Casual and Comfortable

Last week as I was going to a breakfast meeting, I encountered ladies in the elevator coming to work to professional business offices dressed very casually. It was evident that this must be casual Friday.  What surprised me was to see the level of casual that some of the women had chosen. One very attractive young women, probably in her twenties, was wearing a simple cotton knit top and faded jeans with designer rips all through the legs. I don’t exactly “get” why one would pay extra for a brand new pair of jeans to have them deliberately look like they were worn out! But my opinion aside, isn’t that a look more appropriate for a casual outing with friends than a professional business office?
Observing many of the clothing ads no doubt contribute to the bad choices some women make. I was just looking at a magazine today and was astonished to discover a beautiful brocade coat topping a silk dress accented with tennis shoes! These were not a dressy look but would have been more appropriate for mountain climbing. Obviously this would not have been appropriate office wear but the tennis shoes certainly did not do justice for this beautiful dressy ensemble. No wonder women find it confusing to dress appropriately!

I think it would be helpful to focus on what might be the expectation of clients who come into your office. If you were going to an attorney or other business professional, what wold give you confidence that he or she had the expertise to help you with your needs? The first impression comes from their appearance. Would you feel confident about your choice if the assistant were wearing a tee shirt and faded torn jeans?

Let’s look at these examples of casual and notice how casual Friday can be comfortable and fun while still looking like you are a professional who knows what sh is doing?
If you have questions or would like to further explore how you can be true to who you are while looking the part of your professional position, call Beryl for a complimentary conversation. Style With Aplomb 404-428-2527

How Do You Choose the Best Hair Style?

How Do You Choose Your Best Hair Style
Have you ever taken a picture of a new hairstyle that you just love to your hairdresser asking to have the style copied for you?  If you are like me, you have experienced having your hairdresser respond with all the reasons that particular style will not work for your hair.  However, your hairdresser may not have considered other factors that can make or break a good hairstyle.
When I met Rubina, she had been referred to me so she called to interview me before embarking on a closet edit.  She dropped by my home early one morning, right after having gone to the gym, still wearing her gym clothes with her dark hair pulled back in a pony-tail.  As we got to know each other, I asked if she could let her hair down.  She promptly removed the rubber band and shook out this magnificent hair, framing her face with soft curls.  Rubina transformed before my eyes from attractive to stunning!
Several weeks later, after we had transformed her closet from the enemy to a friend with many choices at her fingertips, I asked if I could  take pictures of her new image.  She invited me to come to her upcoming hair appointment so her hair would be perfect.  When I arrived toward the end of  her appointment,  I discovered that she had asked her hairdresser to give her a “straight” look.  Gone were the curls that supported the lovely soft lines of her face.  There was a complete disconnect between her rounded facial features and the straight lines of her hair.
I took several picture but they simply did not do justice to Rubina so I did not use them.  Recently I was going through my photo library and ran across these photos.  Rubina was kind enough to give me permission to use these photos to illustrate how using the lines of your face are every bit as important in choosing a hair style as are the characteristics of your hair.
This is Rubina showing off her unique beauty with which she has been designed.

Prints Return to Old Favorites

Polka dots and stripes are in abundance on the fashion scene.   All polka dots and stripes are not created equal.   Let’s look at them more closely and see which iteration might have a place in your spring wardrobe.

Polka dots just shout “fun”.  Their shape reminds you of   balloons and balls.  When I took classes at UCLA my professor said polka dots were frivolous.  I have come to the conclusion that tiny polka dots with little space between are, indeed, frivolous while  larger polka dots with more space between them have much more stability.   These polka dots are still fun but become less frivolous.

Stripes in women’s fashion are often horizontal, projecting a serene message.  Think of a landscape with the many horizontal lines. Turn the stripes into a diagonal, and they project an active, dynamic image.  Picture the contrast between the serene field and jagged mountains.  Vertical stripes project an erect, soldier-like image.  Men’s pinstripe suits have a formal, business persona.


