Styles You Can Actually Wear!

Bypass waist with a shift
Bypass waist with a shift

 

New spring catalogues have started to arrive and I was amazed to find an abundance of cloths that most women can actually wear!   I mean those over 25, those who don’t have the perfect hour-glass figure or those who work in conservative environments.   As I thumb through catalogues and fashion magazines, each page reveals another style that would be a great choice for the majority of ladies. 

Shift drama
Shift drama

First, I was impressed with many longer lengths.  There are even some calf-length skirts.  The most frequent complaint that I have heard over the last several seasons, is that skirts are too short.  Even if you have great legs, a skirt approaching the knee is usually better than mid thigh.  Most assuredly, it is a more appropriate length in a business setting. Mid-calf length is also an option.  It will look best on the tall lady with long legs.   If that is not you, you probably want to take a pass on this look.0478508034269_247x329

Look for many shift style dresses bypassing the waist this spring.  What a great trend for anyone wishing to camouflage her waist or hide a tummy.  No longer do you need to improvise to cover that area — it’s the style!  Stores are also featuring a wide selection of over blouses; another great camouflage piece for the waist area.  One caution:  do not wear a top to bypass the waist with a full skirt.   You want a fitted top to balance a full skirt or fitted slack or skirt to balance the over top unless your goal is to visually add lots of pounds.

Dressy flat
Dressy flat

A third trend that will be music to your ears and your feet is the flat shoe.  If 4” heels have never been your thing or your feet simply can’t tolerate very high heels, this is the season for you!   Stores are filled with dozens of options from ballet flats suitable for business or dress to fun sporty flats. Yes, Jimmy, Manolo and Christian are still showing many choices in high heels but they are also offering mid-heels and flats.

Have some fun!
Have some fun!

If any of these new fashion trends are on your wish-list of “I wish they’d . . . “ it’s your season to shop.  Since such wearable styles do not appear often, I encourage you to shop carefully and buy the very best quality you can afford.  Quality purchases will look good for several seasons so that you can look your best even when it is not the “in” fashion.   Classics are never out of style.

Happy shopping!

Is it time to change your hair style?

 

Most of us don’t like to admit that we are getting older which must be why many ladies struggle with choosing the right look.  Of course, there is always the question of to gray or not to gray.   A previous article on that subject is available in the February 2012 archives .

Judie Dench
Judie Dench

It sometimes seems like we are walking a tightrope in choosing the right balance between maintaining a youthful look while still being age-appropriate.  There is no one-hair style that works for everyone so let’s look at some options.

Judie Dench wears her hair in a short crop.  This is no doubt a very easy style for her to maintain and works well with her symmetrical, fuller face.  Although her 80th birthday will be in December, one could not determine her age from looking at her.  The subtle natural-looking blond color also contributes to a younger look.  This style is not for everyone!

Cinema Society & Donna Karan Host A Screening Of "Happy Tears" -After PartyThe short bob for Ellen Barkin is a great look for straight fine hair.   She can wear bangs or, as in the picture, letting the bangs grow a bit longer and pulling them to the side.   Helen Mirren wears a similar style beautifully.  With a good cut, it only takes a few minutes to blow this hair dry and style it, add a little spray and look great all day.

I think Glenn Close appears younger and is more attractive with this short bob than she did ten or fifteen years ago wearing her hair shoulder length.  Glenn has a long, rectangular face.  The bangs help shorten the appearance of length and the little flip at the bottom adds width.    Now in her mid 60’s, this is an excellent look.

Glenn Close
Glenn Close

Blythe Danner’s short bob works perfectly with her natural curls.  What I especially like is that the style beautifully balances her triangular face, adding width through the chin and minimizing the width of her forehead.  At 71 she is at her most beautiful.

Long hair is generally not as flattering for more mature ladies.  Atlanta icon Jane Fonda is a good example.  She is much more attractive at this age with shorter hair than she would have been if she had continued to wear the long locks of her youth.   Adding a little more length to short hair will help soften facial lines.

