Swimming in Prints

 

If you feel like a salmon swimming upstream when searching for a print that will work for you, you are not alone.

Designers have fallen in love with the new digital print technology.  Each season we have seen more and more unusual prints and the fall collections are awash with them.  These prints are not just an accent, but the entire garment is solid print, making it much more difficult to wear successfully.

Let’s look at a few examples and see if my comments resonate with you.  The first dress by Alice + Olivia is quite a good look on this model.  She would need a strong personality to match her strong coloring, but, that said, I think it works.  As I have studied the dresses, I feel that the more visible skin, helps stabilize the allover print.  In this case the shorter skirt and “V” neck are important not to have the print overpower.

This same principle applies to next dress by Oscar de la Renta.  Notice how the black bodice, tights and shoes stabilize the print.  It is really beautifully done and could be worn by a variety of different people.  He also offers the same print without the solid which I think would be much more difficult to wear.

This allover print by Erdem would require a larger than life lady in stature and presence.   This print would “wear the wearer” in most instances.

One sure way for most people to incorporate prints into their wardrobes is with a scarf.  The soft colors of this scarf beautifully complement this model’s fair coloring. Scarves have been big fashion item for the last few seasons, offering multiple ways to wear them and multiple variations for a simple base garment.  Having  a selection of great scarves in your best colors will add great mileage to your wardrobe.

Summing it up, the goal is for you to wear the print and not the other way around.  One way this can be accomplished is to find the right balance between an allover print and the need for relief through more skin exposed or combining it with a solid. Intensity of color should match the intensity of the wearer.   The blink test serves as a quick check to see if a print overpowers or not.  Standing in front of a mirror, close your eyes for a moment then look at yourself.  If the garment is the first thing you see, it takes center stage away from you.  You should be the center of attention with what you are wearing supporting you!

Dress the Candidate

The primaries are in full swing and so is scrutiny of the candidates.  A few days ago I read an article criticizing candidates wearing blue jeans on the campaign trail.   The author asserted that no one over fifty should wear jeans.   It is a good thing that my daddy is no longer with us.  He was a cattle rancher and, although he was handsome in his suit and tie, jeans were his favorite attire until his death at age 93.

Not just jeans, but the article went on to assert that a dress shirt should never be worn without a tie!  I’m not sure what planet this author has been living on, but it certainly isn’t the planet I know.  What would Dmitry Medvedev and Tony Blair say about that?  They wore jeans, dress shirts with open collars and navy blazers to the White House.  I suggest this look for an upscale casual.

Ron Paul seems to be one candidate who adheres to the author’s criteria.   I’m sure a suit and tie has been Dr. Paul’s mode of dress all of his adult life; first in his medical practice followed by many years of serving in congress.

Rick Santorum seems to prefer wearing casual Dockers style trousers; a much more flattering style for him than jeans would be.  Now I would like to weigh in on the sweater vests that he is so fond of wearing.  If I were his image consultant, I would burn every one of them!   (Unfortunately, I have not heard my phone ringing on that front.)

Mitt Romney often wears jeans with dress shirts open at the neck.  The plaid and checked shirts he chooses are casual while giving a professional casual look.  I would prefer to see dark blue, pressed jeans but he can wear this look well.

Fortunately, Newt Gingrich has not been campaigning in casual attire.  With his girth, it would not be a pretty site!  He has wisely chosen dark suits with tie, which draws attention to his face and what he is saying rather than his waistline.

Even President Obama, who is always impeccably dressed, is often seen wearing a dress shirt without a tie when traveling across the country.

When a final candidate is chosen and the presidential race begins in earnest, image consultants will be hired and candidates will be packaged to project the proper image.  Although my choice will be guided by what the candidate stand for and how they will run the country, I will be among the first to comment on what they are wearing!

 

 

A Tip from Maggie!

Posted on August 22, 2012 by admin

!! News Flash !!