This diagonal stripe incorporates several different design features. This dress is not for the quiet, shy person. She must be dynamic!

When stripes are used in women’s fashion, they can vary in width as well.   The wider the stripe, the more impact it makes.  I noticed the first stripes that appeared in the fashion cycle this year were in black and white.  This contrast is dramatic to begin with so a very wide stripe in black and white can only be pulled off by a wearer with a lot of attitude.  By softening the color palette, a wide stripe loses much of its drama.   Today, I was looking at a new magazine picturing a soft pink and white, wide horizontal stripe. It was perfect for the blonde, feminine model.  Black and white would have completely overpowered her.

With polka dots, varied colors become more frivolous and whimsical.  If your facial structure has lots of angles or your brows are straight, stripes will be excellent for you.  If you face is soft with lots of rounded lines, polka dots will be your friend.  If you have a combination of rounded and straight lines, you can wear either print.

Have fun choosing the size and shape that best says YOU!

Need some guidance in choosing the best stripes or polka dots for you?  That’s what we are here for. or 404-428-2527.

I like pink, Gamma! It’s my favite color!

Beautiful soft pink. Add a jacket for the office for a more professional look. Be careful the soft color doesn’t wash you out.

When my granddaughter, Juliet, was three or four, she and her older brother, Patrick were spending the day with me. Juliet somehow got on a kick about pink and proceeded to follow me all over the house repeating, “I like pink, Gamma. Pink is my favite color! Patick doesn’t like pink. He says it’s a gul’s color but I like pink!” She may have had an issue with pronouncing her “r’s” but she certainly knew her own mind.

Pink is a big focus color this spring so don’t limit yourself to just thinking of pastel pink. There is a shade of pink for most any color palette. Even if you are warm toned with a peach skin undertone, you can sneak in some pink with a little orange added making a coral tone.

Lovely for office and out to dinner afterward.

Adding a note of cheer to the spring palette, pink projects femininity and warm sensitivity. I have found that most men who enjoy wearing pink are more thoughtful than the macho guys who look on pink with disdain. This is the man who brings you flowers and remembers cards for special occasions. My husband enjoys wearing pink and it looks great on him.   Yes, he is the one who brings flowers and does thoughtful things.

Pink is flattering to most skin tones and serves as an excellent accent for both office and social. It can be worn with gray, navy, white, and black as a base color.   Certainly, one would not wear a light pink suit for an important business meeting but you could wear a beautiful blouse or scarf in pink as an accent.

The myriad shades of pink each send their own message. A soft pastel pink is feminine and youthful but lacks power, whereas a deep raspberry pink projects a more powerful image while still projecting femininity. A muted shade of pink has some gray mixed with it. It is subtle and is especially lovely worn by a more mature lady.

If you aren’t ready to fully embrace pink, try a scarf or some fun jewelry as an accent for something different. Enjoy!

P.S. Juliet is now a junior in college and still likes pink. Patrick is finishing his masters and wears pink shirts. Both of them can now pronounce their “r’s” !

Images from Saks.

But It’s So Comfortable!



Are they wearing a uniform?
Are they wearing a uniform?

I hear this phrase often from clients. Does this sound like you?

It seems that more and more ladies are choosing athletic wear for their every day attire.   Athletic wear is often called “activewear” and I have seen numerous articles promoting “activewear” as a staple for daytime casual wear.

Activewear is excellent for exercise class but I don’t like to see it worn to the grocery store, running errands, taking the kids to practice or any of the myriad activities we all do every day. If you are wondering why I feel this way, let’s look at the image it projects.

Be comfortable with style.
Be comfortable with style.

The first thing that jumps out is these ladies are not showing their personal style. Look at these two ladies in the first picture. Although they do not to appear to be together, they appear to be wearing a uniform.  Unless you work for a car rental company or fast food restaurant, most people are not excited about wearing a uniform.

