When is a sale price not a bargain?

How can finding something for a super price ever NOT be a good thing?

The last number of closet edits have done have all had a common thread.  The clients were avid sale shoppers.  Their closets were filled with:

Unworn clothing with tags still attached.

Multiples of similar items.

Clothes that were not the best color, style or fit.

New purchases that don’t go with anything.


So, you might ask,  “What’s the big deal if I have multiples of one style, color, etc?  That just gives me more options.”   I have been in closets where there are ten pair of kaki capris, fifteen or twenty white knit tops, twenty print tops, and you fill in the blank.

I can speak from experience.  Years ago, before I studied color and image, I would get caught up in the price or great style, losing sight of the fact that a bright orange turned me into a pumpkin.  Had it been given to me, it still was not a bargain.   Each year, I become more discerning.  Let me share some of the rules I apply.

Organize your closet with all like items together.  Place all white blouse next to all white knit tops and follow through with each color family, prints, skirts, pants, and so on.  This gives a reality check to see how many of the same item you actually have.  Last week, my client was searching for a top, which she had purchased to go with a pair of pants.  As I was going through her black tops, I found the perfect top for the pants.  It was better than the new one which had been completely missed because it was intermixed with other colors.

Budget:  It may only be a small purchase but $10 here and $35 there adds up quickly.  You may need some good work basics and you want to buy the best quality you can afford.  Have you thought about establishing a monthly budget for clothes?  Don’t forget lingerie, shoes and handbags.  So you want to add a new quality suit by fall.  Consider putting a specific amount aside each month for those needed purchases, allowing yourself only a small budget for “can’t pass this up” bargain purchases.  This will allow you to build your wardrobe intentionally.

Color/Style/Fit:  Do you know what colors and styles look great on you?  Do you always carefully examine the fit, looking at front and back?  Imagine getting compliments on everything you wear?  At Style With Aplomb, we help you discover your best colors and styles and show you how to achieve good fit.   We help you plan a wardrobe where you have the right outfit for any occasion.  Armed with this information, you can coordinate a wardrobe that will mix and match to create many different outfits without having dozens of similar pieces.

Wear everything.  Most people have a few go-to pieces that get worn over and over while others are never worn.   Choose a different piece each day, then reverse the hanger to indicate you have worn it.  Go through all the choices so you are using your entire wardrobe and you can identify which ones you enjoy wearing the most and which draw more compliments.  Before putting the garment back in the closet, check to make sure it is ready to wear again.

Everyone loves a great sale!  The trick is using sales for your benefit and not be a repository for end of season items that others passed by.



Lose Five Pounds in Minutes

“So how do you lose five pounds in a matter of minutes?”  you might ask.   It’s easy!  Switch to the new, smaller handbag!

It has been nearly ten years since designers introduced huge handbags and women embraced them!  Early in this phase, a friend of mine arrived at a meeting proudly showing off her new handbag – or, perhaps more accurately described as an overnight bag.  My friend is barely five feet tall and probably weighs 100 pounds.  She could almost have crawled into the bag herself!

As an image consultant, one element of dressing well is using proper scale.  If one is petite like my friend, a small handbag reflecting her small scale is the best choice.  The majority of handbags in this oversized fashion craze are much too large in scale for the average woman.   It is not only the visual considerations; your health is at risk.  Chiropractors have been treating women for years for muscle pain, headaches and other ailments as a result of carrying too much in their handbag.

Today, small is big in purse fashion!  So just say no to toting kids toys, diapers and snacks.  Leave the water bottle, umbrella and extra pair of shoes in the car.  If you need to carry your laptop and other heavy items for work, consider a bag with wheels.  Empty your purse daily and just put back the essentials back.  To carry a small bag you must be organized!

These smaller bags include clutches and cross-body designs.  The cross body design is the fastest growing segment in the industry.  It offers the freedom of being hands free and balances the weight of the bag over your body.  This design is the fastest growing segment in the industry.  The cross-body is a great accessory if you are attending an outdoor festival or want to dance.  The style is a more casual look and not appropriate for business.

Clutches are another smaller option.  Designers are offering them with a hard shell so you won’t be tempted to overstuff them.  Some women slip a clutch inside their regular purse to carry out to lunch, to a meeting or out to dinner after work.  Note the creative handbag design pictured that has a zip-off clutch on the front.