Don’t forget the Style Workshop in September 8! Sign up now while space is still available. We will discuss how to use color to your best advantage, which styles will be best for you and receive a personal style and color evaluation. Learn how a few key pieces can be transformed into multiple outfits. Bring in that “problem” piece for suggestions on how to make it work.
When: September 8, 2012, 2-4 PM
Where: 2734 Peachtree Road, B204, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Cost: $35.00
RSVP Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527

 

MT with strength and power.
Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of England, used image consultants to guide her ascent from member of parliament to head of her party. Not only was Mrs. Thatcher the first woman to become Prime Minister, but she served an unprecedented three consecutive terms.

We just saw the movie, Iron Lady where they showed her initial encounter with her consultants. Voice lessons to help her speak more authoritatively, change of hairstyle and abandoning her ever-present hat were among the points of council. Looking back over historic photos, one notes that she also began to dress in more professional, powerful suits.

In Iron Lady, the costume designer masterfully captured the real life transition of Margaret Thatcher from an outspoken young woman into the powerful British Prime Minister. In her twenty years of public office, Ms. Thatcher’s styles and colors reflected her ascent to power and the various crises she faced while governing.

The young Margaret was shown in a soft blue, beautiful with her soft coloring but youthful and feminine. Upon her election to parliament, she was shown in deeper, more authoritative hues of blue.

Younger MT with hat.

Through her challenging years as Prime Minister, the blouses with soft bows were exchanged for more powerful suits. Muted shades of burgundy, tweeds, and purples all became a part of her power dressing. In real life photos, I found her in black, the ultimate authority color, softened by pearls.

Cool and warm skin tones do not change over the years but the depth of color we wear does change. Margaret Thatcher is a perfect example of someone growing in authority and confidence, thus the deeper shades of authority are more depictive of her new persona. 

 

In later years with muted colors.
We also change as we age. In a recent consultation with a lady who had beautiful salt and pepper gray hair, we found the muted colors much more complementary than deeper saturated or shaded colors she had previously worn with her very dark hair. As hair grays, our skin also becomes softer and we discover that our best colors now need to be softer.
Whether you want your business or career to grow or just want to be the most beautiful you can be, maybe Maggie was right. Call an image consultant!

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Changing Colors as You Change

Don’t forget the Style Workshop in September 8!  Sign up now while space is still available.  We will discuss how to use color to your best advantage, which styles will be best for you and receive a personal style and color evaluation.  Learn how a few key pieces can be transformed into multiple outfits.  Bring in that “problem” piece for suggestions on how to make it work.

When:  September 8, 2012  2-4 PM

Where:  2734 Peachtree Road, B204, Atlanta, GA  30305.

Cost:  $35.00

 

 

Speaking of using color, it was interesting to see how skillfully the costume designer for Iron Lady used color to transition Margaret Thatcher from a young, outspoken young woman into the powerful British Prime Minister.   In her twenty years of public office, Ms. Thatcher’s styles and colors reflected her ascent to power and the various crises she faced while governing.

The young Margaret was shown in a soft blue; a beautiful color for her but youthful and feminine.  Upon her election to parliament, she dressed in deeper, more authoritative hue of blue.    In real life, Ms. Thatcher worked with two consultants to help her win the leadership of her party.  They suggested she no longer wear her ever-present hats and had her work with a coach to speed with a deeper, more commanding voice.  No doubt they were responsible for the transition to more authoritative colors captured by the movie.

Through her challenging years as Prime Minister, the blouses with soft bows were exchanged for more powerful suits.  Muted shades of burgundy, tweeds, and purples all became a part of her power dressing.   In real life photos, I found her in black, the ultimate authority color, softened by pearls.

Cool and warm skin tones do not change over the years but the depth of color we wear does change.  Margaret Thatcher is a perfect example of someone growing in authority and confidence, thus the deeper shades of authority are more depictive of the new persona.

We also change as we age.  In a recent consultation with a lady who had beautiful salt and pepper gray hair, we found the muted colors much more complementary than deeper saturated or shaded colors she had previously worn with her very dark hair.  As hair grays, our skin also becomes softer and we discover that our best colors now need to be softer.

