Do you have a little black in your closet?

Posted on August 24, 2010 by admin 

“Every woman needs a little black dress” has been the mantra from fashion aficionados for as long as I can remember. But, is it the golden rule of fashion? I say, not.

The little black dress was an innovation of Coca Chanel long before Suzanne Caygill began her study of colors as related to people’s natural coloring and personality. The little black dress is a great concept. The downside is that only a small percentage of the population actually looks good in black. Black is generally not flattering to warm-toned coloring. It is often too harsh for the very fair person. Even people who once could wear black often find it too harsh as they age.

Every woman’s wardrobe can benefit by having a basic dress that can be dressed up or down. It should be simple in design so that accents can be added to change the look. In other words, it should be the blank canvas on which you paint the portrait of your choice. Let’s look at possibilities.

Chocolate brown, camel or beige
Navy, burgundy, purple, gray
Olive – a huge color this season

You may love some other colors that could serve as a basic. Just make sure that it complements your natural coloring and is neither too strong nor too muted.

Now, let’s accessorize.

Scarves – a major fashion accessory this season
Jewelry – you can’t go wrong with pearls for fall
Cardigan – think of the many possible styles and/or patterns
Jackets – possibilities in many lengths, styles and colors
These are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

As you can see, a great basic dress can be worn so many different ways without people even recognizing that you are wearing it repeatedly.
So the answer is: A little black dress? No. A versatile little dress in your best color? Absolutely!

Looking for some help on how to get the most mileage out of that dress? Call me. or 404-467-0288

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Fashion or Style?

Posted on August 31, 2010 by admin 

To quote Yves Saint Laurent: “Fashion fades; style is eternal.” 

What is the difference between fashion and style? Fashion is what designers present to us each season as the “new” look. The fashionista will follow each new trend despite how it looks on her. Her motto is, “If it comes in my size, I need it.” The person with style picks only those things that work with her personal style, despite how fun it would be to wear certain fashions.

As a certified image consultant, my goal is to help each woman discover her own style and learn how to choose fashions that support that unique style. It is knowing yourself from the inside out. You can have two ladies with similar builds, similar coloring and similar age but they might have totally different styles.

We can determine a client’s line and body shape, proportion, scale, and texture. We can show them how to choose styles to camouflage or accentuate different areas of the body to give the illusion that they have that ideal proportion and shape. We can teach them how to choose the right scale or whether one can wear texture. These skills are similar from one lady to another.

Conversely, identifying the right personal style is much more than that. For example, color analysis might indicate that two ladies could wear the same color palette. In reality, a lady with a strong personality and persona should wear deeper, bolder colors than a retiring person. In fact, the retiring person might be more at home in neutrals. Each is being true to her personal image. This is where understanding who your are deep down inside really makes the difference.

Let’s look at some famous people who have or had a great understanding of their true personal style.

Coco Chanel designed for herself. Her clothes were always right for her. She defied the corseted, elaborate dresses and hats of her day and went for wear ability and simplicity. Then she adorned her clothes with more simple designs of jewelry.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had a true understanding of her personal style. She chose simple, elegant lines. Some of her dresses looked almost like sculptures. These designs supported her angular body and her reserved elegance. Even though she was in her early thirties when she became First Lady, she always dressed appropriately for the position as well as her style.

Diane Von Furstenberg has very strong coloring and a personality to match. Her designs often are in rich colors and strong prints. No one can imagine her in a soft pink dress with ruffles. She understands who she is and supports that image in how she dresses herself.

Laura Bush also really understands her personal style. Her choice of classic clothes are perfect for who she is. There is nothing extreme about her. She is reserved but always impeccably groomed and appropriate for the occasion.

Renee Zellweger is another example of someone who knows herself. Since I haven’t studied her as much, this observation may not be quite as accurate. Her small, curvy, frame is beautifully showcased by the feminine, romantic dresses she chooses for awards event. Unlike many other stars who look like a different person at each ceremony, Renee works with Carolina Herrera to design her awards dresses. Ms. Herrera’s designs are elegant, refined and feminine. Perfect for the image of Ms. Zellweger. This indicates to me that she understands her personal style.