Then there is the issue that not all ladies look their best in activewear. Athletic clothing is usually loose and baggy or it fits the body like a second skin. Neither look is becoming to the majority of ladies. I frequently see ladies who are quite full through the hips, wearing thin stretch tights to places other than the gym.  One always holds their breath for fear of a seam bursting open!

A jeans jacket is always good with casual. Option of a longer look for more coverage.
A jeans jacket is always good with casual. Option of a longer look for more coverage.

What if you could choose something “comfortable” that is flattering to your build, reflects your personal style, and draws compliments? Let’s look at some possible options to help achieve this.

If you prefer wearing athletic wear, how about pairing the tights with a regular top? There are exercise pants that fit tightly or have straight legs. Choose the style that is the most flattering for your build and select a top that comes down over the hip line to avoid being too revealing. The addition of simple jewelry or a scarf can go a long way to give a charming casual look and not look like you just came from your yoga class.   Adding a casual jacket will complete a finished look and add the warmth you need for cooler days.

Great longer stylish top. Could wear with tights or jeans and flats.
Great longer stylish top. Could wear with tights or jeans and flats.

Jeans are another great option to being comfortable yet attractive and practical. There are so many different cuts that most women can find a style that fits nicely. The most wearable will be a dark wash without distressing.  Complete the look with an attractive top or even a white blouse and add a jacket for a more polished appearance.

There are many options to finding something comfortable. Remember, the more you look like the person you are deep down inside, the more comfortable you will be!

Put a Workhorse to Work


Perfect for a rectangle or oval.
Perfect for a rectangle or oval.

Dresses continue to be huge in the fashion world. Exciting news for this fall is the variation of styles and lengths. Even though we have been promised longer lengths the last few seasons, stores were dominated by mid-thigh skirts. Great for the 20 something crowd but not so much for those of us over 40! Or for the professional work environment.

Another happy discovery is sleeves. Sleeveless dresses have ruled for several years. They are great with a jacket but you then lose the versatility of wearing them as a stand-alone garment. Also, I have recently been following some fashion blogs discussions only to see that many companies discourage sleeveless dresses or blouses in the workplace.0400086979286_ASTL_247x329

What I love about this season’s options is choice! I discovered several great examples without having to search far. A good sign that you won’t have to search far either. Let’s look at some different examples.

This adorable red dress shift dress is a little short but it works for most any age with the black opaque hose and booties. I love the little split design at the skirt and the ¾ length sleeves are an excellent choice for the lady who wants to show less arm. Booties are huge this season but usually give a shorter leg appearance. By using dark tights matching the booties, it gives the desired long leg line

Flaired skirt for a triangle.
Flaired skirt for a triangle.

while looking very fashion forward.   The shift will work especially well for a rectangle or oval. Bypassing the waist is really flattering for both of these body shapes.  If you top it with a jacket, choose a longer, straight jacket that is just slightly shorter than the dress.

The grey knit is a wonderful basic piece. The biggest drawback is that a knit reveals every hill and valley. Having recently attended some social gatherings where ladies were wearing the “bandage dress”, I can attest to the fact that unless you have a perfectly toned body, these knits are not the most flattering.   That being said, this dress, perhaps in a different fabric, is extremely versatile and can be worn with a variety of sweaters, vests, or jackets.

Since many ladies have triangle shapes, a classic dress with a fuller skirt is the answer.

Let's see some sleeve!
Let’s see some sleeve!

This white dress has a slightly flaired skirt but the style would work wonderfully with more flair.

What will make this dress a go-to basic is the option of being able to add scarves, belts and jewelry to the basic dress or to use accessories to augment the look with a jacket, vest , or sweater. Choose one of your best basic colors that will go well with a variety of toppers already in your closet. Then, accept the compliments and count the many ways you can enjoy your this new workhorse.

The Early Birds get the (worms) CLOTHES!


0400086979286_ASTL_247x329New fall clothes arriving in department stores may just provide the perfect opportunity for you to grab your favorite new look while supplies last. “Pre-fall” collections are arriving now and are sort of an easy transition into the full fall collections. Pre-fall clothing is usually less trendy and more classic—exactly what many shoppers want. The more trendy versions of what appeared on the runway will arrive later. Unfortunately for the customer, the pre-fall collections often sell out and will no longer be available.

