Discovering Your Body Style

 

 

Classic, professional
Classic, professional

Yesterday in preparation for an in depth image consultation with a client, I reviewed the personal style guide that we customize for each client. In reviewing the material, I was struck with the beautiful way Carla Mathis, of Body Beautiful expressed how you discover your Body Signature.

Dramatic,  fun, personal intensity
Dramatic, fun

“Your body has a unique signature-–a collection of design elements that are exclusively yours. During this life affirming consultation you will learn how to use color and style to support your inherent Body Signature and to effectively communicate who you are through what you wear.

Soft, cool, elegant
Soft, cool, elegant

We view you as a work of art. You will learn to see yourself from the artist’s perspective. The color and texture of your skin, hair, and eyes—the shapes, proportion, and scale seen in your face and body features all combine to create your unique Body Signature. As you gain understanding and increase your skill in selecting clothes that support and enhance how you are designed, you become an artist with the ability to create a variety of effects that express your unique beauty and individual style for every mood and occasion.

Creative, casual elegance
Creative, upscale casual

Understanding your Body Signature is a process. Just as one cannot learn a language in a weekend seminar, one cannot learn the entire language of personal design in a few short hours. This guide, along with your Personal Stylist, will assist you in this life long process of discovery.”

 

Carla Mathis, Body Beautiful Institute

Carla is one of the leading Image Consultant/Trainers in the world

Images from Saks

Spring in Atlanta: Find Your “Flower” Image

 

Sunshine and warm weather! What a welcome pleasure after months of cold and gray. The flowers have been waiting to erupt. Each day brings an explosion of new color and beauty.

Do you have a favorite flower? Most of us do. What is even more interesting, that favorite tells more about who you are deep down inside – your personal style. Not only has this realization brought me to a greater appreciation of how varied the many different flowers are but of the components that make each one different. Let’s take a closer look.

Traditional Tulips
Traditional Tulips

Traditional: This is the conservative individual. They are often described as being practical and dependable – no surprises here. Don’t tulips typify this type? Tulips are predictable, standing straight with uniform flowers. We welcome tulips each spring as they lend their beauty to flower beds throughout the neighborhoods.

Elegant Roses
Elegant Roses

Elegant: Refinement and stately image, cultured and simplicity can describe this style. What better flower than a rose to represent the elegant persona? These lovely blossoms are typified by their refinement, elegance and grace.

Romantic Cherry Blossoms
Romantic Cherry Blossoms

Romantic: The profusion of delicate pink, lacy flowers of the cherry blossom beautifully represents a romantic image. Gentleness, feminine, supportive and innocent are used to describe a romantic personality. The soft, feminine color and delicate cherry blossoms exude “romantic”.

Alluring Fuchsia
Alluring Fuchsia

Alluring: The alluring persona is sexy, glamorous and sensuous. What could be more suggestive of the Alluring style than a fuchsia? Even the shape of this beautiful flower suggests curvy and sensual. Magenta is often used in costuming to represent the femme fatal.

Creative color and shape
Creative color and shape

Creative: Think original, artistic and unconventional for this type. I could not find the name of this amazing flower that defied convention. Combining yellow and magenta is an unusual color combination but the incredible flower within a flower image shape is even more surprising. Truly creative!

Dramatic: What could be more dramatic an image than a Bird

Dramatic Bird in Paradise
Dramatic Bird in Paradise

of Paradise flower.   There is nothing subtle about this tropical flower nor is there anything subtle about a dramatic personality. Striking sophistication, powerful and bold describe both the flower and the dramatic woman.

Sporty Sunflowers
Sporty Sunflowers

Sporty: Friendly, casual, all-American style are portrayed by a field of sunflowers on a beautiful sunny day. Couldn’t have said it better!

 

Image descriptions are taken from Alyce Parsons’ book Style Source.

Common Shopping Mistakes

 

Do think these colors are good for me?
Do think these colors are good for me?