The woman with style understands who she is, knows how to work with her natural attributes and chooses clothing that is both age-appropriate and complements her as a total person. Designer Leo Narducci summed it up nicely. “Notice the woman first, and after than what she is wearing.”

Do you have any $100 mistakes hanging in your closet? Talk to me about how to avoid those costly mistakes. You can be the women Narducci described. And, spend less money doing it! Call Beryl at 404-467-0288 or 404-2527.

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Ten Fashion Trends for Fall (part 2)

Posted on August 17, 2010 by admin 

Boots have been popular for several seasons; each season making small changes just to keep a fresher look. Anything you can imagine is out there. Wedgies, platforms, high skinny heels and high thick heels. There is the work boot look, biker look and military look. Boots come in all heights – above the knee, ankle, mid-calf and in between. Every iteration of buckles and hardware add adornment. If it’s boots you are looking for, you will find something that appeals to you.

I am getting tired of all the ankle boots paired with dresses. Those that have heavier heels and/or platforms are very heavy looking, thus drawing the eye to your feet. It also cuts your leg-line, making your legs look shorter. Designers compensate by featuring short skirts – not a good look for everyone. Neither can I imagine who need heavy work-boots unless you are planning to dig a ditch or take a 20-mile hike. Boots can be a versatile asset to your wardrobe. I only suggest that you choose something that fits your lifestyle and looks like they should be worn by a woman.

Feathers have come back into vogue this fall. Feathers tend to appear in fashion when there is economic and political uncertainty. We think of feathers being for evening but some designers are using feathers to adorn shoes, clothing and purses for use in daytime as well. In the past, feathers have had a short fashion run, so if feathers are on your short list, I suggest you make your selection with that in mind.

Lace continues to be popular. Like feathers, it is best kept to evening unless you choose a lace cami or accent for day. I have noticed lace ankle boots and purses which seem a little over the top. You probably have something in lace from a previous season that you can revive to maintain a current look without having to spend a dime.

Pearls have made a big comeback this fall. Pearls are shown in all sizes, multiple strands and accented with various stones. Pull out all your pearls and play with new combinations. Most magazines have photos to give you ideas so recycle those classic pearls for a fresh, new look.

Handbags are more structured this season. The large, unstructured handbags are not flattering to most people so I am glad to see more structure. Size is a big factor when choosing a bag. Yes, the large bags will accommodate your running shoes and lunch as well as all of the items you normally carry. Unfortunately, they overpower most women’s frames. If you see the bag coming before you see who is carrying it, it is too BIG. Unstructured bags are very casual in appearance; not supporting a business suit or dressier casual look. These newer structured handbags give a less casual appearance and are not quite as oversized. They offers more versatility and can be worn for casual while being much more appropriate for more upscale or business occasions.

One of the best places to start shopping is in your own closet. I’m sure there are many items lurking there that can add a great update for fall. If you need some help in choosing what goes and what stays, contact me. or call 404-467-0288 office or 404-428-25

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10 New Trends for Fall

Posted on August 11, 2010 by admin 

What do you plan to add to your wardrobe for fall? With new fall clothes arriving in stores, let’s take a look what’s being served up for this season.

Green is the fashion color of the season. Unlike the apple green that has dominated the fashion scene for several years, this is an olive green. For all of you who have had color analysis, you know that green is a pivotal color between cool and warm, thus it is important to choose the shade that works with your personal color palette. If your coloring is cool, you will want to choose an olive that has some black added to it while the person with warm coloring will want an olive leaning more toward yellow. Olive is a great basic color, which can be accented with a bright scarf, blouse or jewelry. I like to wear leopard print shoes trimmed in red and a red handbag to accent my cotton cool-toned olive pantsuit.

