New Spring Trends – continued

Posted on February 24, 2010 by admin 

Continuing with the new spring trends proposed by Neiman Marcus, we first next look at shorts.

Shorts – This is a great fashion trend for our hot Atlanta summers.  The best part about this season’s offerings is the variety in length.  Not all of us can wear short shorts but walking shorts just above the knees can be worn by most any age.   Another option is to go even longer.   Cropped pants are being shown in all lengths.  The caution here is that many of them are tapered at the bottom.  This only works for an inverted triangle or a figure eight body shape – slender through the hip area.  If your body type is wider through either the hips or the waist area, find cropped pants that drop straight from the hip to the bottom.  Also keep in mind your height.  If you are short or have shorter legs, a wider, cropped pant will shorten the leg line.  In this case, it is better to select walking shorts or choose lightweight long pants so a long leg-line can be achieved.  Cargo pants are also being shown in all fabric weights.  I was just shopping with a client who has a rectangle body shape and has an “all American outdoor girl” appearance.  We selected several pair of these pants, some in lightweight fabric in a natural crinkly fabric.  These will be easy care for travel and excellent for our hot Atlanta summers.   This look will not work well for the more sophisticated or classic person whose appearance needs a more tailored look.

Nude shoes –Very high heels with high vamps continue to be popular.  This season, however, the high vamp is being shown in nude or natural which are much easier to pull off.  One wants to make the leg line appear longer so a high vamp defeats this purpose unless you have extremely long legs or at least your legs are long from the ankle to the knee.  High vamped shoes can dominate by putting visual weight at the foot, especially if they are in a dark color and/or the wearer has small bone structure.  By keeping the vamp close to skin color, the shoes don’t carry as much visual weight.  Personally, I will be happy to see this trend disappear, as I don’t believe there are many people that can wear it well.

Novel Tees – There will be some type of Tee that you can wear if this trend appeals to you.  Not only are some very creative styles being featured, but a wide range of colors and prints.  I love Tees for summer. They work well with shorts or other casual bottoms, can be layered with a blouse or jacket or can stand on their own.  Better yet, they are easy care.    This is a versatile look that will give you great mileage in your summer wardrobe.

The Wedge – Wedgies are a great summer look.  Rope, raffia or cork wedges gives a fresh tropical feel while leather kicks it up a notch.  They are the perfect finish for casual summer clothes whether it is a sundress, shorts or pants.

Arm Candy – Large bracelets have taken center stage as the fashion accessory.  They are often being shown grouped by twos or threes.  These bracelets are great fun and you can find them in most stores at very reasonable prices.  Keep scale in mind when you are trying these bracelets.  If you are large boned, these bracelets will draw attention to your hands and will often be snug around your wrist.  Try grouping several smaller bangles of varying widths, that swing on your wrist comfortably.   This will give you a decorative accent while not drawing attention to your larger bone structure.  The same can work for a very small boned person.  One or two very wide bracelets might overpower your small bone structure but grouping several smaller bangles together will accent what you are wearing, while not dominating.

Great White Shirt – This is the MVP (most valuable player) of the spring/summer season.  A great white shirt or blouse can go anywhere.  So many options are being shown from tailored to ruffled or pleated.  Shirts carry more authority than a Tee while giving the versatility of layering with a sweater or jacket.    If you have warm toned coloring, choosing a slightly warm-toned white which will be more flattering to your natural coloring and it will work wonderfully with bright oranges or lime greens as well as brown tones.

So these are the eleven top new looks as suggested by Neiman Marcus.  I’m sure you will not all be running out to fill your closets with each of these but enjoy choosing those that you find most appealing.  You will have a new, updated look for spring that will carry you through until fall.

Happy shopping!

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New Spring Trends

Posted on February 17, 2010 by admin 

Snow may be complicating fashion week in New York for the new fall collections but we are focused on what new trends we will find in the stores for spring.   Neiman Marcus recently published eleven trends to look for as spring merchandise arrives.

Blue – Some forecasters have projected turquoise the key color for spring but Neiman’s includes all blues.  Blue is a wonderfully versatile color and there is a shade of blue that will work for any skin tone.   Blue, denoting a sense of sophistication and serenity, is welcome in today’s climate of financial and political uncertainty.   As you are selecting what to choose to freshen your wardrobe for spring and summer, be sure to select something in blue.

Denim Dressing –  Stores will be featuring denim and more denim.   Looking beyond our traditional jeans, to jackets, skirts and even shoes.  Manolo Blahnik offers a pair of white leather and denim lace-up pumps!   This is a light years from the originally intended use of denim as a practical fabric for miners during the gold rush!  Certainly, jeans have become a staple for everyone’s wardrobe but I would caution to only wear one denim item at a time.    A cute denim skirt with a great blouse will work well or denim shoes (there are also ballerinas) as an accent but it is hard to envision stepping out in all denim and having it not look like a costume.

Tribal – First we had prints then graphics and now it is tribal.  These are all small nuances in type of prints.  This spring the emphasis is more on prints that have a tribal feel as well as jewelry and accessories.  The caution is to choose something that works with your style.  A markedly tribal print will not be becoming on a delicate, feminine woman.  Since it can be tricky to choose a print right for you, first you should absolutely love the print and not choose it just because it is a seasonal fashion.  Then, as mentioned in other blogs, try the blink test to see if a print works for you.   Standing back a distance from a mirror, close your eyes for a moment, then open them and what do you see first?  If it is the print, it is too strong for you but if you see you first, it probably works.  Or, if prints aren’t your thing,  you can no doubt find a pair or earrings or accessory that will say “tribal” while staying true to who you are.