The great news:  these smaller bags are less expensive.  You can own several for the price of an oversized bag so mix it up and let your bag be the accent of color.  If you must carry a larger bag for work, switch to small for the weekend.   How cool would it be to find your keys immediately, have your cell phone at your fingertips or know exactly where you put your lipstick?  Addictions take work to conquer but you can overcome the compulsion to have everything but the kitchen sink in your purse.  Enjoy the freedom of simplification!   Your back will love you and your image consultant will applaud! http://stylewithaplomb.com/style-blog/?p=2227

It’s Swimmingsuit Time Again!

Posted on June 9, 2011 by admin

Temperatures soaring. Beach vacations are planned. Pool party invitations arrive. And we are hit with reality. It is time to confront the “swimsuit dilemma”!

If you are like me, it seems that each year brings slight changes to the body – not necessarily welcome ones. Even if your weight has not changed, there seems to have been a slight “shift”!

This year offers so many variations on swimsuits and cover-ups that you will be sure to find a look that says “Fabulous”. Not only can you find a suit that flatters your body, but there are suits that will fit your personal style as well.

Bikinis are always popular although they are not my favorite. This years bikinis do offer much more variety for the time-worn concept of the itty bitty teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. There are two-piece suits reminiscent of the 1950’s which offer more cover but are sexy in a more subtle way. For that person who loves a two-piece but wants a bit more cover for the mid-section, these suits are a perfect choice. Shirring across the bust on the pink suit will be very flattering for a small bust. Neither suit offers much support for a larger bust so probably are not good choices.

One-piece suits that have shirring through the waist area will camouflage if your body is not totally smooth. Some suits offer extra control to help smooth out unwanted bumps. Spanks now offers a swimsuit.
This patterned suits is done in such a way that it draws the eye in at the waist, creating a visual hourglass image.

Suits that have straps at the shoulder will offer the best support for a fuller bust. Choose a suit that offers appropriate support for your body to avoid unbecoming sagging.

Legs that are cut up higher will be more flattering for wider hips. The lower cut legs draw attention to the hip adding visual width. For the body with quite wide hips, choose a cute little cover-up to shield that part of the body and show off your tiny waist.

Which brings us to cover-ups. Going to and from the beach or at a pool party, a cover-up is always appropriate. There is a huge selection to expose as little or as much of your suit as you wish.  If you are not comfortable in wearing a suit in public, choose a complete cover-up and enjoy. Slip the cover-up off only when you go into the water and no one will see you anyway!

Creative designers are also offering a wide variety of one-piece suits with cut-outs, laces and unusual details. They are beautiful but keep in mind the tan line they will leave!

All suits are from Neiman Marcus.

Need some help in choosing the best “beach” look for you. Call us! Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527. We’re here to help.

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Summer: Color it White

I love white for summer.  As temperatures soar and humidity rises, white just somehow always feels cool and crisp.

Stores are replete with white this year.  White dresses, white skirts, white slacks, white blouses.  Not to mention accessories!  Handbags, shoes, sunglasses and beyond, a few well-chosen white accents can be your brightest idea.  White is stunning against dark skin but it may need an accent of color to truly flatter someone with fair skin.

To find your special shade of white, choose the shade that matches the whites of your eyes.   Consider your teeth also.  If your teeth are more off-white, choose a shade that supports them.  Otherwise, a truly white-white draws attention to the feature that is more of an off- white.  Let’s try to keep all attention positive!

One note of caution, if you are wider through the hips than through the shoulders, using a darker shade from the waist down will visually diminish the width of the hips.  Or, you could choose a dress with a flared skirt to camouflage.

Personally, I love adding a pop of color near my face when wearing white so I slip on a colorful scarf, sweater or jacket with a dress or blouse.  With pants or a skirt, I will pair them with a shell or blouse in one of my best colors.  To give an outfit a bit more polished look, I often slip on a white or color-coordinating jacket, which also prevent getting chilled in an air-conditioned room.  Not only do I enjoy the color accent but no one wants to look like a nurse, unless, of course, you are one.

White works as a great accent.  You already have an emerald green dress?  Try a chalk white necklace or bracelet as an accent.  White works with everything.  White with black, white with brown.  Maybe tangerine, hot pink or bright blue.  This is “white with a bite” since white used as an accent for a bright color leaps from the realm of boring and conservative to making a statement.   Remember to check the mirror and make sure that you are wearing your outfit and it isn’t wearing you.

So this summer be cool, hip and look like a million without breaking the bank!