This blog features some of the new pre-fall trends that you might want to add to your fall wardrobe.

Longer Culottes.  Saks
Longer Culottes. Saks

Culottes and wide-legged trousers complete the new high waist style. These fuller cuts just wouldn’t work with a lower waist cut. Culottes come and go in fashion but when they are “in” they offer a fun, updated look. Generally, culottes are not becoming to someone who does not have long legs but wide legged trousers really flatter the wider hips of a triangle.  These trouser can be perfect to give a longer leg look if they almost touch the floor.  Some of these trousers are being shown a few inches above the floor worn with boots.  It may be a style but visually stops the eye at the bottom of the trousers, making the leg appear that much shorter.

Add a classic skirt that you love. It could be leopard print, plaid, a bright color or neutral. The style, pencil or flair, should flatter your figure. This can become the go-to skirt for fall and winter. You should be able to top it with a variety of blouses, sweaters, or combinations to give huge versatility.

Subtle plaid wear-with-everything skirt.  Saks
Subtle plaid wear-with-everything skirt. Saks

A perfect go-everywhere dress will transition from daytime to evening. It can be worn with a jacket for a professional image, top with a sweater for more casual, or add scarves or jewelry to give an entirely different vibe.

Boots remain a huge fashion trend. The only problem is that they are expensive. I have selected a wear-with-everything , wear-everywhere pair with a wedge heel. These are quite dressy but not so high you can’t walk in them. They could be worn under wide-legged trousers, with culottes or dresses.

Versatile boot.  Saks
Versatile boot. Saks

Finally, I discovered this convertible long to short jacket that can go over most everything. The short version will be perfect with wide culottes or trousers or could be worn over something straight. The longer version adds a polished finish for straight skirts,

Creative long to short jacket.  Saks
Creative long to short jacket. Saks

trousers or dresses.

Summer purchases for fall are only successful if you need them and love them. The great fun of new clothes is how it makes you feel each time you put it on!  


The Paradox of Tattoos


imgresRemember when bikers, tough guys, and sailors were the only ones who wore tattoos? When they began being a part of the mainstream a few years ago, disapproval of the trend brought about changes in dress codes requiring employees to cover up all tattoos. I remember one friend changing hair salons because she did not like to see the array of tattoos on salon employees. Today, with 21% of the population wearing some sort of tattoo, acceptance is growing and restrictions in dress codes are being relaxed.images-1

Along with wider acceptance, some people decide they no longer like a particular tattoo or have occasions where they prefer not to be confronted with questions about the tattoo.   Voila! Creative artists to the rescue!   Tattoo removal has been used for a while but now make-up artists are honing their skills to cover up those pesky body embellishments for special occasions. A recent article interviewed two brides who took two different approaches. One bride chose her wedding dress to complement her tattoos, giving them full visibility. Another called in a makeup artist to cover them up so that, as she stated, all of the attention of her 300 guests could be focused on the wedding and she did not have to field dozens of questions about her tattoos. She also considered how it might be looking back on her wedding pictures in thirty years.

Cosmetically camouflaging tattoos does not come without a cost. It is actually more expensive than having done the original tattoo. The makeup does last for a few days but then it is gone and the tattoos are again visible. images-2Tattoo removal is another growing business and is more costly and takes longer.   Number of treatments depend on the size of the tattoo, color of ink and one’s skin tone. One New York doctor stated that patients can expect to pay $350 or more per session for tattoo removal with possibly ten sessions over a period of years.

images-3The urge to follow some current trends can have long lasting consequences—not to mention costs. Maybe adding a temporary tattoo to give that artistic punch for a specific event would be a solution. Don’t forget a hip new runway look can make a real statement. When you are tired of it, off to consignment or the Good Will and you are ready for the next statement outfit. So much more fun without the cost and pain!  