Blythe Danner
Blythe Danner

If you are ready for a new look, use the internet to get ideas of what will work for your hair and for your face.  If you need a new set of professional eyes, don’t hesitate to visit a different hairdresser.   You, too can be your most beautiful as you mature!

Wear Your Crown Proudly

If a woman’s hair is her crowning beauty, why do so many women give it so little attention?

Uniform for many young women.
Uniform for many young women.

When we meet someone, either a friend or new acquaintance, our eye first goes to her hair.  Unfortunately, it seems that many women treat their hair as an inconvenience and give it the least attention.  Grocery stores are filled with young women wearing workout clothes; their long hair pulled back into a ponytail and pulled through the opening at the back of their baseball cap.  Long hair, properly groomed, is beautiful but it requires more care than shorter hair.

How do you choose a hairstyle that works for you and your lifestyle?

Soft style for soft features.
Soft style for soft features.

First I would suggest seeing a good hair stylist.  This can be a challenge.  Top stylists can be very expensive.   Well known stylists like Ted Gibson and Nick Arrojo of What Not to Wear fame, can cost $500 to $1000 for a cut, not to mention the trip to New York for the appointment.  That’s not an option for most of us.   However, for all of you who ever watched that program, I’m sure you agree that the haircut was the defining step in transforming women from “before” to “after”.

Good hairdressers understand your hair type and what will be the best cut for you.  They also are trained to look at your facial shape and features to determine how to style your hair. I have a client with beautiful long, softly curled hair.   It frames her rounded facial features and is truly her crowing beauty.  However, one time I met her at her hairdresser’s when she had impulsively asked to have her hair straightened, resembling Jennifer Aniston.  This straight line simply didn’t work with her soft features and diminished her beauty.

It is up to you to tell your hairdresser your time restraints and your level of expertise in working with your hair.  An expert hairdresser can then choose a style that works for your hair type, your facial structure and one that you can keep up on a daily basis.

Fitting for Meg's overall persona.
Fitting for Meg’s overall persona.

There are several ways you can find a good hairdresser.  First, when you see someone with a great hairstyle, that you think would work for you, ask her who does her hair.  Most women will be flattered that you asked and will gladly share the information.

Secondly, when you are researching a new hairdresser, look at the type of training they have had.  Some training schools stress styling while others focus on cuts.  I have very straight, fine hair requiring a superb cut, almost like a sculpture.  My questions always focus on cutting expertise.

If the hairdresser is a little over your budget but you really like the cut, have him or her do the initial cut and ask for a recommendation for someone in the salon who is less expensive but can replicate the cut.  Most high-end hairdressers recognize there are budget constraints and are happy to make referrals within the salon.  If they are offended by such a request, you probably don’t want to deal with their ego anyway.

Next week, we will discuss how more mature woman can choose the perfect style for a youthful and stylish appearance.

Rock the Fall Runway – Your Way

 

Although there are no big surprises among the fall trends, I thought I would give some pointers on how to wear some of these looks with aplomb.

Do you love plaids?  If so, this is your season!  One thing to keep in mind is that plaids and tweeds are “country”.  By that, I mean they have a less formal feel.  I always think of the Royals in Britain wearing their plaids, tweeds and heathers out bird hunting at their Scottish castles.   The larger the plaid, the less formal it becomes.  Another consideration is, your personal scale.  If you have a small frame and/or delicate features, a large plaid will be visually overpowering.

This brown plaid jacket is a beautiful example of a plaid with universal appeal.  The color and the plaid give it a casual feel but the plaid is subtle enough to be appropriate for a wide range of women.    Notice how appropriate this simple, pulled back hairstyle is for the pattern.  With straight lines in a plaid, a flowing, curled look would not work. Neither will plaids work for the individual with soft, rounded features.

Another look you will be seeing is the cocoon coat.  It can be a great look for an oval body shape.  It can also be worn by a rectangle, inverted triangle, or figure eight.  Proportion will be all-important to carry off this look.  The example here appears too large and seems to engulf the model.  I think the look would be much better in a solid color. Certainly this plaid is much too large a scale for the wearer.   This model, however, can wear plaids in a smaller size, which would complement the many straight facets of her face.