Military influenced style goes hand in hand with green. What would be more natural than a military design in olive? The designs feature lots of buttons, epaulettes, pocket flaps and all manner of military detailing. Military, by definition, is generally quite a masculine look. Couple that with olive and you risk looking more like your heading to the battlefield than the office. Not the way to present a polished, feminine, image! My advice: Choose carefully.

Pantsuits – After several seasons dominated by skirts and dresses, we are seeing a resurgence of the pantsuit. (Can’t you just hear Hillary say, “Yes!”) Pants are more versatile than skirts and for this reason, I prefer them. Rather than buying a matching pantsuit, why not try separates? The best part about this new look is the pants are available in a variety of styles. If you are a triangle with wider hips than shoulders, select the wider legged trousers. Straight-legged pants are a good style if your legs and hips are slender. Really skinny pants are best worn by the very young with long, slender legs and hips. Brands vary a great deal in cut so you can most likely find the pant that really works for you, even if it takes a bit of alteration.

Capes, Ponchos and Vests – You will see a wide range in styles of capes and ponchos. This is a fun way to update your current wardrobe. There are cape jackets that give a more business-like appearance or the casual poncho on the other side of the spectrum, which works in a casual setting with a great pair of jeans. Depending on which cape or poncho you choose, it will work with a variety of different slacks or jeans and take you to many different settings. Vests are practical for our Atlanta temperatures. These are really just jackets without sleeves. I found one in Europe several years ago and it is a staple in my casual wardrobe throughout the fall and winter. Worn with a long-sleeved sweater, it is lighter than a full jacket or coat. Any of these choices will not only give your fall wardrobe a new, updated look but will offer great versatility.

We’ll complete the Top 10 next week.

If you are puzzling over which fashion statement will give you the most bang for your buck as you step into fall, give me a call. Brainstorming is always better with two! or 404-467-0288.

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I Fall Beckoning You?

Posted on August 4, 2010 by admin 

With temperatures soaring well into the nineties, it is hard to think of fall clothing. Cool fall temperatures – now that’s inviting!

In spite of not feeling much into fall clothes, I went to an Escada fall fashion show recently and I loved with the new fall line. More than any other season, the line has coordinated items so they can be mixed and matched.

The color palette was comprised mostly of neutrals – lush caramels, chocolates, grays and black. The collection was divided into lighter weight for late summer and early fall to heavier weight for winter. The lighter weight line would be excellent for our Atlanta temperatures even in winter. This line featured cobalt blue for a pop of color while the heavier, winter collection featured a beautiful eggplant.

Pants are back in style this fall. Not that they were ever out of style but skirts have certainly rules for the past few seasons. You can’t make too many mistakes with pants this fall. Escada was showing skinny leather jeans – great on the 6’ tall size 4 models. For real people, the straight-legged pant with a higher rise is a great option. One beautiful trouser was in gray wool with very wide legs and interesting stitching detail. These would be fabulous for the lady with wider hips.

Interesting details in jackets and dresses gave a unique look to the collection while remaining appropriate for the corporate wardrobe or the lady who attends luncheons or business meetings. Sweaters added a less formal look, offering variety and practicality.

I love sweaters. Various styles of sweater jackets or cardigans really add versatility and practicality to a wardrobe. The caramel sweater set, for example, could be paired with caramel, eggplant or black slacks. The stylish cardigan could be worn with its matching shell or a simple blouse in a complementary color.

Sweaters are also superb for travel whether for business travel or pleasure. Sweaters don’t take much room to pack and do not wrinkle badly. Building a travel wardrobe around your basic colors with accents of the brighter colors will give you variety and keep you stylish no matter where your destination.

Clothing manufacturers seem to “get it” that people are no longer going to go out buy a complete new wardrobe every season. I am happy to see that some lines are offering fashion designed to last for years and coordinate with a variety of other pieces.

If you would like to have your closet bring a smile to your face every time you walk in, contact me. We need to talk!

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