Are Outlet Malls on the Outs?


Looking bright at Polo.
Looking bright at Polo.

I remember back when outlet malls entered the mix for shopping. It was always a destination to include when you visited a city that had one. In the beginning, these malls were established some ninety minutes from their store in regular mall stores and carried items that had not sold during the regular season for deeply discounted prices. As a bargain hunter, it was great fun to visit the outlet mall and sift through hoping to find hidden treasures.     Early on however, some stores like Ralph Lauren, began manufacturing a lower quality merchandise to stock their outlet mall. I’m sure they included unsold items from their main stores as well but it has been a brilliant strategy that has been copied by other stores.

Last Call at Neiman's.
Last Call at Neiman’s.

Change is in the air. Large retailers are now running sales throughout the year in order to keep customers coming back into the stores. Where we used to expect twice yearly sales, we now see ongoing promotions. Prices are frequently lower than one would pay in an outlet store.

Polo outlet.
Polo outlet.

This is good news for most of us! You save a 2-hour round trip drive to visit the outlet mall and avoid the possibility of having made the trip in vain. Local retail stores are trending more and more to having their markdown merchandise on line. I monitor those postings once or twice a week for ideas for clients and for myself.

Last call at Neiman's.
Last call at Neiman’s.

Often, the store has more extensive inventory than is posted on line so a periodic visit to the store is always a good idea. I have found that isolated perfect dress only available in my size. There were not enough available to warrant putting them on line but I found a winner for ¼ the original price!

Bargains are bargains any way you look at it. My suggestion is to monitor several options before making that   purchase.   If you have a mental or written list of items you can use, you can spot it immediately when you see it in the store.

Know your colors and have a good feel for what this new purchase can be worn with. Use that new item to add a completely different look to what you already have! That’s smart shopping!

Nude Pantyhose Make a Fashion Comeback!


Kate Middleton with her traditional sheer, nude hose.
Kate Middleton with her traditional sheer, nude hose.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has had a huge impact on the trend back toward wearing sheer, nude hose.   It has not been that long ago when women in business rebelled against being required to wear hose at the office. I remember my daughter’s delight when her boss officially kicked off the beginning of summer:  the date women in the organization could go without wearing hose. Of course, this was just for the three official months of summer with no bearing on actual temperatures!

This summer, wearing sheer, nude pantyhose has come full circle. Gone is the image of looking like granny wearing support hose only slightly resemble skin tones!   Fashion designers have promoted hose on their runway looks, some even adding ankle socks.

Sheer all the way!
Sheer all the way!

There are definite benefits to wearing pantyhose. Hose give a finished look to your outfit. It also adds a professional note.  Just as one avoids a skirt that is too short or low cut blouse that exposes too much cleavage, hose add a touch of modesty. You want your male clients and coworkers to focus on your expertise, not your other attributes!

Hosiery also covers flaws that you would prefer not be advertised. They give a uniformity of color. At the beginning of the summer, most of us have pasty white legs. Add a few spider veins or other flaws and: not a very pretty picture.

Thigh-high comfort.
Thigh-high comfort.

Go sheer to rock this look. If you really want to be a little fashion forward, look for some of the patterned styles.  Some offer a line up the back as in the old fashioned seamed hose of yesteryear. Just be sure to keep the line straight up the back of your leg! Other styles offer a mesh pattern or other designs. If you are wearing something dark or have dark skin, sheer, darker shades are a great choice. Of course, you need dark shoes to complete the look.

Donna Karen and Wolford are two brands offering some nice choices. They are a bit more expensive but in my experience, they will last much longer. Jenny Altman, marketing consultant for Australian brand Wolford, recommends choosing from their “Skintone” line.


These nudes are designed to resemble skin without the orange tones that often comes from self-tanning products. Wolford even offers a thigh- high to keep cool on hot summer days. The gummy band at the top effectively keeps them in place while being comfortable.

Enjoy your elegant new take on summer dressing!


All hosiery images from Saks.