round

woman in a smock

When I put this coat on I feel like a creative person ready to paint or do some patternmaking

Play some dress up

If I waited for a proper occasion to get dressed up I’d never wear half of these clothes. Put on the clothes and you make things happen to match them. It doesn’t work the other way around.”
― Erin Kelly

What an interesting thought. The stay at home order here in my home town is starting to lift. Is it because I got out of my pajamas? JK but what happens to your mind, your body and your will when you stay in your pajamas all day? Are you really pampering yourself or just indulging in despair?

For me in the past a full day in pajamas would have been pampering. Now after many days of not leaving the house staying in my pajamas would be indulgent. Maybe not indicative of despair but indicative of wallowing in something.

Now is a great time to play dress up because no one is looking. Try it out. Put together some different dilemmas you would like to find yourself in and dress for the occasion. Play make believe just like when you were 3 and let me know if it was a good escape that created some new results.

This week’s style detail – the Turtleneck collar

I don’t need to explain why turtlenecks are so named. Put one on and you will see. When it is cold out it feels amazing to put one of these on and sink down into it.  A turtleneck is found on a pullover knit shirt. It folds over on top of itself. A mock turtleneck is more of a band and if you folded it over it would be really narrow.

Turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks can be worn in a variety of ways. Put one on under a blazer for a casual Friday look or wear one plain with a scarf, sweater or vest on the weekend.  How do you like to wear turtlenecks?

2020 Pantone Summer Blues

classic blue, faded denim, mosaic blue, navy blazer

One of these blues will look good on you. Blue is one of those universal colors. There is a tint, tone, shade or hue for everyone. It is a good color to choose for family photos, uniforms or wedding parties.  I am sure you probably already have one of these in your closet so no need to go out for more (unless you need it).

Style Lesson – Round Body shape

A woman with a round body shape has a mid section that is wider than her hips or shoulders. There is no defined waist. She usually has amazing legs to show off.

Color and design lines as well as layers are some ideas to play with for body balance. As with all body types, avoiding  horizontal lines right across the widest part of your body is a good place to start playing. Creating a V with design lines with the narrow part of the V at your waist is a trick to create a waist. Wearing items with detail at the hemline and neckline will also create the illusion of a waist.

Avoid giving up and putting on clothes that are too large and baggy just to hide. Instead wear clothing that fits properly and let yourself shine. Unless of course you want to- You have to love it!

Round body type

Need help creating your signature style?

Use your nose, mandarin collars, 2020 greens and Rectangles

Use your nose, mandarin collars, 2020 greens and Rectangles

How Using your nose can save the planet

“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?” –Anonymous-

And guess what? Washing less also equals less impact from your clothing on the environment. Since I rarely do out and out dirty work in my job anymore I have started to give my outer clothes the sniff test before tossing them in the laundry basket automatically.  If they pass back in the closet or drawer they go.

According to this article in Treehugger 75 to 80% of our clothing’s lifestyle impact comes from laundry. The average household uses 13,500 gallons of water a year doing laundry. Front loading machines cut that back significantly by using 7000 gallons less. Now imagine if you cut your number of loads per week in half just by doing the sniff test.  Hanging your clothes instead of using a dryer will cut down on electricity use (but maybe crowd your minimal living space).

Use the coolest temperature water you can. Heating water accounts for a large amount of energy use when it comes to laundry.

To avoid ironing, hang your clothing up immediately instead of letting it sit around balled up.

Reconsider dry cleaning. Avoid buying things that say dry clean only. If you are open to experimenting, many sweaters and delicates that say dry clean only can be hand washed.

Another bonus? Your clothing will last longer when you wash less often, don’t use the dryer or an iron and use cooler water.

And now if you run into me on the street I hope you will know me because I am smiling about not doing laundry and not because my sniffer isn’t as good as it used to be.

Clothing detail of the week -Mandarin collar

A mandarin collar is a subtle little  stand up collar that is  basically the stand for a collar without the collar part attached. It is typically narrow but can be wider. It is typically thought of as an Asian look because it was used on Chinese military uniforms. Related styles are the Nehru collar and the band collar. What memories or feelings do the Mandarin collar create for you?