 Do you have clothes hanging in your closet that you never wear? Many with tags still attached?  Why is it that the item looked so perfect in the store yet is so wrong when you get it home? Of course, these are the pieces that you found on final mark-down and can’t return.

Most mistakes are made from impulse buying.   Being seduced by a sale is probably the biggest contributor to unworn items in your closet.   A deep discounted price often negates all that good judgment you are noted for having.

Color: If you don’t know which colors are your most becoming, you are vulnerable to choosing those that do not flatter you. Just because that lime green looked adorable on the mannequin, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Are these supposed to button?
Are these supposed to button?

Fit: I have seen garments hanging in closets a full size too large or too small purchased with the idea that it could be altered. Changing one full size is probably more of a remaking of the dress than an alteration. It may cost more than the purchase of the dress. Buying a size too small with the “I’m going to lose weight” idea is setting yourself up for disappointment. Rarely does this serve as an incentive to achieve your weight loss goal. Then, again, most garments will need some alterations to really fit well. This cost needs to be factored into the purchase price and you will want to have an alterations person assess whether it can be altered to fit you properly before making the purchase.

Is  this really for me?
Is this really for me?

Style: You want to choose styles that flatter your body shape. If you are a rectangle and do not have a defined waist, you will not want to choose something that is designed to accentuate a small waist. Different styles are appropriate for different settings. If you work in a conservative environment, you will need to choose styles and color combinations that are office appropriate – that is your office.

This may be a little much for the law office.
This may be a little much for the law office.

Nothing to wear it with: This is probably the biggest purchasing mistake I see. The garment may fit well and be a flattering color but if you have nothing to wear it with, it will require purchasing other items to make a whole look. One might wonder if you really saved money on the purchase.

The safest way to shop sales is to have gone through your closet and determined what pieces you have and where you need some new items to complete or update those things you love.   Know your colors and the styles that work for you and your lifestyle. Your shopping trip(s) may not result in as many purchases, but they will all be winners!

Can’t Face Another Skinny Pair?

 

Tired of skinny pants?   Good news! The winds of spring are bearing choices and choices. Change may be welcome but it brings as many questions as there are styles! By now we know whether or not skinny jeans are a good look for us – or something to avoid.  But how do you choose a pant style that best complements you?   Come to think of it, let’s look at some ways to rock the total look.

0400086609916_247x329

0433278646593_247x329Here are some examples. Let’s assume that the same model is wearing the tapered capris and the one with the flair. Which gives a longer, more slender appearance? The black sandals with high straps visually cut the leg line just below where the flair makes a visual cut. These trousers will give the appearance of being wider and shorter to a petite person. If you are a triangle (wider hips than shoulders) choosing a straight cut trouser will be your best look.  Both black shoes shorten the leg-line but the pump with a slightly pointed toe helps the leg appear longer.

0400086641173_ASTL_247x3290400086774399_ASTL_247x329Two different looks are achieved by pairing these white tapered trousers with a light blue sweater and scarf, worn with booties or with a simple taupe sweater.   Both of these looks work well. Normally we would want to have the shoes relate to the model’s hair color in order to draw the eye back up to the face. However, I like the neutral sandals with white trousers as they help lengthen the leg line. The tan booties work but should be avoided if you are petite as they create another horizontal break. I love the addition of a scarf. Just that one accessory pops this blue and white combination to a much more finished look.  0400086668649_ASTL_247x329

Stepping into a summer casual look, the black Bermuda shorts with striped top and black booties is an adorable look. It works for a tall, slender person and would be great for a brunet. Wide stripes and black booties give a strong horizontal emphasis. If you are small boned and/or petite, try a narrower stripe and choose a less dramatic color contrast. Change out these shoes to neutral sandals and you have an easy, smart looking summer casual look that supports you.

Don’t forget to check the rear view mirror! Nothing can spoil your sassy summer style quicker than walking away wearing ill-fitting trousers!

All images from Saks Fifth Avenue.