You will continue to see many prints in stores.   This example is well done all around.  This print is a statement in its own right so jewelry would only distract.  The model’s simple hair is excellent, again allowing the dress to be the total look.  I also like the understated sandals.   This touch of a darker color at her feet relates to her hair color and draws you eye back up to her face.  My only suggestion might be to add a darker lipstick.  This is pretty bold and dramatic so it will not be a dress for the shrinking violet!

All examples can be found at Saks.

Are You a 20%er?

Are You a 20%er?

Posted on April 29, 2013 by admin

What is a 20%er, you may ask?  Studies show that most people only wear 20% of what is in their closet.  That is amazing!

As I do closet edits, I find most people have items with tags still attached and many items that they do not wear, yet they may not admit to not wearing 80% of the content of their closets.

How much money has been wasted?

What prompted these unwise purchases?

How do we turn a closet into a functioning space that you love, simplifying life by eliminating “closet frustration”?

Some people are addicted to sales.  It’s the “If it is this incredible price, I have to   have it!” mentality.   But, is it a great buy if it hangs, unworn in your closet?

Maybe you decide to be brave and step outside your comfort zone. You buy that trendy item only to get it home and find you don’t look nearly as “fashion forward” as you did in the store with the salesperson encouraging you – and it is nonreturnable.  Oh well, there’s another addition to the graveyard at the back of your closet.

Then you might fall into the “I deserve a treat” category.  After all, isn’t it better to go shopping than to eat a whole gallon of ice cream?  At least you get exercise when shopping.  Alas, another closet casualty.

What would it feel like if:

You know your personal style and which colors are your best?

Your closet contains a core wardrobe providing a wide variety of different combinations, appropriate for any occasion.

You have a plan for shopping – items that will add more variety to your core wardrobe  or form a different modules.

This is how This is how With Aplomb can help you save money, time and stress. We offer a half hour complementary consultation to see if this might be right for you.  Beryl@StylleWithAplomb  404-428-2527

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Beauty Bar

In a recent blog, I discussed the “Blow and Go” salons cropping up to assist busy women with a wash, dry and style service.  You have an important meeting or event to attend and did not have the hour plus to bring your hair from ponytail to glam.  Voila!  The new salon does it for you at an affordable price and in 45 minutes.

Meet its counterpart the “Makeup Bar”, often conveniently located next door to the  “Blow and Go” salon.  As you might imagine, this new concept started in Los Angeles with an original clientele of women in the entertainment industry.   They are now showing up in all major cities, including Atlanta.

Most of us don’t feel that we apply makeup as expertly as a trained makeup artist; especially the eye makeup.  How do you execute a smoky eye for day without looking like you are on your way to work as a cocktail waitress?  According to a study from research firm, Mintel , 78% of women feel makeup helps them look more professional.

Makeup and hair are the “frosting on the cake” of a put together look.  To start with the right colors and clothing selection that best project your authentic image, you want to know the colors and styles that work best for you.  That’s where Style With Aplomb can help!  Call or email Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or call 404-428-2527 to learn more.

A recent article quoted, Lori Sale, owner of the Makeup and Go salon in the Los Angeles, area.  A few years ago, when she worked as an actress, she was unable to get an appointment at a salon before an Academy Awards party so she went to a department store.  When she finished, she looked lovely but had $300 of makeup she had not wanted.  She added that the experience is often not satisfying in other ways.  “They put the latest color palette on you…if that’s not your color palette, you walk out looking like Bozo the Clown.”

Having your makeup professionally done is no longer just for weddings and proms.  You can now enjoy the luxury at a reasonable price and be assured that you look perfect for that important meeting, interview or party!

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!

To Gray or Not to Gray

My first gray hair appeared shortly after the birth of my daughter.  Hmmm, could there have been a connection?    I chose to become blond a few years later so the transition into gray has hardly been noticed.  For me, this works.

When I was growing up, the majority of women let their hair gray naturally while today it is unusual to see someone who has allowed the natural gray to show.  Obviously, trend is on the side of coloring your hair but what is really the best look for you?