These girl’s costumes have a mandarin collar

2020 Greens Biscay Green and Chive

Have you tried either of these colors? I could see myself in a pair of chive green hiking pants on the trail!

Body Shape for the week – Rectangle

In a rectangular body shape the hips and shoulders are equal in measurement and the waist is not clearly defined. This body shape benefits most from defining a waist. This can be done with a design line, belt or other detail that creates a waist. This shape benefits from adding width to the shoulders and hips so that the waist appears narrower. A peplum top with additional shoulder details would do this well.

 

Rectangle body shape line drawing
Details, Body Types and the Crochet trend

Details, Body Types and the Crochet trend

Grandma Gets Real Creator Tonya Ruiz dressed up these quarantine barbies. I think you will enjoy them.

Clothing detail of the week

Knowing how certain details of clothing are described can help make online ordering and searching easier. Todays detail is the peter pan collar.

The Peter Pan collar is a shirt collar that lays flat and is rounded on the edges instead of pointed. It screams feminine and girly, flirtatious and fun. It can also be viewed as a juvenile or youthful look which may not be helpful if you need to project authority but could be great fun on a date night or girl’s night.

In a contrasting color it can bring attention up to your face (which is flattering to all). They can be jazzed up with sequins, beads or embroidery for an even more stand out look.

It is one of those clothing details that gets an immediate love it or hate it reaction.

2012 was the last time it was really on trend so I imagine we will see it come round again soon. Is the Peter Pan collar a clothing detail you love or hate?

Photo from Sew it With Love

If you are a seamstress you can draft your own Peter Pan collar with these instructions from Sew it with Love

I found it! This article reminded me I have an adorable detachable beaded one that I loved to wear in my 20’s. Maybe I will have to try it again soon and add a little glam to my quarantine outfit.

This crochet dress pattern from Garn Studio 

in Queensland is a lot like the dress my mom’s friend made for me.

 

Clothing Trend

Crochet was hot on the runways for spring. I will never forget when I was in middle school one of my mom’s friends crocheted me a soft pink dress. She must have spent hours on it. I never wore it. What self respecting middle school girl in the 70’s would wear a dress with holes in it. The boys were already trouble enough. Why would I encourage even more teasing?

I flirted  with a couple more crochet things over the years including a purple bell sleeved duster style sweater that looked fabulous but had me getting hooked on every edge I encountered. Into the Goodwill bin it went.  Could I be tempted again? Crocheted pants? Swimsuit cover up? It would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone which is what I advise clients to do – so I can answer that with a solid maybe. Perhaps a crocheted tank or a swimsuit cover up could be a solid addition to my simple and practical style.

Here is a glimpse of some of the crochet trends that went down the runway for spring. Are any of them tempting you?

Style lesson – Your body shape

When I first started trying to figure out how to dress better I couldn’t believe the simple formula of body shape and how applying different suggestions based on my body shape were a great starting point to having my clothes look better on me.

An easy way to figure out your shape is to take a photo of yourself in tight fitting leggings and t shirt or tank top. Print this out and then with another piece of paper on top, trace around your outline. You can do this for front, back and profile but you really only need the front.

Then take a straight edge and hold it vertically straight down from your shoulders on the traced outline. Do your hips line up with your shoulders? Are your hips smaller or bigger than your shoulders? Does your waist indent a lot, a little or not at all? Making these observations will quickly and easily tell you your body type and get you started on learning the tricks of body balance.

Here are the body types:

Balanced hourglass – Hips and shoulders are equal and your waist is indented quite a bit

Triangle – Your hips are wider than your shoulders and your waist is indented a bit

Inverted triangle – your shoulders are wider than your hips and you have a waist

Rectangle – Your shoulders and hips are equal and your waist hardly indents at all

Round – your middle is your largest part. You usually have a larger bust and amazing legs.

The goal for all these body types is to create a look with clothing that creates the illusion of  hips and shoulders that are equal in width with a defined waist.

The goal for clothing for the balanced hourglass that already has this look is to not throw those proportions off.

Did this help you figure out your body shape? Do you still need help? Give me a call. I can help you sort out all the confusing guidelines and silhouettes to get you started on the path to giving yourself a style make over.

 

line drawing of triangle body shape