Remaining beautiful at any age requires adjusting our lenses to reflect our personal changes just as Mrs. Thatcher did.  This was in part the reason she was the first woman to be elected as Prime Minister of Great Britain – and was elected for three consecutive terms!

Travel With Aplomb

Travel With Aplomb

Posted on August 16, 2012 by admin
Don’t we all remember when people traveled like this!

With airline imposing more and more stringent restrictions and charging for checked baggage, we may want to rethink how to pack for a trip. Adding insult to injury, there is an increasing chance for theft with checked luggage. One recent article described the aircraft baggage area as “flea markets” for baggage handlers with free access to “shop” unimpeded. JFK was sited as particularly problematic. One should never place electronics, jewelry or other highly prized items in their checked luggage. A few years ago, I placed my designer sunglasses in my suitcase to avoid adding more bulk to my purse. Bad idea. They did not arrive with my luggage.

So, what is a traveler to do?

Travel with a roll-on whenever possible. For travel of a week or less, this is not an issue. If the trip is longer, it may be necessary to check luggage but let’s just take a hypothetical weeklong trip.

1. Review each day of travel and daily planned activities.
2. Will you need walking shoes, heels, other?
3. Do you need an evening handbag/jewelry?

Let’s assume that you are going to New York for a week. You have a three-day conference and are going to add two days for shopping, museums, theatre and sightseeing.
If I were making this trip, I might pack the following: (Note: I am more a summer palette with softer shades of cool tones.)

Dark gray simple sheath dress (gray is my “black”)
Navy and gray slacks or skirts (2 total)
3 tops – combination of shells and blouse (white, light blue and light gray)
1 jacket and 1 sweater (blue jacket – deep pink sweater)
2 pair shoes – pewter heels, navy walking shoes
2 or 3 scarves with colors that complement jackets, sweaters and blouses

For travel, I would wear dark-washed, pressed jeans, with a washable blouse, my red suede jacket and comfortable shoes.

This core wardrobe will make sixteen different combinations without including travel clothes or the addition of a scarf or jewelry and they will easily fit into a roll-on with room for necessary items. That is more than three different outfits per day which should be sufficient for even the most discerning travelers.

Would this work for you? How would you assemble your travel wardrobe? I’d love to hear your comments.

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← Hurry! Final Markdown!

A Tip From Maggie! →

 

 

W

Hurry! Final Markdowns!

 

If you are a bargain hunter like me, how can you not find those final markdowns of the summer irresistible?

Caution.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting something for 70% off and to not take time to choose wisely.  Unfortunately, these items are often ones that sit hidden and forgotten in your closet with new tags still attached.   Let’s look at some good ground rules before setting foot in a store to insure deep discounted purchases take their place among your favorites.

Rule 1:  Do a closet assessment first. What could you use to add variety to or complete items already in your closet?

Rule 2:  Know your colors.  If you look fabulous in pink, don’t get caught up in the great price of that Tangerine Tango top.   It the color doesn’t work, it isn’t a bargain.

Rule 3:  Think about accent pieces that you might not purchase at full price.  Scarves add great variety to a wardrobe but might not be on your “A” list to purchase.  What about that cool pair of shoes or a great purse?

Rule 4:  Fit.  Most people need some alterations done to get the perfect fit.  Be sure to check the back.  It is not unusual to have something look great from the front and find that there are pulls, wrinkles or other strange happenings going on in back.   Some garments just can’t be altered to make it fit.  It is important to know if an alteration can be done and how expensive it will be.  Then you can determine if this is a good purchase or not.  Some stores have in-house alterations experts and others might allow you to take it to your own tailor.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Rule 5:  So you found the perfect purchase but they don’t have your size.  It you are shopping at a chain store, ask if they can check another store to see if your size is available.   They will usually send it to you within a few days.

Make it a treasure hunt!  Look for those pieces that you would never buy at full price but will give years of enjoyment at your price point.

 

Do you ever try on everything in your closet before going out and still aren’t happy with what you have chosen?  If this ever happens to you, a closet edit might be the answer.   We would love to chat with you – no pressure or obligation – to see how  we might help make your closet your best friend.  Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-467-0288.