As we age, our skin color softens thus natural graying supports the over-all softening of coloration.   As a teen, I remember a lady in our small town, probably in her 70’s or 80’s who dyed her hair bright red!  Her face had this soft, grandmotherly look but her hair made you wonder about her profession.  My mother discovered that one of her friends was this lady’s daughter.  The daughter expressed dismay but her mother loved her bright red and refused to change it.  This dear lady had no idea that she was sending such an unflattering message.

Men look distinguished in gray hair.  Their natural hair color doesn’t seem to make any difference; those temples showing some white add a touch of sophistication.   Think about George Clooney, Wolf Blitzer (I would do away with the beard), or Mitt Romney.  Their gray hair is an asset.   As long as I can remember, my daddy had salt and pepper gray hair.   He was a handsome man and the gray only added to his appeal.   He was still handsome with a full head of white hair at ninety.

For women the choice is a conundrum.  I love to see gray hair on someone with very dark hair.  The salt and pepper can be beautiful and become lovelier as it turns white.  For those of us with lighter brown or red hair, the graying process may not be quite as attractive by today’s standards.

Christine LaGarde, the French head of the IMF, has beautiful white hair.  I have rarely seen her wear anything but black or gray and either no makeup or it is not discernable.  She may feel black is necessary because of her powerful position but she would be beautiful in a deep, shaded red and I would like to see some hint of color in her face.  Emylou Harris, country western star, is also beautiful in her naturally white hair.  Jamie Lee Curtis and George Clooney are two actors who have chose to gray naturally.

Whether you choose to go natural or color your gray the key is to make have your colors are updated to support the hair color change.  Salt and pepper form a pattern so wearing patterns will become a bit tricky.  For colored hair, getting regular touch-ups will be essential.  Most of all embrace your mature beauty and enjoy.

Mothers Day is just around the corner.   What better gift than an updated color analysis?  Call Beryl at 404-428-2527 or email at Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com for an appointment.

Wonder Woman – Matured

 

I was a bit startled at the recent cover of Town and Country featuring Diane von Furstenberg.   This is the lady who gained her prominence as a designed back in the 1970’s with the jersey wrapped dress.  If you have ever seen pictures of her at that stage, she had very strong features, dark brown hair and dark make-up.  What caught me by surprise in this cover picture was how she has softened her look.  She still has the appearance of being a strong woman but gone are the dark, dark hair, dramatic black eyeliner, and shadow, and ruby-red lips.  At age 62, she has lightened her hair to a medium brown, her eyes are more subdued but still dramatic with brown liner and shadow while her lips are barely discernable.   I find her more attractive now than back when she was at her height of popularity with the ubiquitous jersey wrap.  So, what’s the difference?

As we age, our skin thins and begins showing some lines.  Our hair starts to grey, adding a natural softness to compliment the changes in our skin.  However, since we live in a world influenced by the allure to look youthful, we color our hair and take advantage of cosmetics.  We often lose sight of reality and see ourselves as we once were.  How many times have you seen a lady of 50+ who had maintained her very dark hair color while her skin has relaxed and become lighter?  Add some bright red lipstick and very dark eye makeup and the effect is harsh and uncomplimentary.  Or, in the case of a blonde who continues to wear the strong dark eye makeup and bright lips, you see the eyes and lips before you see the face.

Diane von Furstenberg has adjusted her makeup and hair adeptly to reflect the natural changes in her skin.  Her hair, although still dark, is a lighter brown and much softer against more mature skin.  Her choice of eye makeup is also softer, and is harmonious with her softer hair color.  The most dramatic change is that her lips are barely visible.  As the years advance, many people get noticeable signs of sagging around the jaw line.   If you add a bright lipstick, it draws attention to that area. Von Furstenberg has wisely emphasized her eyes, albeit softer, where there is not as much evidence of the ageing process.  Her very pale lips give her a softer appearance, showing her lips but not drawing specific attention to the lips.  When you look at her picture, you first notice her eyes.

Is it time to reevaluate your makeup?  Having gone through this process within the last six months and, although it took a paradigm shift, I am pleased with (what I hope) is the subtle improvement.