At Last: Fashion for Grown Women!

Posted on September 28, 2010 by admin 

The Ann Klein Fashion show at Macy’s on Saturday revealed a fall line perfectly designed for a real woman. That is to say, it was designed to take you from the office to dinner or cocktails after work or to meetings and social gatherings while being appropriate for ladies over forty. Of course, the clothes looked great on the young models as well. The collection was predominantly black, accented with reds and some touches of plum and cobalt blue. The choice of slacks and skirts topped with sweaters and jackets over bright printed blouses, offered great versatility. It was easy to envision how a few of these pieces could work together to make an entire wardrobe.

Gray was interspersed to add variety. All of the blouses featured soft, feminine touches such as ruffles pleats or ties. One of my favorite sweaters was a simple long black cardigan worn over a red print blouse with a narrow belt at the waist. When the model turned around, the back of the sweater was a lacy knit that allowed the blouse to show through. What a fun touch of drama, still giving a professional look.

One of my top wardrobe strategies to give a fresh, new look is using texture and color to play against a basic background in order to give a variety to your wardrobe without requiring a closet full of pieces. This works very well for travel. Attention is drawn to the blouse or item with color or texture and the basic becomes a backdrop. Blouses from this collection had both visual texture through the prints and dimensional texture through ruffles, pleating or bows. Bling was adding through necklaces and bracelets.

Of course, this collection won’t work for many of us. If you have warm coloring, there was nothing that would work with your warm color palette. For those of you who need a softer color palette and don’t wear black well, going with the gray basics and the gray and cobalt print blouse might work. If you have been reading my articles for some time, you know that choosing a print that works for you is much more complex that it might seem. A couple of tips that will keep you away from really bad choices are; first, don’t buy a print if you don’t really love it. If you love it, there is something about the print that speaks to you. Secondly, you should do a “blink” test. Close your eyes for a bit while looking in the mirror. When you open your eyes, if you see the print first before you see you, the print is probably too intense for you.

In conclusion, I really liked the Ann Klein collection for its wear ability and versatility for the average woman. Tying a collection together through certain colors is a good thing as many more options are available. If black and the jewel-toned colors are not for you, look to other designers. This collection offers great ideas that can be adapted to your individual color palette.

Need some help in putting together a core wardrobe? That’s what we’re here for. Call and we can discuss how to help you put together that perfect wardrobe for work, play or just every day. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com 404-467-0288 office 404-428-2527 mobile.

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How to wear a scarf

Posted on September 21, 2010 by admin 

Puzzling over just what to do with a beautiful scarf has always been a challenge. We go through seasons where wearing a scarf looks so dated, then other seasons where the scarf must be a certain shape to be in fashion.
This year, we have so many choices, it will be hard to go wrong. The main guiding factor is that they should make a statement! I chose several styles from the Neiman Marcus web site as examples. They are from different designers to give a variety of styles and looks.

As you can see, there is a way to wear a scarf for everyone. Scarves can transform a simple look into spectacular. They can also serve as a wrap when in an air conditioned meeting or to take the chill off in the evening.

This is one look that won’t break the bank but will give you great style mileage!

Need some help in bringing a new look to those fall and winter clothes waiting in your closet? Call me and we’ll put together a fresh new fall look without ruining your budget. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-467-0288

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Fashion, Smashion! Why Bother?

Posted on September 16, 2010 by admin 

Does it make any difference if I dress for comfort and not for how I look? Last week I wrote about sitting at Starbuck’s in Lenox Mall and observing at least half the people in the mall wearing oversized shirts, cargo short and flip-flops. It was discouraging to observe how many people who apparently have the attitude of, “Why bother?”

As an image consultant, I want to present myself in a positive fashion. When I’m out and about, even if it is at the grocery store, I am never sure of who I might meet. It might be a client or someone I would like to have as a client! But beyond that, I feel better when I am well put together. I stand taller, smile more and have more confidence.

A couple of months ago, I was running some errand and my husband asked me to pickup something at Lowe’s. Having come from an event, I was wearing a summer dress and high heeled sandals. As I was hurrying through Lowe’s, no less than five clerks and/or customers complimented me on how nice I looked. Now shopping at Lowe’s was not on my list of things I really wanted to do but it turned out to be a highlight of my day. Obviously, even people in a store catering to a do-it-yourself clientele, appreciate someone well dressed.

We recently went to a play in which our 14 year old granddaughter had a lead part. She usually slouches with her shoulders forward and speaks rapidly and indistinctly. Her role in the play was the sophisticated city cousin. We noticed how tall she stood with shoulders back as she played the part in heels and sophisticated sheaths. Her speech was clear and distinct. I don’t think the change was all due to the play director. I think she was proud of her appearance.

So, why do so many people spend hours working out, jogging and exercising then cover up all those great results with the easiest thing within reach? Why do so many ladies get regular mani-pedis, facials and great haircuts only to diminish the effect by dressing in workout clothes?

Perhaps casual, unpressed clothes have become so much the norm from grade school through college that people don’t stop to think about how they really look.