Feminine Draping – Draping, pleats and tucks are found everywhere.  You may not think draping is right for you but there is a huge variety in treatments so that most everyone can find something having these details that will be becoming.   Of course, it isn’t necessary for one to add every new trend so choose the ones you love!

Relaxed pants – We have gone from skinny jeans for fall/winter to relaxed pants for spring/summer.  If the skinny jeans were not for you, the more relaxed pant could easily fit the bill.  Caution though:  many of them are looser through the waist and hip area but taper in at the bottom.  This is not going to be flattering for a triangle or anyone with extra width through the body.  These bodies need wider legs to carry the eye smoothly from the waist/hip area to the hem of the pants.

Next week we will look at the remaining six trends for spring.  You may want to start your closet audit now, retiring those items that are a little tired, have pills or spots or you are just tired of wearing.  Go through jewelry and accessories to see if there are items that you can incorporate back into your wardrobe in a fresh, new way.   Then start making a list of pieces you would like to add for your new spring look.

Until next week when you get the rest of the story!

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Which Jeans for You?

Which jeans for you!

Posted on February 4, 2010 by admin 

Expect lots of denim in the stores for spring.  You may not want – nor would I recommend – an entire wardrobe of denim but most everyone should have a great pair of jeans in her wardrobe.  As a certified image consultant, I do not advocate extreme styles with lots of holes and distressing for anyone but the very young and trim. However, a great fitting pair of dark denim jeans can become your “go to” pant.  They can look great paired with a blazer, knit top or crisp blouse.  The key will be the fit.

There are six different body shapes so let’s talk about the unique considerations for each.   Jeans vary in the rise from fairly low on the hip to nearly touching the waist and have a wide variety of leg shapes.  Once you know your body shape, you have a starting point from which to begin your search for the perfect jean.

The rectangle is the body that has shoulders and hips generally the same width and very little indentation for the waist.  Usually a rectangle is fairly flat through the derriere.  Choose jeans for this body type that are slim cut if you have slender legs while straight legs or a boot cut work for everyone.  Avoid pegged or very tapered legs, as that will exaggerate the width of the waist.  Back pockets with flaps can be very flattering to the rectangle, adding dimension in the derriere.  Personally, I don’t recommend the low pockets that extend well down onto the thigh for anyone who is not a hip hop artist.

The oval is a body that is wider at the waist with narrower shoulders and hips.  This shape is often found on a person who is somewhat overweight but can also be the natural shape for even a size 2.  One may need to choose a larger size to fit the waist and have the hips taken in.  A straight leg will be the most complementary.   Choosing a loose top that floats over the waist and lands at mid hip will be very flattering.

The hourglass is the body with shoulders and hips the same width and a noticeable smaller waist sloping in from the bust and hips.  This is the body shape that most people dream of having but as with everything, there are drawbacks.  Often the distance from the waist to the crotch is longer in proportion and sometimes the legs are shorter.  Wearing lower rise jeans will break the space from waist to crotch.  If one is slender, add a fitted blouse, tucked in to show off that small waist and accent with a wide belt.  Legs should be boot cut or straight.  Avoid pegged or slender cuts.

The figure eight body is similar to the hourglass in that the hips and shoulders are the same width with the waist being noticeably smaller.  The difference is that this body has a high hipbone so the waist comes directly out then falls straight on the sides.  This body usually is longer from the waist to the crotch as well.  Jeans for the figure eight should have a higher rise, falling just at the waistline if one is to tuck in the blouse.   There needs hip pockets or a yoke in the back to break up the vertical space.   Lower rise jeans will accentuate the widest part of the body so these should be worn with a top that comes at least mid-way down on the hips.  This body shape can wear straight, boot cut, tapered or slim cut legs.

The triangle is a body whose shoulders are smaller than the hips.  This body may or may not have a defined waist.   The space from the waist to crotch is generally longer.  For this body, with a defined waist, a lower rise jean can be worn similar to the hourglass adding a fitted blouse to accentuate the waist and visually shortening the rise.  This is a good time to wear a blazer which will add width through the shoulders and visually break the length of the rise.   Wear either straight or wide cut legs.  If you are petite, stick with the straight leg.   Avoid at all cost a tapered or slender cut leg, which will accentuate the width of the hips.

The inverted triangle is the body that has wider shoulders than hips and may or may not have a clearly define waist.  This body type often has a short rise so jeans need to be shorter through the rise.  Avoid pockets, yokes and belts so that the rise does not have any visual breaks. Legs may be tapered, boot cut or slender.

It is not always possible to find the perfect fit in jeans even after you have followed the suggestions for your body type.  Remember, even jeans can be tailored and it is worth it to spend a little extra money on tailoring and have them fit perfectly.  If you are a triangle, you may need to go up a size to fit your hips then have the waist taken in.  An inverted triangle, oval or figure eight might need to have the side seams taken in.  If your store does not have an alterations department to evaluate whether the alterations will give a perfect fit, take the garment to your alterations expert.   If a good fit can’t be achieved, return the jeans and start over.

This may sound intimidating but once you find that great pair of jeans that can give you a perfect fit, make note of that brand for the next purchase.  You might even want to get two pair just in case they change styles the next season.

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