I encourage each of you who have fallen into this habit: Take a fresh look at yourself before you leave the house. First impressions happen in less than 20 seconds. Consider the old adage that how a person appears reflects the work they do. Don’t risk that promotion or job interview or maybe just meeting some fantastic people by not presenting your most fantastic YOU!

If you need some guidance, call me! I’m here to help you discover your unique style from the inside out; then help you plan a core wardrobe to showcase your “signature style”.
Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com 404-467-0288

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Neither Fashion nor Style at the Mall!

Posted on September 8, 2010 by admin 

My husband and I went to Lenox Square for lunch after church on Sunday and then stopped by Starbucks for a Chai Latte. Most of my trips to the mall are purpose driven so it was fun to have time for people watching. As an image consultant, I enjoy observing creative ways people are expressing themselves in fashion. This Sunday I discovered the majority of mall goers had neither style or fashion. Maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend, but the majority of shoppers looked more like they were dressed to go shopping at the dollar store or Walmart. Certainly, it was inappropriate attire for this upscale mall of Buckhead, with high fashion stores like Cartier, Saint John, Burbury and Neiman Marcus. My husband, who loves his comfortable clothes, even commented that attire at the mall has really deteriorated from the years when he owned a restaurant there.

One young man walked by with his oversized “T” shirt and pants. The image was ruined by his pants riding so low revealing about 4” of blue-plaid boxers.

Then there was the older gentleman wearing a “T” shirt with shorts, held up by suspenders. He completed the look with high sox and oxford-type shoes.

I noticed three different young girls were wearing what appeared to be net petticoats as skirts. One was embarrassingly short, the others just embarrassing. It must be a new fashion trend for the young.

Half of the mall goers were wearing flip-flops. These were the plastic things that one wears in the shower or at the pool – not the more stylish leather ones. What ever happened to sandals? There are many varieties of attractive yet utilitarian sandals for both men and women.

I could have gotten rich had someone given me a dollar for every pair of cargo shorts that passed by. Two young women were wearing cargo shorts and sloppy “T” shirts topped with baseball caps. It took a moment to realize they were women.

One lady was attractively attired in jeans and an becoming blouse, sporting her platform stilettos. She had obviously not worn heels that high before as she walked with her knees bent so that her body followed her feet by about six inches. It was painful to watch.

On the other hand, I did observe a handful of people appropriately fashionable. There was one couple with a little girl. The dad was well-pressed in his Chinos and blue dress shirt while the mom had on a cute white top with a floral cotton skirt and sandals. It was perfect attire for Sunday at the mall.

I especially noticed one young man who really made a fashion statement. He accented his black pinstriped jacket with a pastel shirt and brightly flowered tie. I would have chosen matching black pinstriped pants instead of the cream colored pinstripes that he wore, but it was so refreshing to see someone who took pride in how he looked.

A few years ago, we had a French exchange student with us for three weeks. One day I asked her what things really stood out to her that were different in the States than in France. She immediately replied that the way people dressed to go out was starkly different. Although young people dress more casually, adults always present themselves in stylish attire with make-up and hair well done.The sloppy, oversized look does not exist.

On your next trip to the mall, you may want to think about the possibility of how you appear to other people. Who knows, you might even be observed by an image consultant watching who will write a blog!

My Little Black Dress

I recently wrote a blog about the Little Black Dress.”  In my opinion, very few people can wear black well, however, the idea of that “go to” dress is a great concept.  This got me thinking of what I could add to my wardrobe as my version of the LBD.

As you can tell by my picture, I am very fair with cool coloring.  Black is much too harsh for me to wear.  I decided I want to add a simple sheath dress in a medium gray.  Charcoal, like black, is too harsh while soft gray, though a great color on me, doesn’t have enough impact for business.  It needs to be medium gray.  (Most people can wear gray but someone with warm coloring should choose a warm gray.)  I want a jacket that coordinates with the dress but doesn’t exactly match.  Worn with the dress, a perfect business look is achieved.  The jacket adds mileage to my wardrobe by pairing with different slacks and skirts. It eliminating the necessity of dry cleaning both jacket and dress together to avoid color differentiation.

For a women’s luncheon or church, I can top my dress with my red, raw silk jacket.  A little more casual look can be achieved by adding a plum cardigan, belting it at the waist.  Of course, this dress can be accented by jewelry for different occasions.  I have a multi strand seed-pearl necklace with a ruby clasp.  Add matching earrings and it’s perfect for evening.   A long strand of pearls, doubled, gives more of a daytime look.  My deep mauve Pashmina serves as the perfect wrap.

Pair the dress with my soft pink leather jacket, which needs to be worn closed, and no one would realize that this is that little gray dress.   My medium blue, long cardigan ruffled around the neck and down the front can add another completely different look.

Well, you get the idea.  This little dress is limited only by your imagination.   Naturally, you will want to change shoes and purse for achieving different looks.   And, if you are traveling, you have many different looks that you can pack in your carry-on. Now that I have written this, I’m convinced.   I am headed out to find my perfect little gray dress!